[jhb_airlines] Last Night

  • From: Gerry Winskill <gwinsk@xxxxxxx>
  • To: "jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 08:20:09 +0000

Thanks to the controllers who turned out, figuratively, last night. I enjoyed the session, though feeling guilty that I could fit in but the one sector.

Apart from Frank's deaf aid acting up it went without problems; if I exclude what I shall laughingly refer to as my landing!

A few days ago SWMBO's friend and her husband looked in, to seek advice on a spec for a simple internet PC. To my horror SWMBO suggested they look at my setup. I apologised in advance, before letting them into Mission Control Centre, explaining that a simple setup wouldn't look like that. When I explained what the kit was for, the husband showed some interest, saying that when they were living in .....the place where diamonds are mined, he used to be flown about in a Heron. Better still, that the pilot used to let him take the controls. Showing unusual keenness in my hobby, SWMBO suggested I fire it up and show him. To get, eventually, to the point, I was asked whether I ever crash. In honesty I had to say I can't remember the last time it happened.

For anyone of a similarly complacent turn of mind I can recommend the EMB170! When first I used it in a session, Frank commented that I'd come in a bit fast. I had; about 150kias at touchdown. With full flap, no throttle and both legs out, that was as slow as it would go, at touchdown. Off line I tried finals with the spoilers out. On autothrottle that was much better and manual OK too. Since the spoilers are just that, and not airbrakes, unlike those on the BAe146, it didn't seem acceptable to do this, so I increase flap drag to try to avoid using the spoilers.

On finals to Aberdeen, last night, it was clear I hadn't increased drag enough. Since it didn't seem reasonable to get John to wait until I'd redesigned the aircraft, I threw out the spoilers. That slowed me down enough and, with 4 miles to go, I switched off autopilot. I was a bit below the glidepath at the time and now have a whole new feeling for "getting behind the drag curve", or whatever. The speed was dropping, as was the aircraft. Increasing the power did nothing for the speed and without the speed I was still going in the general direction of down, at a higher rate than seemed acceptable; to one of a nervous disposition. Worse, although I could get the speed up if I put the nose down, there wasn't enough room between me and the hard bits. When I "arrived" on the runway, it wasn't for long. There was a bang, then a couple of views I hadn't seen before, then I was stationary, on the taxiway. To avoid being thrown out of sessions by passing vehicles, I had the crash detect switched off.

I know I should have got rid of the spoilers earlier, as soon as I realised what the problem was. To be fair, the nature of the problem hit me a couple of seconds before the ground did.

Gerry Winskill

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