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life in the fast lane

2009 Aug 29

Dave and I flew HSAWS up to Chaing Mai from Bang Phra earlier this week. This was my first flight without Tony in the right-hand seat. The Thailand DCA issued an amendment to the 5 year permit for HSAWS allowing either Dave or I to fly solo PIC.

We went to and from VTCC IFR. I logged some actual instrument time, and some hood time with Dave as my safety pilot. The Cu contained some bumps and rain but we avoided the nasty stuff. I kept my head down concentrating on attitude and airspeed while Dave looked out. The worst shear was +- 20 Kt and I reduced speed to Va where prudent. The maximum unintended rate of climb was however + 1,500 fpm.

I nailed the VTCC runway 36 ILS and arrived softly softly with the usual tailwind.

We encountered less actual IFR time on the return trip. I cancelled IFR over Chon Buri past the last Cu and with the Bang Phra Condos in sight. I kept my intended 85 KIAS until past the trees on Runway 23 and eased off the power for a squeaky soft arrival. The Commander 114 arrives easily provided we treat it as a large aircraft and not a small Cessna or Piper. You will get an impressive sink rate if you allow the speed to come back to 1.3 Vso on final.

I make spur of the moment visits so it is hard to plan ahead to meet up with people I know there. I still managed to meet some old and new friends in Chaing Mai.

Yet again I have had a great indeed inspirational trip: 6 hours logged, met (another) Ghost, found out so much about armchair flying. By Tuesday evening I was tired (totally shagged out as we brits say). I slept well on Tuesday night so I was good for the Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi highway fast lane, flight to Hong Kong, and with some regrets, work on Wednesday.