Sunday, 31 August 2014

ZV off for Servicing (Again)

ZV has developed a high voltage relay fault. In short (if you'll excuse the pun) this means that the alternator cannot charge the battery and that a repair is needed as a failure of avionics in flight in IMC is not a good thing. So with good VMC, after 2 weeks of crummy August weather, a ferry flight to Dundee was in order. This also meant that we could take the opportunity for instrument approaches as long as the avioinics were still OK (the battery did last out) provided we had a mobile phone and bluetooth headsets and a safety pilot (Alex) to remain unhooded

Start up was a bit of a faff - a lot of priming required before eventually the engine kicked into life. Oddly ZV never seems to start easily. Soon though we had her going and an IFR clearance direct to Dundee. Cleared directly to DND and FL 60 1013 was set on the main altimeter straight away and we were cleared for take off without delay. As this was my 1st flight in a month I was a little rusty for the 1st 5 minutes but soon had everything sorted and we were stable at FL 60 and en route. WIth 30 miles to go we were handed to Leuchars for traffic service and with 12 miles to go (on GPS as DME and ADF turned off to load shed until 10 miles from DND) I asked for descent to 3000ft to DND. Being cleared to an altitude Alex reminded me to set QNH before descent.

Free calling Dundee with 8 miles to the beacon I needed to expedited the descent as my initial descent was too shallow. CLeared to the Beacon and asked to call beacon outbound the 1st approach was NDB to ILS. No issues on the approach , I rolled out with 30 degree cut to gain the localiser and was soon inbound on the G/S and localiser. For ractice I used a DH of 350ft rather than my rating minimum of 600 (I did have a safety pilot who was enjoying the sunny weather I could not whilst under the hood). At DH I looke up and was pretty much bang on. Under the hood again I initiated the go around and repositioned for the 2nd approach and NDB

The approach was fin apart from rolling out too early ad south of track which meant a 30 degree correction. Once I had sorted this the appraoch was fine - down to DH of 650 ft where I levelled and bore in on the airfield before initiating go around for the 3rd approach - which would be NDB to ILS. Like the 1st this one was a good approach, this time though I carried out a flapless landing - lessons from which - don't reduce speed too early as it will annoy everyone else and the wind will affect you more. Looking up at 350 ft I was bang pn again and the landing was fine - if a little long (reduce power steadily on flare to sort this)