Sunday, 9 August 2015

Pilot decisions made part one

I’ve always second guessed my abilities in this regard, always unsure, always seeking a second opinion and probably leaning on Bob and RTH a lot more than I should have in this regard.

Which is why I am inordinately proud of myself at the moment. I managed a flight of (for me) epic planning requirements.

The back story is that my parents are visiting from the UK and I was eager to, well basically show off, and take my parents for a flight. A proper flight to another airport for the proverbial $100 hamburger.

The first snag; for various reasons that I won’t bore you with, I can’t fly PIC at the moment.

The first solution; Bob very kindly agrees to be some “right seat ballast” or my radio monkey as I kept referring to him! Great, but that leads to

Snag two, I’ve got 4 adults in a 172, I'm pushing the payload limits.

OK, let’s crunch the numbers and come up with solution number two. If I get the S model plane, I can carry 24 gallons of fuel.

That’s not ideal but it is doable. I decide on a destination that is about an hour’s flight away. I pick it for various reasons. It has a nice restaurant, I’ve been there before (albeit not as pilot flying), it has ample parking and self-serve fuel available at a reasonable price.

The latter is an important consideration, as although I’m confident that 24 gallons is plenty to get us there with a decent contingency, it certainly isn’t enough to get us back. I’m going to need fuel for sure. This is really the first flight I’ve done where I’ve had to actively make fuel decisions. Normally I fly with full tanks, giving me at least 5 hours in the air. This time I have to think about the “what ifs?” Another factor in my destination choice is that I know there are at least 3 other airports close by, all of them within fuel range and all of them selling 100LL on the minute chance that Edenvale is out.
So now that I’ve figured out the fuel stuff and am happy that I’m not going to be another “too much air in the tanks” casualty, I need to figure out how we are going to get there.

Another post….

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