March 03, 2014 (Monday) Crossing the Finish Line

Last night I slept a little bit better, but certainly not well. This is a very large personal project I’ve taken on, and in the midst of all I have going on at work, is not an easy chore. I’m still having a good time now, I must admit.

By this point we have knocked out all the major requirements that I’ll need to achieve the King Air BE-200 initial rating. The agenda for today was to complete work required for my BFR, IPC, HAE, Twin Comanche recurrent training, and do the paperwork for my BE–200 initial.

The morning simulator session was flown with Kyle in the Kingair. We flew several approaches to ensure I had enough of those, followed by additional emergency work that was on the fringe. Here I was flying along that dumb and happy when all of a sudden the elevator cable broke.

My first attempt at playing Capt. Sully with a broken elevator cable achieved a much higher level of certainty for my passengers. They knew they were going to die within seconds of my being handed this emergency. Which I think overall was more compassionate when you think about it. I knew I had to get the airplane trimmed out, but I overcontrol the trim and once you do that in this airplane, were probably in any airplane, the game will be difficult to recover.

Once again I did not impress Kyle, but in this case I learned a lot more from him and the next attempt would be much better.

We pick up the pieces, and put the wings back on the aircraft, resetting me to the beginning of the event. This time when I lost elevator control, I responded appropriately to the emergency and establish trim for airspeed. Next I adjusted power smoothly to work the aircraft down and onto the final approach path. Things were going well, and the passengers in the back or high-fiving about my skills and ability.

Cheers continued until about a half-mile out, when things got a little bit out of hand and once again we bit the dust. Capt. Sully I ain’t, but given a few more tries I think I could get this down.

I think Kyle was much more pleased with my results this morning, and told me as much, as I recall.

It’s a bit of a blur as I am writing this, but I think got to fly with jim one more time in the Kingair during the morning.

Then it was time to order lunch and get started studying for the high-altitude endorsement (HAE).

For the HAE, I viewed a PowerPoint presentation they had given me. I took my time and made copious notes as I walked through each slide. I knew that this is the only information available to me, and that I’d be taking a test at the end of it. I didn’t want to have to do this twice, nor missed the opportunity to check this box.

Kyle came back to check on me more than once. I got the feeling I was taking longer on this than others students had. I moved on and took the test, turning in a score of above 90%. I had gotten the impression earlier that I had to have 100% to earn this endorsement.

Kyle came back once more after I completed the test, and ask for my score. I told him that the majority of the questions were not even covered in the PowerPoint slides provided, and that I had to rely on information I had read elsewhere. It was then that he realized that there was an additional supplemental workbook he had forgotten to give me. Good thing I passed the first time.

Lunch at this point was subway again, and it was getting worse each time I tried it. It didn’t really matter, I was here and on a mission.

Next up was Kyle again for my last simulator session in the Seneca simulator, being used to represent the Twin Comanche. The simulator was in not as good a shape as the king air simulator, but it was functional and we were able to fly additional approaches.

At the completion of this last session, Kyle and I retired to a room to review another PowerPoint deck that was specific for the PA 30. The twin Comanche Recurrent Training provided by RTC was not nearly as effective as a CPPP training provided by the Comanche society. It was pretty valuable though.

Now it was time to complete the IPC paperwork. The instrument proficiency check (IPC) could be accomplished due to the number of approaches done in the Kingair and in the Twin Comanche simulators. This would include multiengine procedures, emergency procedures, single engine procedures, and the other activities already described. I received an endorsement sticker for that.

The biennial flight review (BFR) could be done using the simulator because I was able to attest to three landings within the previous 90 days. I received an endorsement sticker for that.

The HAE score proved adequate for an endorsement, and I earned a sticker for that.

For the Twin Comanche, I received a sticker for recurrency and multi-engine procedures work. Over and above what insurance demands.

Finally, I now have my initial BE-200 rating that I can check off my bucket list. All-in-All a good day.

The big news is yet to come.