Thursday, June 11, 2009
From The Editor: When You Least Expect It
Photo by Chad Slattery
The experience cemented his goal of getting advanced training, and he recently passed his instrument-rating checkride. Doug intends to work on his multi and commercial ratings next. “Advanced training gives you so much more confidence as a pilot and gives you more flexibility,” he told Marc. “It makes a huge difference.” In his article, Marc relays more success stories of when advanced training saved the day, and tells us where to go for the best instruction, including simulator programs and upset recovery courses.
Ferry flights, which are often grueling, require advanced knowledge of not just your aircraft, but flight planning and weather as well. In this issue, Senior Editor Bill Cox flies a Bonanza A36 across the Pacific Ocean, from California to Singapore. He encounters rainy and rough weather, dodging malicious thunderstorms in the tropics. “Weather forecasting is a little more primitive in that part of the world,” Bill says, “and the weather flying up the Indonesian chain to Singapore was some of the most violent I’ve ever seen.” But thanks to Stormscope, after passing “the nasty stuff” in Bali, Bill (who has flown an impressive total of 201 international ferry flights) and the airplane owner were able to pick their way safely between the threatening cells.
This month, Bill’s review of the Moony Ovation 3 reminds him of the 1990s, when he delivered a dozen Mooneys from the United States to Australia. Most of the aircraft were at 20% to 25% above normal gross weight, but Bill reports that climb was remarkably unaffected: “Ovations and Bravos have always seemed among the least affected by operating over gross.” Once, he picked up a Bravo that was loaded with every option possible, including 30-gallon long-range tanks, TKS (60 pounds of fluid), air-conditioning and a very full panel. “It never occurred to me to check weight and balance when I departed Boston for the domestic hop to the West Coast, but when I later checked the envelope, I discovered that the airplane was 100 pounds over gross. The FAA requested an engineering study before approving ferry tanks that would put the airplane at a full 30% over gross for the flight to Sydney.”
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