It has begun. I have started the flight portion of Standardization! What a ride.
2 flights down and it is has been a lot to learn. We have done some flight drag exercises where I learn what power setting is required to maintain level flight at 80 knots and then 60 knots. I also learn how to maintain level at 80 knots with 20 degrees of flaps, also called the “terrain set-up.”. The main reason for this is MAF flies in terrain at 80 knots and 20 degrees of flaps. MAF does this because it allows for the best degree of margin concerning turn radius. Basically, you can make a tighter turn when flying at 80 knots than you can when flying at cruise speed (120 knots). We practiced our “terrain set-up” and did turns at 45 degrees of bank. This is pretty steep but we are practicing getting out of a canyon that may be closed off due to clouds or some other obstruction. We are trying to turn in a minimum radius and get out to a safe place!
We are also working on evaluating dirt runways and landing on them. There are a lot of factors that come into play and it is a challenge to keep everything straight. (Click here to see a video of some landings and low approaches!!!) We fly over the runway at least three times in order to determine the wind direction and strength, the length of the runway, the altitude of the runway, the surface condition, the slope of the runway, and the obstacles that are in the area. I could go into a ton of detail, but I will simply tell you how we determine the length.
We get into the “terrain set-up” (80 knots and 20 degrees of flaps) and fly over the runway at 50 feet. We maintain a constant speed over the runway and start timing at the beginning of the runway. We glance at the GPS to determine our ground speed (because wind and altitude makes our ground speed different than the airspeed indicated on our gauge) and note the time at the end of the strip. If we are traveling at 80 knots on the ground speed, then we will travel 133 feet per second. If our time was 15 seconds, then the runway is approximately 2,000 feet long. BAM, we just figured out the runway length!!!
So, I am having a lot of fun and learning so much every day. I hope enjoy the video and the pictures!
Our family is doing well here in Idaho. MAF has been gracious and they purchased a membership to the Nampa Rec Center for the couples here in Standardization. It has been a great way for the guys and gals to hang out outside of class. The guys swim/exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the gals go on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. That has been a huge blessing! We are enjoying spending time with the other couples and letting our kids play together. Everyone has been relatively healthy so far and we are praying that it stays this way!
Thanks so much for all of your prayers! God Bless!!!