Sunday, June 2, 2013

First Flight in South Africa


After all the studying and preparations that I have done over the past 6 months, today was the day for my first flight in South Africa!

This was a training/familiarization flight in my new chariot for the next 2 weeks, which you can see below:
This is a 1975 Cessna 182.  While it is very well maintained and perfectly "fit for purpose" for my mission, the cockpit was a bit frightening to me, which you can see below:
A little bit different than my familiar Cirrus glass cockpit... But I was eager to broaden my flying skills and Nick gave me a great briefing on the plane.

The flight itself had two objectives.  First, I wanted to get some practice with the local procedures, radios, etc. Second, and more importantly I wanted to practice flying ZS-IWP today before my validation checkride tomorrow.

Shortly after I got airborne, I quickly realized that this was an extremely easy airplane to fly.  The controls and responses were all very predictable.  In addition, the local procedures were not that daunting.  After doing a bunch of basic air work, stalls, steep turns and various things to prove to the instructor that I knew what I was doing, it was time to do a few landings.

However, the part that was not predictable was the weather.  The skies were clear.  But the winds were a direct 15 Knot crosswind to the only available runway @ Lanseria!

As a result, my first couple of landings were "less than graceful".  Luckily I had a patient instructor and 10,000 FT of runway to play with.

After the 4th "touch and go", I felt comfortable After the 5th, my instructor was satisfied that I was ready.

Hopefully, I got some video along the way and it will make for some new Youtube videos soon.

Tomorrow is the checkride and if all goes well, I hope to walk away with a "South African validation/endorsement" on my license.

Stay tuned for the next leg of this journey...

Cheers,
== T.J.==

4 comments:

  1. This is just downright awesome! I was checking out their website and I have a question? Can you ask them if they still have a Cessna 210?

    Have an amazing time. I am eager to hear all about your experiences, accommodations, and logistics handling go.

    Take care!

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  2. Very cool, TJ! I'd be curious to hear about some of the greatest differences between "local procedures" and what we're used to here in the US.

    Glad to hear that you were able to adjust to the anti-glass cockpit! :-)

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  3. @Chris: Thanks... Local procedures are only minor differences (any US licensed pilot could handle it)... 1. Altimeter millibars vs inches 2. switch from local altimeter to standard at cruise even if cruise is only 2000 AGL. 3. Airspace nuances 4. chart difference.
    The hardest part so far is understanding "South African English" on the radio ;-)

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  4. @Geoff: Thanks... They can try to get a 210... But there is no guarantee and you wont know for sure until a couple of weeks b4 the trip. (I tried to get a Cirrus but the local Cirrus dealer wouldn't cooperate). In hindsight, using their fleet of planes is totally fine and just adds to the adventure!

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