Thursday, September 29, 2005

Still waiting

I haven't given up or something. But I still haven't got my permission from the authorities, so I can't have any flying lessons. I don't think it's supposed to take this long time, so I'm a bit afraid that my vision will cause problems again.

Yesterday an administrator from Luftfartsstyrelsen (The latest trend in Sweden seems to be that all authorities are getting rid of their acronyms, for example RSV is now Skatteverket, RFV is Försäkringskassan and LFI has become Luftfartsstyrelsen. I don't know why they are doing this. Their inernet domain names get longer and it looks silly in text written in other languages than swedish. Luftfartsstyrelsen is similar to the FAA, CAA or whatever they are called in your country.) visited the ground class. He told me that the normal processing time should be twoo weeks. But he also said that sometimes it could take considerably more time because of some other complicated case blocking the doctors.

So I guess I'll just have to keep waiting...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Waste of time

We had our exam in radio communications today. I had expected this to be a short test followed by a ground class on a different subject. I was right about the test being short. I completed it in approximately 10 minutes. I didn't bother to read through my answers, since i felt that I could at most have made a couple of errors.

However, this was all that was planned for today! My journey to and from Norrköping took about five times more than doing the test. I don't know for how long the other guys stayed, but it couldn't be more than an hour, or could it?

At least I got a new book and was assigned a piece of homework for wednesday's class.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Flying lesson #2

I had my second flying lesson today. The weather was almost perfect, with just a little termic turbulence. The visibility was almost unlimited.

This time I practiced a little of various kinds of turns. Shallow turns, steep turns, climbing turns, descending turns, turns with extended flaps etc. When making turns, one of the differencies compared to gliders (and fighters) are that you are placed side by side in the cockpit in this aircraft. This causes the horizon to take different positions depending on if you make a right or left turn. A bit confusing now in the beginning, but I suppose I'll get used to it.

Steep turns (60 degrees banking angle) are fun, because you can feel some g-forces. But I don't know how often you'll use it in regular flight.

I also practiced four landings and take-offs. To make it convenient to practice several landings/take-offs a technique called "touch and go" is commonly used. This means that you make a regular approach and landing. But you never come to a full stop on the runway. Instead you give full throttle once you have slowed down, and make a new take-off. Then you make a new traffic pattern (see the figure), starting with a very short crosswind leg.

Total logged time: 1.2 hours (accumulated: 2.3 hours)
Total costs: SEK 860 (accumulated: SEK 1690)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Say again

Yesterday was yet another occurence of the ground class. Still about radio communications. The class is a bit slow-paced and repetitous in my opinion. This may of course be because I have studied the subject twice before this. There is also the issue of this being the first subject, so there are a lot of questions raised regarding very unrelated stuff. It appears that not everyone knows the fundamentals of flying and navigation, so for us who have some previous knowledge it easily becomes a bit tedious to listen to explanations about for example that the compass is divided into 360 points.

I noticed that there is some bad weather moving in tonight, so I tried to call my flight instructor to see if it was possible to have a flying lesson this evening. However, I failed to reach him. Hopefully the bad weather won't be staying for so long...

Still no news from the authorities.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

First flying lesson

I had planned the first flying lesson for today, between work and the ground class. After having had great weather for a couple of weeks (or something), a cold front suddenly moved in just an hour before the lesson. I observed that it was moving quite fast, so I went to to the flying club for my lesson anyway.

On arriving there, the rain started pouring again, so we had to wait for half an hour before we decided that the weather was good enough for a short lesson. We made a quick inspection round of the plane, and fueled it. Then we were set to go.

Since I already have some flying experience (about 75 hours gliders and a couple of hours in Piper PA-28:s) we skipped the most basic stuff, like the basic functions of the different control surfaces. Instead we focused more on the differences between gliders and aircraft with engines. One notable difference is that the rudder pedals are much less used here. I also tried some climbing and descending turns, turns with various banking angles, keeping the altitude with different levels of thrust etc.

The lesson lasted for approximately half an hour, which was about half of what was planned. There was only time for one landing, especially since we had to wait for some birds to leave the runway before we could start our final approach.

The air was quite turbulent and windy today, so it became a bumpy ride. Not that I have any problems with that, but it wasn't the best opportunity to try my first landing. thus the instructor helped me a little with the controls starting a hundred feet above the ground (Argh! After holding down a shift key for too long; Windows decided that I"m disabled and not allowed to use my shift keys; so now I"m in some weird caps locked mode; and cannot type any digits; commas or other non_shifted keys)

(I couldn't find any way to get rid of that silly keboard mode, so I moved to my Linux computer instead. Guess I'll have to reboot the Windows box.)

After the flying lesson I went directly to ground class. Today's subject was radio communications. We were just three students there today. One has already dropped off, one didn't have time, and I don't know where the last guy was.

I will summarize costs and logged time in another posting.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ground class begins

Ground class started yesterday. We will be a group of six, of which half will go for ultralight and half for PPL (Private Pilot License). We will take most of the classes together, but the navigation part (and something else, which I can't relly remember right now) will be held in separate parts for UL and PPL.

Yesterday was mostly information about everything. A bit chaotic when all instructors tried to talk at the same time, but I think I got most of the relevant information. Good news is that I won't have to buy so many books and other material. I have some stuff left from when I studied for a PPL, of which most is still accurate. I will however buy new maps and a couple of books.

I tried to call the aviation authorities today, but apparently all of the licensing administrators were gone for some business trip until friday. So I guess nothing will happen there for a while. That's a bit unfortunate, since I am not allowed to start taking flying lessons until I have a go from them (I may take some lessons labelled "trial lesson" or something, but I can't have too many of those). And soon it will start getting dark early in the afternoons, limiting the possible time for flying lessons to just a few hours during the day.

Friday, September 02, 2005

A new letter from the police

Today I got another letter from the police. This time my reaction was more like "Oh, no! What did I do wrong this time?". But believe it or not, this letter was a confirmation that the investigation was finished and the result has been sent to the aviation authorities. That was a real surprise. On sending in my new set of forms it must have been taken care of right away instead of the normal waiting time.

So now it's all in the hands of the aviation autorities. I think I'll give them a call next week to check that they now have everything they need. With a bit of luck, that could even speed up the process a little by having them retrieve my papers...

I have noticed that I have some american readers of this blog. Please feel welcome! I hope you can find some interesting reading here. I do apologize for my non-perfect english.

And this week my thoughts are with the people of New Orleans. It is with great sorrow I read the reports and watches the terrible images from this disaster. :-(