Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Arrow.... Arrrroooowwwww... its an Arrow

After what seems like forever hiatus from flying this week I'm back in the sky where I belong!

N1455X, my new friend for the next round of training.
I started flying with my CFI to work on my complex endorsement this week. For this we are using a Piper Arrow II. It's a 200 HP machine with constant speed prop, flaps and retractable landing gear. It's also a low wing plane (obviously). The first low wing I've flown left seat in.

Aside from the usual awkwardness that comes from flying a new type of plane, my biggest problem has been remembering the type of plane I'm in! I've got almost 300 hours now and all but 2.3 of them have been in Cessnas. I'm very used to identifying myself as "Cessna 123AB" or occasionally "Skylane 123AB". All of the sudden I have to remember to say "Arrow". Out of all the newness, that's been one of the things I've stumbled over often. For some reason I've been wanting to say "Archer". Probably because it starts with an "A".

We've done two flights and 6 take offs and landings so far. Another 19 take offs and landings and 2.7 hours of dual are required for insurance purposes. I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of the plane. The thing I'm not at all familiar with is the retractable gear of course. I started using the BCGUMPS "checklist" in the 182 and now the letters all have meaning, except this plane is fuel injected so no "C" for carb heat. The trick with the gear is making sure its down when it needs to be down and up when it needs to be up. The mechanics of that work easily, knowing when to do it is a little less easy but its coming together. I've started talking through everything I'm doing, in part to remember what to do and in part to get into the habit of verbalizing more.

Next flight will be emergency procedures (emergency gear extensions and seeing how this particular plane glides for a power off approach). After that will be a lot of take offs and landings with my CFI "failing" the gear as often as he can to get me to the point I'm paranoid about it working or not working. That way I'll never get caught in an unintentional gear up landing.

The last thing, and something I need to prioritize higher in my flying, is keeping my ass on the center line. No good to drift around! If I want to be a commercial pilot I'd better be able to put the plane where it should be every time! No good for me to be lazy.

Anyway, I'm learning more and flying more and that makes me happy. I hope you are all happy too in whatever you're doing.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I am a regular reader of your blog. I enjoyed reading this post on the PA28-Arrow. My school,here in Nairobi-Kenya,operates one.

    She is turbo-charged which makes her a supered performer for a single engine.

    Continue sharing your experiences with fellow aviators.

    Happy Landings.