Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Kingair, gliders and tow planes

As summer is approaching, we get busier and busier, hence the lack of posts on this blog lately.

Towing-wise, I've been checked out on a newly designed aircraft, the MCR-180. This basically is a small and very light aircraft (450 kg / 990 lbs) powered by the classic 180 hp Lycoming engine, driving a 5-blade low-pitch propeller. The performances are truely impressive but the plane is not much fun to fly. It requires a very smooth handling and it is amazingly unstable, especially at low speeds.
Anyway, climb rates make it cheap to operate and this is what glider pilots are after. It wears the number 1 CN and is flown as an Experimental aircraft. As such, we have to make various reports after each flight, as a way to improve or even re-design some of the aircraft.

Gliding-wise, there is so much to explore in the area, it is incredibly beautiful and there's no way to get tired of it. I got the chance to fly the Nimbus 4D, a 26.5m (87ft) wide glider, and fly to Grenoble and back. Sadly, I didn't have my camera on me at that time, I don't think I've ever seen sceneries of such beauty before. The area South-East of St Auban (St Auban is the small city where I'm based) is also very nice, and it is one of the most touristic area of the South Alps region.

I also got to fly the Kingair, again, and it is a very good thing as .. I've got an airline interview coming up, and a good CRM will be of a good help.

Airborne life continues...


Alex M. said...

Oh boy you flew to Grenoble, that's where I live! I fly at the Versoud, and the MCR looks awesome, it's always going really fast (one nearly hit us when we were in downwind, but that's another story). Good luck on your interview, and keep the posts up (I check every day)


baptiste said...

What about regulations and the BE90 ?
It seems u are dealing with commercial operations wich require a crew owning a type rating for the a/c (captain and f/o). Am i mistaken or ?
I am interested in the answer as i'll be looking at that kind of stuff pretty much soon (I mean when can i be safety pilot whithout type rating on small twin props like BE90)



Golfcharlie232 said...

Hi Baptiste,

The plane is owned by a company that uses her to commute between different cities, mainly carrying sales representants.

For such use, there is one pilot required (Be90 is single pilot certified) and as such there is only a Captain onboard. If a safety pilot is also seating in the aircraft, he doesn't have to own a Type Rating nor even pilot licenses.

They were interested in my profile as I did a whole twin engine course for both the CPL and the IR, giving me a fair amount of time on the Be76 Duchess which is really close in handling and cockpit layout to the Kingair Be90.

Hope this helps.