Mid-Summer Training Update

So far its been a pretty hot summer and therefore working indoors with air conditioning and drudging through the Cirrus Workbook has had more appeal than flying. I am pleased to report that the Workbook is now complete and that I have handed it off to my instructor who was also kind enough to help me with Section 5 which deals with aircraft performance.

As part of my Cirrus Transition training we are required to complete the Cirrus Workbook in order to become more familiar with the aircraft performance and the systems onboard the aircraft. You can download the Cirrus Work Book if you are interested in seeing it.

Besides the workbook, I have been trying to use the CATS software mentioned in my previous article in order to learn more about the Cirrus SR-20 aircraft. Sadly, after going a few rounds with UND Aerospace Foundation, the CATS software still fails to save my progress and the aircraft configuration. I have spent more time on dealing with this issue than actually using the software for training. In disgust, I am forging on without UND Aerospace Foundation and have expressed my frustration to Cirrus. For a $299 outlay you would think that the software would function as advertised, but even during the installation I received a permission error…which I fixed. This technically won’t stop me from going through the sections and taking quizzes, but it forces me to re-configure my aircraft every time I launch the software.

As for my transition training in the plane, that will be a slow go. There is no substitute for being in the real plane and flying. However, it is clear that the more you learn on the ground, clearly translates into less thinking and time wasting in the air if a warning light were to comes on and so forth. As in all planes, knowing how to deal with the loss of an engine or an engine fire top the list of things you should know how to handle without a checklist. In the Cirrus other items to consider are: run-a-way trim or a rogue autopilot. It’s important NOT to create an emergency out of something that at the moment might not be an emergency.

Hopefully more Cirrus flying will be coming in the future!

CATS – Getting Serious About Cirrus Training

So far my summer reading as revolved around two books about IFR flight and the ASA Instrument Oral Exam Guide, which has about a quarter left for me to read.

As for flying, I have kept my commitment of flying at least once a month in the Piper Cherokee. The reason for that is because it’s a low wing like the Cirrus, its speed is similar to the Cirrus in the pattern and it has a fuel pump, along with left and right fuel tank management responsibilities. A Cessna 172 is just too easy…like flying a kite, almost boring by comparison.

Now with my head floating, the interactive training software called CATS is here and installed on my computer. So at this time I have started working on learning all about the Cirrus SR-20 and plan to complete the workbook that I started with my instructor and continue on with my transition training.

I am hoping that an opportunity that presented itself to me this week might mean that by mid-August, funds will be available now and on an ongoing basis for training. I am hoping for the best!

CATS - Cirrus Aircraft Training Software

CATS lets you explore and learn your Cirrus aircraft like never before. Practice checklist procedures, calculate performance, and explore aircraft systems all at the click of a mouse.

Configured to Your Aircraft

Configuration options include:

Aircraft Type: SR20 or SR22

Engine System: Normally aspirated or turbonormalized

Environmental System: G2/G3/air conditioning with selectable optional equipment

It’s Interactive…

  • Practice normal and emergency procedures anytime, anywhere, using interactive cockpit controls and checklists.
  • Learn the systems of these technologically advanced aircraft (TAA) with animated, interactive schematics and simulations.
  • Navigate through the software using a familiar Pilot’s Operating Handbook format.
  • Explore and learn at your own pace using “free play” simulations and an unrestrictive menu system.
  • Test your knowledge with over 40 multiple-choice quizzes.
  • Monitor your progression through the content and quizzes with integrated progress tracking.

Six Sections with Subsections with Quizzes

The Power Plant

Weight Specifications

Instrument Flying Made Easy

Instrument Flying Made Easy

My latest read is Instrument Flying Made Easy by Gene Hudson.

The author draws on thousands hours of teaching instrument flying to provide you with a new, unique approach to attitude instrument flying which improves your flying performance while reducing workload. Here the ‘Thirteen Deep, Dark Secrets’ of attitude instrument flight—methods you can implement on your next flight. Gene starts out by tossing out almost every traditional method of attitude instrument flying, and builds his own, more effective and easier to learn process from the ground up.

What this book lacks is how to deal with glass panel displays. It’s very good for steam gauge flying. Glass scans are different in nature as they are more precise and the information here would need to be modified. Basically the author talks a lot about the following:

  • Keeping a light touch (if any) on the controls…the more you trim, the less you touch, the less you screw up.
  • Stop looking at gauges that do not matter or are represented better by other instruments.
  • Step on the high wing – and I was always worried about the ball.
  • Memorize your planes performance and what to expect in all stages of flight. (cold)
  • Use yaw more on approaches to make corrections rather than large changes with yoke.
  • Use different scans such as the Inverted-V Scan, Constant Vertical Speed Scan, Modified-V Scan and Power Scan.

It’s always good to read a different points of view when it comes to scanning. Your experience will depend on your instructors method of training. However, if you feel that your CFI might not know what they are doing, the information in this book might hold a few golden nuggets for them as well.

It’s Airshow Season!

If you are in the Western and Central regions of New York State, checkout these great airshows!

Geneseo Airshow 2011 (Geneseo, NY)
July 8th-10th


2011 ESL International Airshow (Rochester, NY)
July 16th-17th


Your’s truly will be part of the Civil Air Patrols search and rescue team at this show.