Posted by: baz2062 | July 26, 2015

PPL Renewal

Hi folks

Well i have started the slow trip to renew my pilots license. I went up in a Cherokee 161 last weekend nad did some basic stuff like climbing descending steep turns just to get the feel for flying an aircraft again. yesterday was a more lessoney (is that a word?) exercise as we did the whole briefing before takeoff to discuss what we were going to do (in this case: stalls).

My instructor is a C-Cat who also works for Airways here in Christchurch New Zealand which looks after all the Air Traffic Control, maps, Flight guides, simulators, maintain airport equipment etc etc. Charles was a brilliant Instructor, easy to understand what he was trying to demonstrate and made me relax!

Here we are returning from our refresher lesson with Charles on the left. (I think the smile is because I didn’t kill him with my awesome flying skills!)

25 August 025

So this time we are in DUP the last Cherokee 140 still active with the club fleet. She flies really nicely and is quite quick (ie: not a dog like some of the ones we had on the line)

So stalls. For those going “so like a car stalls”. Um no. Stalling in an aircraft is basically making the aircraft stop flying. Not like Wiley E. Coyote where he stops in midair and drops vertically! An aircraft needs three things to fly. Speed through the air, smooth air over the wing and thrust from the propeller (or jet engine if you are rich!) A fourth one that can vary (as they all can) is the angle of attack, basically the angle the wing is at to the airflow.


So to stall an aircraft is to stall the wing or kill the lift enough so the weight of the aircraft overcomes the lift forces.

So I hear you ask how do we do this. Think of a car going up hill. What happens if we take our foot off the accelerator/throttle/gas pedal? Yeah the car slows down and then stops going forwards. Same thing in an aircraft. If you raise the nose a few degrees above the horizon and hold it there and close the throttle (and hold the nose up) eventually the airspeed decays past the ability of the wings to generate lift. The result for the majority of aircraft is a bit of a shake as the smooth air over the wings gets all turbulent and then the nose pitches down. Not a death dive vertical down, just  belwo the horizon. If you leave the throttle close and keep the nose down the airspeed builds up and hey you’re flying again. BUT if you are close to the ground you may hit it before you get flying speed again. Not good! So when you do stall you push the controls forward slightly (release the back pressure you had to keep the nose above the horizon) and apply full power.

This accelerates the recovery of the airspeed so you can then pull back and get a positive climb rate. This is a basic stall and after doing a few by the third attempt I was losing less than 100 feet in recovery.

The more dangerous stall is one where the aircraft yaws or angles slightly in the horizontal plane at the stall.(See diagram)


What can happen with this kind of stall is the aircraft drops a wing as the nose pitches down.  If you leave it alone the aircraft will enter a spin and YOU WILL DIE! Ok that was for dramatic effect. Might be true if you don’t get it out of the spin but what the lesson does is what to do if the aircraft does drop a wing. Some may say well it’s a rolling motion just use the controls to lift the wing back up. No no no! The reason the wing has dropped is it has stalled BEFORE the other wing. If you try and lift the wing by using the ailerons it will make it worse! So what do we do. Rudder people rudder. This controls the yaw axis of an aircraft and in this case using opposite rudder with pick this wing up or at least stop it going down!

Now  visually this can look bloody scary. Not helping was Charles pointing out that good old DUP had some differences in incidence between the left and right wing. I think about a degree different on the left wing. In the diagram you are looking at a wing end on.incidence

And for those who have done wing drop stalls in a Cherokee the left wing drops. So good old DUP was an enthusiastic left wing dropper.

So how do we make this happen? From level cruising flight pull the power back to 1500 rpm. Apply full flap and hold the nose up. Most Cherokees have a stall warning light and buzzer to say “Hey dipstick you are about to stall!” If you release back pressure that will most likely prevent a stall but if you ignore it then “rumble rumble” and the nose pitches down.

However if you ignore it with full flap, 1500 RPM and then nudge the throttle up another 100 or so RPM as this stall warning goes off then POW! The left wing falls as the nose pitches down and you get this view:


I call this the “Brown Trouser” view and it’s pretty scary as the aircraft is starting to rotate. This is the point where you kick opposite rudder controls forward and full power. Level the wings normally once you have flying speed. Stall/spins have killed a lot of pilots and it’s usually when they are low and slow coming into land. I read somewhere if you do a single rotation spin you lose about 700 feet. If you are at 600 feet you hit the ground.

I found that I kept on trying to twist myself in my seat to keep myself to the horizon and the third one I actually imparted some aileron (as in rolling the wing up) which is very bad. I recall trying to overcome this by actually orientating my “worldview” to the top of the instrument panel and concentrating on the throttle, rudder and airspeed during the wing drop.

It was time to return to Christchurch and I actually managed a good crosswind landing on the main runway at the airport so that’s something else i haven’t forgotten how to do.  Back in the flight office of the aero club we debriefed. Charles was full of praise for my flying ability, not that I’m the world’s best pilot (I’m not!) but because I flew so well after logging flight time of less than an hour over the last 12 years! Yes I’m rusty and have quite a bit of re-learning (and some new control zone and radio procedures to learn) but I could still remember most of the check lists. All I need to do is fly more often. After some discussion we thought the best way to do the BFR is book some holiday and take a few flights with a B-Cat Instructor. That was each flight can count towards the BFR (as you need a B-Cat to sign a BFR.) This is also the most cost effective as I’m not doing refresher flying and then doing a BFR which may need more than one flight depending on how well I fly.

Yeah cost. My little flight of 0.9 (54 minutes) Dual cost about $260. Gulp! So the quicker I can pass the BFR the quicker I can eat again!

I’ll try and update this again after my next flight. So watch the skies…I may be above you!!Scary

Or maybe:


But probably:

168197,xcitefun-oh-shit-9 I’m sure those people should not be on my runway 🙂

Posted by: baz2062 | July 29, 2012

Pilots Licence renewal

Hullo to my many many fans.  Progress on the renewal of my pilots licence, otherwise known as a BFR (Biannual Flight Review) has before now been glacial. I mean if I had been a Mammoth during the iceage I would have been the last to go. It would have been “Thats funny, I haven’t seen another mammoth for a while, gurgle gurgle thud!”

However I am glad to report I have actually flown. In a plane. Actually at the controls. Ummmmm ok it was in December but at least that sounds better than “Oh I last flew in September…………………………..2003!”

I really enjoyed it and surprised myself  in that I flew pretty well. My instructor said if I had a current medical he would have no hesitation in letting me fly solo. Now that’s fuel for the ego right there folks. (Cue dramatic music and slomo walk into the hangar)

I flew a Cherokee 140 which is the type I trained on and the aircraft I have flown the most in my 200 hours.  We took off from Christchurch and went to the clubs own airfield (West Melton) to do some circuits. (Thats going round and round doing takes offs and landing). My first landing was good. We tried a variation and pretended the engine failed going downwind. Here I stuffed up and forgot i should have immediately turned towards the runway. because i delayed the turn i soon discovered if I carried on with the approach i would soon become one with some trees! So full power, and do a missed approach call and set up again. This time it was perfect, once I was sure we would get in I lowered the flaps and came over the fence at 70-65 kts and touched down as if it was a normal approach.

Ok so that was December. At this point I am now doing the lectures to get myself up to speed for the BFR. It turns out i only needed to sit the Human Factors and PPL Law exams. However because its been over 8 years I decided to do all the lectures and I’m glad I did as there was a lot of things I had forgotten and few things i’m sure we didn’t cover when I first did them back in 1983! Currently I’ve done the Navigation lectures  (five 2 hour lectures) and currently doing Meteorology (5 again). Next is Human Factors which wasn’t around when I last did exams for a PPL so this will be new and I have to sit the exam too. Only 2 or three lectures this time. The next one will be a tough one, PPL Law. Ugh. 5 lectures. Oh well it has to be done.

Once the exams are done (and hopefully passed) I really need to get my Medical done. Yeah I know you’d think that would be the first thing I’d do wouldn’t you? But its over $300+ these days and money has been used for other things with a higher priority. I know excuses excuses.

Oh yes i know where the money has gone. I bought an aeroplane! I thought i might have mentioned it before so scurried off and checked but nope. Not a thing. Its not airworthy and is a project. Some would say a mammoth(tee hee) project. I am the proud owner of a whole heap of parts that will one day assemble to become a 1951 J5F Auster (ZK-BBZ).

This is her in the 1960s and the plan is to put her back in these colours. As you see, dear reader this Auster was one of 3 J5F Austers owned by the Canterbury Aero Club, the very club I belong to. The other two were ZK-BCQ and BCK. BCQ is now a rusty frame still in the hands of the chap I bought mine off and some of the parts I have are from her. She ended up landing on a beach with engine problems and the undercarriage collapsed. While they waited for help the tide came in.

The other one (BCK) was until recently still airworthy but is now grounded for a while as she is donating her engine to another Auster. Actually this family has three Austers and I am going to be paying them a visit tomorrow so I can see what a complete J5F looks like! I’ll be taking lots of photos to help me when I start putting mine together.

Thats all for now I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

Posted by: baz2062 | July 9, 2011

Missile Men

Progress on renewing pilots licence. Nil. Hmmm, have I got Mexican blood somewhere. I say this as my first attempt at writing the word “progress” came out as “progrees”. So i thought to myself, that looks like a foreign language.
Yes I realize most normal people would go “ooo a spelling error I must correct it”. And yes i suppose I did correct it but now I have wondered about the spelling and come up with some ancestor in my distant past trying to make him (or her) self known to me. I reckon its mexican as in the movie Scarface when Al Pacino’s character says: “Say hullo to my leetle friend” and then proceeds to machine gun the curtains, the walls, the door and some dudes outside the door.
so the “leetle looks like the “progrees” so i reckon I might be onto something. (That’s ONTO something not ON something.)
Hold on. What nationality is Mr Pacino’s character supposed to be? Leetle. Hmmm doesn’t sound Italian or German. Must be South American. Ok so if the character was to say “Look how my bullets progrees out of my leetle friend” you wouldn’t go “Why is he talking with an Italian and a South American accent would you? No. Did’nt think so.
So I’m arranging to book a medical next week now I’ve spent money on the car, the son and the wife. In that order but left the best for last (just in case she reads this ha ha ha ahem)
I’m drinking a cup of coffee as i type this. Its a new Zealand Warbirds mug with a Spitfire on the side. Very aviational. I have several of them……..all gifts. I can spot them now, small cubes in present wrapping. i usally wonder if this time it will…………………….ok right about now my nice shiny new Windows 7 installation decided it didn’t like my Graphics card and turned it off..then on again………….then off…………..grrrrr………then on. So had to save this master piece and try and fix it. No I’m not a computer expert but have built  or rather assembled them, switched them on and prayed to all the gods i could think of that it would turn on.

Anyhoo back to the warbird mugs. I was wondering if one day the cube shaped object might be some alien device that would whisk me away to the future…or maybe the past. Now that would be something. I could wander into aircraft grave yards and buy up Fighters and Bombers and hide them away, travel forward to the present day and make an absolute fortune! Of course I would keep one of each type and use the money to get them airworthy. Any money left over I would pour into a bathtub and just bathe in the stuff. With twin babes for company. Hey its lonely being rich! I’ll be careful opening this Christmas’s cube shaped present let me tell you!

Signing off now my leetle friends.


You are either privileged, lucky as in “oh my god where has this guy been hiding he is so fantastic I want his babies” or very unlucky “AH AH AH MY EYES MY EYES” or some combination of the above. Maybe “hey he’s good, hmmmm why’s my left eye hurting?”
As you may just be the first person to read this, my first blog. Blogette?
Anyway as my blog title suggests I’m a bit of an aviation enthusiast so i will be blogging about things with wings but I will also diverge into non aviation topics.
Like I just upgraded this PC I’m typing this on to Windows 7. I’m not an Computer expert by any means (well hell I’m typing with two fingers and live in a house that looks like it survived a nuclear blast b a r e l y. If you think I had dem dare computer skills I’d be in that kind of a house?)
There was swearing and gnashing of teeth but I got it done. But what made me laugh was the little book Microsoft put in with the disc for installing it.
I opened it to the page entitled “Lets get Started” in green friendly it won’t be a problem there there letters.
Below this was the 4 easy steps to get set up.
1:Turn on your PC(Wow you really have to know what you’re doing here I thought)
2:Follow the instructions to complete the setup of Windows. (Wow this disc is smart, you don’t even have to put it in the dvd drive….you may detect a trace of sarcasm right about……………………
3:When you’re finished, you’ll see the windows desktop. (Yeah its that easy….)
4:Install antivirus software that works with Windows 7 (Hmmm no no I think I’ll try and find some antivirus software specifically NOT for Windows 7….cos this boy loves a challenge!!
Was it that simple? Nah after trying to find out why the disc (yes I put it in the dvd drive) wouldn’t boot the PC like it was supposed to I threw caution to the wind (and possibly into a low earth orbit so someone inform NASA or those Space Station guys to keep an eye out) and installed it from Windows XP. With NO problems. None . Zip. Now thats smooth.
Now you aviators out there are wondering wheres the aircraft stuff. OK then.
First some facts about me and aircraft.
Can I fly. No. Well in a plane yes.
Do I own a plane. No. Well yes I used to. A 1944 Auster Mark 5. (Oh how I wish I hadn’t sold you..sniff sniff)
Can you fly a plane? Ah now that’s a more sensible question. I have about 200 hours on mainly Piper Cherokees but have flown a Cessna 172, Auster and went solo in a Piper Cub when I wanted a tail wheel rating.
Am I current. For the non pilots this means can you legally fly a plane? No I last flew in 2003. Some wedding deal got in the way but now I am in the first stages in renewing my BFR.
Whats a BFR? Ah ok well that’s a Biannual Flight Review which you do every 2 years to ensure you know what you’re doing at the controls of an aircraft. What’s scary is I keep on passing them. (Sssshhh don’t tell anyone they might be going flying with me.)
So I am going to do my medical to make sure all my organs are where they should be and my sanity(but I’m good at hiding my state of mind KILL ALL PEOPLE CALLED SIMON so they will of course pass me as fit to fly)
Once I have the Medical certificate I will be able to fly solo once an instructor thinks I’m safe to.
Me: “So you pull this and twist that?”
Instructor: “No you twist that while pulling that.”
Me: “Oh”
Instructor: “Yeah I don’t think you are quite ready to fly solo yet.”
Me: “Say is that your $50 on the cockpit floor?”
Instructor: “Well look at that, I was wondering where that had gone. Well have fun Mr Tod!”
Sound of cockpit door opening and closing followed closely by running feet heading for the Aero Club Bar.
So as you can see it is a technical and time-consuming task getting back into flying.

Stay tuned folks as I bumble my way back into the skies of……………(sound of 6 Billion people holding their breath)…………………….New Zealand! (Sound of 4 million people going oh s**** and 6 billion 996million people going whew!)

From the Keyboard of Baz

Posted by: baz2062 | June 27, 2011

Hello world!

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

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