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Dave English

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About Dave English

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  • Birthday 27/09/1961

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  1. I'd just like to add my 2 cents in regarding this topic and safety. I have a steam guage cockpit and I have recently installed an Avmap glass efis which is about US$850. To fit it, I removerd a a certified bat & ball with gyro which didnt work all that well which costs about US$1000 new. I also run an ipad with navigation. The ipad has in the past gone blank because of heat, so I wouldnt want to be relying solely in the ipad to get me out of trouble. I inadvertently flew into cloud recently. It was insidious. i didnt do it on purpose but it crept up on me. I first realised I was disoriented when I looked at the compass on the efis and noticed that it was reading 090 degrees instead of the 360 degrees I thought I was heading. My first thought was that the compas wasnt working, but then I realised what was happenning. The compass on the efis is much more reliable than the manual compass on the panel which swings through about 30 degrees and if not for the much more reliable Avmap I wouldnt have noticed I was off course until much later. I could still see the ground at that stage, but soon after I flew into total whiteout. I also had the ipad so I could see where I was in real time on the chart. Because I knew the area and I had a reliable steady compass and artificial horizon with the altimeter right there on the efis, I was comfortably able to do a standard 270 degree turn to the left to head back south and new I was straight and level, on course and at a safe altitude even though I was in total whiteout for about 5 minutes. There was a mountain at 1500 feet higher than I was just a couple of miles to the west, but I could trust the reliable instruments and was ok. After about 5 minutes, I flew out of cloud and was able to return to my home airstrip safely. I have doene about 3 hours of practice ifr with instructors so I knew what to do. If I didnt have the efis, things could have been very different. When I go flying now, I have the glass efis which has become my primary instrument, back up steam guages, and gps both on the efis and on the ipad. I have never had a blocked pitot, but if I had, I would have at least the gps speed, track and altitude to get me home. I guess the lesson is, get the best and most reliable safety technology you can afford and have a back up. Like climate change, I think those who dis glass efises have their head in the sand. They are much more reliable, have much more information at a glance and may save your life. The AVMAP efis fits into a standard 3 1/4 inch hole and is relatively cheap and easy to install.
  2. Everything said so far is valid. I have an older Zodiac 601 with steam guages. I replaced an old faulty certified turn indicator with an Avmap EFIS, fits into the same 3 14" hole, for about the same price as the replacement cost of the turn indicator, and I have to say, it has improved the amenity of the panel enormously. Having pitot and GPS, you get the best of both worlds, Having an artificial horizon, a compass that doesn't swing around,the 2nd panel has a GPS based ADF and IOR, I have all the capabilities of an IFR panel, though its all uncertified of course. I still have all the old steam guages as a backup, but none of them are as accurate as the efis. My next buid will be efis based, with just the ASI, Alt and compass as backup.
  3. THe Hunter Valley flying club has one at Cessnock. I got to fly one for 15 minutes from the front seat at the Airventure meeting. Flies beautifully, perfectly balanced. Makes alot of noise and bluster for 100 knots. THe instructor said, "if you need alot of grunt, you have to r*** the pig"
  4. For those going west, there is a corridor between Denman and Mudgee. I traversed it yesterday at 6000ft and it was fine, but the weather was good. You would need at least 4500ft to attempt it.
  5. I was there from Thurs to Sunday(today). I questioned the 2 michaels at one of the open forums about the breakdown between RAAUS, SAAA abd AOPA. They denied any culpability in it and I expressed my displeasure about the fighting and my scepticism about the Michaels innocence in it. I have both licences and I dont give a sausage about who does what. I want the 3 organisations to be co-operating so we can get real reform from CASA. I am considering standing for the next RAAUS board nomination on a dissenting ticket. I dont expect to win, but I think it is high time some displeasure is publicly expressed.
  6. Looks like a stall/spin. Very sad and condolences to the family.
  7. I did my RPL conversion in PA 28s. The general aviation culture is a bit different. They take things a bit more seriously, and you have to know the VFR much better. It took a few flights for me to be comfortable with the much heavier trim forces in a Piper. I used the time to get my controlled airspace endorsements and you need to do a couple of hours of IFR practice for the cross country endorsement conversion. I would suggest that you find a school that does both RAAus and General Aviation training as they understand the culture of both camps and are more sympathetic.
  8. I have a casa and an RAAUS licence and a light sports aircraft. With the new regs coming in, you can take one passenger without a class 2 medical, just like RAAUS. The downside of RAAUS is no controlled airspace, the $230 annual fee and 600kg MTOW. The upside is that you can buy an aircraft and maintain it yourself after doing an online exam, whereas you can only maintain a VH experimental if you built it yourself, so it means paying for the 100 hourly's. Another consideration is that my sister and other respectable people probably would baulk at gettinginto my light sports but would fly with me in a piper, whereas my kids love the LSA. The LSA is great fun to fly and if I go for a joy flight, I do it in my light sports because its more fun, but there is nothing like flying over metropolitan Melbourne and landing at Essendon in a piper. The other thing to consider is that when the Part 149 comes in, RAAUS will be wanting to register 1500kg MOTW aircraft and do airspace endorsements. When (if) that happens, there will be little difference between the licences. Looking down the track, if the RAUS and the CASA licence is the same, what will be the raison de etra for RAUS? Expect things to morph again.
  9. Fantastic article, very well thought out and informative. I wouldnt like to encourage too many to do a 45 degree turn at 50 knots close to the ground. This is precisely the sort of maneuver that kills pilots. You might get away with it if you have practised it numerous times, but the margin for error is miniscule.
  10. What I dont like is that we keep hearing how good they are (from their own mouths), yet we never get the truth about whats what. For instance, the last annual report says they spent 250 000 in cash on websites and other stuff with no capital gain for the organisation. Membership went up, but there is no breakdown of who paid for what. I assume the sponsored cadets are counted in the membership. Is it possible that full paying membership actually deacreased last year, not increased? We dont know. What I do know is that if they keep pump priming the org by spending a quarter of a million bucks each year, there wont be an orginisation for long.
  11. Last time I checked, the Lethbridge school did not have a taildragger, but they may teach you in your own aircraft if that is where you are at.
  12. I got my RAA tailwheel endorsement with Eddie Maddern at Tocumwal. He charged $ 190 per hour incliuding instructor and Eurofox taildragger. I did it over a weekend with 6 hours of instruction.He has a caravan park next to the airfield. It cost me about $1150 including accommodation for 2 nights and he lent me a car gratis so I could go into town to eat. I highly recommend him. You can drive up on Friday night and come home Sunday evening with your endorsement. When I got my RPL, the endorsement transferred over.
  13. I have an RAA licence and am in the process of getting an RPL conversion. It involves an AVID ( ASIC light), renewable every 4 years, a class 2 medical, which was fairly straightforward, and an English Language test, even though I was born here over 50 years ago. I did the medical because I want to be able to take 3 passengers in a Piper Warrier or a Cessna 172, and I am starting to build an RV7, and want to do aerobatics. The school says that once the RPL certificate comes through, I just need a flight review in the heavier aircraft, though I am yet to do it, so I dont know how many hours that will take. My RAA school is at a fairly difficult airstrip to get into with almost constant crosswinds, so It took longer to get proficient at landings than it would have at a larger airport with wide straight runways and no trees, airstrip humps, powerlines or valleys to contend with. At the time, I was a bit miffed at having to spend the extra training, but now, I am glad I did. I have a little Xodiac which did not come with a POH, so I wrote one myself, using other POH's from others, including the Piper Warrier, and educating myself more thoroughly about weight and balance and density altitude for takeoff / landings has been a boon. I don't regard the RAA pilots certificate as the end of training, rather than the first milestone in an aviation education, and I realised when reading the Piper Warrier POH that I would have to learn this stuff anyway. I now have a good understanding of the weight distribution issues on the Zodiac which I didn't have before. And I don't think it is unreasonable to have to do a Class 2 medical if you are taking 3 passengers or doing acrobatics. I think the bigger and wider GA world does require you to do and learn more and continue to develop your skills and experience.
  14. I would like to throw a different slant on the issue. I know of 2 instructors in the past couple of years who have conducted spin training with students . 3 are dead and one is in a critical condition in hospital. It is not that these instructors were incompetent. Rather, the aircraft they were flying have not been rated for spins. Some of the LSA's are basically scaled down models of GA aircraft like the Pipers. The problem is that the scale is not linear. The reynolds numbers are not the same, so some LSA's have to small a rudder, etc. to get out of a spin easily. I also would like to do some spin training, but I am going to have to wait until I get an RPL so I can do some acrobatics training in a Decathlon with a qualified instructor. I would like to know what the parameters are for my little Zodiac to stall if I inadvertently turn too steeply and slowly on final. It seems to me that it would not be that hard to push the pedal over to increase the turn and inadvertently find myself skidding in a steep turn at too low a speed and at too low an altitude. I dont know how my aircraft would behave in that scenario, and I don't want to find out unless I am safely conducting stalls at an appropriate height. Some aircraft will turn upside down in a skidding stall. I heard recently a Mustang pilot say that the Mustang takes 9000 ft to recover from a stall spin.
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