G'day! and welcome to my blog's new home. I'd like to say a big 'cheers mate' to Clay for building me such a fabulous new house.

Here you will find my articles and blogs from the sky documenting my aerial adventure across Australia, and sometimes - when I'm very lucky - around the world!

Lots of airyplanes, plenty of new shoes and hopefully many undiscovered places.

Blue skies,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Diary of a Dep Ed - Part Two

My next assignment - and a thumb in the nose to the weather gods - was out of Bankstown. On a glorious CAVOK day, I was introduced to the Liberty XL2
which along with Demo Pilot Nigel, I took for a spin (although not literally).

It's a very sporty little number, with blissfully comfortable bucket seats, and rudder pedals that come to you (so for once, I am spared the indignity of having to sit on a cushion!) It has a FADEC (full authority digital engine control) system, which means no mixture, no carby heat and pretty much no checks! It also has a stick, rather than a yoke, which I prefer (whatcha make of that, Uncle Freud?) as I find it more intuitive.

After pootling around in the training area, we headed over to Camden to see how it handled in the circuit. With a TAS 120 knots, it's a zippy little thing, and yet surprisingly stable.

As I picked up the ATIS, the weather gods became the embodiment of the sneaky instructor who throws in a crosswind on the sim, just as you've set up a nice, stable approach.

"Here ya go, test-pilot gal! Here's 15 knots for ya!"

"Puh, weather gods!" retorted I. "I should THANK you! I mean, there's nothing like tricky conditions to put a new aircraft to the test, is there?"

"Ooooh, what about some turbulence, at about 200 feet, then? We know how you LOVE that!"

"Bring it on!" said I, whilst adding, breathlessly, "you're on with me here, Nigel, right?"

Which of course he was. I mean, what kind of Demo Pilot lets a 150 hour PIC loose in his $250,000 aircraft, in a crosswind, on her first landing? So, we did it together. It handled very nicely. We did a few more. Sweet. Bit slippery in the flare, and, rather like a tail-wheel, it needs to be pinned down on landing, but can take off with full-flap, so uses very little runway.

On the way back, we did a couple of steep turns (wonderful visibility) and some stalls (very sedate) and came in to land at Bankstown, with the wind largely down the runway.

AS we taxiied back to Schoey's, I realised two things:
a) you can't put a price on comfort whilst flying
b) I LOVE my job!

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