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!

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