A bit late, but Happy New Year

Christmas came and passed with a nice lunch out including scones... No mince pies for me this year.
I went out for an underwhelming Christmas Dinner in the evening.



Chiang Mai is getting busy on the roads, not yet as bad as Vancouver and Bangkok though.

My travels will not stop any time soon... I have been up and down to Bangkok twice in a week, and I am due to go down again next week.



Imagine a hangar floor as clean as this

New Year's Eve this year was as bad as if I was in Vancouver (City of no fun), with an urgent drive back in the evening before the drunk drivers and the mass return expected on New Year's Day.
I wanted to carry on and get my ground school job done. There was a change of mind, but by that time hotel rooms had filled up and what remained was at a huge premium cost!


This aeroplane deal gave me and the company a lot of trouble this past year

I should have trusted my gut feeling when the Portuguese flying club changed aeroplanes on me mid deal.
Cessna 172 R and S models are not easy to find and the company needed one, but as much as you need
it, sometimes it is better to walk away. This aeroplane had not been loved by those who flew it.
On the other hand I negotiated the price down and down leaving funds to restore it, and it is a restoration!

The roads were quiet and easy to navigate on New Year's Day and so we drove to Best Ocean for a look...
I miss England on this day.
We used to race to be the first to fly in the New Year, and several times I was first in the air at Redhill Aerodrome.
In Canada this was easier, and I would be the first to fly from Langley or Boundary Bay because not many would rise in the morning. Different enthusiasm.
In fact in Canada I would make the effort to get airborne before 16:00 local and then land after... Fill the logbook times in as GMT (UTC for you francophiles) and thereby takeoff in one year and land in the next.
Here in Thailand Best Ocean Air Park was closed. Start the new year closed...


Departing Don Mueang Airport for a couple of days at home before returning south again


Up early in the morning to get a TukTuk ride to Chiang Mai Airport and fly on VietJet to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to catch a bus to Pattaya

Two days back in Chiang Mai was useful. I have my big 2005 BenQ Joybook 7000 computer here and I spent both days creating a type exam for the Cirrus SR22 Emergency Procedures.
Teaching a ground school requires preparation and many people do not know how much background work an instructor must do in order to provide good training material for the students.


Sunday night is pizza night at Pattaya Eastern, I've been present for this and the last pizza night

An instructor must learn a student's threshold knowledge in order to effectively teach a subject. Aim too high and the student will not understand what you are on about, too low, and the student might feel insulted.

We completed systems, flight planning, and emergency procedures, and finished up with weight and balance.
Having completed the weight and balance the sample aeroplane was found to be over weight and so what do we remove?
Fuel!
But we seldom need full tanks, and for the planned flight we needed 41 USG to go to the destination do an approach, a missed approach, fly to the alternate airport, do an approach, and thereafter fly for 45 minutes (IFR reserve). I also add an extra 10% Contingency fuel making it 45 USG in total. Maximum usable fuel is 92 USG so there's flexibility in the fuel load. To "the tabs" total fuel is 60 USG and so we could still fly with extra fuel and be within the maximum takeoff weight limitation.
There was the question of the alternate, what would you choose?
The nearest [alternate airport] has an elevation that is nearly 200 feet higher than the destination and has a 'non precision' approach.
It is close enough to be in the same weather conditions. So if you are not able to get in on a precision approach (ILS) at the destination you are unlikely to get into this alternate airport (VOR/DME) especially with the increase in landing minima to 800 feet AGL and 3 km visibility.
Another choice is an airport 30 minutes away with a lower elevation, and a precision approach (ILS) that allows for a 600 feet AGL - 3km visibility approach. It also has Avgas, and hotels are nearby.

For the student the lesson is in pilot decision making, and for me, it's revision!

The Cirrus SR22 is an aircraft that has an emotional impact on the aviation community every time the inbuilt Cirrus Airframe Parachute System is activated and yet another one of these aircraft descends to the ground. Much of this may be associated with pilot decision making. There's consideration as to whether having the parachute system gives the pilot a false confidence in the safety of the aircraft when that pilot's abilities are exceeded. 'Take a few chances you wouldn't normally take perhaps.
I have witnessed pilots of these aircraft entering controlled airspace due to the pilot being behind the performance it delivers. ATC shouting urgent instructions at the errant pilot!
The SR22 landing with inches of ice on it after crossing the mountains in the dark and in known icing... The Cirrus may be fitted with a FIKI system (Flight In Known Icing) but I for one would prefer to treat using this as an emergency system rather than knowingly taking off into icing in a single engine aeroplane.
One CAPS pull a few years ago where the pilot was on a night flight over the mountains when he entered cloud and lost control. The CAPS saved their necks, lowering the aeroplane onto a mountainside in the dark.
Me? I would never feel comfortable flying a single engine aeroplane over the mountains in the dark, let alone in the dark with known icing. I lived to my age through being an intelligent coward!

Cirrus are very careful to control the training given to the pilots of their aircraft, and I am not one of their authorised instructors. It is not likely that I will ever teach in this aircraft type, but at least I can go through the systems, the procedures, and the ground preparation required for a pilot flying an aeroplane with the SR22's capability.

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