Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Night Before Christmas

I received this as an email from someone.

The Night Before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.
The aircraft were fastened to tiedowns with care,
In hopes that come morning, they all would be there.

The fuel trucks were nestled, all snug in their spots,
With gusts from two-forty at 39 knots.
I slumped at the fuel desk, now finally caught up,
And settled down comfortably, resting my butt.

When the radio lit up with noise and with chatter,
I turned up the scanner to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow,
Called for clearance to land at the airport below.

He barked his transmission so lively and quick,
I'd have sworn that the call sign he used was "St. Nick".
I ran to the panel to turn up the lights,
The better to welcome this magical flight.

He called his position, no room for denial,
"St. Nicholas One, turnin' left onto final."
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight Rotax Reindeer!

With vectors to final, down the glideslope he came,
As he passed all fixes, he called them by name:
"Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!
On Comet! On Cupid!" What pills was he takin'?

While controllers were sittin', and scratchin' their head,
They phoned to my office, and I heard it with dread,
The message they left was both urgent and dour:
"When Santa pulls in, have him please call the tower."

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
Then I heard "Left at Charlie," and "Taxi to parking."
He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh
And stopped on the ramp with a "Ho, ho-ho-ho..."

He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I ran out to meet him with my best set of chocks.
His red helmet and goggles were covered with frost
And his beard was all blackened from Reindeer exhaust.

His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale,
And he puffed on a pipe, but he didn't inhale.
His cheeks were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster's belly.

He was chubby and plump, in his suit of bright red,
And he asked me to "fill it, with hundred low-lead."
He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,
I knew he was anxious for drainin' the sump.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
And I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom, and sighed in relief,
Then he picked up a phone for a Flight Service brief.

And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,
These reindeer could land in an eighth-mile fog.
He completed his pre-flight, from the front to the rear,
Then he put on his headset, and I heard him yell, "Clear!"

And laying a finger on his push-to-talk,
He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.
"Take taxiway Charlie, the southbound direction,
Turn right three-two-zero at pilot's discretion"

He sped down the runway, the best of the best,
"Your traffic's a Grumman, inbound from the west."
Then I heard him proclaim, as he climbed thru the night,
"Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight."

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Nov. 19 2008 - Flight Test
- failed
- lots of lesson learned
- even more motivated to be a better pilot, and to come back swinging
- last time I've flown
- not gonna fly anytime soon until after January 18th 2009

Starting January 2009 - NEW C.F.I.
- Thank you Mr. ********** for all the hard work you put into the program
- Welcome Mrs. ********** I look forward to working with you, hopefully not for any progress review boards or flights...I dont mind a flight test with you though :D
- New year = new semester = new schedule = new classes!

December 12 2008 - GOT A JOB! @ a restaurant =<
- it's good way to make money during the break, and a little bit of cash during school
- it's a tough hard job, not like you sit in an office/or an airplane, and do your work, there's lots of carrying heavy things and walking around the restaurant.
- Working both Christmas and New years Eve =<<<<<

- It's gonna be fun
- Spent a lot on presents but that's okay, it's only once a year.

January 16-18 2009 - PART 2 "SURVIVAL IN THE BUSH"
- back to Bancroft, in the middle of winter this time!
- going to sleep in the bush for the saturday night, with only 3 small pieces of beef jerky.
- have to boil our own drinking water, using our own fire, and sleep in our own shelters.
- gonna suck but I CAN'T WAIT!

I will try to update more from now on, and not just my training but anything aviation related or just cool news.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Upcoming Flight Test

So today I flew for the first time in three weeks. Everything was great but visibility was marginal- about 3SM. It's been like this for the past few days, shallow fog or mist and it doesn't really lift, it just stays there as haze! Anyways I went for my extra dual flight and things were better, a few minor tweaking is needed here and there but i get to polish that in my solo before flight test.

So currently I'm number 5 or 6 I believe for a flight test, a couple of PPL and a few CPL flight test are to be finished before me. However, two of Seneca's examiners are gonna be gone for ATAC i believe for the whole week so I'm probably gonna be scheduled the week after next.

I just hope it doesn't get pushed over again and again because I don't like flying after a long drought of not flying, it makes me lose a little bit of confidence and I need all the confidence I can get for the flight test.

They said you can never feel ready for the flight test, and I really think it's true, but I just hope and pray that I am ready as much as I can be, when the time comes, and it's coming soon.

I'm pretty stoked about this winter because it'll be the first winter for me on the flightline, it should be interesting...I know there'll be way more cancellations of flights but for some odd reason I don't really mind. Plus I think we get a break somewhere in December which is great.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Storm system and Lake Effect Snow

So I got back from reading week hoping to have my preflight done by the first day or second day back. But both of those chances failed: Monday had rain and strong winds, and Tuesday had strong winds and low clouds. Both of these were caused by the storm over Eastern Ontario around Ottawa, Kingston Region.

The storm produced a very steep low pressure and so isobars were fairly close together around it, and that created strong gusty winds, around 20G38 kt winds from the northwest. The low over to the east created cloud formations over here because we were in the "tail-end" of the storm.

With the winds coming from the northwest, there was also an issue of Lake Effect Snow. Lake Huron was to the northwest and so any cold arctic air with strong winds create possibility of lake effect snow/precipitation.

Cold air gets blown over the lake and evaporation creates convective clouds over to the greater toronto area (GTA), it sucks because it is very short notice and as a result could be a reason for a lot of incomplete or cancelled flights in the winter.

So according to my instructor, instead of completing 0.3 hr of the preflight, he will just do a 1.5hr extra dual instruction to polish some of my weakness from the preflight:
Slow flight and Power On stall entries
Steep turns - to try and go back to entry altitude even within test limits.
Diversion - everything was perfect except I forgot to simulate a call to London
Soft-Field Landing- porpoising or not so soft landing

I won't be able to do this extra dual until next week because we will be away for a Search & Rescue Training weekend from Oct 31st - Nov 2nd. I am pretty stoked about this because we're going to Bankcroft area, and I can't wait how to really learn the things they will teach us (of course I'm not so excited because it's gonna be cold but I'm not complaining)

Anyway, I'll take my camera and post up some pictures of that here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

0.3 hr

So I "finished" my pre-flight test today. Okay, well I was short on time by 0.3 hours because I had to get to class. I believe it went pretty good...I think I just have to do precautionaries and practice soft field landings again.

This is my problem, in normal or short field landings, I land it pretty good at least no hard bounces or porpoising. But when I try to do soft field landings, it always lands hard or bounces or something wrong happens. Maybe I'm doing the procedure wrong. When I add power to soften the landing, I balloon and then instinctively (which is wrong) I pitch it down a bit and I end up landing flat, harder than usual.

Sometimes, my short field landings are way softer than my soft field landings. Maybe I should just pretend it's a short field landings minus the flaps up and maximum braking.

Anyways, I don't know when I'm gonna get that 0.3 hr left before I get recommended. But next week is study week so there's no flying. Maybe I'll go to the sim just to keep refreshing my mind.
Hopefully the week after study week, I can get the solo flight done then my flight test, and I really hope I don't get partial or have to repeat it or have it postponed.

I was flying today, and it was really nice out, the orange, yellow, red, and all the other fall colours was perfect...made it a little harder to find small towns but it was a nice view.

But in other news, I have two more midterms, an essay and a lab to do for the rest of the week...good fun!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pre-flight test

Hey so today I got to finish my last solo flight before the pre-flight test.
I was really hoping to get at least to the flight test before study week which is going to be the week after next week. But I don't think that's gonna happen.
But I have the pre-flight test to do next and hopefully I can pass that before study week and I can just study and prepare for the actual flight test during the study week.

It's time to really get serious, because if all goes well, I'm 3 flights (including the flight test) away from freedom from the stress this is giving me. PLUS ofcourse the freedom to take passengers finally!

Anyways, whoever is reading this who has flight test experience. (PPL standards i guess), any tips/advice or anything that can help me for the flight test?

Thanks...and happy thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

9 flights.

Hey so yesterday I finally got to do that solo cross country which was the same route as the dual cross country on my previous post. It was awesome, weather was perfect: blue skies and calm winds all around.
I actually wasn't booked to fly it yesterday but I thought my instructor would still be sick so I woke up early to plan it anyways. When I got there, he came in and was hoping to fly but decided to let me have his airplane anyways. So the waking up was worth it.

The only thing that went wrong was that I forgot my logbook at Buttonville so I wasn't able to get stamps at Muskoka and Collingwood.

Anyways today I did review of airwork and some instrument flying under the hood. I have 9 flights left including the flight test before I can get my licence...if all goes well. I'm hoping to have it by 3rd or 4th week of October. It is getting pretty stressful along with academics and the quizzes and projects due coming soon. But I'm determined to get this done, it's kinda like the final stretch of that final lap.

Anyways I'm booked for a solo airwork flight tomorrow at 8am. Hope it goes well, and I get better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cross Country

So I've been really sick for the past week. And it sucks because well I violate the rule of thumb for flying a number of times so that's why I haven't flown in like a week.
There's this thing you could use to check if you should fly or not its called the IM SAFE acronym to check if you're fit for flying.

It's funny because us pilots have acronym's and abbreviations for EVERYTHING.

The acronym goes like this:
Illness - you shouldn't fly sick, even a small cold can get worse at altitude
Medication - Don't fly when taking over-the-counter medication not approved by a AME
Stress - Don't fly when you're over stressed, it'll affect your PDM greatly.
Alcohol - 8 hours bottle to throttle, 12 for Seneca
Fatigue - Haven't had enough sleep? Don't fly!
Eating - Proper nutrition and healthy diet is a must!

I don't meet I M and S in that IM SAFE checklist.

Anyways, I have planned my long cross country for a while now and just waiting to actually fly it with my instructor. I was scheduled today but with the weather caused by Post Ike and my illness moved it to Thursday morning.
My route goes as follows:
CYKZ - SHP over Ballantrae - CNF4 - CYQA - CYEE - CNY3 - CNA3 - CYKZ
So first I get to do it with my instructor and then I fly the whole thing again on a different day, solo!
I'm scared but even more excited. Should be fun!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My instructor landing on a HWY

This is taken from a post from liveatc.net
I must say I feel lucky to have Mr. Denning(leaning on the cop cruiser) as my instructor, can't wait until we fly again. Hopefully soon and get that first dual cross country done!
Well here it is enjoy!!

Globe and Mail (Toronto) -

"The plane (C-GSCZ) was gliding only 15 metres above two transport trucks before Mr. Denning brought the plane down safely on Interstate 87, close to the town of North Hudson, near Lake Placid."



Firemen and state troopers were able to move the aircraft off one lane, allowing traffic to flow past the disabled plane.
"They just pushed it off to one side," Bessey said.
As they waited for NTSB officials, the pilot and passengers leaned against the side of the plane, Bessey said.
"They were chuckling, everybody was chuckling with them. His instruments told him he was 15 minutes from Burlington.
He said at least he got to see Vermont. We told him he wasn't in Vermont."


Original Audio File: BTV-App-Sep-03-2008-2000-2030Z
Download is edited, removing great whopping gaps of dead air

* BTV-App-Sep-03-2008-2030Z_CGSCZ.mp3 (704.8 KB - downloaded 21 times.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So today's flight was all about diversions!
We departed local north and went up to the town of Sharon, just north of the top of HWY 404.
My instructor helped me fly the airplane while I did my rough planning.
There are a few things you need to do in a diversion, and some should be in a certain order.
Draw your freehand trackline.
Estimate your heading using either the lines of longitude and latitude or a nearby VOR. This is critical you get this first because you want to be circling your landmark in a way that when you finish your planning you should already be around the heading you estimated.
Next is the distance to destination and time elapse. So the rule of thumb is 90kts = 1.5 NM/min and 120 kts = 2NM/min.
Next up is pick a halfway point and do the same things, distance and time. When you reach this halfway point, you will check if you arrive early or late, on track or drifted. This would give you your groundspeed and revised ETA and if necessary revised heading.

You should do all of these planning while flying the airplane, constantly looking out and in, out and in.
Then when your approximately over the landmark you started your trackline over. You should do these in order. (You also need to make sure your heading is set, because no point of doing any planning if you have the wrong heading)

TIME - write down the time you were over landmark
TURN - turn to your heading (use heading bug as well)
TRACK - see if you're actually on track using navigation (big picture -> small picture)
THROTTLE - adjust Throttle to cruise if you're not already in it.
ETA (to destination and halfway point)
TALK - contact london FSS or your company to let them know about the diversion

There were a couple of great tips my instructor gave me.
1. Always think ahead, always question yourself "whats next?"
It could be planning for arrival, checking the CFS, or completing a checklist

a. Check time, see your ETA and what you should be looking for and where at certain times,
b. look at your map and look for Big picture-small picture of what you should be looking for outside.
c. Look outside and orient where you are from what you see.

Anyways my next flight is another diversion, but all by myself. So I have to fly the airplane while planning. I would probably be asked to divert to an uncontrolled airport and do uncontrolled procedures there.
The flight after that is a solo practice of diversion and uncontrolled procedures.

AND THEN! I should be doing my dual cross country after that.
I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Phase 2 Check "A"

So we have classes again, but now flying is thrown in the mix, so it should be one hectic last 3 years of school. Our fall semester classes are:
Avionics and Instrument Fundamentals
Differential Equations
Material Science
An elective - which I chose was Food For Thought.

It's definitely less classes than before but the workload will probably be the same, if not more. And so the need for hoping to have a good year is definitely ..well still needed. There was also an orientation for 1st year students today. From what I've heard there's 106 new students! That's a lot. Well, they better stay motivated if they want to make it to the airport.

Tomorrow is my phase check for phase two before I can begin solo airwork flights in phase 2.
This flight is basically a review of all the airwork that was introduced and practiced in Phase 1, to see if I can do them safely by myself.
So the basic airwork stuff covered tomorrow are:
Steep Turns - two 360 degree turns made at 45 degree angle of bank maintaing altitude
Slow Flight - manoeuvre in the slow flight speed range, 5kts above stall speed.
Stalls - perform proper entry and recovery of power off and power on stalls
Spins- perform proper entry and recovery of a spin both ways, using ofcourse the proper procedures
Spiral Dives - properly recover a spiral dive, without exceeding the manufacturer's recommended speeds.
Precautionary approach - perform a precautionary approach (probably on a field) according to the situation given by instructor
Short Field Takeoff & Landing - practice short field takeoffs and landings

So it is quite a lot to cover in 1.4hrs flight time. Hopefully I don't mess anything up considering I haven't done them in so long. And if all goes well, (crossfingers, or just praying that it does, or both), I would be able to do 3 solo airwork flights after that.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Solo

It took a long time but I made it. I've finally gone for my first solo. Now all those incomplete (cause of weather) and unsat flight of I.14 (pre-solo) don't even matter.

So of course I gotta tell the stories in those 8 little minutes I was alone in the air.

With a slight crosswind from the right took off from Buttonville Runway 33, following C-FRFI a Cessna 150. Now I had my eye on him because he was the traffic to follow. I somewhat caught up to him so I had to extend a bit before turning crosswind. As I was about to turn crosswind, I see raindrops on the windshield, I was like oh yEAH! but it didn't matter. On downwind, I did all my checks and did the before landing briefing as I would with an instructor. I heard over the radio about Media 1 coming in for RWY 03, but tower didn't tell me anything so I was good.

Abeam the threshold of RWY 33, I slowly decreased power for base, and trimmed it. Then as I was about to turn base, tower told me to extend downwind for another 10 seconds for spacing, I guess for Media 1 landing RWY 03. So as I turned back to downwind, I had to pull up a little bit. And as I did, my airspeed dropped just below 60 and I heard the stall horn, I got scared for that tiny second but quickly added power up to 2000 RPM. Counting in my head I turned base after 10 seconds. Told tower I was on base and I was number 1.

Final approach was the best I've had. The piano keys or the numbers of the threshold didn't move from the windscreen and my airspeed steady at 65. Tower cleared me for a touch and go and I said, uhh FULL STOP for Sierra Charlie Romeo.

On the round out, slowly reducing power, looking beyond the end of the runway, started my flare and ...that's right no BOOM! on landing. My landing was so smooth, I just smiled after touchdown. Almost to get on the brakes..exited Bravo1 and taxiied back.
I must say this was my best landing so far.

Then after I shutdown and got a bunch of my "colleagues" congratulating me. It was awesome, they then soaked me in water.

After my soaking, mandatory picture with airplane

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Almost there...

So my internet has been down for a few days and I felt so helpless because nowadays it's so vital in most of the things we do. But now I have it back and all is well again.

Today was my second last lesson that I have to do before going for my first solo (which is the lesson before the solo and then the instructor steps out and all of that). The other is the emergency procedures lesson in the simulator. That shouldn't be a problem because I've got most of the main emergencies down.

The only thing holding me off, are the hold offs (round outs) and flares... mostly the stronger crosswind types.

My approach is getting better: crabbing to eliminate drift and getting set up early (just the minor adjustments there) and then sideslipping when short final.

Sideslip is when rudder is used to align the nose to flight path which should be the centreline for landings and ailerons into the wind to eliminate the drift. All of these are pretty straight forward and again just minor adjustments and improvements needed for those.

As soon as I start to level out for the round out - looking for the cruise attitude and at the end of the runway - my nose starts to go all over the place, mostly go left when I had left rudder input in the sideslip. So then I guess I'd have to put in more right rudder. I don't know why I didn't think of this before but I guess it's because I've slowed down and I'd have to put less rudder input?

Anyways, the other thing is I would either flare too early/too high or too late/too low. So then I would sometimes balloon (so i add a bit of power) but still land hard, or I land flat.

These things I need to work on a little bit more and I'm not pressured by other people solo-ing before me because I'd rather feel comfortable to do these things all by myself before solo-ing than just getting it over with.

In other news, about 7 people from my class have already gotten their PPL, and 6+ more are waiting to get flight tested. Contrast this to a few people who are still in the simulator phase of the training. That seems like a big spread but it's actually better than some years in the past.

My friend was showing me his logbook and I saw that his first two flights were almost back to back and all of the sudden, his third flight was 3 months later. That's pretty long for in between flights. The reason was they grouped his class into 2 groups and they wanted everyone from the first group to solo first before they started the second group, which is pretty weird but I guess now they've improved it quite a bit.

Also, the first airplane (and the 2nd and 3rd) C-GSEQ just finished getting it's new engine. Now I'm not sure why they had to put a new engine on the airplane but I shall find out soon. It took them about three weeks and today it had its first run-up. So that's pretty exciting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Take her for a spin...

"round and round she goes, where she lands nobody knows?"

well technically you should have recovered a spin at 2000' AGL, but for Seneca and a lot more others they make it 4000' AGL.

So today's flight was awesome, got to do spins and steep turns, was also going to do Spiral Dives but that would just push me to my limits.
I even had to have some straight and level flight in between spins so yeah.

Unfortunately, Seneca College doesn't allow photopgraphic devices in the airplane so I couldn't capture it, but here is a video that is similar, except that I wasn't in formation with anyone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX4lK-ud1fI

On another note:
Yesterday, a captain of a Boeing 747 that graduated from Seneca in 1980 randomly dropped by the hangar today just to visit and talk to students. He said he was lucky that he made it as far as he did and the key was to become a HUMBLE FIGHTER. Fight enough that you make it out alive and remain humble once you get out because we, pilots, never ever stop learning.

I think that was the greatest thing he said that day, anyways he also talked about the bad rep that Seneca pilots have because of past and/or present graduates.
I think it's more of the past graduates that come out thinking they know everything and that they're Multi-IFR rated with their CPLs. It's sad that I have to agree to that because I know SOME, not ALL, graduates come out with an attitude and unfortunately it has given the whole school and the whole program a bad reputation (for some at least)

I'd like to think that bad rep or not, what he said about being a humble fighter is key to being succesful in this industry, whatever school you are from.

Anyways just a few more lessons before my first solo. Still gotta cover: spiral dives, overshoots, runway changes, comm failures, engine failures in the cct. And I think I need more practice in normal circuits.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

With the traffic...

So ever since my first flight, I haven't gone up as much as I wanted, but that's okay I guess. My last flight I believe was my best one so far, I felt mostly in control of the aircraft and the situation. I think this is my situational awareness building :)

This flight was all about stalls and steep turns and man, you could really feel the G's in those steep turns. My instructor said I did it as well as he did and it was good enough because we had limited horizon.

What I was really proud of though, was spotting traffic. On all my previous flights, it took me forever to find traffic around me. This time I even spotted them before my instructor did, without any assistance from ATC. hehe.

On the way back to buttonville, I was calling up from the area of Preston Lake, and with just my initial call, tower told me to report over Victoria Square right away, I guess it wasn't busy yet! I love mornings.

So after that I was told to join the right base for RWY 21 and to follow a C150 just turning left base. I thought, okay traffic spotted and it shouldn't be hard to follow, but once I was close to my final, it was still mid left base, so my instructor asked tower if S turns were allowed. So we planned to extend our base and somewhat make a 180 to rejoin the left base behind the 150. I thought okay, things are good, focusing on the traffic to follow, then BAM! Instructor said, uh AIRSPEED. And I was like oh shoot, I was at 48 kts, and I had full flaps down. So close to the stall. I was focusing TOO much on the traffic that I forgot to maintain management inside the airplane. So I corrected that, and went to final and landed, it wasn't great because I tried to round out and flare to early but in time I will learn to hold off the flare.

And that has been my most interesting flight so far, other than the one before that in which I spotted a hangglider to my right which was pretty cool.

Friday, June 13, 2008

First Flight Finally


I finally went up for my first flight ever in a small airplane. It was awesome. Believe me, I'm still kind of in shock up to now that I have been UP there. And to just sum up, it was a completely different experience. More bumpy than the sim, hahaha!

I handled the aircraft pretty much most of the time. From engine start, taxiing, take off, enroute to practice area. We then proceeded with straight and level flight, climbs, descents and turns. My flight instructor also demonstrated steep turns which made me feel really gooey inside, but it was all good. He also showed the visual landmarks going in and out and around buttonville which was good because you don't really see anything on the sim. Couldn't do the landing though because the crosswind was too much, but it was good.

Even though we were in the air for around an hour, it felt like it went by so quickly. And also, I wasn't as situationally aware, and often times getting behind the airplane maybe because it WAS my first flight and I was kinda still like "wow" inside my head.

But yes, I enjoyed it very much, can't wait to go up again.

I didn't get to take a picture of me with the airplane but i did manage to take a picture of the airplane I flew in right after.

Logged first flight 1.0 hrs.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


So I finished the monotonous phase zero of cessna 172 simulator training. I have been validated and is ready to start flying. Unfortunately, some of the people in my group have had cancelled sim lessons and so are a lesson or two behind and according to my FI, I have to wait for at least half of the group to actually start flying.

I've been bumming around my house for the past 3 days with nothing to do, patiently (actually impatiently) waiting to get started on flying. I know someone in the same class but in Group A, is almost close to his Private Flight Test. He is ahead of everyone, and is moving pretty quickly too.

Hopefully, I'll move on the flight line pretty fast as well, probably be at the airport for extra hours try to get an extra flight in or something. But for now, I'm here sitting at home, watching videos and doing some extra reading, ready to go, and waiting.

I have written my PSTAR and radio exam. I got 13/15 on the radio exam on the first try so I had to rewrite it. Second time I got 15/15 so great.

Also got 49/50 on my PSTAR. I forget which one I got wrong I think it's the one with the taxi clearance to a runway and to get there you have to cross another runway. I put taxiing there but needs a clearance to cross the other runway (because that's what I saw in the study guides) but actually, you're allowed to taxi all the way without holding short of anything.

I guess it's the same thing as taxiing down Bravo, crossing RWY 21 to get to RWY 33. Sometimes they say "cross 21", sometimes they just say taxi "Bravo all the way down". Other than that I'm good. Got my Student Pilot Permit and Radio Operators certificate so see, I'm good to go!

In the meantime, I'm reading up on emergency procedures for C172. Trying to commit most of them to memory, because eventually we're gonna have to anyways. Hopefully I'll start flying by this weekend. As for now, here's a clip of a jet departing buttonville I captured a week ago.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Here's the long awaited picture of Seneca's new Cessna 172s


I love it most especially because it's XRAY! :D

It's flights are kept local for now since there's a few minor tweaks that must be done and stuff.

I've heard from people whom have flown her, saying that she has a starting problem lol, but is very light compare to the other ones. Now I don't know how you can really compare the weights just by the feel of it but yeah.

Here she is:

Friday, May 9, 2008

New stuff

Seneca have started a new dispatch system and scheduling system beginning May 5th.
The new dispatch system includes:

a Duty Instructor
a receptionist - junior student
ramp attendant - junior student
flight follower - senior student
and a dispatcher - senior student

Flight crewmembers are suppose to sign in with the dispatcher and be briefed by the dispatcher first with their flights to see if they are ready and prepared for it. Then they are briefed again by the duty instructor and authorized (signed their trip slip) for the flight. This is for solo and mutual flights. I'm not sure about dual flights since they have their own instructor there to brief them.

The receptionist - in charge of who's in and who's not in the hangar, and answering phone calls. Also they are in charge of calling people on the reserve, standby or volunteer list. More on that later.

The ramp attendant - in charge of ground duties such as cleaning the windshield after each flight, monitoring refuelling and listening to Buttonville ground to see if the aircraft has in fact landed or in the area. Verifying the actual times with the ETA.

The flight follower - in charge of monitoring Seneca ground frequency and recording off, up, down, and in times. In charge of calling for fuel 30 minutes before arrival of aircraft so they don't have to actually wait when they arrive.

The dispatcher - dispatches the flights and makes sure everyone does their duties and coordinates with the duty instructor so that they can maximize time management. When an aircraft is not in use, they can contact and arrange flights for people in the reserve, standby and volunteer list.

Reserve - people on reserves must report within 60 mins of being called in and must be prepared for their flight.

Standby - are people who arrive at the hangar at the same time as others and wait for available aircraft for their lesson. I'm not really sure on who gets called in first.

Volunteer - when worse comes to worst and they need those airplanes in the air, they can call people on the volunteer list and they must report within 90 mins of being called out.

So everyday there is a reserve and standby list but volunteer is obviously voluntary.

Crew resource management is definitely the biggest reasons for this, so that we don't get left behind on scheduled flights.
They have also extended operating hours from 0600 to 2300 on weekdays during the summer.

Another new things Seneca has deployed/used is a new scheduling system. Flight schedule Pro, they said it's much better than the old one. I guess it's true because instead of having 2 shifts, the shifts are really divided to when the airplanes come down.

Some people though are complaining because as much as it is better for flights, it's asking more of the students and instructors. Not everyone can make it there at 6am.

Fortunately I can, so hopefully when I get on the real flight line, I'll be able to have more flights than normal. Because right now I'm still on simulators. (Phase Zero we call it, and that is also new this year)

A few of my classmates who started Phase Zero during second semester have already gone solo, so it must have been a great choice to have phase zero! I just started this week so, it's going to be a while before I actually start flying.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Duty Student

So summer is finally here. During the briefing at Markham Campus, the tentative schedules for each groups have been set and my group is scheduled to start on May 5th!

Group A is already in Phase 1 which is flying already up to first solo. B group is in their Phase Zero. And some people in group C get stuck with having to be trained as a duty student.

Duty students, as they say, are very important in running the flight program as they are "in charge" of operations.
The main duties of a duty student (haha) are:
  • Lead mass weather briefing at beginning of each shift (which is going to change soon)
  • Answer phone calls!
  • Maintain listening watch of current ATIS and Seneca Ground, for up and down times of Seneca airplanes. These are very important as they say because we always want to keep track of where our planes are. After 5 minutes of ETA/down time and if we still haven't heard from them, we have to try to call/radio em in, and if still no contact we inform the Duty Instructor and certain procedures are done.
  • In charge of calling services like refuelling the airplanes when need be.
  • And logging in trip slips and log numbers of each plane on the computer.

In other words, we are everyone's "secretaries" for that shift.

Right now there are two duty students for each of the two shifts of the day. But since we are going to extend operating hours from 6 to 23, that would mean splitting up the day into possibly 3 shifts.

Most of the students from my group that were duty "trained" is going to do it all by ourselves starting saturday because the senior students still have their exams on the following week. It should be a combination of scary and fun at the same time.
I guess I need to get on the good side of our scheduling flight instructor so that I would be scheduled for less duty shifts in the upcoming months or so.

Can't wait to actually fly! So much reading, starting ahead or getting familiar with the AOMs and SOPs is exciting!

Friday, April 11, 2008

2 weeks vacation

So it's finally the end of the year, next week is exam week and after that there's a bunch of things happening at the same time.

Since the class is so big and very limited equipment, we were split into 4 groups; A to D. A group had already started Phase Zero, which is simulators and lessons. Group B, C, and D have been chosen and each group will have to start at different times.
B, C, and D groups will have a group briefing on the 21st which is the monday after exams, while Group A starts flying. The next day, the 22nd that is, Group B will start Phase Zero. Group C and D are to take their vacations at hand, and group C to start Phase Zero mid-May and D group to start end of May.

Although every group have been chosen, the board still has to have a promotion meeting, which is where they decide who actually moves on to the flying program. If a student is borderline or is on probation still, they don't want them to continue to get left behind since it's only going to get harder from here on.

So currently, I am in group C that means I have around 2 weeks of vacation. The summer flying semester ends on Aug. 15th but 2nd year starts two weeks earlier than others, therefore 2nd year starts Aug. 18th. So the only vacation I'm gonna get is these two weeks after exams. If I get bumped up to group B then I would have to take 2 weeks vacation in parts.

The group briefing is going to be held at Markham Campus. I've only been there during orientation so it should be a good experience. This group briefing is supposed to last the whole day so that should be fun.

The flight program director also announced that we have recently bought a new Cessna 172s plane to add on to our fleet. Our fleet now then consists of 7 + 1 Cessna 172s, 5 Be-33 Bonanzas, and 2 Be-58 Barons (twin engine). What bothers me though is why we have so many planes, while only having one simulator for each type plus a CRJ simulator. I think Seneca should get more simulators so that the training would be done much faster.

As soon as I get to go to the airport or get any new info about the new plane I would post it up on here.

I also have a few questions that I can't get my mind to twist around.
How exactly does A VDF or DF Steer work?
And should I also get a headset already for the flying that is to come or just use the push to talk thing that's already installed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First year

So 211 days have come and gone, 17 days left until this year is officially finished!
There have been many ups and downs especially a lot of last minute cramming, but most have been good knowing that it's all going to be worth it in the end.

So what exactly have I done this year?
Just a quick recap on everything.

Mechanics Statics & Dynamics
Fluid Mechanics
Electricity & Electronics
Psychology (gen. ed)

So there's really nothing to talk about in those courses except for Aeronautics.
For Aeronautics we basically covered most of all the chapters in the book From The Ground Up:

Theory of Flight
Aero Engines
Air Law & Airspace
Intro to Human Factors
Aviation Weather - lots of weather!
Flight Planning
Radio Procedures
Brief Intro to Radio Navigation

Thinking about it now, I learned a lot over the past year or 211 days (to be technical) but as most pilots would say, you never stop learning; and I am still learning a lot.

In a few weeks, my future will be decided if I get into the flying program, which I have a pretty good feeling that I will since I did pretty good overall.

For some people they know that we wear pilot shirt uniforms and everything, so the year was also filled with people thinking we're nerds, or mormans, or jehovahs witnesses or the best of all SECURITY guards. At first wearing the uniform felt weird and ucky but now everybody's gotten used to it.

So if you ask me if I'm excited for the summer to come, you'll just see a big smile on my face. I have also been listening to liveatc for buttonville. And sometimes at 8am I would hear Seneca students already in the air, which would mean they were up very early, but who wouldn't want to be up early to be UP in the SKY!

This blog has been really random/boring or whatever but yeah.

Just to put it out there...

I've heard a few things about instructors and all. I know having a good smile-on-a-face and having that hard working attitude is good, but other than those things does anyone have any suggestion or tips for new student pilots like me?
Don't get too complicated that I won't understand though : )

Friday, March 28, 2008

Just started

So this is my first blog, and of course it's going to be an introduction about the purpose of this.

I am currently in the Seneca College Aviation program that is for four years. First year is two weeks from being done. At which I will start my flight training at Buttonville Municipal Airport, where there are a lot of students do their flight training as well.

I hope to use this as my own self study kind of thing, but of course I have just started and I know many people who blog about their training as well. A way to review and bring out my opinions about anything, aviation related or not.
Also since it's open to the public, I can use it to get help from other people as well.

I named it pilot's discretion since it's kind of my freedom to talk about things that I want to talk about, and maybe bring forth my opinion about them.

So my first blog will be soon, it would most probably talk about my experience about my first year in Seneca.

Future thanks to those that read this, and comment on the things I need help on.