A long night of heavy rain made for an incredibly foggy morning. I was scheduled for an 8 am flight. I showed up and knew when I arrived that visibility was a problem and that we wouldn’t be flying today. Instead of it being a wasted day, Robert used this time for some more in-depth ground training.
As part of soloing, I have to pass a written test and he wanted to go over the specifics of the Piper Cherokee with me. He went over important information about the plane, like the wings hold 25 gallons of fuel on each side and 1 gallon is considered unusable. The best glide speed for the Cherokee is 85 mph. Its weight capacity is 2150 pounds. He also went over special requirements set up by the airport to try to ensure safety while operating at the airport or in one of their aircrafts.
The are numerous airspeeds that you have to know for each plane and they are specific to make and model. I’m amazed at all of the acronyms, abbreviations and information that you are required to memorize for your ground training. What did I get myself into it? I guess it’s a good thing I have a military background because they live for acronyms too.
Here is a list of ‘V’ speeds that are required to be known about the plane you are flying. V stands for velocity and they refer to your airspeed.
V so – Stall speed in landing configuration
V s1 – Stall speed with the airplane ‘clean’
V r – Rotation speed
V x – Best angle of climb speed
V y – Best rate of climb
V fe – Max flap extended speed
V a – Maneuvering speed
V no – Max structural cruise speed
V ne – Never exceed speed
This is not all of the V’s but it gives you just a glimpse of what you can expect and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of acronyms that flood ever part of flying. I think I might do a whole post just about them at some point.
We listened to a weather briefing. Wow, they are certainly long winded! I’d say that you get more than you could ever possibly want to know about the weather where you’re at and where you’re headed. I thought they’d never take a breather. I’m not sure I was really listening after the first few minutes but I was able to determine that it was not a good day to fly from what was said on the call. I’m sure as we begin to cover the weather section in Ground School that it will mean more to me but right now, I’m not too sure what all the information was that was given to us.
Robert also showed me how to access Duats. It is a weather service accessible for pilots to use on-line. He navigated it for the information we wanted to look at for our area.
Although I didn’t fly today; I learned some important information about the aircraft I’m training in and how to review the weather for where I’m flying. It was still a good day and very informative.