Teaching Basic Flying
- Ready for the adrenaline
“Hands clear Sir,
Canopy close, canopy light Out, nav lights On.
Left clear, front clear, right clear, all around clear,
Signal to marshaller ready for start up.
Booster pumps ON,
Left hand on the clock, right hand on the starter, eyes on Ng,
Five percent ignition On, two five PSI thirteen percent PCL idle,
Check fuel flow rising, check ITT rising, check inside no fire outside no fire
Confirm with marshaller no fire,
Clock ITT Ng monitor,
ITT zooming up Ng passing fifty percent, starter off ignition off,
Booster pumps normal
Oil pressure above forty, oil temperature below ninety nine, battery on
Signal to marshaller for GPU disconnect, master caution reset.
September 5, 2005, I packed up my things and headed north. As I volunteered for a place at C130, the air force decided that they could utilized me better at the “Pusat Latihan Terbang 1- PULATIBANG 1” (No 1 Central Flying School). That’s it. I breached the unwritten rule in the air force – you don’t normally volunteer – you do what you are told to do. The assignment is to teach basic flying course on Pilatus PC-7. I ended up going back to the school where I graduated in 1992. It took me about 3 months to make the adjustments, to realign my thinking about flying and for my aging body to re-accustomize to the rigours of air force’s basic flying. Yes, it took me 3 months to feel comfortable flying with bonedome (helmet) and oxygen mask all the times coupled with the cramp and tight cockpit. At the age of forty everything is slow. Once feeling comfortable with it, you get addicted - if you can forget that now you are flying with only one engine.
On one typical sortie you fly the four circuits after airborne – normal, flapless, glide and low level with EFATO in between. Then you leave the circuit for the training area doing your steep turns – 600 angle of bank, max rate turn 80 – 700 angle of bank(about 4-G turn – sometimes student pulls to 6-G), clean stall, base stall and final stall. Then its time for aerobatics – starts with the basic ones – a loop, barrel roll to the left and then to the right, stall turn, slow rolls and roll on the top. Advance aerobatics such as lazy 8, Cuban 8, vertical 8, noddy stall turn, prince of wales, vertical roll, clover leaf, fish tail and portius loop fill the gap in your sequence.
To reposition your aircraft at a selected line features you do the wing overs (pitch-up until your feets at the horizon and then overbank) or Derry turns. Then you climb to 10,000 feet for spins. Incipient spin (Auto-rotation) to the right and fully develop spin to the left.
You recover around 6000 feet followed by engine failure. There you glide down at 105 knots assessing the nature of the failure, doing rapid relight if possible followed by starter assisted relight. Failing for a relight you feather the engine and looking for a suitable landing area doing your high keys and low keys. You will overshoot at 500 feet or 300 feet – depending weather you are a student or an instructor. After that you fly at 500 feet agl doing your low level air works – steep turns, bad weather configuration, emergency pull-up and EFALL – engine failure at low level. Once completed you will return to base. That’s took around 1.5 hours.
I joy-ride with an instructor on my first flight. He did only three quarter of that profile. It left me in a ‘coma’ for about one hour after the flight. Yes, after flying straight and level for about 10 years, this “uncivilized” flying really gets you in bad taste. Well, you need to fly and you need to do your job well. Better get ‘on-speed’ since you might face that type of flying two or three times a day every day once the students are assigned to you.
Apart from that you also need to be proficient on instrument flying – full panel and limited panels – airfield and runway approaches – coordination manoeuvres and Unusual positions. Then its time for navigation sorties – low level, medium level and airways. Then its time for night flying. Close formation coming next followed by tactical formation and tactical navigation. You need to enjoy your work; otherwise you will find yourself counting days at the school. That didn’t cater for the spurious high blood pressure that you will encounter now and then when the student make unexpected moves in the air.