A collection of updates from Derick Gunning:
Recent flying (or not):
GJACS went back into service recently after a great deal of help and support from Norvic and Rudy and Kevin who completed the engine installation and the annual. Sadly, Ross 'landed long' a few days later and ended up off the western end of our runway. No injuries but JACS has a bent undercarriage, prop and wing and will be out of service again for several months. Just to top it off, minutes after this accident the local farm at Flint Cross had a major fire!
It is probably worth reminding all clients that currently the damage excess is £750 i.e. the first £750 of any damage is client’s responsibility, even if it is not your fault! For example, if you park at another airfield and a third party damages the aircraft you are renting you are liable for the excess This might seem harsh but is standard practice. After all if you borrowed your neighbours car to go shopping and it had an 'uninsured' event you would need to make good the damage. This is one of the risks you have to accept when you rent our aircraft so please be careful out there!
Flying the SRA:
Initially, ATC will make a contract with you to provide either a0.5 or 2nm RTR (Radar Termination Range) approach. Anytime the controller informs you that you have 13 track miles or less to run I recommend you perform pre-land checks. Anytime the controller informs you have 7 miles or less configure the aircraft for landing-in the PA28-181 I recommend 100kts, zero flap.
At 5nm you will be asked 'commence descent to maintain 3 degree glide path'. Assuming you are already at 100kts apply carb heat and reduce power to 1900rpm. This will obviously depend on wind velocity but is a good initial setting in 'calm' conditions. The essence of the SRA is that you comply with ATC instructions, read back heading and altitude instructions verbatim but not ranges or step down heights. If the controller says 'you are 3miles from touchdown your height should be 900ft' you respond 'Roger G-xxxx' and 'modify' your profile to suit. Fly level for a short time to re-establish if too low, reduce power slightly to increase rate of descent if too high. There is currently a debate raging in the journals as to power/speed or pitch/ROD methods for the approach. My personal advice is to make smooth and small adjustments, it takes practice and with experience you will find a combination of both is the recipe for a professional approach.
Remember the controller is unaware of your qualifications and will talk you down to the System Minima (383QFE Cambridge). As an IMC rated pilot you must stop the descent at 600QFE and 'ignore' further profile guidance but adhere to heading guidance until either radar contact is lost or you reach the MAP (missed approach point) and then 'go-around' or land if you see the runway and have sufficient visual cues to enable a landing.
There is quite a bit more to consider and several ground briefings before being let loose with this procedure, however since we have one of the best SRA facilities nearby (in Europe in my opinion) at Cambridge I recommend using it!
Here's a little gem for those of you who do not already know:
If you 'forget' what time you departed simply turn the small knob on the KLN89B GPS 2 clicks clockwise to display departure time, time you have been airborne and ETA to next waypoint (if you have entered one). The timer on the ADF will display time in minutes since the radio master switch was turned on. Useful for recording approx 'brakes off' for your log-book.
Remember, all our aircraft are 'charged' airborne times rounded to nearest whole 5mins. Please be honest in this respect, we have noticed some rather optimistic(!) flight times in the past.