PT2 Complete, Single Engine Type-rating achieved

Today was my Progress Test 2.  It was originally scheduled for the 20th October, then moved to the 27th October with the Assistant Standards Manager.  However on the 27th October there were 30knt upper winds and it was gusting 25kts on the ground, there was no way that PT2 was going to happen.

So it was re-scheduled for the morning of the 29th October.  My examiner was to be Peter Griffiths, the Flying Standards Manager here at FTE and the ex-Standards Manager at RAF Valley for the fast-jet training on the Hawk.  He was also the person who examined my dreadful PT1, so I was hoping that I could redeem myself and he would not think I was a blithering idiot.

The flight had a navigation leg starting from the west and had us travelling up to the north west of Seville.  The plan then would be for him to give me a diversion, which turned out to be about 60miles away, before us proceeding to do some circuits at Seville.  The problem was that lots of people were doing their PT2 Profile flights which involves circuits at Seville and with it being a Saturday morning, all of the commercial flights were also coming into Seville as well.

The Navigation leg went perfectly fine, no being messed around by Seville Approach this time, and my diversion worked out perfectly as well.  We then moved to the general handling and instrument flying next, unfortunately the press-studs broke off the front screens when fitting them, so instead we had to wedge a coat on the screen as well as a sun-reflector to prevent me from seeing forwards in the aircraft, everything went perfectly well including the hateful steep turns; for some reason they are my achilles heal, even back when I first started flying with the RAF back in 1997 I was hopeless at them.

The screens then came down and I had to do a quick position fix using radial and dme navigation equipment, it turned out from a visual confirmation that we were about 6nm from the northern entry point into the Seville TMA, but still at 3000 feet.  This meant I frantically had to get the ATIS frequency, get the information, do the pre-descent checks, request a change to Seville Tower and then request a visual approach and 2 circuits.  It was a frantic couple of minutes and I tried desperately not to panic.

Next up were the circuits at Seville.  I hadn’t actually done that many circuits at Seville before and fortunately for me, I decided to let Google Earth be my friend and plotted out exactly where I should be turning to replicate the Jerez circuit.  This would take a lot of the ambiguity out of trying to position the aircraft from visual angle and distances, and instead I would know exactly what to aim for.  I was glad I had done this because it was a circuit pattern I had never used before at Seville so everything looked strange.  Additionally, the tower were giving me “wind calm” but actually I had a strong tailwind on the base-leg which made it really difficult to get the aircraft to lose height quickly enough.  If I hadn’t done the pre-work, this would have royally screwed me up.  So I did 2 circuits at Seville, a normal and a flapless.  However about 300ft before touchdown on the threshold I had to go-around due to a commercial aircraft about 90nm away and the Spanish don’t like any GA aircraft within some ridiculous radius.  The only thing I can think of is that there must have been some people come through FTE in the past who have really p*ssed the controllers off, if not then Spain must search for “natural talent” at being miserable and unhelpful in order to be an ideal candidate to be in ATC.

We then left Seville and moved back out south west of Seville for a Practice Forced Landing, this was one of the things I screwed up on PT1 last time, unbelievably it went perfectly, or so I thought…  Peter told me to go-around and climb to 1000ft “oh shit” I thought “he’s going to make me do it again”, but thankfully no, he decided that flying into the general handling area and then descending to 800ft was the quickest way back to Jerez.  So there I was, with my examiner, having some fun flying at 125kts at 800ft avoiding all the built-up areas.  We then climbed to 1000ft as we approached Jerez before joining the circuit.  The runway in use was 02, a runway that I had not used since about June and certainly not one that I had used from the west for the final approach required, a glide circuit.  Again, maybe google earth helped, but I got into position perfectly and closed the throttle allowing for the 8kt headwind that was building up.  The aircraft at one point looked like it wasn’t going to make it, but I just kept the flaps at zero and maintained 75kts (the optimum gliding speed), before crossing the threshold at about 50ft and lowering the drag flaps.  I then gently greased the aircraft onto the runway with 3 squeals from the tyres and exited the runway.

So that was it, in the debrief I was given tips for the Seneca more than anything else and some advice generally on how to make things easier for myself when flying.

Now I move onto the Seneca, so I have to trawl through all these books now and basically start from scratch again!

Oh, below is a picture of all the study material so far

toms books

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~ by globalste on October 29, 2011.

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