OZ Pilot needs help

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by gkainz, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

    Joined:
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    Display name:
    Greg Kainz
    from the inbox today...

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    A PLEA FOR HELP FROM A GROUNDED AUSTRALIAN PILOT TO HIS FRIEND

    Hi Mate,

    I am writing to you because I need your help to get me bloody
    pilot's license back. You keep telling me you got all the right
    contacts. Well now's your chance to make something happen for me
    because, mate, I'm bloody desperate. But first, I'd better tell you
    what happened during my last flight review with the CAA examiner.

    On the phone, Ron (that's the CAA guy) seemed a reasonable sort of
    bloke. He politely reminded me of the need to do a flight review every
    two years. He even offered to drive out, have a look over my property,
    and let me operate from my own strip.

    Naturally I agreed to that.

    Anyway, Ron turned up last Wednesday. First up, he said he was a
    bit surprised to see the plane on a small strip outside my homestead
    because the ALA (Authorized Landing Area) is about a mile away. I
    explained that because this strip was so close to the homestead it was
    more convenient than the ALA, and despite the power lines that cross
    about midway down the strip it's really not a problem to land and
    take-off because at the half-way point down the strip you're usually
    still on the ground.

    For some reason Ron seemed nervous. So although I had done the
    pre-flight inspection only four days earlier I decided to do it all
    over again. Because Ron was watching me carefully, I walked around the
    plane three times instead of my usual two. My effort was rewarded
    because the color finally returned to Ron's cheeks. In fact, they were
    a bright red.

    In view of Ron's obviously better mood, I told him that I was going
    to combine the test with some farm work as I had to deliver three poddy
    calves from the home paddock to the main herd. After a bit of a chase I
    finally caught the calves and threw them into the back of the ol'
    Cessna 172.

    We climbed aboard but Ron started getting on to me about weight and
    balance calculations and all that crap. Of course I knew that thing was
    a waste of time because calves like to move around a bit, particularly
    when they see themselves 500 feet off the ground. So it's bloody
    pointless trying to secure them as you know. However, I did tell Ron
    that he shouldn't worry as I always keep the trim wheel set on neutral
    to ensure that we remain pretty stable at all stages throughout the
    flight.

    Anyway, I started the engine and cleverly minimized the warm-up
    time by tramping hard on the brakes and gunned her to 2,500 rpm. I then
    discovered that Ron has very acute hearing,, even though he was wearing
    a bloody headset. Through all that noise he detected a metallic rattle
    and demanded that I account for it. Actually it began about a month ago
    and was caused by a screwdriver that fell down a hole in the floor and
    lodged in the fuel selector machanism. The selector can't be moved now
    but it doesn't matter because it's jammed on "All Tanks" so I suppose
    that's okay.

    However, as Ron was obviously a real nit-picker, I blamed the noise
    on a vibration from a steel thermos flask which I keep in a beaut
    possie between the windshield and the magnetic compass. My explanation
    seemed to relax Ron because he slumped back in the seat and kept
    looking up at the cockpit roof.

    I released the brakes to taxi out but unfortunately the plane gave
    a leap and spun to the right. "Hell", I thought, "not the starboard
    chalk again." The bump jolted Ron back to full alertness. He looked
    wildly around just in time to see a rock thrown by the propwash
    disappear completely through the windscreen of his brand new Commodore.

    While Ron was ranting about his car, I ignored his requirement that
    we taxi to the ALA and instead took off under the power lines. Ron
    didn'tsay a word, at least not until the engine started coughing right
    at the lift off point, then he bloody screamed his head off.

    "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!"

    "Now take it easy, Ron" I told him firmly. "That often happens
    after take-off and there is a good reason for it." I explained
    patiently that I usually run the plane on standard MOGAS, but one day I
    accidentally put in a gallon or two of kerosene. To compensate for the
    low octane of the kerosene I siphoned in a few gallons of super MOGAS
    and shook the wings up and down a few times to mix it up.

    Since then, the engine has been coughing a bit but in general it
    works just fine if you know how to coax it properly. Anyway, at this
    stage, Ron seemed to lose all interest in my flight test.

    He pulled out some rosary beads, closed his eyes and became lost in
    prayer. (I didn't think that anybody was a Catholic these days.)

    I selected some nice music on the HF radio to help him relax.
    Meanwhile, I climbed to my normal cruising altitude of 10,500 feet. I
    don't normally put in a flight plan or get the weather because, as you
    know getting fax access out here is a friggin joke and the bloody
    weather is always 8/8 blue anyway. But since I had that near miss with
    a Saab 340 I might have to change my thinking on that. Anyhow, on
    leveling out I noticed some wild camels heading into my

    improved pasture.

    I hate bloody camels and always carry a loaded .303 clipped inside
    the door of the Cessna just in case I see any of the bastards. We were
    too high to hit them, but as a matter of principle, I decided to have a
    go through the open window. Mate, when I pulled the bloody rifle out
    the effect on Ron was friggin' electric.

    As I fired the first shot his neck lengthened by about six inches
    and his eyes bulged like a rabbit with myxo. He really looked as if he
    had been jabbed with an electric cattle prod on full power. In fact,
    Ron's reaction was so distracting that I lost concentration for a
    second and the next shot went straight through the port tyre. Ron was a
    bit upset about the shooting (probably one of those pinko animal lovers
    I guess) so I decided not to tell him about our little problem with the
    tyre.

    Shortly afterwards I located the main herd and decided to do my
    fighter pilot trick. Ron had gone back to praying when, in one
    smooth sequence, I pulled on full flaps, cut the power and started a
    sideslip from 10,500 feet down to 500 feet and 130 knots indicated (the
    last time I looked anyway) and the little needle rushing up the red
    area on me ASI. What a buzz, mate! About half way through the descent
    I looked back in the cabin to see the calves suspended in mid air and
    mooing like crazy. I was going to comment on this unusual sight but Ron
    looked a bit green and had rolled himself into the fetal position and
    was screamin' his freaking head off.

    Mate, talk about being in a bloody zoo.

    You should have been there, it was so bloody funny.

    At about 500 feet I attempted to level out. For some reason we
    continued sinking. When we reached 50 feet I applied full power but
    nothing happened; no noise, no nothin. Then, luckily, I heard me
    instructor's voice in me head saying "carby heat, carby heat". So I
    pulled carby heat on and that helped quite a lot, with the engine
    finally regaining full power. Whew, that was really close, let me tell
    you.

    Then mate, you'll never guess what happened next!

    As luck would have it, at that height we flew into a massive dust
    cloud caused by the cattle and suddenly went I.F. bloody R. You
    would've been bloody proud of me as I didn't panic once, not once, but
    I did make a mental note to consider an instrument rating as soon as me
    gyro is repaired. (Something I've been meaning to do for a while now.)

    Suddenly Ron's elongated neck and bulging eyes reappeared. His
    mouth opened wide, very wide, but no sound emerged. "Take it easy," I
    told him. "We'll be out of this in a minute." Sure enough, about a
    minute later we emerge; still straight and level and still at 50 feet.
    Admittedly, I was surprise to notice that we were upside down and I
    kept thinking to myself, "I hope Ron didn't notice that I had forgotten
    to set the QNH when we were taxiing".

    This minor tribulation forced me to fly to a nearby valley in which
    I had to do a half roll to get upright again.

    By now the main herd had divided into two groups leaving a narrow
    strip between them. "Ah!," I thought, "there's an omen. We'll land
    right there."

    Knowing that the tyre problem demanded a slow approach, I flew a
    couple of steep turns with full flap. Soon the stall warning horn was
    blaring so loud in me ear that I cut it's circuit breaker to shut it
    up, but by then I knew we were slow enough anyway. I turned steeply
    into a 75 foot final and put her down with a real thud.

    Strangely enough, I had always thought you could only ground loop
    in a tail dragger but, as usual, I was proved wrong again.

    Halfway through our third loop Ron at last recovered his sense of
    humor.

    Talk about laugh. I've never seen the likes of it. He couldn't
    stop. We finally rolled to a halt and I released the calves, who bolted
    out of the aircraft like there was no tomorrow.

    I then began picking clumps of dry grass. Between gut wrenching
    fits of laughter, Ron asked what I was doing. I explained that we had
    to stuff the port tyre with grass so we could fly back to the
    homestead. It was then that Ron really lost the plot and started
    running away from the aircraft.

    Can you believe it? The last time I saw him he was off into the
    distance, arms flailing in the air and still shrieking with laughter. I
    later heard that he had been confined to a psychiatric institution-
    -poor bugger.

    Anyhow, mate, that's enough about Ron. The problem is, I just got a
    letter from CASA withdrawing, as they put it, my privileges to fly;
    until I have undergone a complete pilot training course again and
    undertaken another flight proficiency test. Now I admit that I made a
    mistake in taxiing over the wheel chock and not setting the QNH using
    strip elevation, but I can't see what else I did that was so bloody bad
    that they have to withdraw me flamin' license. Can you?
     
  2. Carol

    Carol Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
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    Display name:
    Carol
    Hysterically Funny :D
     
  3. citationxjl

    citationxjl Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
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    Chandler, AZ
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    Display name:
    Jeff
    Good laugh!!! :D