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  #11  
Old 05-30-2014, 02:20 PM
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Location: Cedar Park, TX
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Within spittin' distance now! Looks like the weather is cooperating. Welcome to summertime in the South. ... Ooh, yeah, avoid that cell... "Ring a ling, Little Rock Approach. Make a hole, coming through."
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RV-9A N4822C flying 1900+hrs. / Cedar Park, TX
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Last edited by scard : 05-30-2014 at 02:22 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2014, 02:41 PM
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Woo, hoo, on the ground. Even got an APRS track hit right at touchdown and another during taxi. I'm exhausted, and I haven't even been out of my chair all day. Many thanks to the AR dept of Emergency Mgt at Camp Robinson for the excellent APRS coverage on the ground.

This is why I go nuts over maintenance on that airplane.

Nothing left to see here, mission objectives have been achieved. Getting home is for Sunday. I can just imagine Bill S. standing there waiting for his payment for use of his hangar for the weekend.

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RV-9A N4822C flying 1900+hrs. / Cedar Park, TX
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RV8 Building - fuselage / showplanes canopy (Done!)

Last edited by scard : 05-30-2014 at 03:01 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2014, 03:30 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Nicely done!

Yep, I can't imagine what it would be like to be sitting at a desk and watching your spouse juke and jive around/over/under that weather. It made me nervous.....

Hope the return will be less exhausting.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 05-30-2014 at 03:33 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-30-2014, 08:29 PM
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The debrief from the field is that it was a pretty easy flight. We've done plenty of challenging weather, the non-cold type! Blowing snow, "freezing fog" (WTF), mountain obscuration, yeah, NO!

Our cockpit is like a military operation where everybody knows their part depending on who is PIC and it is naturally practiced day in and day out. Operations happen without any conversation or question. We can almost command the movement to another phase of flight and next steps with nothing more than body language. I can only imagine the value of such thing in combat, if only you could train two people in the same cockpit for 15yrs! I think I understand a tiny piece of that dynamic. Frequencies change, metars within reach are evaluated to form plan A, B, and C... Like radar intensities, the cockpit is sterilized above work level X. It just happens perfectly and is normal. The capability is tremendous compared to what any one person can possibly do.

In a XC formation flight, of course I have the weather ahead before anybody else. Of course I have the info for the immediate "nearest" all along the route, etc. Only because we're equipped like few others, with a fully functional instrument panel AND two fully engaged pilots. This our natural state. We don't listen to music, we fly the airplane to the best of our crew's ability. The airplane really feels funny when the other pilot isn't manning their station on a XC flight. This doesn't mean that we're any less capable, but I think just more aware of the intrinsic limitations of single pilot "complex" flight. Every multi-thousand hour pilot can and does get task saturated. It is a fact, and we often test it to failure, in safe conditions. (read that again, mantra, safely test to failure often.) This hopefully allows us to back off of what we know is possible and have done many times with two pilots, to more conservative expectations when we are solo. That is what happened today with one pilot and Mom aboard and why the "easy" report.

Support your fellow XC pilot. My full day watching the weather and really understanding it's movement through each build, dump, die cycle is immensely useful. That is extremely hard to do in the air when you have to fly the airplane, don't fly into an intensity #4 cell, keep your passengers happy, and all the other stuff. Your pilot lands at the next stop, she calls "Safe", you give the 45sec synopsis of what you're looking at and what you're thinking, then hang up the phone so that ground ops can be accomplished.

Other concept: When things start getting interesting or challenging, XC flight gets much longer. Break it up into much shorter segments. The objective becomes, make it to the next safe airport or back from whence you came and of course be prepared to be happy on the ground as opposed to unhappy in the air. At her first stop, all indications were that we needed a 45min - 1hr delay to proceed. "Don't even bother looking at it, go get an early lunch with mom and come back to the airport later. It could be a long day." When she got back, it was definitely time to launch. That was an IFR leg into the vicinity of convection. She cancelled early and went under. Eyeballs out the window are better than any technology available to GA in that circumstance (experience/wisdom talking). Later in TXK, still sitting in the cockpit on the ground, "No hurry, there is yucky stuff in your way. Go get fuel and make sure Mom is happy and check back in about 25min."

Upon the return call, "Time to go, now. Here is your heading for 12min. You'll come upon a cell, just go north of it, then turn east for X miles, then direct. Your outs are A (to the north), B (to the south), and I guarantee that one of them will be clear by the time you get there." Like any good pilot, after we got off the phone, she paused another 4min to validate and understand what I was saying. It is that kind of guidance, not just in what is out there, but full analysis and a suggested plan and why it makes sense, that is so useful to flight Lead when out in the world. I've been the recipient of such high quality analysis many times when "out there" when she was manning my position today and understand her gratitude for the analysis in the field.

There are a lot of RV drivers out there that are yet to experience the full utility of the machine and/or the usefulness of truly strapping it on and being the master of the machine. Such a thing is only possible through the burning of avgas. Lots of it! Never wish that the weather would do something different. Wishing is futile, but a plan isn't. Go! That means, step one, go to the airport. Step two, can you make it to the next intended place of landing... That is what happened this morning. Tanya said, "Ok, I'm going to the airport... Chances are a little low of making it the whole way, but I'm willing to not make it and be someplace other than planned."

In the eastern US, there are airports every 10min. Yes, the weather can be a bit challenging sometimes but the places to put down almost make it trivial. The western US is definitely different (what I'm more used to). In the west, the "outs" can become hundreds of miles apart and weather reporting can be nearly useless due to the lack of station density.

Fly high quality formation often to be the master of the machine. Fly to distant (thousands of miles) locations a few times per year to build the experiences of how to safely get from A to B, and get an instrument rating of course!

...Says the pilot still sitting at home dealing with the old dog (Watson / Beagle / only child) looking out the front window very upset that MOM didn't come home today. Nuttin' but RV8 shop time for me this weekend.
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RV-9A N4822C flying 1900+hrs. / Cedar Park, TX
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2014, 11:18 PM
BillSchlatterer BillSchlatterer is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Default All gone ...

Just saw that you were tracking as well. I had obvious ulterior moyives... You had your Cookie in the plane but she was toting Cookies in a bag as well .

Got 22C in the dry and she and her mom on the way. Thought I was alone and started in on the chocolate chips but a couple of MidSouth RV hounds jumped me and I had to share. It was an ugly fight and not a cookie survived.

All kidding aside, it was interesting watching from the office. It was nicely planned and executed with options all along the way. The weather is never too bad if you keep options open and never good enough if you don't.

Just remember when you get your ride in the air.... Two airplanes over night .... Two bags of cookies !

See ya at OSH or TTT before Petit Jean !
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2014, 07:11 AM
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Many thanks Bill.
For the fuel that we'll be burning in our 'light twin', I'm sure I could scare up a second bag of cookies . We'll see you sometime soon. Back to the shop I go. Working on empennage fiberglass.

Planning on launching for home around 11am IFR over the top should be easy for her today.
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RV-9A N4822C flying 1900+hrs. / Cedar Park, TX
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2014, 07:54 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, TX
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Default Safe at Home

And indeed it was an easy over-the-top trip home. Climbed through 4000 vertical of clouds, and beautiful on top. Lots of deviations going on for folks flying towards the area I had just left. Fortunately, my mom is bulletproof, allowing us to work the weather Friday and play in a few clouds that had climbed up through 8000 feet on my way home.

Sure appreciate the hospitality at KORK, and the rental fee for the hangar was right up my alley. Thanks Bill.
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