Name: Frank


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    Aug 26, 2019 – The checkride

    September 13th, 2019

    I arrived early and casually met the FAA observer in the lounge. Paul invited me to sit with him and we talked about our backgrounds a little. I could tell he was older than my 61 years by a good margin, and I asked how long he had been doing this. Ultimately he shared with me that he liked what he was doing, and that a difficult divorce put some of the pressure on him to continue. I said something stupid like I was just doing this for fun, and could retire anytime. I’m not sure that put me in the best light.

    My examiner, Dan, was in training trying to get his examiner checkride done with me. Dan came in about 20 minutes later and we all found an instructor terminal to sort out the paperwork for todays events. Dan was visibly nervous and wasted the first hour trying to figure out the paperwork. Paul wasn’t much help, nor was I. The stumbling point was the 135 certificate I’d be working under. Eventually we got it sorted out, but the delay on top of my sitting for two days grated on me.

    The Oral Exam: The three of us moved to the briefing room to get started and settled in. Dan explained to me that I was playing the role of the client today. That’s right – he told me I was playing a role and that implied that I wasn’t actually a client today. Totally the wrong mindset, but characteristic of the way DFW has set this up. I’m cannon fodder for the inexperienced to work on.

    My blood pressure pumped up a bit with that confirmation. I was here to be a professional pilot, NOT to be a training platform that can be set up for failure. But I digress……

    Dan began the oral using the old school method of firing question after question at me. His eyes were bloodshot and his tone was aggressive. I responded in kind and nailed every question he had. Perfectly. I was aggressive and my dissatisfaction clearly shown through. That was a mistake on my part.

    When I sensed my cockiness coming through, I tried to mitigate that somewhat by using phrases like ‘I believe that this occurs when…..’ or something similar when I either wasn’t absolutely sure or wanted to slow the pace of the questions. I was trying to be casual and nice. That is when Paul – the FAA examiner who should been silent – spoke up and chastised me for not being 100% certain. I was an instructor after all. Once again I stifled the desire to remind them both that I was the client here, and that I was here as a pilot and not an instructor. I also wanted to tell Paul that all of my answers were correct, regardless of the additional phrase. 

    At various times Paul would give advice to Dan and Dan would ask questions while I sat there. Dan clearly was not ready for the new ACS standard and was not ready to give a proper oral, in my opinion. That was recognized by both of them, but accepted for today and declared a success. Finally the oral was over and Dan gave me his weight and balance sheet before they took a break.

    I answered all of the questions except one of them having to do with zero fuel weight moment. I KNEW that was a superfluous number and that I didn’t need it to get the data I was after. I wasn’t being mean, but told him I skipped over that one because I knew another way to get the stab setting and did so. Dan was visibly shaken at this point and very pissed off. You do as the examiner tells you to do, was his response. What a jackass. I told him at this point that there was no point in my beginning a check-ride if the examiner was visibly upset. I gave him the chance to not continue. He got his act together and we proceeded to the sim. I did not get a break before going in, but would have insisted if I had needed one.

    The sim check began. Dan gave me a smooth ride at the start, even though Paul was in the back and they continued to have discussions. I met my sim partner for the first time just as we were going in. The recovery from an approach to landing stall went smoothly, the best I’d done so far. I  had learned an awful lot about the FMS as well, so I knew at that point that I had this ride nailed.

    The ride went on for 90 minutes and I was on a roll. Easy peasy. Then either Dan or Paul decide they need a pee break. In the middle of my check-ride they need a pee break. Un-Freakin’ believable. I am so pissed about it I don’t even get out of my seat. I want to home and these guys are screwing around. Unprofessional, in my mind.

    15 minutes later: Paul, Dan, and my sim partner return to the sim and we get started again. No one says checking has begun, but I don’t realize this until later. I’m not sure I’d use that card anyway.

    The first maneuver is a V1 cut, and I’ve seen this done a number of ways. Dan does it in a way I haven’t seen before. Keeping the airplane on the centerline is easy, and I decide to smoothly lift off after the Vr call. I was too slow in rotating and the left wing touched the runway and ended the ride. My perfect record of zero checkride failures has ended, and I’ll be going home without the type.

    I opt to continue the ride and get everything else done, but Dan couldn’t manage that without another break and another hour of paperwork. I waited and watched as Paul and Dan chatted up friends and took their sweet time, and finally said Screw it – I’m outta here. I left and then flew home the next day. Very disappointed, given the effort I’d put in and the progress I’d made.

    No matter what I say or how I say it though – this was my fault. I could have been better prepared for this by FlightSafety, but the airplane certainly could have had just the right failures to put me in this position on it’s own. I should have keep the wing tip up and been ready.

    The story gets better and the learning continues. This one was hard to share though.

    Fly safe.


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    Aug 24, 2019 – My days off….

    September 12th, 2019

    This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.

    I was off Saturday and Sunday, and my check-ride was scheduled for early Monday morning. I was still working to understand the FMS, but making stead progress each day. I was still pissed at having to cool my heels for two days, but I did get the chance to observe my partner do his check-ride early in the morning.

    His examiner was Ryan, a Delaware native, and Ryan and I sounded off names and found we walked in similar circles. I enjoyed talking with him.

    My partner made one significant mistake, but the ride was continued. I agreed silently that it should have and was glad that it had. I also knew that mine would not have with the FAA in back and an examiner in training evaluating me. That sucks, but it is what it is.

    One notable event that would be important to me later was the approach Ryan took to setting up a V1 cut (engine failure just before lift off). What Ryan did was to reach up and chop one of the power levers right away. Doing so caused the sim to correctly model what the airplane would actually do – apply boosted rudder of I think 21 degrees immediately. Interesting that neither Dan nor I had seen this method in our training, but did see three other approaches to overcome this known sim limitation. In the airplane, it’s a non-event unless the TCM (Thrust Control Module) fails.

    Ground Simulator: After congratulating Dan and seeing him off, I spent the rest of my day in the ground simulator on my own. I not only practiced what I already knew, but actually started branching out and experimenting. The MAP and CHART buttons both were big finds for me, allowing me to quickly reconfigure my screens that more closely resembled what I’m used to in instrument flying. Now I can configure what I want on the fly, and go right back to what the examiners tell me I should be looking at. I was excited to be finally feeling the master of this FMS.

    I left for Dinner and the hotel to study for the orals the rest of my evening. I found that I was sick of looking at this stuff and couldn’t put in more than an hour of so. That is usually when I know I’m ready, when I just can stand looking at it anymore.

    Sunday the 25th was more of the same. Early morning ground simulator, followed by studying for the orals. I couldn’t do anything more by 3pm, and packed it in. Either I knew it or I didn’t; let’s get this done!

    I am finally getting back to filling out the timeline, now that I’m sitting in recurrent on my way to instructor qualifications. I’m going up to check on how to set up the classroom, and my instructor’s invitation, so I’ll get to the check-ride experience shortly. It didn’t go smoothly – I’ll tell you that.  Back soon…..


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    Aug 19th, 2019 – SIM 03 through SIM 06

    September 12th, 2019
    My sim partner Dan and I began working together pretty well. SIM03 went fine, with not surprises. There is allot to learn and I committed to working 12 hours days everyday to improve my understanding of the FMS operation. I had to make changing screens and finding information second nature, or I’d never be able to fly this thing well.
    SIM04 was weighted a bit heavy on the client. In other words, my partner went first and got more time. SIM05 was balanced and SIM06 was to be the LOFT. We really didn’t do a LOFT, but instead allowed my partner most of the session to improve his circle maneuver. Mine was spot on every time I did it, and it was nice to know i could do something well. I took the last hour of the three hour session and just practiced my approach to landing stall recovery.
    I must have done this maneuver 6 times, but never got it right. Later I realized that no instructor every stopped to analyze what I was doing exactly, and why I was having trouble. On further thought, I never did either. It was only just prior to my checkride many days later that I re-read the procedure and realized that hitting the go-around button was part of it. I hadn’t been that, and thus deprived myself of vertical guidance. The recovery on the check-ride was rough, but turned out to be my best ever. More on that later.
    My instructor at the time wanted to fine tune my circles before we stopped, but I turned him down. I had that maneuver down and didn’t need another approach to getting that done. Don’t mess with something that isn’t broken.
    I will say that I was exhausted at the end of SIM06. Frustrated because of that one stall recovery maneuver, and really pissed at having to sit for two days to await my check-ride. I missed my wife and started to think about whether this was all worth it.
    Then I remembered I have two engines being overhauled at the moment, and will be spending some of my retirement money to do that. I’ll want to replenish though funds before I start thinking about moving on.  Then again – I’ll be 62 in April and Social Security can be my new airplane maintenance fund…….
    More to come!

    Comments Off on Aug 19th, 2019 – SIM 03 through SIM 06

    Aug 18, 2019 – SIM 02.5 of only Six

    August 19th, 2019
    Today was my day off. It was also the instructor’s only day off in a long line of workdays, but he offered to come in and train us if we wanted him to. Dan and I both felt like we needed more time, and jumped at the chance.
    I went in early and spent two valuable hours in the ground simulator learning avionics by myself. Dan showed up and we worked the GFS for another hour before HP stuck his head in . Turns out the simulator was indeed available, and we could do that if we wanted. Outstanding – let’s go.
    I was excited for the opportunity to straighten out my steep turns and try to get a handle on the basic stall series in this aircraft. I knew I could do it, but had worried that just one session would not be enough. Then my phone pinged with a teammate asking if I knew of a Baron pilot based at Wilmington.
    I had spoken about my hangar neighbor before, and how he flew a Baron and kept it in the hangar right next door to mine. He talked about flying down to the Carolinas to play golf, and of course, about our airplanes. Through him I met a G280 Captain flying out of Philly, and the prospect of knowing someone in that community was a stroke of good fortune for me. I wanted to get some airtime in those as a contract pilot, and knowing someone local flying those would be good.
    The question itself felt ominous, and it turns out that it was bad news. It appeared that a Baron went down and one person was DOA. There may have been two people aboard. I hoped it was not my neighbor Terrence, and I further hoped that it wasn’t the instructor/G280 captain I’d met. They were both very nice people, and loved my airplane. I didn’t want it to be anyone hurt, of course, but for my own sake let it not be the two I did know.
    I called Terrence’s instructors number and left a message. I told him that a Baron had gone down, and I’d appreciate a text to confirm he and Terrence were ok. Then I got into the sim just a little shaken. Those of us who fly light aircraft understand the risks, and form a community.
    In the simulator again. I start out in the right seat and Dan is in the left. He had the airwork down already, so he gets ahead a little and practices V1 cuts. V1 cuts are engine failures that occur just at the moment you are are ready to leave the runway. He does well, and we move on to the finer art of flying approaches with full automation. I’m learning as well as he is during this phase, but worry that I haven’t yet even tried a V1 cut in this airplane while Dan is ahead. Then I remember that this isn’t a race. Or if it is a race, it is only with yourself.
    It is my turn now in the left seat, and I practice steep turns repeatedly. Instead of +/- 250 feet up and down, I hold it to 20′ of deviation and fly the stalls within limits. The approach to landing stall needs work, but we spent a good 20 minutes cleaning me up (both Dan and HP contributing), and too much of that intense work becomes non-productive.
    We ended the session with me doing a CATII approach using RAW data and no autopilot. I landed the airplane on the centerline without ever looking outside. What a machine.
    Baron Crash Update. Terrence’s instructor Tom got back to me and confirmed it was indeed Terrence’s airplane that went down. Later that night, other friends and colleagues called to let me know that Terrence had been killed, along with one other well known airport figure. Since Tom was not available as an instructor, Terrence brought Al D along instead. Terrence was clearly not yet comfortable in the airplane, and wisely sought further instruction.
    Al was an older gentleman who was a successful retired person, working as a CFI and as an operations guy for the airport for the airport authority. Sadly, Al was killed along with Terrence.
    Getting ready for SIM 03. So I’m up early today and going for a breakfast of cereal and coffee. I’ll facetime Beverly and then go hit the GFS ground sim for a few hours before our 6 hours in the simulator. Tonight I’ll be back at my hotel studying limitations, and hopefully not feel entirely behind. I hear that SIM04 and SIM05 are a real bitch.
    Prayers and kind thoughts to the families of Terrence and Al. The pilot community mourns their loss.

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    Aug 17, 2019 – SIM 02 of only Six

    August 18th, 2019

    This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.

    I’m in single digits now – only 9 days to go. I’ve gotten to know my partner much better. We are getting along and working together. He is a religious man, plays trumpet in several bands and a small orchestra. He – more than me – has been making an effort to bring us together and I wonder if prayer does that for him. I do need to get back to church, and Bev and I will figure that out when we are able to leave the house on Sundays.

    My SIM 02 performance left something to be desired. It’s not like the second time flying the jet could be used to build on your experience from the first session and you’d get better. Instead we are introducing new avionics features, changing the flight director displays we count on, and adding multiple failures and checklists to the mix. I know learning is occurring because my instructor tells me this. He won’t give us new challenges if we weren’t flying the airplane acceptably. What Dan and I see is two pilots that are all over the sky and making what we’d consider grievous mistakes that cause deviations. ‘Damn it! I know how to fly!’ is a common thought.

    Steep turns and stalls are difficult for me to keep tight. I’m not happy with them and shouldn’t be. Today I’ll practice chair flying the drill and do believe that will help. If we get sim time today, the best outcome will be to master the entire dance I’ll need to demonstrate for the ride. These motors are so incredibly powerful that I believe they will fly you out of a dense forest if you ask them to. Amazing power.

    Dan has been having his own struggles with avionics and approaches. I’m working hard to support him when I’m flying right seat (PM), but haven’t always been there. So I have issues as the PF – Pilot Flying, and issues as the PM – Pilot monitoring. Our instructor is not concerned at all. He explained that we are both effectively primary students, as you would be in getting your first instrument rating. He says we can clearly fly airplanes and are progressing well, but at this point we have two monkeys pushing buttons and trying to figure things out. Later we’ll have harmony.

    The best thing we have going is our ability to work together. I very much appreciate that Dan is making such a strong effort to build a team.

    I’m calm. Usually I’m a wreck after an experience like yesterdays sim. I generally don’t sleep at all, and feel like I’m letting everyone down. The fear of failure in the back of my head can be overwhelming. But that is not happening! I slept last night better than any night I can remember. Seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. My fears are diminishing to the point where I’m having fun. I have HP and Dan to thank for that, although I’ve had similar guidance in the past and couldn’t follow it. Maybe life experience is giving it to me. I don’t really care where it is coming from, but I love it.

    I am blessed to be here with this opportunity, and blessed to have a strong wife who understands. I have not one damn thing to complain about. Not one. Thank God.

    Speaking of God: Getting to know Dan has been a blessing. We were talking in the lounge before our session yesterday and I asked him about his mission upbringing. Dan grew up in Indonesia. His parents were missionaries in the jungle and had the daunting task of bringing the Gospel to a tribe that didn’t want it. They not only had to learn how to live in the jungle alongside a tribe, but they had to develop relationships and learn a new language. Then they had to translate the bible verse by verse into this new language. Wrap your head around that! I have trouble reading the bible and understanding it in English.

    Dan told a story of a mission family preceding them. That family had to work their way into the jungle, cut out a landing strip so it would be possible to get supplies in and out, and introduce themselves to a jungle tribe. They met with resistance year after year, but continued their attempts to work with the tribe.

    On one fateful trip, four people in a mission family suffered a plane crash. Only the 5 year old boy was spared, and he crawled out of the tree where the airplane was lodged, down to the jungle floor. There he was, in the middle of the jungle with no prospect of rescue and no one knowing where he was. He started walking. He had to be terrified and frightened beyond words.

    As fate would have it, he came upon a tribal elder from the very tribe the missionaries were trying to reach. As Dan spoke, I imagined all the evil that could have befallen this kid in this situation. As I listened to the tale, I envisioned bengal tigers, poisonous stakes, and murderous tribal members.

    The tribal elder responded exactly as you and I would. He took the boy under his care and brought him back to his village to begin to recover. From there, the two traveled back to the missionary camp so that the boy could be returned to his people. In the midst of this tragedy, the tribal elder realized that these people were very much like those in his own tribe. They had children, mothers, fathers, and friends. He witnessed their joy at the return of the boy, and began to feel trust and kinship. Resistance faltered and the missionaries found a way into the tribe as a result of this tragedy. Relationships were built.

    My point in bring this out is that my partner and I are working together on this daunting task ahead, after it initially appeared I’d be doing this alone (not possible). It could be that pairing me up with Dan on this adventure was the very best thing that could have happened to me at least. I’m starting to think so. I am a very fortunate man, and of course, God is responsible for that. Now I just have to be worthy.

    Instructor Schedules: Wow. I’m getting to know the instructors I encounter very well. I’m meeting more folks everyday and getting to know the lay of the land around DFW. It appears that this site has lost a ton of instructors from this program all at once to Southwest airlines. The program has been dog-paddling to keep their heads above water ever since.

    The FSI solution was to work their own instructors around the clock, resulting in several more instructors parting company. I won’t elaborate further, since I’m still learning and the truth is generally something different than first impressions. I’ll manage my own experience going forward, but the fact that I just bought two engines reminds me that I’ll stick this out for two years at least. Unless, of course, a fabulous flying job falls in my lap. We’ll see.

    I miss my wife and want to go home, but I can see where I will not mind flying my Twin Comanche down here for a few weeks at a time to learning the art of instructing in this airplane. We are preparing for our program up north, and that should be starting up in June. This could work.

    I have the day off today, which means I’m meeting my partner at the office to practice procedures and avionics management. Our instructor volunteered to meet with us as well, and even get us an extra sim session if he can. Failing that, we’ll use the GFS ground avionics simulator to do the same thing.

    I’m heading in earlier than everyone, since I feel I am the weakest link. Very little jet time, and flying behind a vastly different set of avionics while being strapped to a rocket is a handful.

    All of the sudden I wish I had more time.

    Fly safe.  Frank

    Comments Off on Aug 17, 2019 – SIM 02 of only Six

    Aug 16, 2019 – SIT 06

    August 17th, 2019

    This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.

    11 Days before I go home, and this is the last ground school we’ll have. The session is completed in the simulator, but not on motion. I cannot wait to go home.

    This SIT session was in the sim and not on motion. It went pretty well, although they took away my chicken lips (flight director) and gave me a HUD image on the PFD. That is exactly what I needed – more interactive data. I’ll include few images later, as time permits, to make these comments clear. I’m told I’ll eventually love it, but interpreting on the fly is not intuitive.
    I am hoping the HUD flight director pays dividends for me on the next session. More failures and continued learning. I’m not falling behind yet, which is good.
    Had some drinks after the session that helped me get to know everyone more, and was good for all of us. These instructors apparently have difficult schedules, and they are losing people routinely.
    The airplane is still amazing, and I feel like I’m keeping up.

    It is laundry night tonight, and I’ll try once more to get to WhataBurger to try that out. Paul J is a friend of mine with family down here, and he always FP posts himself eating there. I thought I’d give it a try. Didn’t make it last night since I went out with the 2 instructors and my partner for a beer or three. That was a good get-to-know-you session. I am getting a sense that the instructors down here have horrible schedules and need some relief.

    What follows is a description of the SIT Session for today. It was an introduction to checklists for both emergencies and alternate normals. Don’t do anything without a check-list – even a fire. Abnormal starts; aileron jams; elevator jams; V1 cuts (I didn’t get one of those yet).

    My weak area was call outs on take-off and landing. I have too many of them and they are non-standard when I’m in the right seat. I’ll correct that for today (airspeed alive; power set; 80 kts; v1; rotate; Vse).

    David K asked us questions to prepare us for the oral. I knew most but not all of them. It was enough to send me back to the walk-around to remember where the various doors and vents are.

    We learned to include the destination airport not only as the arrival airport, but also as a waypoint in the flight plan. It helps the computer predict fuel at the destination.

    From this point forward I have summarized my notes thus far for my teammates preparing to train. I doubt they’ll be of interest to the average aviator. I’m first in the left seat today, and actually looking forward to it.

    Questions of the day:

    • 123.4: Oxygen. 123.4 lbs of O2 at 1850 psi
    • 95 kts / 98 kts: Vmcg and Vmca or Vmcl
    • Red/Black/Green: Emer Bus or Stdby Bus; Distribution; Main
    • 60 deg: nosewheel steering limit
    • 70 kts: below this speed on a rejected takeoff you get medium auto-brakes. It is the only call-out on landing
    • Vref + 10: Circling speed – fully configured two engines
    • Vref + 5: SE approach speed with flaps 20 (not asked, but I added it anyway
    • Vse-10/V2+15/Vref+20: Min Flap Retract speed in normal, SE eng failure, and go around mode.
    • 95+4 / 95+90: APU at 95% will get you a generator after 4 seconds and bleeds at 90 seconds
    • 0.78/0.80/0.90/1.00: Underspeed CAS; PLI Angry eyebrow symbol; Stick Shaker; Stick pusher
    • 340/0.77: speed limit with MAC Trim InOp

    Questions from the previous day included:

    • 20a / 8a: Battery charge limits. You can’t takeoff with more than 20a if the APU in available (it can be off but available). You can’t take-off with more than 8a if the APU is InOp or unavailable.
    • 2600-3000: Required Gear Bottle Nitrogen Charge
    • FL 390 / 10: Hydraulic EMP Limited above FL390 to 10 minutes
    • 3 deg: Fuel temp limit at the filter
    • 15% N2: Causes APR to activate
    • 1300 psi: EMP turns on if armed. If accumulators are lower than this at the start, turn on EMP to charge.
    • -1/2.6: G load limit flaps up
    • 0/2: G load limit flaps down
    • Emergency gear down at 175; normal gear down at 195 kts
    • FACE: order of fuel burn. Forward tank, aft, center, everything else
    • 16 fuel nozzles and only 4 used to start
    • 1 ignitor is used to start, but 2 are used for starting in flight
    • 7240 max continuous thrust; 7624 max take-off and max apr as well
    • You can start APU in the air up to FL350 and operate it up to FL400
    • Fire bottles are 600psi in the tail

    Initializing the CDU

    • Pos Init
    • Check database
    • Perf Init
    • Take-off Init
    • Departure and Arrival data
    • Note the CG is going to be 39 or 40, and your perf calculations would have that

    Some other things that came up along the way:

    • DDA: Derived Decision Altitude. If you are using automation to level off at an MDA, add 70′ to the MDA.
    • When flying a programmed glide path on a non-precision approach, dial the dirt (set 0 in the altitude selector. This will take you all the way to MDA +70 (DDA) without leveling off. At DDA you go missed by selecting TOGA and PF commanding ‘Set ref+30’ and ‘Set Missed Approach’. The later means altitude as well and ensuring the flight path is set up.
    • Pavement weights: PCN / ACN: This has to do with the amount of weight an airport pavement can take. Not all airports report a PCN, but you can find it in the AFD.  PCN is for the airport itself. ACN is for the aircraft. If ACN is less than PCN, you are good.
    • TORA/TODA/ASDA/LDA all in the AFD. Takeoff runway available, Takeoff Distance Available, Accelerate Stop Distance Available, and Landing Distance available.
    • Sims are based on Specific Issue #1 aircraft, and are updated to continue matching those aircraft.
    • This aircraft uses NO BLUE WATER and cannot be serviced with it. Also DO NOT use distilled water since the level sensors won’t see it. The later means that computers see no water and won’t work. You’d have to drain out the distilled water and refill with tap. Water must be drained before leaving the airplane in freezing conditions.
    • If you need WAI (wing anti-ice), the wing temps must be at 130 deg for T/O. WAI needs to be on prior to entering icing conditions
    • 26000′ limit for single source bleed operation
    • 185 kts min hold in icing
    • 30 second limit for testing probes on the ground
    • Static ports are not heated – EVER. They are in an area that won’t ice.
    • Turn on anti-ice below 10 deg with visible moisture
    • Nacelle bleeds fail open
    • V-speeds will not post if 10 kt tailwind limit is predicted on the landing runway
    • SE ILS on autopilot is approved
    • At 30,000#, the best L/D is 170kts. It changes 3 kts per 1000′ (faster I think)
    • Nose temp fans come on at 113 deg and you get a CAS message at 140
    • Engine starts need 32psi min
    • Temperature set points for bleed air: 400 with no WAI; 450 with WAI; and 500 for SE operations
    • There are 3 general aviation digital controllers that make up the Air Management System Controller
    • Turns are automatically half bank over FL290
    • Tire Speeds: 225 mph/195 kts mains;  210mph/182 kts nose

    Fly safe


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    Aug 15, 2019 – Evening Update SIM01

    August 16th, 2019

    This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.

    Hey guys,

    Today we did SIM01 on motion. Similar to yesterday, but the motion helped. Allot. Based on yesterdays experience I woke up thinking I would be wobbling the wings all the way down to the runway, and have trouble over-controlling all day. If that was the case, I knew it’d only get worse with each session.
    My steep turns were much better, but still don’t think I was within parameters. Instructor (H.P.) tells me I was within standards and we could move on, so I’ll accept that I’ll improve enough as we go. I did a takeoffs, landings, ILS and a bunch of other things that he also was happy with, so I’ll take it. Note: I think he has an open mind due to my lack of jet experience. Learning is happening.
    I had dinner with my partner last night, and again tonight. We did well together today, and are making an effort to get through this together. I’m learning from him, and that is good. He is an instructor by nature and putting him in that role for me smoothed everything out.
    The FSI instructor made that happen through a frank discussion with the two of us at the start – you have to work together to make this happen. It worked. We are.
    Tonight I’ll study limitations from the AFM. Apparently the check-ride looks at that, and particularly at the notes within the limitations I’m told. Tomorrow I will meet my sim partner in the morning, and we’ll chair fly call outs for takeoff, ILS, and non-precision approaches.
    I’m looking forward to a day off Sunday, and the start of my last week here. I miss my wife and I am looking forward to going home.
    Feeling better, but I’m no rock star.

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    Aug 15, 2019 – First introduction to the Simulator

    August 16th, 2019

    This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.

    I passed my written test with 93% and am moving into the next phase of training.


    Take this with a grain of salt. I’m under pressure.
    Spend some time reading the AOM (Operating Manual) in Planebook before SIT01 (systems integration training – where the hell are the buttons at in real life). We weren’t on motion, but did a considerable number of maneuvers that I hadn’t reviewed. Basically we did the checkride profile, as the instructor put it.
    My general impression is that everyone I meet is still learning. For example, in steep turns we were told to use 30-20-10 calls from the PM.  Those calls are actually incorrect for this airplane, as you’ll see on 06-03-00 page 3 – there is only one call now at 15 degrees, where you initiate the reversal. Power is managed by the PM. Note: turns our we ignore the book and use a standard 30-20-10 call. 
    You recover from stalls to 180 kts. That is more difficult than it sounds, since you have two Atlas rocket motors strapped to your ass. You have to watch the airspeed predictor on the left side of the PFD (energy bar), and get off the power soon after the recovery. Note: I’ve since learned to keep the power full until 170 knots while recovering altitude – THEN get back to maybe 60% and stabilize.
    I spent the session grossly over-controlling. If you forget auto-throttles in the steep turns you’ll be riding a bronco all the way around. Holy shit, I suck at this. I’m told it is much more difficult doing all this when your aren’t on motion.
    The TOGA button is harder to find. In fact, I only have a general idea this evening where it is. It isn’t where I expected it to be from the training. Regardless of how harried the instructor is, shine a flashlight on the throttle quadrant and figure out where all these buttons are. I was mashing away and nothing happened, since I couldn’t find it.  Ended up overpowering the auto-throttles to save the day.
    Concerning the training environment. I am paired with an experienced Saber Jet pilot/instructor who has had nothing but bad right seaters, in his view. I interpret this to mean that he is awful at CRM and he knows it. It definitely shows. He’d rather leave me home. Nice guy, but I wouldn’t want to fly with him.
    He was first in the left seat and started doing everything on his own. The instructor excitedly worked with him, until I stopped them both and explained that I wasn’t here for kicks and giggles, and I would not tolerate him doing everything. I have one goal – to pass a check ride. In order to do that I need to be involved in everything. Not a good start, but we got that sorted out.
    During the the first half I did see more of the same, but I had the chance to do a few things, and continually inserted myself into what were supposed to be the PM (Pilot Monitoring) duties. At the break the instructor asked if we had worked together at all and I told him No. We hadn’t. the client preferred to work on his own. That is true.
    During my left seat first venture off of motion, I tended to overcontrol. It would have been good to have reviewed all the procedures before I did this. I thought this session was just about getting the airplane started and finding all the switches, but we were moving on this one. Steep turns were over-controlled and +/- 200′.  I had left the auto-throttles on inadvertently, and the instructor hadn’t noticed. What a ride.
    Stalls weren’t difficult, but recovering to only180 kts specifically was. the skill there is that last part – getting the power off and recovering straight ahead. You have to get the power OFF quick to do that. With no sound and no force feedback it is tough for the first time.
    Note that 5 degrees is EXAGGERATED on the EAI. It threw me off repeatedly. It is very much exaggerated compared to typical airplanes.
    Instructor thinks I won’t have any problems and tried hard to call this thing I’m doing incredibly easy.  Bullshit.
    Note: this next comment is harsh. I’m coming to realize that everyone is working hard to re-staff a new program after the airlines pulled a bunch of experience all at once. DFW doesn’t count optimizing the chances for my success as important. That may be due to the stress of training all new people as fast as possible; they are losing people; or a host of other reasons.
    I say that because they have me in the simulator with an instructor being trained, plus another instructor supervising. My partner routinely instructs in the Saber, so at times I had THREE people telling me how to fly the thing. In truth, the third guy wasn’t paying much attention and when he did have something to say, it was generally ill-timed.
    My instructor uses a laser pointer, and it reflects off of the screens and hits me in the face occasionally. Flash back to Fate is the Hunter – Ernie Gann. Read that one if you haven’t yet. I’ll tell him about that today, and ask him not to do it. I was in the midst of a maneuver that last time he did and I just chuckled…..   No one knew why, but I had a good laugh.
    At one point I was given an unusual attitude where we are flying along fat dumb and happy and all of the sudden the display went to 60 degrees of left bank. We weren’t on motion, so I assumed the simulator broke. Not like I have seen that before. I slowly figured out we were still moving and the instructor thought wake turbulence was a good idea during SIT01. Coming out of that I got a TCAS RA and had to fly an evasive maneuver. Really?!
    My brain hurts trying to keep up with this guy, but today I will have a better idea how he operates.
    My partner and I went to dinner last night and had a come-to-Jesus meeting. I told him if I was a problem for him, to let the folks at FSI know and we’d go our merry ways. The situation improved from there, we acknowledged that he sucked at CRM and wanted to be single pilot; while I had low experience and need to pass a check ride. I will be hands on – period.
    Note: This get better between us in the near future. We are not an optimal pair, but decided to give it our best shot. I told him I’d accept guidance from him AND from the instructor in the back. If the third guy speaks up I’ll start complaining.
    After my last LOST I’ll lose all of these guys for my check ride, after two down days, They decided to give me ANOTHER instructor in training that is being observed by the FAA.  My needs and concerns are not even on their radar, so all the love we’ll see comes from the north.
    Having said that – I am getting support from a few instructors I am meeting. I’m sure it will get easier on me and I’ll feel better about it if I personally do better. that last part is up to me.
    This is my unfiltered assessment.  SIM 01is today, so I’ll sure I’ll get a V1 cut and an inverted unusual attitude. Just kidding – it is supposed to be the same as yesterday.  Here we go.

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    Aug 13, 2019 – Night Update

    August 16th, 2019

    This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.

    Evening Guys,

    First up. Mike J. – I know that Mike L (our PM) thinks sharing these updates with everyone might be a good idea. I’m not going to do that because that would be a bit arrogant of me. I am the least qualified person to be telling experienced jet pilots how to do their jobs. FOLS: Fear of looking Stupid. I have to work with these people later. I’ll send him a copy of this to let him know.
    I feel like I can share this information with you two because I trust that you’ll ignore what you already know, forgive my transgression, but maybe grab a tidbit or two to settle your nerves. Neither of you would hesitate to tell me if I’ve gone off the reservation either.
    I feel it is my obligation to promote the team and to keep my friends from experiencing anything negative that can be avoided. I don’t want you to work as hard as I do in these events. Note that I haven’t slept more than 6 hours a night all week, and it’s exhausting. Huge FOF: Fear of Failure.
    IMO – FlightSafety would have a better G280 experience if someone meet us at DFW and mentored us through this process from the start. There is no reason not to pre-train incoming instructors on what to expect, and then use them as embedded trainers inside the course. The instructors I had so far could certainly use your help, and the relationships we build with clients that way would be invaluable. That isn’t cheating – that is just smart education. *** On the other hand – FlightSafety has been doing this for a long time and they know how to make instructors. From my perspective, my life would have been easier with the approach I suggested.
    I’ve asked Mike L for the DTS to be installed for the Wilmington instructors. He says our IT department is looking into it.
    I spent just 2 hours with Perry and learned more in that time than an 8 hour day in performance class. No kidding. Our (Wilmington) incoming instructors should be mentored. I look forward to spinning you guys up before you go, having your planebook all set up, working you on the DTS, and putting you in a position to both meet and impress new clients. I’ll make sure I’m there the first week you guys arrive, and make sure the most helpful people are introduced to you.
    Today I met an instructor on the Gulfstream tour and we got to know each other. He offered to supervise my instructor progression, and I like the guy. Tom F is his name, and (at Tom’s suggestion) I asked Melissa to schedule the two of us for my supervised instructor phase. Tom is a very nice guy and enthusiastic, which is what I need. Melissa is the God of scheduling, and reports to the evil gatekeeper – the G280 PM. Tom F, seems willing to help me, so I’m all for finding a friend.
    I am also hoping to meet a gentleman who works here and lives on a residential airpark. I’m told he might know where I can hangar my airplane and commute.
    The written test was reviewed in detail before we did it. I knew enough to pass, but didn’t know the location of external power ports, cooling vents, intake vents, and fueling ports well enough. As an excuse, I didn’t worry about that non-sense because i’m smart enough to keep opening doors until i find the fuel door.
    The other thing I didn’t know had to do with the turbulence predictor – because there was NO WAY ON GODS GREEN EARTH  that I could possible pay attention long enough to hear the one sentence where the instructor told us about it. Others with prior experience knew it, and I learned it during the review. bullshit question unless we trained it. We didn’t.
    Performance training was a huge waste of time. Maybe one hour was valuable, but for the most part, it was haphazard and disorganized, IMO. I’ll show you what I learned to make it all come together, and you can thank Perry. He helped me allot, and i studied it for at least another 10 hours. Performance isn’t hard after you do it a few times. you can get it done quickly. We SUCK at training it though, so I can’t wait to work with you guys on doing a better job.
    I’m happy for this opportunity and looking forward to getting the type rating behind me so that I can go home for awhile.
    Nothing worth doing is easy. We are in a position to make the expanding G280 training worth doing.  Full speed ahead.
    I’m too tired to clean this up, so here you go. The G280 is a rocket ship.

    Frank Dorrin [email protected]

    Tue, Aug 13, 8:30 PM (3 days ago)

    to Michael
    Hey Mike,

    Mike Jordan told me you guys were talking about these updates I’ve been giving to Tom and Mike. My intent was to help my friends get through this with less stress than it takes me. I don’t feel comfortable sharing this information widely due to my inexperience in jets. It would be arrogant of me to do that. Mike and Tom are close friends that will give me the benefit of the doubt.
    Please review what I’ve said to them here. It is my intention to make their lives easier and to improve the customer experience by embedding knowledgable instructors in their training. Let me know what you think, and if you’d rather me desist, i will.

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    Aug 13, 2019 – Post Performance Training

    August 16th, 2019
    This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.
    Ok guys,

    I had high hopes for a much better approach to learning jet performance in this course. That didn’t happen, unfortunately. The day long review was all over the place, and even the guys who fly jets everyday had trouble tracking where the instructor was going. If I can spin you up in advance, it will be easier on you and you can help your classmates when you get here.
    The good news is that I ran into Perry downstairs at the hotel. [Perry is a more experienced jet pilot/instructor than I am, and is a qualified G280 instructor on our team already]. I sat with him for an hour or so, and he gave me useful guidance on how to get through this. He advised me not to stay up studying for the written test, and told me it was done just like we’d typically do up north. Every question will be reviewed before we go.  I spent a few hours going over the limitation and oral gouge last night anyway, and again this morning. I’ll be ready.
    Perry also gave me a guide to the Performance calculations; namely where to find the information we needed for these scenarios. I spent  some time this morning adding bookmarks to PlaneBook and following his examples. Tonight I’ll work on the performance for SIM01 in advance. Introduction to the SIM is tomorrow – SIT01.
    I met the PM for the G280 down here and we immediately became best friends – NOT. He tried to change the schedule Mike Leeper gave me to keep me here longer, and I told him no, I’m leaving on the 27th as planned. In return he told me that he wouldn’t change my checkride to be with the guy I’m doing all my sims with. Instead, I’ll sit for two days and then fly with someone I hadn’t flown with or even met. It isn’t optimal for me, but it allows one of their TCEs to be FAA observed.
    I’m not happy, but I’ll suck it up. I need to get used to not getting my way all the time while I’m doing this.
    My concern is who has control of our schedule. My PM up north, or this PM (Program Manager) down here. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
    Heading out to Dallas Love field this morning to see a G280 airframe that just arrived green. Lunch at Billy Bob’s and then back here for the written test.
    14 days before I go home.

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