Winter is drawing to a close. We see evidence of spring all around us but I'm still not getting in very much flying time. What is wrong with this picture? Ah, Daylight Savings Time is back with us and I'm glad! Maybe now I
won't have to confine flying to weekends when, so it seems, weather doesn't cooperate.
I learned (relearned?) late last month that there is a great deal of difference between keeping minimally current IFR, flying holding and approaches with goggles covering my bifocals and flying actual IMC. With 1,100 foot ceilings at SGF and 3,100 just west, the day seemed perfect for trying the real thing. I've had my instrument rating for almost two years and my ratio of simulated to actual still exceeds 17:1, a pretty dismal statistic that even surprised me. Climbing out of visual into clouds brought that uncomfortable feeling and I immediately realized that I should have started my instrument scan before reaching the low ceiling. Like "flying inside a ping-pong ball" I recalled my brother, former fighter pilot, describing it; a description I can't argue with. A couple of minutes of fluctuating attitude indicator, turn and bank, vertical speed, altimeter, DG, and air speed (yeah, I know, that's all of them), I started applying "smaller control inputs" written about in the texts.
Results of the flight to Lamar? I got there and neither SGF Departure nor KC Center requested even once that I "say intentions." In fact, I was surprised at how little contact I had with ATC. Overall, it was good practice but I need more. As it stands, I sure wouldn't be comfortable flying instrument with me for more than 50 miles or with ceilings below 1,500.
We had excellent presentations at last month's meeting with Hank Haddock and Roger Ferguson relating some of their experiences in the PBY-Catalina. I don't know about you, but I am fascinated by WWII era aircraft and love to hear the experiences of the men who flew them. Thanks, Hank and Roger.
Mr. Gary Cyr, Assistant Director for Aviation, Springfield-Branson Regional Airport, will provide the program for the April 17 meeting. Mr. Cyr will update SGF pilots on forthcoming construction activity at Regional and the latest on Air Park South. Please join us on the 17th.
The Missouri Pilots Association Annual Meeting will be held in less than a month. The Kansas City chapter has worked hard to arrange a good conference that will benefit all of us and we need to support the efforts of our organization. Have you sent in your registration form?
This month's meeting is on Tuesday, April 17th, at the Café SGF. Springfield/Branson Regional Airport, Buffet is at 7:00 P.M. Cost is $10.00 per person. Social Hour is at 6:30 P.M. Program: Gary Cyr, Assistant Director of Aviation, Springfield/Branson Regional Airport will provide update reports on both Regional and Air Park South.
Calendar of Events
4/19: EAA Chapter 821 Meeting, Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks, 2305 E. Kearney. (Lurvey Plaza) For
more information contact President, Larry G. Harmon at (417) 866-0919 or E-mail EAALHARMON@aol.com
5/4-6: MPA Annual Convention, Lee's Summit, MO. See MPA NEWS. Make your plans NOW to attend!
5/13 MPA State Board Meeting, Lunch 12 Noon at Bledsoe's Restaurant, Columbia Regional Airport, Columbia, MO. Board Meets at 1:00 P.M. All MPA Members Welcome!
Gleaned from my Logbooks
In my 58 years of flying (1943-2001), I only have one entry on this date, April 10th and that occurred in 1946 (55 long years ago). It shows a local flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico in PBY-5A 34014 of 1.5 hours while engaged in "pilot checkout" with an Ensign Kinney. He was a U.S. Coast Guard pilot assigned to our Navy Squadron (VJ-16) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but we were on temporary duty in San Juan. [Editor]
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