Caldera Blanca, Lanzarote

Usually don’t fly very often to Lanzarote, but on this occasion also the weather was playing with and when we flew around the National Parc and around the volcanoes, I simply couldn’t resist to take some shots of this amazing volcanic landscape.

This one is called Caldera Blanca, and it feel like we are about to land on the Moon or Mars…

Enjoy it with me! 馃檪

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Trip to La Palma

Yesterday the weather was fantastic and we took of early from Tenerife south airport on our training flight toward the island La Palma. As there was not much traffic, we decided to practice with the student the SID (standard instrumental departure) and the arrival into La Palma.

Even though that we operate under visual flight rules, we can request simulated instrument departure or arrival and simulate it under VMC. We briefed the procedures with my student and requested the simulation.

We did the Araco 4E departure followed by the NDB36 into La Palma airport as you can see on the image from Flightradar24. It was a very good practice. After we took off from La Palma again, we flew around the island and enjoyed some spectacular views of the landscape.

Enjoy some more images from the journey.

Tenerife during our early morning departure
Tenerife during our early morning departure from Tenerife South airport
Tenerife during our early morning departure
Tenerife during our early morning departure
Araco 4E departure
Araco 4E departure
Our flown track
Our flown track
NDB Approach into La Palma
NDB Approach into La Palma

Flying simulated NDB approach into La Palma
Flying simulated NDB approach into La Palma
Final RWY 36 with almost calm winds
Final RWY 36 with almost calm winds
Jet blast warning sign
Jet blast warning sign
Santa Cruz de La Palma
Santa Cruz de La Palma
Los Tilos, La Palma
Los Tilos, La Palma
Faro de Punta Cumplida
Imagine to live here...
Imagine to live here…
Volc谩n Tajogaite is still smoking... 馃寢
Volc谩n Tajogaite is still smoking… 馃寢
Aerial view of La Palma
Aerial view of La Palma

Today’s office views

September started with pretty good views; almost blue skies and good visibility.

Here comes one shot from today’s flight around La Gomera with Tenerife’s Teide in the background.

Quite impressive today, when 5 islands could have been seen: Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma, El Hierro and on our way back Gran Canaria as well.

By the way. This is the post number 100 on my blog :-D.

Safe flying!

La Gomera & Tenerife
La Gomera & Tenerife

Smile for the camera

Approximately a week ago I was “spotted” by a spotter while departing out of El Berriel. I saw him during the climb out, I only should have smiled a bit more…

Many thanks to Eusebio Ruiz G贸mez for this nice pictures!

Now I have some images to remind me at this day of flight.

SP-EVK takeoff El Berriel
SP-EVK takeoff from El Berriel. Credit Eusebio Ruiz G贸mez

SP-EVK takeoff from El Berriel. Credit Eusebio Ruiz G贸mez
SP-EVK takeoff from El Berriel. Credit Eusebio Ruiz G贸mez

El Volc谩n de Cumbre Vieja, La Palma

First time that I was able to fly over the volcano at La Palma after a long time. 馃寢

Even if the volcano is not active anymore, it still looks pretty hot.

Difficult to find the words to describe this鈥 馃檹馃徎馃檹馃徎馃榿

Something we really don鈥檛 see every day. Let’s hope it’ll sleep again for a long long time…

El Volc谩n de Cumbre Vieja, La Palma

Views that I am missing during hood flying

As I have already mentioned in my previous posts, I have started with a basic instrument traning. This means, that I am flying with no visual references.
I’m doing my course on the neigbour island Gran Canaria, and I’ve realized that after 6,5 hours in the air I haven’t seen anything from the island but the airport… 馃檪

Luckily I am recording my flights on a camera, so after each flight I can review how I flew, what can be improved and also see, what I could have seen if I would have been flying without the hood… 馃檪 I enjoy the training a lot and here is a short time lapsed video of one of my training flight with a Diamond DA20 Katana.

So these are the views that I am missing during hood flying:

What are your experiences with hood flying?

Fly safe!

 

Night VFR training

While some sleep, the others are messing with night landings… But why??? 馃檪

Actually it was a quite long day and somehow I was thinking it would be better to have a bed on board of the Piper… So I took my first coffee this year (yes, this year, as I don麓t drink coffee 馃檪 ) and we have started to go through all the preparations with my instructor.

Back to basics - flight preparations...

Back to basics – flight preparations…

Due to some bad weather at Tenerife North aiport (GCXO) we had to change our initial plan and we have decided to go to Lanzarote (GCRR). I was actually quite happy about the fact to land there for the first time in my life, but I was concerned as well, as this would be my first flight to this destination without having seen this airport during the day. Nevermind, the instructor is sitted next to me and he knows the airport (and we have Garmin430 and AirnavPro as well 馃檪

Checking all the lights during the outside check

Checking all the lights during the outside check

We have checked MET, TAF and NOTAMs and went down to the the apron. After the preflight check we were ready to go. I like to record my flights and to see them later, to learn from my own mistakes, but unfortunately I haven’t noticed until the way back that I left the lens cap on my Gopro… Grrrrr! My landing at Lanzarote was not the best one (we all love bounced landings!!! 馃檪 ), so I don麓t need to have this recorded :-).

We have departed as usual on Runway 03L and after departure we have turned right to the NE point. Under normal circumstances we should fly bellow 1.000 feet, but to be honest in the night I didn麓t like the idea, so we have requested to climb to FL 095 immediately after the departure. As there was no traffic, we were authorized by the ATC able to climb at our discretion. We had some nice tailwinds as well which gave us some nice groundspeeds of around 117kts… Lucky!!! 馃檪

I mix this course a bit with my basic instrument flight module, therefore my departure was not visual and I was practically flying until reaching our cruising altitude without looking outside the window… At this altitude I have discovered, that even between the islands over the Atlantic Ocean, there are some visual references, which can help to guide me to the destination.

The view from up there is simply beautiful, and I am starting to love the flying at night!

Getting closer to our destination, we have started our descent at 500ft/minute, which made us even faster. Reaching Sierra point at Lanzarote should be at 1.000 feet, but I didn’t like the idea to fly so low over the sea without having some good references nor to have the runway in sight. Therefore we have requested to proceed to the long final, which was authorized by the ATC prior holding over Sierra point at 3.000 feet. This was great, and I used the opportunity to open the window and make some pictures of Playa Blanca at night. The traffic in front of us showed me as well where the airport was, another great help at night! 馃檪

Playa Blanca at night

Playa Blanca at night

If I wouldn’t have forgotten to take off the lens cap, I would have some nice pictures of the runway at Lanzarote as well, but unfortunately I only have this one made by my phone:

Final RWY 03 at Lanzarote

Final RWY 03 at Lanzarote

The approach was very good, but it is still difficult for me to guess the right height of the plane above the runway to start the flare; nevermind, I麓ll find it out! After the touch and go we have returned back to Gran Canaria at 6,500 feet to avoid the wind which we had on the way to our destination.

Arriving at our destination I have requested to proceed to long final again, to not to fly at 1.000 feet above the sea. The ATC was nice and maintained our altirude of 5.000 feet until the LPC VOR, where we should hold until cleared of traffic. We were holding there for 4-5 minutes, in the meantime they were vectoring some 737麓s bellow us to the airport. Awesome to be hanging over them in the air! 馃檪

I have no idea about IFR holding patterns, so we did it together with my instructor. Basically, he was telling how to fly and I had no idea what I was doing… But聽anyway,聽it looks nice on the map:

Holding over LPC VOR

Holding over LPC VOR

I always like to practice something new. After a couple of minutes we were cleared to land on RWY 03L, the wind was 030/14kts, so very good flying conditions at the end.

Final RWY 03L at GCLP

Final RWY 03L at GCLP

And finaly you can see the only video recorded that night; landing at Gran Canaria麓s El Gando airport. Safe flights!

Night VFR experience

In addition to my basic instrument flying module I have decided to add a night VFR rating. Basically it is complicated to fly night vfr in Spain, you need to request some 10-14 days in advance a permission, which has to be granted and than you are allowed to fly during the night. So basically even if you have the rating, you are not allowed to land after sundown, only if you have a special permission by the authorities… Spain is simply different. Even our first training flight had to be cancelled because the ATC told us that the permission issued by the authorities was not complete… So the FI had one week to clear all the necessary paperwork and it seemed our permission was ok, only there was some misunderstanding… Finally we got to the plane, which was after a regular check, so everything was in perfect state, except the landing light seemed to not be working… It seemed we had to cancel our flight again. But luckily we had the maintenance guy with us, so he was able to fix the problem and we were ready to go.

Getting our landing light fixed

Getting our landing light fixed

The taxiing was quite easy, there was sufficient light outside.

Taxi via Juliet to the holding point of the RWY 03L

Taxi via Juliet to the holding point of the RWY 03L

In the cockpit there was of course less light than during the day, so this was already the first difference. Engine run-up, all the checks following the checklist we were cleared to line up and wait on the runway 03L.

Line up and wait 03L, Canavia 71

Line up and wait 03L, Canavia 71

The things started to get more serious, haha. The big question was: how is going to be once in the air? The clearance for takeoff came from the tower, so the answer on my question was not far away… Full throttle, paramaters in green, speed alive, rotate into the night. Looking more inside on the instruments than outside; for correct speed, climb, altitude… 500 feet, flap 0, fuel pump off, landing light off and following right turn into the dark. Strange thing is, you don’t realize how deep the darkness bellow the plane is… On the top of that, we had to hold over the bay during the first circuit, so I had to watch the instruments to make a couple of 360 degree turns without seeing any light. I thought always, that from the circuit the runway light could be seen, but they are not! The first 2 circuits were a bit more complicated, but after that I started to get to used to it… When turning on base, lights of some villages could be seen which was really a nice feeling to get again some visual references…

Final Rwy 03L

Final Rwy 03L (night VFR)

There was a wind from the north between 20-25 knots, which gave us 11 knots crosswind component during the approach and the landing on the RWY 03L. It complicates the practicing of the landings in the night a little bit. Or better said quite complicated… I was hoping to have winds calm as it should be in the night, but it was not the case this time :-). There was also a turbulence bellow 300 feet on final so it was tough work to keep the plane leveled. Crosschecking the instruments, ILS, speed, horizon getting safe on the ground. Hovewer the landings were not so great as I would have expected. Still have 3,5 hours to fly, and I already look forward to it! Finaly I made 12 landings (without counting the bounced ones, lol), and made these with the plane this beautiful drawings on the screen of my ipad:

Today鈥檚 flight鈥

Today鈥檚 flight鈥 馃檪

 

After my first successful night flight

After my first successful night flight

 

Safe landings!

Inflight Entertainment

Yesterday聽I have absolved the second mission of my basic instrument flying module (BIFM).

Holding short of RWY 03L while Jetair's 737 is landing

Holding short of RWY 03L while Jetair’s 737 is landing

I am already starting to feel the difference between the first and second flight. I know what to expect from the plane which I wasn’t flying for almost 6 years and start to get more familiar with the airport as well. On the first time it was a combination of too many new things, which made it a bit more complicated. The manouvers helped me to learn to look inside the cockpit when flying into the clouds.

I feel I did some improvements since the first flight. It is easier to watch more than one instrument on time, to maintain a certain heading (however sometimes the plane still goes its own way, but we are working on it…), and to get orientated in the space without any visual references.

In the first mission I麓ve basicaly stopped thinking about the Murphy’s law, that there is always a mountain hidden behind the cloud. I started to concentrate more on the instruments inside the cabin, without looking outside. Don’t want to get to confident, but I am simply feeling safer.聽

Today we have practiced some new manouvers; and the weather was just as perfect as during my first session! Clounds, clouds, clouds… Shortly after take off, my instructor covered the windshield, to not to get disctracted by looking outside.

My "inflight entertainment"

My “inflight entertainment” 馃檪

I would say, actually I can麓t believe that I am paying for having these kind of views from the plane, haha. I always wanted to fly to enjoy the views of the countryside and now I see this (lol). A good pilot is always learning, so it is definitely worth it! So this is my inflight entertainment, to look on a piece of a chart and a binder 馃檪

Finaly we took the cover聽off from the windshield and we have continued the flight in real IMC conditions looking on the instruments inside the plane. It was “real”, as it should be. You can’t ask more than this, to have real IMC conditions on a place, where the sun is shinig more than 360 days a year…

Perfect IMC conditions

Perfect IMC conditions

Actually the whole week I was hoping to have this kind of weather; with clouds and poor visibility (on normal occassions when I fly I pray for CAVOK and good VFR weather).

In todays missions we have practiced descent and climb at 500ft/minute maintaining certain heading and speed and rate of descent/climb. It requires quite a lot of work and concentration. But once you discover how to do it right, it goes easier.

The important thing is to get used to scan/crosscheck all instruments at once and keep an eye on every instrument simultanously. Try to not to focus (stare) on one instrument only, otherwise the plane starts to go its own way.

We have made coordinated turns as well: take your current speed, divide it by 10 and add 7 degrees. This formula will give you the angle of bank to be maintained during the standard turn.聽

After today麓s flight I was not exhausted like during my first mission, but there is still a lot of work to be done.聽
Actually somehow it makes fun. I know, that I am improving my skills and doing something for the safety of the flight.
The only strange thing is, that I haven麓t seen anything at all during this 105 minute flight, as I was not able (allowed) to look outside. 馃檪

I麓ll have to work more on the interceptations of the radiala and I look forward to the next mission.聽

Turning on final RWY 03L

Turning on final RWY 03L

On final RWY 03L at Al Gando airport

On final RWY 03L at Al Gando airport

Today's route

Today’s route

I like quite a lot the debriefing. TO hear what went good, what went wrong, I can ask any doubt I have to a person who knows how it works. It is good to go back to the basics and refresh the knowledges.

A good thing is also to take notes from the debriefing; or record the flight. When you watch it at home, you detect things you could have done different way, and improve your skills before your next flight.

On the image of my today’s flight I can see that I haven’t applied correctly the wind correction when flying a certain radial, now I clearly see that I have to have it on my mind next time.

I would really recommend this course to every PPL pilot, actually it should be a part of the basic PPL training. I am quite sure it makes me a safer pilot. I would even love to make the whole IFR training, who knows, maybe in the future?

Safe landings!