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.
Sometimes I have the impression that if I am doing only cross country flights, navigate and do one landing, I am a little loosing the practice of stall recovery, emergency procedures, side slips, short traffic pattern landings, etc… Flying for a hour or two above the sea is sometimes boring, it is mucho more fun to make approaches, take offs, or landings…
So on my last flight last week with Piper P-28A Cherokee Archer ii (reg. EC-JMT), I have decided to practice stalls, touch and goes and some other manouvers and to have fun. The weather was perfect, wind calm and it was a very nice experience. And I feel safer again. I have made a lot of stalls, recovery with or without engine, steep turns and also a zero gravity flight.
One of the landings I wanted to practice was with short traffic pattern, and actually I was lucky, because after take-off there was some traffic that should be departing in the next moments, so I have been cleared for touch and go with short pattern. Descending to the field without flap I have passed a centerline a bit, but finally I have lined up with the runway centerline and touched down. This is the result:
After this take off the ATC has notified 3 planes arriving, so I have proceeded to the visual point November for manouvers. After some manouvers I came back to the airport for more touch and goes. In total I have made 5. My second landing was just a normal approach on the glideslope with 1 point flap.
The third one was planed with side slip. So I have stayed simply to hight on the downwind when turning on base and on final. Side slip consists of crossing the controls, yoke into the wing and the opposite rudder; this causes you drop faster without accelerating the plane. It is not my favourite manouver, since you approach the runway from the side, like with heavy crosswinds. The altimeter was showing a rate of descent of 1.000 feet/minute. Not bad 🙂 Here is the video:
The 4th touch and go was with full flap; I have decided to stay to high again in the pattern, and have performed a full flap landing. You can see it in the video, that I was to high. But with 3.400 meter long runway, there is enough of space to practice 🙂 This is the result:
Of course, normally nobody does this kind of landings with passengers 🙂 Safe landings!