Ingo Noka

Converted to Cherokee Warrior

In Flight Log on March 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Aircraft Rating PA-28

Today I finished my conversion to the Piper PA-28-161 (Warrior II). Around noon time I and Captain Singh took off with the intention to spend a cool and turbulence free hour over the water somewhere West of Pontian Kechill and Benut. However, when we got there we decided to ask for clearance to go to Batu Pahat instead. That was the first time I “filed” a flight plan in-flight. It is not a big deal, but good to know that this is possible, in case I get bored with circling in the training area and want to fly along the coast (from Kukup maybe) to Benut or so. I always wondered whether I can just call and ask. Now I know.

Nevertheless, the big news is that I got my conversion to the Piper and can now rent this aircraft without instructor. Charlie Foxtrot seems to be stationed in Subang for good, which makes the two PA-28 the only option apart from the Aero AT-4. I miss the Cessna a little bit, though. Captain Singh says the Cessna flies like a truck, while the Piper is more like a sedan, which is true. I think the Cessna is somewhat more stable, but this may just be my perception that something hanging off a wing would be more stable than something stacked on top of it.

Because of heavy rain coming in fast from the North, we gave up our plan to finish our ad-hoc navigation exercise with a few touch-and-go. Since I really wanted to get this finished I waited until the weather cleared which was around 4 pm and took off again with Captain Sing to do circuits. We managed to do 6 landings, of which 2 were normal (10/20 degree flaps), two flap-less and two forced landings. We also practiced an engine failure on take off. Two of my landings were quite good, with the stall horn sounding nice and long before a slow touch down right on the center line and the front wheel staying in the air right until the elevator lost its control capacity. Captain Singh kept congratulating himself for being such a good instructor. (I sincerely think he is!)

I finished the day with three circuits on my own, one of which was a bit of a disaster, but a good learning experience. I forgot to lower the flap before turning into the base leg, wondering all the time why I didn’t lose altitude as fast as expected. Combined with too much power and turning base too early I ended up higher than I have ever been on final. The flaps were down 10 degrees by then, so I quickly lowered the flap one notch further, but that wasn’t enough either, so, I decided to put out all flap there are, even so I hadn’t practiced this before. My concern was speed, but I kept the nose down and worked the trim, which resulted in a steady 65 kts. I actually finished the approach with the PAPI half-green, half-red as it should be. I think even with the smaller flaps of the Piper there will be rarely a situation in which the landing setup is so messed up that you end up too high and need to go around. This is even less likely with the massive 40 degree flaps of the Cessna 172K. (I don’t think they build Cessnas with 40 degree flaps anymore.)

As usual I am inserting my GPS tracks. You will notice the circuit is far from being a rectangle. I already had the impression in flight that I didn’t have enough space for my base leg, and the track shows why. I am very sure I flew a heading of 340 degrees on downwind, so I think I was blown to the South-West by a wind coming from about North.

Ad-Hoc Navigation to Batu Pahat

First Solo Circuits with Piper PA-28-161

  1. Congrats on your successful conversion!

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