(Thursday 0925) The flight went well yesterday. I got
a 9 and I think I'm getting good at flying by instruments only. I enjoy trying
to be as precise as possible while manoevering the aircraft without any visual
Flying will probably get cancelled today as we have fog once again so right now we have one of the last lessons in Meteorology. Tonight we have the GFU meeting and I think that we'll have an expensive meeting just like last week.
(Friday 0835) We havr Meteorology this morning and
later on today we'll finish off with the final written exam in English.
I'm on Monday's flying programme, where I'll be flying my last dual Navigation flight...if the weather permits of course.
The 6 Gripens that were here in Karup have left. The Danish F16's (from Skrydstrup Air Base) will be taking part in a big NATO exercise soon, so they invited the Swedes and their Gripens to have some warm up practise before the exercise. The Gripens had to do some bombing runs over the Northern part of Jutland, and the F16's mission was to defend the area. So the Gripens simply took off 2 at a time, did their bombing runs and landed about 30 minutes later, where the next 2 Gripens were sent away for their bombing run. There was alot of flying and it wasn't easy to sleep at night, as our quarters are rather close to the main runway (only a few hundred meters)...and the Gripen is quite noisy on take off.
We had an ok meeting yesterday, however not as good as last week's. The lesson is about to start now. If I don't write again today, then have a nice weekend.
(Monday 1010) We just held briefing but the weather is
rather crappy, so flying is postponed to 'later on when the weather gets
I got the daily stand up again today...and I didn't exactly do well. In the aircraft authorisation sheet I could see that the aircraft was tanked with 42 gallons instead of the usual 35 gallons of fuel. I was put in a case where I was doing aerobatics and stressed the aircraft to 5g's. When the aircraft is tanked with 42 gallons it is in Utility Category I, which means that it can pull 4.8g's without overstressing while with 35 gallons, the aircraft is in Utility Category II where it can pull 5.4g's without overstressing. So when the safety officer asked me what category the aircraft was in, I promptly replied (rather confused) Utility II, which was wrong of course. Damn, I was asked to sit down and another 'victim' was 'chosen' to take over from where I left. He also answered wrongly and was also asked to sit down. The third student didn't have too many options left, so he answered correctly and finished the case off nicely.
Now it's time for some English lessons. Catch you later...
(Tuesday 0850) After the English lessons yesterday, we
were taken to 724 Sqn (helicopters) to learn some more about jet engines. We
had a look at the Fennec helicopters and their engines and there was also a S61
Sea King in the hangar. Then most of us used most of the evening to study
Meteorology as we have the final exam tomorrow.
On Tuesday we have the last exam, which is the oral English exam. Then it's jsut flying up to the final check.
English lesson is starting again now. Flying today looks doubtful as the weather is just as bad as it was yesterday.
(Tuesday 1020) Briefing has been held and my
individual briefing is at 1245 local time. I'll be flying my fourth and last
Instrument flight. The weather is ideal for instrument flying as we have cloud
cover at 600 feet, so we'll be flying in clouds all of the flight. We didn't
have any stand-up today so everyone's positively surprized.
My IP today is the same one from my last instrument flight. He has a background flying Drakens in the RDAF and now he flies for both the Air Force as an instructor and for SAS, flying the airliners. I'll go get some lunch soon. As a wise man once said: Never fly on an empty stomach... or was that a movie?!?
(Tuesday 1525) Just landed and debriefed. I flew my
last Instrument flight today. The IP said that I'm ready for final check, so
that's just great. I got an 8 for the flight which is ok considering that I did
a fuck-up. On one of my simulated approaches I called out minima, initiated a
missed approach and then during my climb, while performing my after take-off
checks, I unintentionally leveled off instead of continuing getting away from
the ground. Oh well, I won't do that again!
In the end I did a GCA (Ground controlled approach) where the controller talks you all the way down to the runway and you follow his instructions precisely. So he gives you heading corrections of 2-3 degrees at a time and tells you whether you are on, above or below glide-path. It was great to emerge from the clouds, call minima and then continue visually to a smooth landing on the main runway. It's the first time that I landed the aircraft on the main runway and it was a great feeling. The landing was a long landing (on purpose) since the flying school is situated at the other end of the runway so I just leveled off at about 1m above the runway and maintained that height all the way down the runway to touch down almost at the end. Time to go study Meteorology.
(Wednesday 0935) Meteorology exam over and it went ok
for most of us I think. There's a flying programme today but I'm not on, as the
only 2 flights that I have left require VMC (Visual meteorological conditions)
or good weather in plain English. So now that all theory subjects are over, I
will concentrate all of my energy on flying and will do my best to get the most
out of my last 2 flights before final check. I have the responsibility for
briefing the restricted air spaces during the briefing today, so I better take
a look at it...
(Friday 1640) Back home for the weekend and it feels
great. We had the Christmas party yesterday, where we made some good food and
entertainment. We had great fun and drank a beer or two together...
Then today we had an easy programme and finished off early. Catch you in the weekend.
(Saturday 1750) Just wrote an account about my first
solo flight, which can be found in the section 'Looking back.' I know it's
about time, but as you know, time isn't a luxury that we have on flying school.
Have a nice weekend.
(Monday 1050) The weather is great today. I just
cockpit drilled a bit with one of the friends from sergeant school and brushed
up our procedures and techniques as we're up flying our last aerobatic flight
in about an hour's time.
Some of us will be flying a solo flight later on today. Unfortunately I'm not one of the lucky ones, as I flew my second solo flight not so long ago on a Thursday evening.
The diary has rounded 35,000 hits since I started writing in it, by the way. It's nice to see so much interest in life at the flying school.
(Monday 1610) What a day! Three flights flown, not
intentionally but that's the fact. First I flew an aerobatic flight which went
well apart from a little goof, where I overshot my assigned airspace while
performing lazy-eights. As a simulated emergency the IP gave me an Oil-pressure
failure which went well. I got an 8 for the flight. At the end of the flight I
was checked out for landings and got solo status so I was up flying a solo
flight afterwards. Unfortunately the solo flight got interrupted with a fuel
leak shortly after take off, so I decided to land and abort the flight. I did
so, taxied in, and there was an aircraft already waiting for me so I started
up, taxied out and finished my flight, which consisted of 6 take-offs and
landings. It was great to be up there with 5 other students all in their own
200 horse-power aircraft. The weather was nice but rather windy.
What a day! I'm tired now. All that's left is dinner and studying some emergency procedures tonight.
(Tuesday 1045) English oral exam is also over. I had
to translate a piece of text, then define and describe some words and in the
end give a summary of 2-3 pages from the book Air Power. My text was about
fighter cockpit systems so I felt at home. I got a 10 (on the 13-scale) in both
written and oral English which I'm happy about.
Right now I'm supposed to be planning my last Navigation flight, which I'll be flying in about 1½ hours, however I just talked to a meteorologist and he suggested me to call him again in 30 minutes, as he will have more accurate wind speed/direction by then, which is very important for planning navigation flights.
So I'll just wait and give him a call when he has the new report ready.
Today's flight is the last one with an instructor before final check. They could send me on a solo-navigation flight before the check but I think that they'll send me to the check, since we're still a bit behind with flying.
So this is my absolute last chance to learn something. Next time will be the moment of truth.
Catch you later...
(Tuesday 1445) Flew my last flight before final check
today. I tought the flight had gone well, but somehow I only got 7.
I'm on tomorrow's programme with final check so I look forward for that. The final check ends with a simulated emergency so I'll use most of the evening to practise emergency procedures. I'll also have a good look at the grade-sheets from the past flights in order not to repeat mistakes that I've done already. Apart from that I'll prepare my self as well as I can, so that I won't forget anything during the flight. It's going to be a long evening of studying...
(Wednesday 0820) Today's the day. My briefing is up at
1130 where the check pilot will give me a map and tell me what route we have to
fly. Then I have 1 hour to plan the flight and get ready.
The final check starts off as any other Navigation flight flown at 500 feet AGL (Above ground level) with turnpoints and a target/ stop-point. When the navigation part of the flight is over, the IP will take over while I put my foggles on (fogged glasses) for instrument flying. Here I'll only be able to look at the instruments and will have no visual references.
When the instrument exercises are done, the IP will take over again in order for me to take the foggles off and get ready for some Aerobatics. I have to do a Lazy-8, Loop, two Aileron rolls and two steep turns with 60 degree bank and 2g.
After that I will be checked out in some SFO's from different altitudes and positions (about 7 in all) and on the way home the IP will give me a simulated in-flight emergency which I have to solve and finish it off with a safe landing at the base or perhaps another airfield if the situation requires so.
That's basically it! Then it's off to smoke a cigar and drink some beers (hopefully, anyway).
The sky is clear by the way and the wind isn't as strong as it has been lately. I'll keep you updated.
(Wednesday 1610) Final check flown...and passed,
however only just. I screwed up quite a few things and was actually quite sure
that I hadn't passed, but apparently the IP thought it was good enough so I got
a 7. It hasn't clicked for me yet, but at some time tonight it will, and then
I'll get a smile on my face.
Now it's time to relax a bit and get my pulse below the 200 range. I'll write something again later on when I have more time.
(Wednesday 1930) I am a bit more at ease now. I also
feel better after the flight.
The flight was shared into 4 parts as you know and the student gets a grade per part and then an overall grade.
For the Navigation part I got 7 due to a costly off-track on the second leg which proved to be costly. At one point I found out that I was off and pin-pointed my position and decided to fly IFR (I Follow the Road) to the next point, where I simply followed a road which lead me to my next point. The instructor said during debriefing that I have to remember to keep on the right hand side of the road when I do such a thing in Denmark, so that if another idiot does the same stunt in the opposite direction, we wouldn't collide...
The instrument part went well, I actually got 10 for that part.
The aerobatic part was also some crap. I had alot of clouds in the assigned area and used most of the concentration to circum-navigate them, since we're not allowed to fly into them. So I got a 7 for the Aerobatics too.
Then the SFO's could have been better but they were ok. I got the aircraft to the designated field every time, not in the ideal manner, but the result was ok. I can't remember what I got, but it was 8 or 9.
As sim-emergency I got a bird strike...
So all in all it was rounded to a 7.
And that's basically it! All that's left tonight is beer-drinking and then I'm going to watch tv and surf on the net all evening.
(Thursday 1800) No flying today due to very heavy
winds. It was gusting up to 45kt this morning so flying got cancelled. Since we
don't have any theory subjects left, er had nothing to do. Pizza and GFU
meeting tonight, probably the last one for EK0205. Everyone is close to their
final-checks now, so there's a slight probability that we'll be ready by
(Saturday 0920) Back home...and this weekend I have
nothing to study. It's going to take a while to get used to that!
Three of us were up to the final check last Wednesday and we all made it. One of us was the only pilot left from the Navy. So now there's only us from the Air Force left on the team. One of the guys flew his check yesterday but unfortunately didn't make it, so he'll probably have to go to commision on Wednesday.
Anyway, now it's time to enjoy the weekend without too much thinking.
(Monday 1020) It's snowing outside and it's rather
hopeless flying since we have moderate to severe icing in the clouds. I was in
charge of the weather briefing this morning and I didn't have many positive
things to say about the weather. So we're on hold until further notice. The
front is supposed to have passed by noon so instructors are still hoping to get
a flying day out of it. So now it's a question of waiting and seeing how the
weather develops. I won't be flying of course so I have a bunch of practical
things to take care of.
(Monday 2005) Flying got cancelled. The weather
actually got better in the afternoon, but by then it was too late to start
flying. As you know, the days are very short at this time of the year.
This afternoon we played a good game of football (indoors of course). It was great fun and it had been a while since the last time when we kicked some ball together. Afterwards we went out shopping for dinner and we cooked together. All that's left on the programme is watching a DVD together and perhaps eating some pop-corn during our 'entertainment.'
(Tuesday 2130) Finally it's Christmas holidays for me.
It's great to get some holidays after all the hard work at school.
Unfortunately another guy failed his final check today, so that always gets
your mood a bit down. Tomorrow 3 more final checks will be flown if the weather
permits. Hopefully they'll all make it through the needle's eye. My fingers
will be crossed.
(Friday 1810) Back home from Malta. The weather isn't
as we had left it last week. We returned to a white landscape covered in snow
which is quite a contrast to the 15-20 degrees that we had on the last day on
our holiday. Anyway, it's great to be back home again even though it's cold.
The 3 final checks just before Christmas have all been passed which is great news, so now there are only 3 more checks to be flown (if my matemathics are correct) and then the whole of EK0205 will be done with the course at flying school. That's probably it for this year, so I'll write again next year (in a couple of days...)