2 planes down, Flight Review done

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by jsstevens, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    My FR expired the end of September. Between hurricanes, taking youngest daughter to school and work, and a flight instructor who didn't respond to texts or emails, I couldn't get the review scheduled until last week.

    I scheduled in the club's Piper Archer because I have much less time in that type. I arrived and began preflight. I noted that the engine only had 4 quarts of oil and added the one quart (labeled for this aircraft) in the storage box. I also noted the fuel drain at the firewall only drained a dribble. It was clean fuel, but very slow. Hmmm. When the club's chief instructor arrived, I mentioned both items. He pulled another quart of oil for me to add and told me the fuel drain had become "normal". He also told this plane was going down for an engine overhaul as soon as I was done that day. We got in, I started the engine and went through the before taxi checklist including turning off the electric fuel pump. So far so good. I advanced the throttle to taxi and then engine died. Put the mixture back to full rich, got it started again, and it died. He took over the enginee management. Two more tries with it dying before we can move. He says "I'm a little uncomfortable with this." I said "I'm very uncomfortable with this." He told me to pre-flight the C-172 and he'll put this one away.

    C-172 preflight is fine (all the good stuff, flaps full down, controls free & clear, you know...) except right fuel gauge shows empty while tank is in fact full. I asked and he told me it takes 30 seconds to a minute to register but then it's fine and I should be using a clock not the fuel gauge anyway. I agree on the clock, but still... We get in, get started, and the taxi out, take off etc. are all fine. We head out to the practice area and do slow flight, power off stall in the landing configuration, recovery, take off stall (starting from 55 KIAS-a new way to do this for em. Makes sense.) then 360 degree steep turns, left then right. He complemented my rudder skills (which surprised me as my former instructor rode me about them all the time. I guess it paid off.)

    Next he pulled the alternator breaker and showed me how to determine a failure and I walked through what to do... Then he simulated oil pressure to 0. (Just told me it was...) I was nearly over Orlando Apopka (X04) at 2500 feet so I started a spiral down without touching the engine controls. He then "failed" the engine by pulling to idle. I set up for a right downwind to runway 15. At the appropriate point I put in one notch of flaps and continued the base. Then all the flaps (30 degrees in this one) and was high and fast so I slipped pretty aggressively. At about 100 feet I told him this is better than the trees but I'm not going to get it down and stopped. He said to go around. So I did. Flaps 20, throttle full, carb heat off. He told me to do throttle first (and he's right) but other wise OK. I continued the right pattern and we did a second engine out simulation. This time I still had trouble getting it down but with a very aggressive slip I got down, got a nice stall horn chirp followed by the tires chirping then he said "Go!" and I did. Once above the trees, he started playing with the flap switch. And only then did I notice that the flaps were not moving. They were up. Which is why I had such a hard time getting the plane down.

    We flew back to Orlando Exec (KORL) and did two no flap landings (no real problem there) and were done.

    He signed off my review so I can fly again. But both planes I am checked out in were down.

    He emailed me later and told me that a sacrificial link in the flap system had broken and it was now fixed.

    First flight control failure I've ever experienced.

    John
     
  2. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Nice job. Any indication of what was wrong with the Archer? Faulty fuel pump?

    My FR is coming up this weekend, weather permitting.
     
  3. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I haven’t heard yet though that’s my suspicion.
     
  4. evapilotaz

    evapilotaz Pattern Altitude

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    two planes down in a the title makes one think there was a accident. :)
     
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  5. Skid

    Skid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Did the fuel gauge ever correct itself? Sometimes rocking the wings on the ground will free things up.
     
  6. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    It was fine after a little while as the Chief Instructor said. Seems fishy to me.
     
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  7. flightwriter

    flightwriter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    LOL, same here. I couldn't help but think a successful flight review should claim just one aircraft at most...
     
  8. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Cleared for Takeoff

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    Van Anda has several C-172 out of Atlantic. $120 wet and you get 11 hours if you buy a block of 10. Just throwing out another rental option.
     
  9. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Could be horribly coincidental but it doesn't sound like that flight school is on top of their maintenance.
     
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  10. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My CFI drilled me to visually check flaps movement whenever I touch the flap switch.
     
  11. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some of you guys fly really awful equipment:confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    All great airplanes are just one failure away from being awful airplanes. :)
     
  13. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    So far my experience with this club has been good (other than this flight). They're old planes (except the 182 which I'm not checked out in yet) and they are leaseback so the owners are responsible for maintenance. They do have a good system for squawking planes if needed and checking the status. This was an anomaly and clearly so.

    As for checking the flaps, yep. I was trained that way but I guess I was distracted doing the engine out drill. That's the one piece of all this I'm embarrassed by: I should have know they weren't working.
     
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