So we are back from Mauritius. What a great 14 days. It was a bit hard to get on any wifi so the blog has not been updated frequently as promished but here are some pictures for you to enjoy.
Third day at Mauritius. We have been keit surfing the last two days but today there is zero wind, so we are going to explorer the island a bit.
Mauritius is wonderfull, a very warm mix of indian and african people, beautifull nature and nice beaches with white sand, coralriefs and crowdes of little fish at the rief. The local bier is the phoenix and its not too bad either.
Monday we are going on a shark dive with Ruvan and a dive instructor – exiting.
Tonight we have a bbq planed at the kite place together our german instructor Ninja. Strange name for a girl, but hey my name means different in german so…
After a looooooooooong week, it was Friday night and time to hit the town. We met up with six other Danish guys al enrolled at Naples Air Center for the CPL (Commercial Pilot) and went out for dinner at the cheese café factory – how American, but actually pretty good pasta!
Saturday and time for my birthday present from Rune – an all day boat trip down the canals! We rented a cool 18 foot deckboat with a 90 HP engine. It was a beautiful day and, as you might not know, Naples is made up of a lot of canals, most of them with huge private villas. It’s amazing how much money there is in property, boats and jets! Actually now is the low season so most of the houses are empty, the owners are at their other homes, like there penthouse in NY, there beach home at Malibu or there ski cottage at Aspen. But when they return to Naples in November to March the town gets busy, and actually the airport is so stuffed with private jets, that the closes down one of the runways just to park them all. J
Well back to our Saturday sailing trip. We had the boat all day, and went down to Marco Island through the canals. Naturally we had lunch at the Snooze In – the same restaurant we stopped by at the last time, but this time we arrived by the sea. After a great day at sea we went to the beach to cool down, and now we are back at the hotel, watching some Myth Busters and relaxing!
Next week we are probably going solo – alone in the airplane – exiting! And the next exam will be Metrology – a hard subject!
Today was my third day of flying and my sixth and seventh flight lesson. At the first flight this morning we practiced a lot of turns. I was giving a heading, and while maintaining height and speed I turned to and level out at the specific heading. No problems there and quite a smooth ride. At my second flight a we should practice STALL and side slip. Most of you have probably heard about an airplane stalling due to slow flight or too high an angle of attack (the angle of the wings compaired to the oncoming airflow). It is nothing to be alarmed about, but very important to practice – especially recovery of the stall. The side slip used to be the standard procedure of loosing height – for instance before landing when too high – before the invention of the flaps around the Second World War. It is simply a way of flying the airplane where you bank without turning, thus exposing a lot of the airframe to the wind, resulting in a lot of drag (resistance) and by that loosing height. When recovering and climbing again we pulled some G’s, and when I expressed this to Marco, he said, OK you like G’s, then let’s try this! WHAT a rollercoaster ride! Down and up and around!
With this experience trying to settle in my stomach, we went on to the next exercises – Stall! We lowered the airspeed to stall speed and heard the stall indicator go off; felt the plane shook, and then did a recovery by pitching the nose down and apply full power. This we did a couple of times with and without power and flaps, again up and down, sometimes loosing 500 feet in a couple of seconds. What a rush!
I thought that this was all the lesson of the flight when Marco said; let’s simulate an engine failure, and try to “land” at some grass field. So power to idle, wings level, lowering the airspeed, doing a simulated check of engine recovery without success, securing the engine, simulating a distress call to the tower, all by still flying the airplane and keeping the selected field in sight and approaching it ready to touch down. And down we went with full flaps – 300 feet, 200 ft, 100 ft, we finally leveled out at about 50 feet (15 meters) above the ground, applied full power again and climbed to 1.000 feet. This we practiced three times before finally heading back to Naples.
Again I flew all the way back (I do fly most of the time), talked to the control tower reported us for inbound, and obtained our landing permit. When at final before touchdown usually Marco takes the control, but not this time, I landed the plane almost all by myself, it wasn’t the prettiest landing, but hey! Unlike the Dash-8 planes in DK our landing gear held J
In all a very tense good hour, with A LOT of information fighting to get the space in my brain!
The rest of the day I have been studying for the Air Law exam I intend to take tomorrow – it’s one of the tricky ones but I think I’m in the safe zone now. Will let you know tomorrow.
Keep happy, and stay tuned at my blog!
So much has happened since my last update almost a week ago. First of all we are now flying, and it’s really really great! I have had my first five flying lessons, logging a total of about four hours in the plane. Also we have both passed our first exam with excellent scores (90% and 95%), I got just one question wrong. It was the Human Performance exam and that is one of the more easy exams, so there was no sweat. Right now I’m studying for the Aviation Law, and that’s a tricky one. It’s almost all read and learn with no logic to link the correct answers to. I hope to go through the exam tomorrow, but I still feel very unsecure about it.
Flying is great and quite easy… Well once we are airborne and flying around two thousand feet in the air. Taking off, communication with the tower and especially landing is a lot more hard, so it’s nice to have an instructor next to you all the time – for now. The last couple of flights I handled the ground communication, and took off and climbed. The ground communication is something like this:
NAPLES TOWER THIS IS N953AC (November Niner Five Three Alpha Charlie) AT NAPLES AIR CENTER WITH INFORMATION GOLF READY FOR TAXI TO RUNWAY 32.
We are really lucky with our instructors. Rune got Nikki she has been a flight instructor for probably more than ten years, and I got Marco (Marco Polo as he is called) a very cool Italian guy, with lots of experience and great humor.
Well back to study – six more exams and 50 more flight hours to log.
As PPL we can fly in t-shirts and shorts. Marco my instructor (the guy with the loose tongue in the back) needs to be in pilot uniform.
We both had the weekend off, so we decided to explore the Naples surroundings in our rented Dodge Caliber. Saturday we went north To Forth Meyers and today we went south to Marco Island. They have the most amazing canal system at Marco Island. A 2 by 2 mile area is all canals with houses right out to the water front, private beach or boat house.
Take a look at this amazing video I shot today at the NAC. We had just arrived and signed in, got our finger prints taken, and was ready to leave for the day, when the weather turned a bit bad. It first started raining, and the wind picked up a bit, not uncommon for the area and time of year. Then suddenly all hell broke loss! The wind turned from windy to hurricane like forces, and the hangars next to the NAC acted like a wind tunnel further increasing the wind.
I think the video speaks for itself, the large object you see flying by is a 5 by 6 meter hangar door with a solid steel frame probably weighing a couple of tons!
Let me say right away. This is VERY VERY rare, and as someone who has been at the airport for thirteen years said; I have experienced two tropical hurricanes passing, and never seen weather and destruction as bad as this. No people were harmed in the area, and the planes that were in the air had no problem, they could see the buildup and stayed clear of the very local thunderstorm.
Fortunately for us the two planes from NAC that toppled, was both C-152 and we are going to fly the C-172 planes, the third plane was from another school. So don’t worry folks, this does look bad, but is not as serious as it looks for our security and future plans. Better to have seen and experienced it safely, than to encounter it unprepared.
I’ll keep you updated on our progress. And now to the video you have been looking for. 🙂
Check out the pictures at my Flickr account. http://www.flickr.com/photos/13703645@N03/
Wow it’s hot over here! In the 90’s, or about 35 C. Too warm for long hair, so thanks to my new Philips Hair trimmer, I’m now a bit lighter headed. Thanks to Thomas and hjem.dk for the excellent hair trimmer.