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About Aircraft Aviation

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  • Birthday December 10

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  1. Hi Joe, We certainly will see it completed one day. We have actually done a huge amount of work on it, but with quite literally nothing to show! All of our work over the past few months has consisted of re-wiring everything to sort this flickering input problem out. As such, there has been no new progress on the panel itself.
  2. Hmmm... Seems the images have come back to life without me having done anything!
  3. Hi Joe, Unfortunately I don't have A2A's Cherokee, if they were to bring out an Arrow version that'd be fantastic, it shouldn't be too hard to develop as it's pretty much the same airplane as the one in the review with a couple of extras! When/If they bring out an Arrow version, I will definitely buy (or review ) it!
  4. Hi Joe, 124 knots is correct for this aircraft, even then you'd be pushing to get that in the real world. The Arrow has a very similar engine (same model and rated horsepower but fuel injected) with the added bonus of a variable pitch propeller and retractable undercarriage and that cruises at 130 knots; so 124 for a fixed gear, fixed pitch prop Cherokee is very generous! But yes, "by the book" it's 124 kts, around 143 mph at 75% rated power. I assume this is what A2A have modelled it after like you say As an interesting side note, all of the Cherokee POHs were published at a time of enormously overestimated figures. This is part of the reason the CAA introduced the idea of the 1.33/1.43 distance safety factor (ie multiply all takeoff distances by 1.33 and all landing distances by 1.43), as pilots really struggled to meet the distances specified in the POH. In fact, it is a legal requirement in the UK to apply these safety factors for public transport flights! (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/20130121SSL07.pdf). One last thing, you wrote "At sea level, the take off roll with 1 notch of flap is around 800ft, you can take 10% off that distance using full flap and maximum effort". Usually takeoffs in the Cherokee are flapless on a long runway, and 25 degrees of flap (2 notches) is used for shortfield takeoffs. Using "1 notch" (10 degrees) for takeoff is usually an erroneous carryover by Cessna pilots as they are used to this (the Cherokee has the much less effective simple flap as opposed to the Fowler flap seen on most Cessnas and hence more is needed upon takeoff). Sorry to bore you, I do love flying the Arrow and have since become very passionate about the Pipers!!! Jack
  5. Cruise speed 142 KIAS! Where did you get those figures from Joe?
  6. Hopefully there will be some updates in the foreseeable future. We have had some significant problems with the cockpit regarding "flickering" inputs; there seems to be some sort of electrical interference causing SIOC to detect "ghost" inputs which have not actually been commanded. Until we can get this fixed there can be no further progress. Rest assured, we have been working on this problem since April! I am also in the progress of transferring all of my images over to Flickr instead of Photobucket, and so images will be unavailable for a short time.
  7. Joe, did you know it may actually work out slightly cheaper if you took a flying lesson every few months or so instead of a trial flight? Most places usually charge very slightly more for trial flights than lessons, and you may get more out of it if doing a structured lesson. The time can also be logged (in fact, so can your trial flight time) towards any licence (including the less-strenuous NPPL) should you ever change your mind.
  8. Thanks very much for your kind words Joe. What do you mean by "I flew in Inverness a few weeks ago with Brian", was this a trial flight or something? He is indeed a good passenger, I'll give him that . I let him start the Arrow's engine at Bembridge and he was immeasurably proud!
  9. Haircut is booked for next Tuesday Brian . Regarding Cosford, we have been plauged with problems with our overhead panel that we absolutely have to fix before we can do anything else. A shame, but these things happen!
  10. NOTE: This is a very(!) long post with a large number of images. Hello all, Last Wednesday I flew myself and my father down to Bembridge Airport on the Isle of Wight. We explored a fair bit of the Island and stayed overnight on Wednesday, before flying back late Thursday afternoon. This was my second flight to the Isle of Wight; I flew down there last summer in a C-150 Aerobat (G-PHUN) with my mother, however that was a much shorter visit and we returned the same day. Our aircraft for this journey would be a lovely Piper PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow, G-AVYT. I was recently checked out to fly this aircraft only a few weeks before; posessing retractable undercarriage and a variable pitch propeller, the Arrow is a "complex" aircraft requires differences training before one can fly it. I had originally planned to fly down in a C-172N (G-ROLY), but having flown the arrow, I knew which aircraft I'd prefer to take! Shown below are some photos of G-AVYT I took on the day I was checked out to fly it (a few weeks prior to our Bembridge flight): Cockpit shot: Flying the Arrow down to Bembridge had several advantages, the most significant of which was an increase in speed. Cruising at 130 KIAS, the Arrow almost managed to shave a good hour off the overall time that it would have taken in the 172; this increase in speed pretty much exactly offset the increased operational cost of the Arrow (£155/hr). However, given that the Arrow is faster, and heavier, it needs a fair bit of a longer takeoff roll that the C172, and as such, G-AVYT is based at Gamston Airport in Retford rather than my usual home airfield, Netherthorpe. As a side note, I have actually started to base most of my flying from Gamston. The first leg of our journey consisted of a flight from Gamston to Enstone airfield in Oxfordshire, which I usually use as a refuelling point en-route to Bembridge. The leg was flown under IFR at 4,000ft, routing outbound from the GAM VOR and via the EME NDB and DTY VOR. As the photographs below will soon show, most of the flight was conducted in IMC, making use of my newly-gained IR®, or restricted instrument rating, qualification. Adorned in high vis jackets, we proceeded to conduct the pre-flight inspection of G-AVYT. Final photo before Dad got into the aircraft (I apologise for the somewhat creepy posture!): With everything checked, and power and pre-takeoff checks complete, we lined up with Runway 21 at EGNE. Noise abatement procedures dictated that we had to backtrack to the very end of the runway before takeoff: Initial climbout, takeoff time was 1010 BST. Interestingly, since my father did not have his own headset, Gamston provided him with a Lightspeed Zulu headset which is actually better than mine!!! Upon reaching 4,000ft, we were just about on top of the clouds and the sunlight glare was quite overwhelming. Ray-bans were then adorned necessarily. Beautiful view above the clouds outside: Back in total IMC again: Not sure what he was trying to do with this photograph: Adjusting DME frequency. Around this time we had also entered East Midlands controlled airspace, after having been given clearance for an IFR transit at 4,000ft. Overhead the EME NDB (note ADF needle pointing behind), now tracking inbound towards the DTY VOR on the 357 radial: A beautiful view out the front, but still no sight of the ground: G-AVYT has a single-axis autopilot with heading hold, which makes tracking easier! A view of the throttle quadrant and engine gauges. Manifold pressure set to 24 inches of mercury, RPM set to 2400 RPM, and fuel flow leaned back to 9 gallons per hour (GPH). Just north of the DTY VOR, the cloud began to break. Now tracking the 219 radial outbound from the DTY VOR towards Enstone, I started our descent nice and early in order to establish a good visual reference around Enstone: Barford St John disused aerodrome: Levelled off at 2,000ft with about 10nm until EGTN: Much cleared out the front at 2,000ft: Turning to the right so that we can join Enstone from a more Northerly position for noise abatement and easy of flight: Enstone dead ahead: Gear down! Three green lights confirmed, and propeller set fully fine (max RPM) and mixture set fully rich for landing. Final runway 26 at Enstone: A very smooth landing if I do say so myself! Nice and straight too. Engine shut down and parked next to the refuelling truck. Aircraft vacated for a toilet break! I instructed the refuelling agent to fill both tanks to the very full on both sides, as this fuel load was going to take us to Bembridge and then all the way back to Gamston. There is something really mean looking about that tri-bladed prop... Enstone was quite quiet, bar a few light aircraft: Enstone Flying Club: That crazy frog toy has not moved from our visit to Enstone last year; it's in the exact same position! After the refuel, we got ready to get back into G-AVYT for the leg down to Bembridge. It was at this point I noticed we had a slightly flat tire on our Port side. Compressor at hand, the problem was quickly rectified. A few last photos before we departed for Bembridge! Getting into the Arrow: Ready for engine start. The start was not as smooth as I had hoped since I introduced a little too much fuel into the intake manifold given the (reasonably) hot conditions. Being fuel injected and with an electric fuel pump, the start procedure for the Arrow is a little more complex than in a basic Cessna. It depends upon the pilot advancing the mixture to full rich as soon as the engine fires; I did so a little too early, and hence it coughed and spluttered a little. Still getting used to the quirks of the Arrow! Our next leg saw us routing via the IFR waypoints KENET and NIGIT, intercepting the 177 radial outbound from the CPT VOR before reaching NIGIT. Altitude was again 4,000ft. Climbing out of Enstone: Climbing through 3,300ft: At some point we overflew RAF Brize Norton, I thought we had gotten a photo, but clearly not! Established in the cruise: Heading further south, the sea was now visible: Portsmouth: Isle of Wight! Downwind for runway 30 at EGHJ, with Bembridge town in sight: Base leg. We were the only traffic in the circuit. Final runway 30: Touchdown runway 30! Slowing down. We actually used a fair bit of runway at EGHJ. Backtracking runway 30 for parking. Not sure about the QFE Bembridge Radio gave us, it was more than 150ft off!!! Parked up and secured for an overnight stay, we left G-AVYT: Britten-Norman buildings at Bembridge: View along runway 30 EGHJ: G-AVYT visible, third from right: Having called our taxi for our 1PM lunch at The Beach Hut cafe, we waited outside the Propeller Inn: Lunchtime! Really quite a beautiful day: After lunch, swimming in the sea was a must. We walked along the coast, looking for a suitable spot. A few photos from the Lifeboat Station at Bembridge: After a good trip around Bembridge, we called a taxi to take us to the Somerton Lodge Hotel in Shanklin. The taxi price was very steep at £17!!! Our evening meal consisted of an Indian at the Purple Mango Restaurant in Shanklin. Nice water feature they have at the Purple Mango: After our meal, we had a walk around Shanklin. It really is quite a beautiful little town with plenty of cobbled streets and thatched cottages. We then retired back to the hotel. The Ebola Virus outbreak was, and still is, dominating the news: We then retreated to bed. A view of our room from the next morning: Not wanting to be robbed by another taxi, we decided to negociate the public transport system and get a bus back to Bembridge. On the way, we got off at Sandown and had a look around. Sandown was interesting. The beach itself and the town were very nice, but there were some parts which seemed very run down. Following his excellent performance as in-flight photographer, Dad was aptly promoted to chief baggage handler. This was one of the more run down parts of Sandown: Holiday apartments at Sandown: As we waited for our next bus to Bembridge, I took some photos of some more thatched cottages (they seem to be very keen on these down here!!!). Taking the bus back to Bembridge, we rode past the airport, where, to our relief, G-AVYT had visibly not disappeared overnight! Back at the beach at Bembridge: Dad back in the sea: The actual lifeboat used by Bembridge sea rescue: There were plenty of thunderstorms forecast for our return route, and so we were biding our time and aiming for a gap in the weather up north. BBC weather delivered to my iPad was relied upon. Unfortunately this did not help: Some final relaxation: A beautiful array of Cirrus and Altocumulus clouds were visible: Dad swimming again: Having noticed a small gap in the weather, we headed back to Bembridge Airport at around 1530 BST. This "gap", however, was a mixed blessing. We would avoid thunderstorms at Gamston, but were likely to hit several around Oxfordshire and the Rugby/Daventry area. Preflight inspection of G-AVYT before our return flight: Our return route, clocking in at 166nm: Having decided that G-AVYT did not require any extra oil, we jumped inside and departed on runway 30 at Bembridge. Climbing out over Portsmouth with Spinnaker Tower visible. View of engine gauges, gear lever and throttle quadrant: After transiting the Solent CTA under IFR, that's when we first saw it. The black mass that was the forecast thunderstorm. There were infact several forecast for the area, however I had prepared. We were now flying from KENET to Enstone, ready to intercept the 219 radial inbound towards the DTY VOR. Still looking quite clear out to the east: That small rectangular switch visible to the left of the engine gauges and directly above the starter rotary is the electric trim switch. This allows the aircraft's trim to be controlled by means of a rocker switch on the yoke (just like the Saitek yoke) as opposed to having to manually adjust the wheel. The sheer scale of the Cumulonimbus cell was really starting to kick in here. After reaching Enstone, I turned G-AVYT to intercept the 219 radial inbound to DTY. This is where the weather really took a turn for the worse, and Coventry radar warned us about a "significant thunderstorm that had just passed over". We entered some Nimbostratus-like scud cloud that is characteristic of udnerneath and around a cumulonimbus cloud, and were back in total IMC, just as we had been the day before. A few very small gaps: Although quite turbulent, this first cumulonimbus cloud was not a cause for concern; we had only really skirted around the edge of it and certainly went nowhere near the centre where one could encounter dangerous updrafts/downdrafts. After clearing the first cell, things got even blacer out front: There was no avoiding this one! If things got too turbulent inside and danger was a possibility, we would have to divert. After overfying the DTY VOR, we tracked northbound towards the EME NDB. This was where we most definitely entered the base of a cumulonimbus cloud. It is really quite a surreal experience; the whole cockpit turns dark, and after a brief period of silence, one can hear the rain pelting against the windshield. The auxiliary fuel pump was turned on as a precaution to ensure good fuel flow to the engine and all loose articles were secured. I had to divert slightly to the right of track to avoid the centre of the CB; definitely a no-go zone. You can see this on the Nav 1 OBI: After clearing the CB, things started to clear up as we approached East Midlands: We were now only around 15-20 minutes away from Gamston. Center Parcs Nottinghamshire: Still looking very grim out to the east, but Gamston looked good! Approaching Gamston: We then joined the cicuit at Gamston and landed on runway 21. G-AVYT after engine shutdown: Wing view: The total amount of flying completed in total was 3.3 hours, which equated to around 3 hours and 20 minutes. An absolutely fantastic experience all round and hopefully one I will be able to repeat in the future. Cheers, Jack
  11. Quite honestly I am amazed to have gotten anything, I always thought these claims procedures resulted in nothing. Credit to customs though, most of the letters they sent me were personally written (ie you could tell that they hadn't just copied and pasted it from a stock letter), so they must have put some effort in!
  12. I think that'd pay for the outbound leg to Bembridge in a C172, but not the return!
  13. Hi all, Just thought I'd let you all know. I got a letter from customs today stating that they are willing to offer £304.60 in compensation due to the damage caused to the throttle quadrant, no further questions asked. Very pleased with this result!
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