Hello from sunny Spain! All I’m hearing is how miserable the weather is at home! Its 33 Celsius today and I’m stuck in the sim.
Scheduled to start at 3 today, but arrived at 2.30 as per the schools policy. We had a pre-flight brief about what the flight would involve. I was shown the 3 holding enty procedures and how to hold over a station.
For those of you not knowing what the above is; it’s a holding procedure similar to a roundabout, all aircraft must go one way around it to the right (standard) or to the left (non-standard). It’s used over or abeam a radio station, either a VOR (Very High Frequency, Omni Range) or an NDB (non-directional beacon). These radio stations are not the average type, but instead send out signals (radials for VORs and bearings for the NDBs) to the aircraft receiver to let them know where you are and where you’re going.
In order to prevent madness around these stations, there were procedures drawn up from many moons ago on how to join these holding patterns, a “direct entry” being the easiest and just flying straight into it, or a parallel entry, where you parallel the pattern in the opposite direction, and at the right time you turn into it to join the flow. The last entry being the offset/teardrop, where you fly past the position, and make a teardrop shape turn inside the loop before returning to the “gate” of the pattern.
I’m sure your thinking that it sounds easy, but in reality, there are many other factors that require your attention. The hold is timed and when you add wind to the equation your race track patterns will turn into odd shapes unless corrected for wind.
Next, the sim was paused and I got a brief on how to brief the Instrument Landing System ( “ILS”), again this is another radio aid that guides aircraft down to land. It’s used in lots of aircraft worldwide and if there is an instrument approach in an airport, this has to be the easiest ones.
After that, we left the holding pattern in Granada and proceded to descend with the approach chart.
This is the most difficult part, as theres a lot of button flicking to make sure the radio frequency is the right one and displaying the correct information. Morse Code : (
So after a little while we intercepted whats called the “Localiser”, which is the extended runway centreline. Soon after the “Glideslope” comes into range, which is the correct descent profile to be followed. There are some checks to be performed, such as the wing flaps down, and landing gear down.
We kept on the ILS all the way down to DA (Decision Altitude or Height) of 200 ft AGL or 2042 ft above Sea Level.
Once reaching that point, we did a go around, which is simulating that you can’t see the runway at the specified altitude and follow the missed approach procedure. Of course, the approach cant be attempted unless ATC give you weather that is above the specified minimums.
The go around was good (I think), We climbed straight ahead to the other NBD (radio-aid) and once passed that, back to the VOR. At this stage once over the VOR we had to take the 289 radial out from the VOR, sort of like a roadway in the sky.
At this point, I got an engine failure. So standard procedure: roll wings level, stop any yaw, mixtures, propellers and throttles full forward. Landing gear and wing flaps up. Identify the engine thats failed with your “dead leg”, verify by retarding the throttle that you have the correct engine. You do not want to shut down the wrong engine or you’ll be seeing a brick glide. Once done, you decide what to do – if you are below circuit altitude you feather the propeller, and if you are above you try and fix the problem.
I tried to fix the problem, but it seemed like it was none the usual like carb ice, fuel pump or fuel starvation. So I proceeded to feather the propeller (turning the propeller into wind to make it more aerodynamic).
All went well, and now for the hardest part, the single engine ILS approach. It’s difficult, because if your not careful, you will have hands and legs where they shouldn’t be and end up crashing.
We continued all the way down the ILS, and at 500 ft AGL I still didn’t see the runway. We had to descent to minimums and broke out.
The wind was from the left which made matters easier with the right engine failed. With the wind from the left, makes the aircraft yaw left, and with the left engine live, made it yaw right, so they both would cancel them out. I wonder would it be much different if the wind was from the right with a right engine out?
Anyway, it’s 6 pm and the sun is still shining! I’m off to the beach for a while.