Name: Frank

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Web Site: http://www.airdorrin.com

Posts by fdorrin:

    Sep 8, 2019 – N833DF, PA30 Training, and the G280 Re-check

    September 22nd, 2019

    The N833DF Engine Overhaul project is well underway. I’ve been told that the camshafts and crank cases are in good shape and can be used again. That avoids about 9k$ in potential cost over-runs, so Paul ordered the electronic ignition option for both engines as we had agreed. GAMI injectors are under consideration, but the EDI 760 with fuel flow option has been ordered. I’ll be writing a few checks when I get home, and stopping in to see how things are looking down there.

    PA30 Training / Instruction: If you are at all involved with Comanches, you know that the owner’s group is in disarray. While staying out of the politics myself, I have thrown in my lot with the NorthEast Tribe. I am currently having discussions with them regarding my providing instruction to Comanche owners; particularly twin drivers. I look forward to working with some of the particularly good instructors who are also involved in this insurance driven effort, and hope to really improve my personal flying and instruction techniques in the process. This should be good, and no – I won’t be using my own airplane to provide any instruction unless you are a close personal friend.

    Grousing about FlightSafety isn’t terribly productive nor healthy. In the last post I was bitching about the process they put me through during my last visit. I wouldn’t have been bitching if I didn’t drag a wing tip on my check-ride. That made me come back early for a re-check. I completed that recheck successfully on September 9th.

    I flew very well on the re-check, as I had on the initial. With only a few things left to complete, I was through the process in a very short time. I was even more irritated seeing how close I was to being done.  I have to get past that, however. The hard part is over and most of the rest is gravy.

    New people everywhere. I haven’t been happy with this experience, but the truth is that they (FSI) treats me pretty well overall. I signed up for this run, after all, so this complaining only serves to give the reader some insights into how I’m managing this process of failing my first check-ride ever. I can see more clearly where my weaknesses are, and I’m learning to take this with a grain of salt. FSI is not a bad place to work, although Wilmington is a more productive and hospitable place, in my opinion.

    Regarding my latest career choice, I have gotten somewhat used to the extra income at this point. I wanted to avoid relying on that income, but recently decided to go all out on N833DF and get the engines overhauled firewall forward. Spending heavily to secure our airplane for the rest of our flying lives is what I’ve committed to do. God bless Beverly Dorrin for putting up with me and understanding what I’ve invested in this machine.

    I think at this point I’ll continue working until at least the end of 2020. The guy I am working for seems to understand the balance I’m trying to achieve in my life, and is giving me some room to figure it out on my own. I really like working with the Wilmington Team, and would miss having something like this to do. For my part, I need to get a bit more self motivated and push myself to continuously improve. I want to have a good time too, so that means doing contract flying when I can.

    Recurrent Training began after the recheck was completed, and my progress in learning the airplane continued. My instructor/examiner was my boss. In one event, he set the wind at a 25 knot crosswind for a landing. The landing went very well, so we lined up to takeoff again. I assumed that the maximum crosswind was removed, and didn’t have my headset on to hear otherwise. When doing simulator sessions, always check the winds before you takeoff. It is very easy to get out of sync with the session. The resulting takeoff was exciting. We did that one again once I knew about the wind, and it went just fine.

    Observing Initial Simulator Sessions is my next requirement. I’m doing that now and learning snippets here and there from the clients in the session. These guys are experts who have been flying similar and larger equipment for many years. The both of them are clearly experienced, and watching them teaches me quite a bit. Sitting back and watching instead of doing can be boring at times, however, and that makes these sessions difficult. Going back to the hotel and having nothing to do at night doesn’t help either. It’s Sunday and I’m counting the days until I go home Friday. I cannot wait to see my wife.

    Fly Safe!

    Frank

    Comments Off on Sep 8, 2019 – N833DF, PA30 Training, and the G280 Re-check

    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 a Delaware native, and he 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.

    [Redacted Paragraph based on feedback….]

    Ground Simulator: After congratulating my partner 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…..

    Frank

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    Aug 19th, 2019 – SIM 03 through SIM 06

    September 12th, 2019
    My sim partner 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 doing 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!
    Frank

    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. My partner 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. He showed up and we worked the GFS for another hour before the instructor 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 my partner and the instructor 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.
    Frank

    Comments Off on Aug 18, 2019 – SIM 02.5 of only Six

    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.

    My partner 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: [I redacted two paragraphs here based on feedback…]

    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.
    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).

    One instructor 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

    Frank

    Comments Off on Aug 16, 2019 – SIT 06

    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.
    Frank

    Comments Off on Aug 15, 2019 – Evening Update SIM01

    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 another instructor downstairs at the hotel. [He 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.
    This instructor 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.
    [Redacted two paragraphs based on feedback…..]
    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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    Aug 8, 2019 – Avionics Challenge

    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.

    As the GFS avionics simulator was introduced, I realized that my single biggest challenge at this point will be avionics. Most everyone here has prior experience, so I’m going to be running hard to keep up. It won’t be impossible, but it will be easy.

    It’d be great if we could get a DTS set up in Wilmington right now, so incoming instructors can be better prepared.

    For now – I recommend that you download all of the avionics presentations (1-5) and spend time with them.  Also use iFlightDeck to review button functions. It isn’t a substitute for real-world experience, but it is a good start.

    Note that I would have had a tough time JUST doing this to learn the avionics, but they are core and critical to flying this airplane. What I mean to say is, that passing my checkride will require that I be efficient in setting up the airplane and running checklists, and that I be able to readily re-configure the avionics on the fly.
    I think many of you will have a leg up with your other aircraft experience, whereas going from Westwind / Astra to this is a big change.
    Follow up after spending a few hours training myself: I didn’t mean to panic anyone with the avionics thing. If you don’t get the DTS, you’ll do fine, but I had to work pretty hard to catch up to where everyone else already was before they got here. I’m feeling better now after figuring out what to read and using the DTS for a few hours each day before class. If you can get a DTS set up in our offices, I’ll take the time to show you what I’m talking about.
    The DTS executable is downloadable, but I’m sure they have it security locked down. I haven’t tried it on a windows machine yet, but I’m fairly certain it won’t work outside of FSI.
    I brought the presentations down with me off of the server, so it helps to review those before class. I come in early and use the DTS to run through engine starts and figure out flows and where switches are. FMS is today, and I think I’ll find the DTS and GFS lacking. There are only two GFS units available for up to 24 clients, so I don’t plan on relying on them. I might come in on my day off, but the DTS does the same thing for me.
    The pace is fast, but with a bit of effort I’ll get through it.
    Fly Safe!

    Comments Off on Aug 8, 2019 – Avionics Challenge

    Aug 10 – G280 Training Day +6

    August 10th, 2019

    Good Morning Everyone. It’s Ground Hog Day – Again.

    N833DF is in the midst of having its engines taken off today. The crates are due in anytime, and they’ll be off to Penn Yan. Props are on the way to East Coast Propellers as we speak, and the exhaust and mounts will be next.

    The first question that popped up is my fuel and oil hoses. Matt built new ones when the fuselage work began 2 years ago, and they only have 100 hours on them. Paul want to replace them already, so we’ll see what the cost for that looks like. I get tired of replacing things just because a new A&P does things differently, so we’ll have that discussion when I get home.

    Gulfstream G280 Training is going well.

    I really don’t want to be here though. Not that I don’t know that this is a wonderful opportunity FlightSafety has afforded me. It’s just that I’m old, I love my wife, and I want to be home. This training would be so much easier done from home.

    Alas – I knew what I signed up for, and I’m committed to getting it done. We are coming into the 6th day of training today. I typically arrive in the classroom around 5:30 to fire up the DTS Desktop Avionics simulator. Class starts at 8:00, but I’m awake anyway. I have my coffee here while I facetime Bev before people get here. I’ll go back to my room and study until around 9, and have a nasty hotel dinner if it’s Monday through Wednesday. Otherwise I’ll order out and eat while I work. Laundry night tonight, so I have no idea what dinner will look like. \

    I didn’t get luck with my assigned sim partner. He is a quiet guy that would rather work on his own. I’ve tried to establish a rapport with him, but several invites to work on checklists and flows in the larger avionics simulator didn’t get any traction. I found him doing them on his own, and resigned myself to doing the same thing. No harm, no foul, but we’ll be doing the sim sessions together and it would make sense to work together.

    We both tried to establish a rapport once more a few nights ago by going out to dinner. The conversation was pretty quiet, so we went our separate ways and I won’t do that again. I already know he won’t be on my check-ride. I would really rather not have him for my SIMs either, but I have noon sims at this point and don’t want to mess with that. I wake up at 4am regardless, so starting a sim at 8pm is really not an option for me. This isn’t USAir and I will push back on that. Send me home if you can’t do any better.

    All things considered, I’d rather be at Hollywood Beach for the annual gathering of my friends today. Beverly will be there without me, so at least I’ll get to say hi indirectly. Today it’s Ice & Rain; Oxygen; Waste Water; CRM and the last Avionics module instead. The written test is Tuesday and Sims start Wednesday. Earning my way home, one day at a time.

    As for the training, the systems stuff is easier for me, since they look like improved versions of what has been in the two jets I know intimately (Westwind and Astra). The Proline PlaneView Avionics is a technological leap though, and I have the farthest to go in the class. Several of these guys are already flying the airplane, and all but one is familiar with similar avionics suites. I’ve been flying yesterdays technology into tomorrow, so I have a very long way to go in order to be smooth.

    I am the only FlightSafety guy in the class, which is the smallest G280 class in awhile at 12 people. They had an impromptu class lunch that I opted out of yesterday. After they all got back though, one client who will be coming to Wilmington in the future asked me to join him in the larger avionics simulator after class. He was enthusiastic and so was I. What a relief to have someone that wanted to work the flows and practice the procedures as much as i did. Very cool.

    We worked the GFS last night and agreed to do that again after class today. I plan to come in for several hours on my only day off tomorrow as well, to nail everything down as best as I can.

    The most difficult part of this training is repeatedly going from my hotel room to this classroom and back again. Everyday. Then listening and studying a firehose of information for 8 hours each day – everyday.

    I want to be home, but I’m here for a reason.

    Frank

    Comments Off on Aug 10 – G280 Training Day +6