Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flight report

My friend Dale finds a logbook to be limiting, so writes a report of every flight he takes. The other morning he and I too kthe Ercoupe around to some of the local rural strips. Here's his "logbook entry."


Jim and I plan to fly the coupe to Rainbow Ranch on Sunday morning. What time? I propose 0700, and he thinks that is early, but we finally agree on it. I wake up to thunder at 0600 and see lightning in several directions on the way to Blackfoot. Even if the weather clears I don’t intend to land on wet grass. The coupe is out of gas so I call Joel who says come and get some. Getting the plane out of the hangar requires tight S-turns. I go to start it and it will only run on prime. Then Jim tells me where to find the fuel shutoff up under and behind panel. Hiding the fuel shutoff is a security feature for this plane. Jim and I discuss the tradeoff between fuel reserve and fuel weight, and decide on 6 gallons a side, but it only takes 9 gallons, so it wasn’t as low as I thought. It is also down to 2 quarts of oil so I add some.

Jim points out that the only thing worse than two instructors flying together is three. A CFI in the back seat is worse than a backseat driver. Who will sit on what side? Neither of us cares and Jim only wants a front row seat. I haven’t had any left seat time lately so I end up there. We make the classic mistake of putting our stuff behind our own seats rather than on opposite sides, making it harder to reach. Jim reminds me to run up into the wind and establish a crab angle after takeoff. We cruise to Rainbow at 2100 rpm and I make a low pass of the runway downwind and Jim takes over to make a low pass the other way, with a lower ground speed. I propose an aerial tour of the airstrips in the Heise area and Jim agrees, but the rain is worse in that direction so we skirt IDA airspace and fly to Rigby. I make a horrible pattern entry to a low approach and come around again to land. Jim pronounces me an Ercoupe pilot for landing in a crab, and he takes over on the taxi back and does a circuit of his own. Terry Kofoed is getting his plane out during all of this, but he isn’t on the radio by the time we depart. Where to next? The weather is such that flying toward the blue sky is the best course and it is clear toward Roberts, so we fly by Nyle Tanner’s strip. From here we fly a mag compass course around IDA on our way back to Blackfoot. At 10 miles south of Idaho Falls we hear an inbound Columbia give the same position report, so it seems a good idea to inform IDA of our presence. There are several errors in the relayed information, but the Columbia says he has us on TCAS and we avoid a collision. Back at U02 we make 1 landing each in a gusty crosswind for 2.1 hours total. We would refuel the plane but Joel is gone so we leave some cash in the kitty. We would go out to breakfast but can’t find a place open. My flying has been sloppy this morning and Jim has pointed out a few of my errors, but not all of them. He intends to log the time as dual given which is entirely appropriate. This has been a good review for me.

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