2010 First Quarter Update

Although the first quarter is not yet complete, I wanted to post an update as to what I have been doing so far in 2010.

As you may be aware I completed my bi-annual flight review at the end of 2009. Since then I have decided to try to get as many endorsements as possible.  In order to do that it I had to get out of my comfort zone with the Cessna 172 and get checked out in a Piper Cherokee at the club. The Piper is a nice aircraft, a few controls are in a few different places but nothing that you couldn’t learn quickly. I did several flights in this aircraft along with a few simulated instrument approaches and got my sign off.

I flew the Piper Cherokee in order to get to the Piper Arrow. The Arrow is the only aircraft at the club with retractable gear, which is just what I need to earn my complex endorsement. 

The FAA says tha no person may act as pilot in command of a complex airplane (an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller; or, in the case of a seaplane, flaps and a controllable pitch propeller), unless they have:

Received and logged ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a complex airplane, or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a complex airplane, and has been found proficient in the operation and systems of the airplane.

Received a one-time endorsement in the pilot’s logbook from an authorized instructor who certifies the person is proficient to operate a complex airplane.

So this means that I needed to spend 10 hours minimum flying the Piper Arrow with my CFI in order to get the proper sign off to satisfy the FAA requirements. Now the 10 hour part is NOT FAA’s rule, however it is the clubs rule if I wish to fly solo in the Arrow. I wish to do this obviously since I will be able to go farther and get to my destination faster in the Arrow. I want to be proficient with a complex aircraft especially since the Civil Air Patrol has complex aircraft. Presently I have logged 1.5 hours in the Arrow with another 8.5 needed to fly solo in it. Once I have earned this endorsement I will move on to earn my  High Performance endorsement.

A High Performance Endorsement allows a pilot to fly a High Performance aircraft, which is defined as an aircraft having greater than 200 Horsepower. There is no FAA specified number of hours a pilot must fly within a High Performance Aircraft to get this endorsement. A Certified Flight Instructor must sign off on the pilot’s logbook to ensure the pilot has proper ground training and flight experience to operate the High Performance Aircraft safely.

The Civil Air Patrol has High Performance aircraft, which in most cases is the Cessna 182 either with or without retractable gear, and either with or without a G1000 Glass Cockpit. Thanks to my instructor I have a G1000 training simulator on my computer that I have used a few times in order to get use to how the Garmin system works. It’s looks complicated and it is to some degree, but this is the future and as they say the future is NOW.