I’m so excited!!

I rode my new Harley to work for the first time today. I’ve ridden Harleys on test and show rides for years, and this machine is surpassing all of my expectations. I can’t believe how nice it was today, and how I was able to get a ride in like this in February!

This week I am going through recurrent WestWind training as part of my job at FlightSafety. I have been paired with two of our most senior experienced instructors in the SIMs, and they are training the hell out of me. I tell them my weak points and the gloves come off!

Ground school is being handled by my counterpart, Mike, who has significant and valuable experience in the Army, converting helicopter guys to King Air pilots. He is a bundle of energy and I learn something new from him every time we are together. These sessions could be dry when you have one every six months, but not the way he approaches it.

This particular recurrent is particularly meaningful to me, because I’m leaving to go fly the actual airplane for the first time later in March. I’ll be in Texas with a friend who has a WestWind, and also has access to a Lear 31A! I’m going to get to fly both of them while I’m down there, so I couldn’t be more excited.

This is a wonderful opportunity to practice what I teach and I really cannot wait to go down there and do it. I’m so excited.

WestWind (1124A) versus Astra: Today’s sim session began in the WestWind to meet my recurrent obligations. For my part, I wanted to work on engine failures after V1; fuel imbalance transfers; and particularly on the use of the autopilot throughout the single engine approach. I have been routinely hand flying whenever I’m flying single engine, and needed to refine my use of the autopilot under those conditions.

With the WestWind work complete, these two experienced aviators took me over to the Astra so that I could practice the use of the UNS FMS like the WestWind I’ll be flying has. We ended up flying the Astra over the very same approaches we had just done in the WestWind.

This opportunity to directly compare the two machines was telling. Single engine work in the Astra is a no-brainer, while the WestWind requires constant attention; delicate fuel transfers; and large leg muscles for rudder. The advanced avionics in the Astra also make it a relative sportscar versus a pickup truck.

I ended the day riding my amazing new motorcycle home and then washing the leftover rain water I picked up on the ride. All the windows are open for a little while, but I know winter will be coming back for a few more weeks.

The days in my life have all been really special lately. Still – there are days that are really better than others, and this one is one of them.

Fly safe – God knows I appreciate all the people in my life that help me do what I get to do.

Amazing.   Frank

By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.