Sunday, February 24, 2008

A lot has happened....

Wow, its been almost a year since I've updated the blog. A lot has happened during the last year. I got married last June to a wonderful person called Shreya (that should explain the lack of blogs :) ). I bought a GPS, then a car to put that GPS in .. hehe.. and finally took the next step towards my aviation dreams, i.e. started on my instrument rating! That's quite a handful...

So last June, I got married and Shreya and I honeymooned in Mauritius. It's a beautiful island paradise just east of Africa. Mauritius is one place where I would def. love to fly, but I don't think its as easy to rent a plane and fly out there :(. Anyway, after returning back to the U.S. I went for some practice flights (2 months is a loooong gap) and then once confident took Shreya up for a introductory flight. While she has flown on commercial airlines quite a lot, this was her first single engine experience. She's a brave little soldier (she's got motion sickness, but still she agreed to come along to share my passion). It wasn't the calmest of days (I should have chosen a better day) and so she was quite queasy and threw up. Thankfully we were carrying air sick bags.

We did a couple more flights over the next couple of months and things slowly turned out for better. I don't know if it was the ginger or slow acquaintance with the pleasure of flight, but she did better on each flight. Finally last month we did a flight where she enjoyed the flight without feeling queasy. A great achievement for both of us!

So far I haven't been able to accumulate any cross country time after my check ride (what a shame!), but I am sure I'll get to it. This leads me to my instrument rating. Every time Shreya and I planned a cross country, the weather went bad. More often than not, it was the low ceilings. Since I wasn't getting much airtime, what better way to put myself on a schedule than to enroll in the instrument course. (For those of you curious, I am doing the part 141 course since I don't have the pre-requisite cross country hours for part 61). So after a couple of ground lessons and hitting the books for a couple of months, last week I finally cleared my FAA instrument written (93%). Boy, was I surprised? I hadn't studied that much, but then the instrument written is a lot like the private albeit a lot more regulation and chart details.

With the instrument written out of the way, I am now up for the simulator. Today was the first day of my Sim training. I chose the AST-300 as my FTD. It's a nice little device, and a good procedure trainer, but the feel isn't even close to the real thing :)

The lesson went alright and for most of the time I was able to do the maneuvers (straight and level, level turns, climbs, descents and stalls) within the tolerances. My instructor, a pretty strict guy, was pretty happy. So far, so good. Its amazing to see how soon the simulated aircraft starts drifting if you don't have it properly trimmed and your attention gets diverted. Surely, I'll have to do a much better job on the trim and oh yea also on those headings. Is there an easier way to tame headings?

Well, next lesson gets more spicy with partial panel and all. I can't wait to get done with the Sim and enter actual IMC.. Oh mysterious clouds, here I come, well after all the stage checks and check rides are done ! :)


Prabhakar Karve said...

Good to see you back on the blog:)
As always, you make it sound so real life, one feels he is present there with you. Keep it up!!!
I think after a few more blog posts, you would be ready to write a bestseller.

Dilip said...

Wonderful blog! It looks as if his writing is as smooth as his take offs & landings!
One feels like doing all that stuff and go for solo flying. I know it is not a possible reality,but then, I am sure,one day I will fly with him and enjoy flying.
For a while back to my flight simulator X and solo fights...