Private Pilot Resources - Aviation Blog

I obtained my private pilot license in 2006. This site is dedicated to capturing little gems of knowlege I collected during training. Periodically I add items I find during research so that others might benefit from them. Please review the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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Location: San Jose, CA, United States

In 1999 a friend invited me to go flying and I was hooked. I live in the Bay Area about an hour south of San Francisco and fly out of Reid Hillview (KRHV). Please do get in touch and lets go fly!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bi-Annual Flight Review (BFR)

I can hardly believe that it's been two years since I first got my license. Looking back I am confident that I kept learning and that my skills are pretty sharp, but it was time for my BFR and so I hooked up with Tom Navin at Tradewinds a few weeks ago to knock off any rust that might have been building. Last Saturday we again took to the skies on a georgeous afternoon. The weather in San Jose had been crappy and so traffic at Reid Hillview was busy as everyone took to the skies all at once.

Learning (1): How to hotstart a fuel injected engine with vapor lock. Full power, mixture lean, as she starts, immediately pull power back and and enrich mixture in one fluid motion of the two levers.

Tom and I did our upper air maneuvers and then headed towards the central valley and diverted to New Jerusalem 1Q4. Basically a strip of asphalt in the middle of nowhere. The real bonus being that NOBODY is there. The runway is 3,500 ft. 12/30. Tom gave me some great coaching on short field takeoff and landing. We practiced a near touchdown slow flight down the entire length of the runway to get a feel for slow flight close to the ground. Then we set up for the actual shortfield and I finally got the picture of a nose high attitude and power control of descend to put her down right on the numbers. Another reason 1Q4 is such a great little strip is that it doesn't have a VASI and the approach is over fields with no obstructions. Thus, the FAA rule of no flight below VASI glideslope doesn't apply and you can actually play around some with altitude to get the right feel for it. We then practiced power failure during takeoff. If your instructor hasn't yet played a trick like that on you, do ask. Highly valuable to experience engine loss at 50 feet or so and to land her on the remaining runway. From what I had read before I always got the impression that it required a heavy push on the joke to bring the nose down and pick up speed. Not so in my experience. At 50 feet you're quickly back in ground effect and I experience it as just a slight relaxing of the controls to keep the speed above stall, followed almost immediately by a transition to a roundout. With precious little runway left you don't want to build up excessive speed, so Tom showed me how to ease her back down with the nose up higher than I thought. All in all a great BFR and as always some learning experiences from a truly gifted teacher.