Most of you know the scene from the movie “Top Gun“, where Lt. Mawerick explains a manouver with an enemy MIG-29: Because I was inverted… 😀
Well, recently I’ve done my Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT), which made me feel a bit like a “Top Gun Pilot”…
The UPRT is mandatory from December 2019 and is a requirement in order to obtain the first type rating on a multipilot airplane. Be my guest; there in no other profession in the world, where you need to stay current (and healthy) at all times, and to maintain the currency you need to keep spending a lot of money…
Even though the things are pretty messy (and of course not only in the world of aviation), but generally, despite this I’ve decided to go through the training.
Before this course I’ve only once experienced how it feels like to fly “upside down” during a looping in a ultralight plane when I wasn’t even a pilot yet. So it’s been a loong time ago…
On a recommendation by a friend of mine I’ve travelled to Merzbrück, Germany (EDKA), to do my course at the Westflug.
It consisted of 1 day theory and 4 flights of 45 minutes divided in 2 days. During the theory session we have discussed a lot of important topics from human factors, how our body reacts to different kind of manouvers, and a have refreshed airplane general knowledge as well. Our instructor Rob really surprised me with his technical and physics knowledges, and I cosider him one of the best instructors I’ve ever had. So even the day in the class was not boring at all.
The practical part should be more fun they said…. Well yes, it was, but after pulling the G’s for 30-35 minutes you are simply exhausted… And don’t mention the stomach… That’s why there is a pause of couple of hour, so the body can recover before the next flight.
For the training they use the Extra 330LX, 2 years old, which is a kind of plane you can find in the Red Bull competitions. 🙂
The instrumentation is very simple; altimeter and airspeed indicator (and my legs lol). The instructor sits behind me, and his panel consists of more instruments, including the acceleromenter to measure the G-forces.
Extra 330LX is a german two seat low wing aerobatic monoplane with a taildragger landing gear, powered by a a Lycoming 6-cylinder with more than 300hp, which made my feel to fly a rocket rather than a GA plane I was used to… 🙂
Unfortunately all my images were spoiled by the stupid mask. It is everything but comfortable flying like this and on the top of that all the images look a bit weird… But there were other choice, we had to comply with the regulations…
The idea was to learn how it feels to recover from the manouvers with +3G’s; but I’ve pulled up to +4.5G’s. While flying inverted, -1G was experienced.
There we are a lot’s of “for the first time” during this training:
My very first D- registrated airplane in my logbook
My very first time at controls in Germany
My very first acrobatics flight
First flight in a taildragger
First spin recovery
First time flying inverted
My very first stall flying inverted
Experienced first time +4.5G’s and -1G
And much mucho more… 😀
And of course my GoPro was on board with me; here comes a short resume of my UPRT training.
I’d definitely like to repeat this experience and just to have more fun (as far as the stomach this allows) :-D.
Not many know about the old (former) airport of Fuerteventura situated at Los Estancos, not far away from the capital city of the island Puerto del Rosario.
I’ve done some research on Google, but there is not much information to be found, and actually nor are there many signs of the old airport left, except this old terminal. This was the second airport on the island, after La Tefía (which I’ll need to search on my next visit :-D) and it was in service between the years 1951 and 1969.
The runway 03/21 was 1.350m long.
This aerodrome was replaced by the new airport situated at El Matoral, which is still in service.
I have the impression, that this 2.200km2 big island has many aerodromes we do not know much about. The Jandía strip, another one situated not far away from this one as well, El Jarde, La Tefía, etc…
This is my third compilation of aerial images of flying around the Canary Islands; in this post I’ll share with you some images of La Palma. If you have missed my previous compilations, you can see them here: Tenerife and La Gomera.
Hope you’ll enjoy the views as I did enjoyed them when flying around La Palma!
MCC stands for multiple crew cooperation. This additional training is required to fly in a multipilot aircraft with crew consisting of at least 2 members.
And as the initial idea is to fly a plane consisting of 2 pilots, I had to go through this training as well… So let’s get back to school.
Starting my MCC course at GTA Madrid
I did my training at Global Aviation Training in Madrid, and my colleague and me, we were very satisfied with the high level of the training. Our instructors were highly experienced and active pilots with more than 15 years of flying experience.
In total we spent 10 days at GTA; 5 days of theoretical classes and 5 days simulator sessions in the ATR72-500. During the first 5 days we learned a lot about the ATR72-500 systems and procedures, and started to learn to work not as a single pilot, but in a team of two.
At the beginning a bit challenging, because we faced a new plane, procedures and new way of dividing tasks as a team, but it was improving with the time.
This is where it all started… ATR72-500 cockpit mock-up
Finally, after 5 days of classes, there was this “magical” moment of getting into “the pleasure room” that we were so much looking for. For the most pilots are these “dancing boxes” a real headache, because they stand there not for having fun in them, but to prove that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and you will have to face it.
The pleasure room
And this one was ours… ATR72-500 (Pitty that it wouldn’t fix in my garage lol)
ATR72-500 FFS at GTA Madrid
The cockpit is identical with a real plane:
Approaching Tenerife North in the simulator
ATR72-500 FFS Cockpit
EADI and EHSI ATR72-500
Marshaller in the simulator
One of the highlights was a simulation of an emergency descent after a cabin decompression, using oxygen masks. I have to say, something I haven’t done before; and definitely very interesting.
After an emergency descent drill…
After 10 days of hard work and studying, we are done! 😀
MCC Course done!
In the free time, we have also visited the other 2 simulators; which are new and have a far better visual graphics (however it doesn’ matter, because most of the time we were flying in IMC conditions with no views…). In addition to the FFS ATR72-600 and Boeing 737NG, there is another FNPT II simulator of an Airbus A320. Of course, I had to capture these moments:
Boeing 737NG FFS at GTA Madrid
FNPT II Airbus A320
ATR72-600 FFS at GTA Madrid
And it was a pitty that it didn’t work out to try the slide of the A320. Maybe for the next time!
It was not easy, but it was worth it! Lots of of late nights, early mornings, lots of stress and no social life… But I’ve managed to reach my personal goal and proved myself that anything you can imagine is possible.
Now I can call myself a commercial pilot! 👨🏻✈️💪🏼
Many thanks to all of you and the whole universe for all the support and to help me to achieve this! 👨🏻✈️😊🙌🍀
So the journey continues. Reaching some 3.000 feet I’ve turned on the autopilot and became (what I was learning about) a “pilot monitoring”. Monitoring the Garmin 1000, which is absolutely great. At the beginning it looked so complicated to me as I was used to fly the old steam gauges PA28 and now on every flight I’m discovering more and more about this fantastic tool. And if 2 screens are not enough, you can mount as me the Ipad as well. I had all my Jeppesen charts on it and also as mentioned the Foreflight app just to double check that we were on track :-D.
Views shortly after take off from Jerez de La Frontera
First leg took us in total 3:40 hours; flying IFR route. Good visibility and weather made us company down to Essaouira, where it was a bit windy (surface wind 010/26 G30), so landing on a RWY34 we had 13kts crosswind from the right.
Here are some imagines from the first leg of the journey:
Barbate y Zahara de los Atunes – Under the clouds ends the european continent
Faro de Trafalgar en Conil de la Frontera. More to the left would be Portugal. Now we have left the european continet
As the caption says: always good to have an flight engineer on board! 🙂
On our way to Essaouira
The crew 😀
Autopilot ON. Time to think and enjoy the views 🙂
Mosquée Hassan II, Casablanca
Shortly after Casablanca
Simply no words needed
Above the clouds
Preparing the approach
Starting our descent into Essaouira
Barrage Zerrar Damm
Final RWY 34
We made it to Essaouira!
It’s difficult to chose from so many images I’ve made on this trip. The staff at the airport was very friendly, we have ordered something to eat and also delicious moroccan tea!
The good news was that there is free Wifi available at Essaouira Airport :-D.
Free Wifi at Essaouira airport
Our late lunch:
After a quick “pit stop”, emptying our “tanks” after almost 4 hours, refueling the plane, filing a new flight plan, paying the taxes (around 15€), we were ready to go as number too. It could have taken less, but just after us a Transavia’s 737 landed and was serviced first. So we had to wait again… 😀
Transavia’s Boeing 737
The fuel track is finally here!!!
Ready to go
Next almost 2 hours were just above the sea. Sometimes when you think it’s a strange feeling if you see on the Garmin that the nearest airport is either 100NM ahead of behind you…
Canaries were covered by clouds. Later we were flying more into sunset.
Reaching Gran Canaria at sunset
Reaching Gran Canaria at sunset
After flight the approach for RWY 03L we were welcomed by the usual “northwind” (360/20G30).
Fighting some crosswind on final RWY 03L into Gran Canaria (W 360/20 G30)
Mission completed. Happy with the experience and with the flight. Could take off again for another ferry flight! Searching a ferry pilot anyone? 😀