Dad Comes For A Visit and Comes Along On My Lesson! :0)

 

12/02/04

I am still kicking myself for having brought my digital camera but forgetting it in the van (I REALLY wanted to get some current pics of my dad and I together) <argh>!

Originally, you'll recall that I've been working on my Commercial Certificate.  Anyway we arrived at the FBO, to find out, last-minute (my instructor didn't realize it either because neither he nor I had been told - in fact we went through an entire pre-flight briefing before walking up to the desk to get the pouch for the Piper Arrow III) that it had been put in maintenance earlier that day).  The desk person was chastised by my CFII for not notifying me (pointing out that I drive all the way from San Francisco for my lessons (Reid-Hillview airport is in San Jose, CA)).

So, my instructor suggested we could try a GPS instrument approach together in the one plane that had GPS (if you'll recall during my instrument training, I opted to get some GPS training AFTER I finished my Instrument Rating - since none of the planes I normally flew had GPS - therefore it wouldn't be required on my instrument checkride).  It was just fine with me and my dad was game - I was really pleased to have him in the plane with me.

So, we did some GPS familiarization (this particular plane had a Garmin 430 ) and took off.  We ended up doing two approaches, one for South County airport E16 and then an approach back to my home airport.  If it sounds like a short lesson it really wasn't,,,  there was a lot of time spent walking me through the set-up of the unit (my CFII pointed out to me that usually a pilot would be sure to load any procedures into the GPS while on the ground - we, however were short on time due to the issue with the complex plane and were doing the best we could with the remaining hour or so).

My dad was quiet as a church mouse and at one point I was asking him over the intercom if he was okay (and he said he was doing just fine - that he was just trying not to interrupt my lesson).

I have to admit, I was surprised at how 'high' the MDA (minimum decision altitude) is for most of the GPS approaches we were flying - it would seem that they should have an MDA at least similar to other non-precision approaches.

Well we finished up doing the GPS approach into RHV (my home airport), did a debriefing and called it a day.  I really wish I had that camera to shoot off a few pics of dad, since it is so rare that on his visits that we get anytime to fly, together.

Great time was had by all!  :0)

Good Flights!

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