seaplane training: day 2

It took me a little while longer than I thought to get the motivation to write this.

The day after my first post, I went back to finish the course. Another 2 hours of dual with an instructor, and I was signed up for the checkride. I nervously studied over the ground school course hand out. Even though this simple add-on was going to be very straight forward, us pilots are scared of two things: wings leaving the airframe, and check airmen.

I chuckled to myself, as to being nervous over such a timid checkride. After a few internal pep talks, I was fine. We headed out to the plane, and got set to go. I climbed in, and the check airman pushed us off the shore.

First off, we sailed. Using control surfaces you can actually sail the seaplane in a certain direction. We then started up the airplane. This involves grabbing ahold of the prop, and yanking it to start. He climbed in, and we were off. Started off with some idle power taxi techniques. We then did a step taxi, and step turn. Right after that we were off in the air, and headed for another lake.

As I leveled off at flight level 500 feet, I brought the power back to cruise power. He grabbed the throttle and yanked it to idle, "Engine failure, where we going". Looking around, I stumbled for a second. This lake, or that one. "Where we going?!" I pushed the nose over, and banked to the obvious choice. "That was the only logical choice, took you long enough". Great way to start it, I thought. No worries, the landing was beautiful.

We set up for docking. This would be the first time I actually tried this maneuver with a dock. Before we just 'imagined' a dock, and practiced lining up with it. Good thing I'm an amazing pilot, because I had no trouble. (sarcasm)

After this we did some plow taxi, and turns, and then a crosswind take off. We came back and did a rough water landing. Glassy water take off, and glass water landing. Rough water take off, and headed back to the office.

In a quick .8 I had passed the checkride. After some short paperwork, I had a new certificate that now said 'Airplane single engine land and sea'.

seaplane training: day 1

Today I took the adventerous trip to Winter Haven Florida. About a two hour drive from Vero beach, Winter Haven is located in central Florida. Located right next to the Winter Haven airfield, is Jack Brown's Seaplane Base. Here they operate a small seaplane flight school. The claim to have trained the most seaplane pilots in the world.

Leaving early this morning, we arrived around 8:30 am. After filling out some paperwork, we started with some ground instruction. They provided us with a packet of general information about the airplane, and seaplane operations. After about an hour discussion, we headed out to the aircraft.

We were given a guided walk-around of the airplane. What to look for in pre flight inspections, and more information about the plane itself. Once we completed the pre flight inspections, we were ready to hit the skies.

We climbed in, and started to taxi out onto the middle of the lake. After getting the basics of taxi, and the different methods used, we lined up for take off. Take is fairly straightforward in the Cub. Full aft stick, untill you get up on the floats. You release a little of the pressure, but hold most, untill the plane climbs off the water. You don't really 'rotate', as much as, you let the plane fly by itself.

Once we got up to altitude, we started with some basic Private pilot maneuvers. Steep turns and stalls was all we attemted today. We then started in with some touch and goes.

Landing the seaplane is fairly simple. There aren't a lot of checklists to worry about, or power settings that are complicated. Everything about this airplane is very simple. The plane flies extrememly well, but requires a lot of attention to wind correction. Due to it being extremely light, it is affected heavily by wind.

It was fun to fly around low all day, and land on some different lakes.

Tomorrow we return again, early in the morning. Tomorrow we have another lesson to finish up on some more items. Then if all is well, we have the checkride. We're hoping the weather stays nice enough for us to finish tomorrow. I should have more pictures from today, as well as from tomorrow.

Untill then…

the seminole

Today I logged the first multi-engine time in my logbook. A historic day, that will live in INFAMY! Or perhaps not…

Well it was a lot of fun. The whole flight went really well. The plane flies amazingly well, and for the most part, without my help. From the first take off, I knew I would love flying this plane. It's faster, smoother, easier to fly. Everything you could want from a light twin airplane.

We went up and did the basics again. Slow flight, steep turns, and power on and off stalls. Everything I did to standards, so I felt really good about that. There are some things to polish of course, but for the most part are pretty good.

The hardest part is yet to come. Engine inoperative operations. That is a whole mess of memory items, and checklists. Which haven't been going too great for me. I'm having a hard time memorizing some of the required memory items. With time I'm sure it will be no problem, but it's frustrating right now.

We did some touch and goes at Sebastian airport. That was fun. The plane is incredibly smooth, and my landings were damn near perfect! 🙂 It will take some time to get the finesse of the approach down, but landing is landing.

Now it's back to the simulator for a few more sessions to work on single engine operations. After two simulator sessions, it's back to the airplane to do it for real. This phase is short, so I should be plenty busy with all the memorization, and studying.

step three

It has begun.

I finished my single engine training last week, and I have started my multi-engine training. Today was the first lesson in what is called step three. This phase of training is focused on getting my multi-engine add on to my current private pilot license.

I have a few flight training lessons, before I begin my flying.

Progress is being made.

step two stage check

Well I have officially completed all of my flying for step two. This step was mostly time building, and solo cross countries.

In this step I did 13 cross countries, for a total of 40 hours XC time.
I flew a total of 72.4 hours in the Cherokee.
A total of 139 landings.

Which brings my total time to:
Single-engine land: 151.6
Landings: 355 day / 32 night
Night: 15
Simulated Instrument: 7.2
Cross Country: 43
Dual Received: 86.2
Pilot in Command: 82.2
Total Time: 151.6

It's been a long drawn out time. It felt like this phase would never end! However, in roughly three and a half months, I nearly doubled my total time, and built 40 hours of cross country time.

All in all, it's been a lot of fun. I tried very hard not to repeat any trips. I visited the same airport very rarely. It presented a great challenge to go to a different airport each time. For the most part, Florida is a great place to go flying! When the weather is on your side, you can go anywhere in this state.

What's next? Well I have a step two stage check now. This isn't a FAA check ride, just a FlightSafety progress check. They want to make sure I've used my time in this step wisely. They are looking for maneuver proficiency, and up to standards. After I finish that, I'm flying the Seminole! I will finally be flying the twin. I am super excited. The plane is faster, cooler, sweeter, faster.