Flying the Arrow II

September 12, 2005

The owner of our FBO leased an Arrow II from a nearby FBO to accommodate my checkride and the rides of a few others also prepping for their Commercial Checkride.  It's meant to provide a fairly comparable replacement to the Arrow III which is still waiting for a replacement engine (supposed to be available in a couple of weeks - but not always something you can 'bank' on - could take a month to see it up).

Today, along with my instructor John, I got a chance to fly this particular plane from the nearby FBO (Squadron 2).

The major things I noticed was the shorter/stubbier wingspan and the more rectangular wings (i.e., they didn't have the sweep and length of the Arrow III's wingspan).  As a consequence of the shorter wings I did notice while I was demonstrating a 180 degree power-off landing on a point that it had a more pronounced sink rate that does the Arrow III, which ended up meaning that the approximate turn point that worked for the Arrow III was not going to get us to the runway (power-off) when flying the Arrow II.  To its' credit, the shorter rectangular wings almost made it feel more like a trainer, than the Arrow III.

Although it felt a bit 'different', if I were to be objective I would have to admit (like my instructor kept reminding me of after our flight together) that there was nothing in my performance in the plane that would warrant any concern in terms of the upcoming checkride.

I demonstrated short field and soft field takeoffs and landings, several go-rounds, and some 180 degree power-off landings.

Nothing much else to report, other than we have one other session together in the Arrow II on Friday; at which time I'll also be flying an hour or so before; the C172 and practice the maneuvers for one last time before the checkride.  So, come Friday; I'll start the Commercial maneuver practice at 11AM to 1PM in the C-172 and then at 1PM scoop up the Arrow II and John and have one more session practicing the 'boutique'<grin> landings and takeoffs & 180 degree power-off landings on a point!

Though, of course, I wish that I had the Arrow III (since I had more time in it) the truth of the situation is that the Arrow II will serve me well and should do just fine for the checkride.

Before leaving; my CFI, John, reminded me to be sure to review the emergency procedures in the Arrow II as well as be sure to take some time to go through the maintenance logs of the Arrow II so that I would be ready to point out the the checkride examiner where all required inspections and maintenance had been completed as required by regulation.

One more practice session and then the Commercial checkride on September 21rst at 12 Noon (a week from this coming Wednesday)!  I can hardly wait,,,, the third time should be the charm! <grin>  Keep those fingers crossed for me!

Good Flights!


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