Read about December.
See the Pictures I took in the US so far.
Monday January 1st 2001
Tonight was probably the worst Newyears I've ever had! It's also high on my "worst nights ever" list!! First we were planning on making 'oliebollen' (a Dutch snack you eat with Newyears). We had every ingredient except for the yeast. When I got to the Winn Dixie to buy the yeast they had closed 2 minutes early so I couldn't buy the yeast, which meant we weren't able to make the oliebollen.
Jurriaan, Martin, Oscar, Chris and I then decided not to go to Ybor, but to spend Newyears in a local club in Lakeland, but all the bars we tried to get in you had to be 21 to get in and Chris is 18 and Martin is 19. So as we were driving downtown looking for a bar we could get in the countdown had started and we experienced the Newyear in the car, which wasn't much fun. We then drove back to the appartment to drop off Martin (he was too tired) and went to Ybor anyway. We arrived in Ybor at 1:30 AM where we stayed in the Empire until it closed at 3:00 AM. The music there sucked except for 2 songs and the girls weren't fun to look at at all, so that contributed to my night from hell, but the worst was yet to come.
We then drove back to Lakeland and we'd be home 40 minutes later.... or so we THOUGHT! As we were driving on the Interstate (I-4) the temperature light of the engine came on. The engine of Jurriaan's car was running too hot for some reason. So the technicians that we all are (NOT) we bought 2,5 gallons of oil, because we saw oil being spit out inside the engine. Because the engine didn't cool down fast enough and was overheating too fast when we drove at normal speeds we drove on the emergency lane for about 20 miles with an average speed of 10 mph. It took us about 4,5 hours to get home. We had to stop several times and shut the engine down as well to let it cool off. When we got home it was already 7:45 pm and it was already light! And the entire night it was freezing like hell! About -5 degrees Celcius, which is pretty damn cold for Florida. Because the heater didn't work either we were all freezing inside Jurriaan's car!
We woke up at 16:30 that day and I had a headache for the rest of the day. That night we also had a farewell party for Filip and Robert who were leaving for Oakland to do their internships at AmeriFlight. We also saw a few Dutch guys who went back home for the holidays. Chris got really drunk on that party was sick allnight.
Tuesday January 2nd 2001
My first day of school in 2001. Nothing much happened except that groundschool was almost empty, because a few Puerto Rican guys weren't back from Puerto Rico and Chris got a hangover from the night before.
That night I had to pick up Dougie (my Scottish groundschool instructor) from Orlando International. He asked Jurriaan to pick him up, but Jur's car was still not running, so I took his place. Luckily he was traveling alone and only had one suitcase or else it wouldn't have fitted in my little CRX :) I was coughing like hell from that night on the first, think I caught a cold.
Wednesday January 3rd 2001
Today during the break of groundschool (every hour and a half we get a 10 minute break) I was standing in dispatch and all of a sudden I hear my name. I looked back and I saw my sister's friend from her hotel management school. She's doing an internship in Atlanta and her parents and her brother came to visit her during the holidays and on the way over to Key West they stopped in Lakeland, because her brother is going to ACA too with EAT. We stood there and talked for a while, until I had to go back to groundschool again. It was nice to see somebody I knew.
I was supposed to do a review flight this afternoon, because I have my PPL checkride on the 4th, but because of my cold and my coughing I felt terrible, so I postponed it till the morning of the 4th.
Thursday January 4th 2001
This morning I had my review flight, which would also be my last flight with this instructor. They've transferred me to Dougie as of Friday the 5th (the day after I get my PPL), because I'm too far behind and with Dougie I can get some work done. I was screwing up pretty bad and I was glad I did my review flight because I hadn't flown in 3 weeks, so I was pretty damn rusty.
The checkride this afternoon went a little bit better, but still not completely satisfatory to me. The oral was pretty easy and the examiner, Mr. Garner, is a very nice guy and makes you feel relaxed. It was a pretty funny checkride, because he made me plan a flight to Waycross, Georgia (they have to do that for the checkride and then divert somewhere near the airport of departure to see if you can manage to navigate to other airports and stuff) and he told me we would fly to the first checkpoint and divert from there. So I went down to the ramp to do the pre-flight. When he joined me he said there was going to be a slight change of plan. He had a little "emergency" at his home in Peter O' Knight. His wife called him and there were some troubles with the people who were installing his swimming pool. So we flew to Peter O' Knight Airport where his wife came to pick him up and I sat there in the FBO and waited for about 40 minutes. When he got back we flew back to Lakeland and he asked me to demonstrate a shor-field take off, which I started good, but after that I completely screwed up. He then said: "Okay I have control.", so I thought I'd failed. He then made quite a steep turn to the left and said: "Do you see the house over there with the yellow van? That's my house. The guy in the red shirt is working on my pool." Then he gave the controls back to me and we did some maneuvers and an emergency (throttle idle) landing. And when we got back to ACA he congratulated me and said I had done well. I was really happy, but I think I would have been happier if I'd done well in stead of this flight on which I sucked. But hey, the PPL is done now. Now to get some instrument and commercial work done with Dougie.
Friday January 5th 2001
My first flight with Dougie went quite well. We did a 2,5 hour cross country to Naples and back to practice my commercial pilotage and dead reckoning (you have to make checkpoints and estimate how long it will take to fly from one checkpoint to another and check it during the flight). I flew under the foggles for half an hour, which meant I flew solely on my instruments. Because I was still rusty I was screwing around for the first 5 minutes trying to get it settled. After that it went okay. Despite the pretty gusty winds I managed to do quite a soft landing back at Lakeland. Dougie complimented me on my fairly good landing.
Saturday January 6th 2001
Friday January 12th 2001
After being home with the flu for almost a week I finally did some flying again. My first session on the simulator. We did some pretty basic things like steep turns, slow flight, constant rate climbs and descents and constant speed climbs and descents. It's basically the same as in the air, except you can't see the horizon, so you solesly refer on the instruments and the sim is a lot more sensitive as well, but that's something you can get used to after a while. I also did an ILS (Instrument Landing System), which means you navigate on the instruments to the runway and get guidance on direction and altitude and then pop out of the clouds at approximately 500 ft., which you're not supposed to do until after a few lessons, but I got it right the first time. I was pretty pleased with it.
That night we also did some nightpatternwork. Flying in the traffic pattern at Lakeland airport for an hour, which was quite a bore, but that's just something we've got to do to get a certain amount of night flying.
Saturday January 13th 2001
We did another sim session this morning. More stuff to learn. Partial panel, electrical failures and a partial panel ILS. (Partial panel means that one or more instruments have failed). I did the ILS without the attitude indicator, which meant I couldn't see the attitude of the aircraft to the horizon, which makes it a little bit harder to get a steady descent, but I was still fairly good on course, but I wasn't satisfied with my landing.
That night we had a party at Carlo, Martin, Chris and Oscar's house, because Martin had passed his instrument rating and Oscar passed his CFI checkride. There were a lot of people and I had a really good time. Dougie was there as well and also the new IAC class, which had arrived on Friday. I had a very good time and we didn't leave until 3:30 AM.
Monday January 15th 2001
That night I planned to do nightpattern again. Jurriaan and Chris also had to burn a few nighthours in the pattern, so we planned at the same time. I scheduled on the board voor N4886B, but the fuelguy had left already so there were only a few planes that had enough fuel for 2 hours. Chris took N49220 which has extra fuel tanks, Jur took N68739 and I was stuck with N95624, which already had a reputation at ACA. After I preflighted the S.O.B. the radio didn't work so I had to go up to dispatch again and ask for another plane. N757XQ only had enough fuel for an hour and a half, so I didn't want to take that one when we could choose, but after the preflight of N95624 and start up and finding out the radio didn't work half an hour had gone by so there was only an hour and a half left before ACA closed. With N757XQ there were no problems and I did 10 landings in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Tuesday January 16th 2001
Tonight I went flying with Dougie to Gainesville and back, which is required for the commercial license. You have to have 4 hours of night cross country 100 nautical miles or more. It was a nice smooth flight, we just selected the VOR and headed to Gainesville where we did a touch and go. Back to Lakeland again where we arrived after 2 hours and 36 minutes of total flight time.
Wednesday January 17th 2001
This morning I had to fly another sim session, but the session was in another sim than the 2 sessions I had before (there are 3 sim rooms at ACA) and this sim doesn't have smooth controls so I didn't have such a good session. Right after the sim session Dougie and I did an hour of instrument in the C-152. We flew to the practice area north of Lakeland and did a few maneuvers while I was under the foggles (special glasses with which you can only see the instrument panel). We did some steepturns, slow flight, power on and -off stalls and standard rate turns. Back at Lakeland Dougie said to show him my best soft field landing and then he would show me how it's done. So I had a pretty nice soft field landing (not my best though) and then he tried it. He didn't have a very good landing, but he had to make a short approach because of traffic and was pretty high as a result. I'm sure he can do better than I, but just not this time :) Directly after we got back I had my first flight in the Cessna C-172. That's a big difference. The C-152 is a two seater, while the C-172 is a 4 seater. But the main reason I have to fly the 172 is that it is IFR equipped, which means you can fly in instrument conditions with it. It flies extremely heavy compared to the C-152. But the power on stalls are piss easy. You pull it back until you hear the stall horn and keep pulling it back very hard and then it stops climbing and goes into a descent, whereas the C-152 does a bit of a nosedive. Overall the C-172 is a lot more stable. We did one touch and go and one full stop landing to get the hang of it. It's quite different from the C-152, but it wasn't bad for a first time.
Thursday January 18th 2001
Today was a pretty quiet day. I had groundschool from 13.00 till 17.00, which was very boring. And a nightflight in the pattern for another hour and a half, which was also boring, but it has to be done. Only 3,1 hours left in the pattern. Actually it's a good way to practice soft landings. I did 18 touch and go's, but I wasn't completely satisfied with one of them. No hard landings, but I just wasn't satisfied. The climb performance of the plane I had (N4886B) was pretty good (or it was because of the weather conditions), but I was at pattern altitude (1000 ft above ground level) before the end of the runway. Never had that before.
Friday January 19th 2001
Today was one of those days you shouldn't get out of bed. This morning I went to school around 7:30, because I had a cross country flight planned at 8:00. When I got to school I got pulled over for speeding. I drove 13 miles too fast, which cost me 20 minutes and $120 f***ing dollars!! Well I just have to take responsibility for my actions, but it still sucks :) I have three options now. I can go to court and fight it, but there's no point in doing that since I'm guilty. I can pay the fine and get 3 points on my drivers license, which can affect my insurance. Or I pay a reduced fine and sit my way through some dumb driver's school for 4 hours, which also costs $60. I think I'm gonna find out how much my insurance would go up, if it would go up at all, since I have an international drivers license. If it's too much I'll take the class otherwise I'll just pay the fine and I wouldn't give a flying f**k about the insurance, since I'm only here for 2 years.
Saturday Januray 20th 2001
When I got up this morning at 9:30 (I was on the board for a soloflight at 10:00) I looked out the window and saw the clouds and I heard the wind blowing, I knew I couldn't go anywhere so I jumped back into bed. No flying in 2 days because of the weather, that sucks.
We had an IAC dinner (or IAC-diet as we call it, since we get only $50 for 25 people) tonight at Bennigan's. They started singing for me because I had my birthday last Wednesday. They gave me a "horny devil" as a present wrapped in pages ripped out of some sleezy porn magazine. It was quite funny and of course they had to embarass me by making a picture of it :)
Afterwards we went to our place to have a party to celebrate my birthday. It was a great party till people started whining at 11 pm and the lady from ACA was knocking on our door. We had to get rid of the music, which made the party a lot less good. So then we decided to go to Dennis and Peter's place, which is around the corner, but isn't ACA housing, since they're both instructors. The party was good again until midnight when the old guy who runs Carlton Arms was knocking on his door. He threatened to call the police if we didn't keep it down. But that's a little hard to do when you're with 25+ people. At half past 1 the police actually did come and a few people fled into the bedroom. He started looking around searching for drugs or whatever the hell he was looking for. Shining people directly into their faces with his torch like the rude and impolite jerk he was. He asked everybody about their age and said he could take a few of us to jail for underaged drinking, but he would let us go if we agreed to leave there and then. Which we did and after he'd left we went back and continued without the music and tried to keep it down. Afterwards I heard Zack was hiding in the closet in the bedroom when the cop came in and started asking questions and shining with his fancy torch. Carlo had just given his beer to Zack 2 seconds before the cop came in, because he's not 21 yet. When the cop searched the other room a few of the underaged people went into the livingroom and then on the balcony where they flew down the stairs and made a run for it. Some birthday party that was! Well at least it's an experience I won't forget for a long time.
Monday January 22nd 2001
Tuesday January 23rd 2001
The winds sucked today so I couldn't go solo flying and I had to wait till 13:00 before groundschool started, so I went to the tag office and got my decal renewed. (You have a decal with your birthday month on your license plate, which expires every year so you have to renew it). I also dropped by my insurance company and asked about my premium if I got a speeding ticket. Luckily for me they only charge extra premium for major speeding, which is 16 mph or more above speed limit. Since I was doing 13 mph above speedlimit there will be no further consequenses for me other than the fine itself. So I'm not gonna bother going to the stupid drive safety class or whatever the hell they call it. Screw them. I'll pay the fine and that's that.
That afternoon in groundschool we were practicing oral questions with Dougie and he was explaining about dihedral (something to do with stability of an airplane) to someone with his arms spread (like the wings of an airplane) and it looked really funny. I said to Jur, "That would be a nice picture!". So he grabbed his camera and just as he had it focused on Dougie and ready to click it he stopped doing it. He hadn't seen us, so after the break we tried to trick him into doing it again by saying we couldn't visualize it. We spent 10 minutes trying to get him to spread his arms again, but it didn't work. Finally we just told him we'd been screwing around with him for the past 10 minutes and we all had a good laugh.
That night we had a surprise party planned at the EAT guys' place, because it was Wout's (our mentor) birthday. It was a nice party, but after about an hour I left with Oscar, Dougie and his wife to their place to try and fix Oscar's computer. No such luck. The bloody thing just wouldn't do what I wanted it to do. He had some problems with his modem and I tried the installation-cd of my modem, which is the same brand, but I wasn't sure about the type, but it still didn't work. I gave up and said to him I'd try to find some drivers on the internet for his type of modem, but when I got home I found out I have the exact same type. I'll have another look at it tomorrow I guess.
Wednesday January 24th 2001
Simming again this morning at 8 o' clock and I was screwing around totally. The first session from 8:00 till 9:30 was in sim 3, which is pretty new, and the second session from 10 to 11:30 was in sim 2, the old one, which is rusty and ancient. But for some reason I was screwing up even more on sim 3 than I was on sim 2. Guess I was still asleep. Groundschool sucked again. Sitting around doing tests all the time, which was a bore. Then I had to do some nightflying in the pattern. I had 3.1 hours left to do, so I planned to 2.1 tonight so that I would only have 1.0 hours left. That would mean I'd have to be taxiing at quarter to 6. That it also meant I'd do 10-15 minutes in daylight I didn't care about, but when I got out of groundschool at 17:00 the ATIS said there was too much crosswind, so I had to wait until 17:55 before the new ATIS came out. By then the winds had died out pretty much and I could go and preflight. So I was airborne at 18:15 and flew till 20:00 (that's when ACA closes). Around 18:30 another ACA plane joined me in the pattern, which was a nightmare! It was one of the students from the new class. I heard he already has his PPL and his Instrument Rating, but he flies like shit! He was doing downwindlegs of 4 miles out! Rediculously large patterns! I was told to do a 360 on final by the tower because I was getting too close to him. Then I asked tower to ask him to make smaller patterns and from then on tower called his crosswind, downwind and base, which was a blessing! I was glad when he left the pattern at about 19:20. Because of those large patterns I could only do 15 landings in 1.7 hours, whereas I did 18 in 1.5 2 nights ago! That's 12 minutes more and 3 landings less! The good news is that there's 1.4 hours left.
Thursday January 25th 2001
What a day! I overslept this morning for my sim session, which sucked! I feel so stupid. Then I went flying solo at 10:00. I only had 2 hours scheduled so I went to Leesburg, which was a good thing, because it was windy like all hell! I was being kicked all over the place at 3000 ft even! The turbulence was horrible. I got lifted from my seat 3 times, even though I was strapped in my seatbelt really tight, I still got lifted! It was like a freefall of a second or so and it was pretty damn scary. On the way back I had a wind correction of 30 degrees which is a lot and when I got back at Lakeland the winds had picked up even more. And that seatlifting thing happened in the pattern as well, which is only at 1100 ft, which isn't that high and I wasn't too thrilled about it. The wind was coming out of 310 degrees at 18 knots gusting to 25, while they were using runway 27. I had to work really hard to control the little bitch of a plane. Because it's so small it's very sensitive to any wind and not stable at all. Swerving around on final I was fighting to get it down... I had a pretty high airspeed, which was a good thing, because all of a sudden the wind dropped for a moment and my airspeed decreased by 10 knots. If I'd been on normal speed I think I would have stalled. In spite of the hard wind I had a fairly soft touch down, but the landing itself wasn't that good, because I was floating alot, because of the wind. For the rest of the day I didn't do anything useful. Wasting my time in groundschool again. I had 2 flights planned for after groundschool, but they were both cancelled because of the winds again. Hopefully the next few days the weather will be better so I can get some flying done.
Friday January 26th 2001
I was supposed to do a solo cross country of 4 hours this morning, but that couldn't go through, because of some idiot who'd parked his pickup truck into a electricity pole and the sparks set the grass on fire, which created a bushfire. As a result of that bushfire the visibility was terrible because of a thick haze layer. At night when I did a dual night cross country to Leesburg with Dougie and the fire was still burning and creating alot of smoke. We climbed to 7500 ft where the visibility was better and because most things (buildings and stuff) on the ground were lit we could see where we were going. That flight I was supposed to take N6167Q which has a great engine, because it's been recently revised, but the beacon light on the tail wasn't working, so we had to take N757XQ. When we arrived at Leesburg we noticed that the landing light was broken when we were on final. I couldn't see the runway too good so I slammed onto the ground, but luckily I didn't bounce back up. Back in Lakeland we found out our left navigation light wasn't working either. I challenged Dougie to make the landing without the landing light. His response was :"Do you want to get us both killed?" :) We couldn't see where the hell we were going when we were down to 30 ft and we swerved all over the runway and finally he slammed it right of the centerline. The taxiing back to ACA was also pretty weird, because we still couldn't see where we were going. We just tried to stay in the center of the taxilights, but we made it.
Saturday January 27th 2001
Monday January 29th 2001
That night I did my final session of night patterns. Finally I've got that done now. No more nightflying for me now. It was a bore anyways, so I'm glad. I did 1.5 in the pattern, which was 0.1 more than I needed, but it's hard to judge, with taxiing back and all that. I did 12 landings, which isn't that much, but I had to extend my downwind one time and do a 360 on downwind, because it was busy in the pattern and there was a King Air screwing up majorly giving the tower a hard time controlling all the aircraft in the pattern. Afterwards we played some tennis, which I sucked at, but I still had a good time.
Tuesday January 30th 2001
The weather sucked again! No flying again, because of winds. I got to school at 10:00 and was told I could go home again, because of the weather. We played Risk (the boardgame), which Jur bought in the weekend, the whole day, with Carlo, Dennis and Martin. I won the first game, then Dennis quit to do some studying, then Martin won and then Carlo. That night I ate at their place, because Jur had to do a sim session and Chris and Dennis had won a dinner cooked by the new guy and girl in a tennismatch last night and I didn't feel like cooking and eating alone. Afterwards we played some more tennis at which I sucked again and another game of Risk with Carlo, Martijn and his girlfriend Chantal.
Wednesday January 31st 2001
Got to school at 10:00 and we had to hurry, because the weather was deteriorating again. Dougie and I did another flight in the C-172 again. Practicing maneuvers like stalls, steep turns, slow flight and unusal attitude recovery in instrument conditions and doing some patternwork to get used to landing the C-172, which floats alot more than the C-152, because of larger wingspan. My first 2 landings SUCKED! I flared too high and basically fell down to the runway. It wasn't a bounce, but still a hard landing. The third landing was pretty nice, softly touching the ground, but the fourth landing was crap again. Not as hard as the first 2, but I landed almost level. The nosegear touched the ground within a second of the maingear and I wasn't satisfied, but I couldn't do it again, because there was no time left.
We did a sim session of an hour. My VOR interceptions, weren't too bad, but my NDB interceptions just plain sucked. I totally forgot how to intercept an NDB, which actually is piss easy once you get the hang of it. It'll probably go better the next session.
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