Today lesson was devoted to staying on the ground, having coffee and discussing some very important ground material. Yigal and I talk quite a bit in the plane when I am practicing, but the airplane in no way a classroom. You must take time to go over things that are going to be on the written test.
We went to Rick’s Runway Cafe with a VFR Sectional Chart that covers some of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. We also brought a plotter and a flight computer. For a good hour, we went over classes of airspace. This is pretty straightforward when talking about class A, B, C and D, but gets a little tricky when talking about class E and G. I got the concept, but need a lot more reading to get a firm grasp on it. We also went over how to use the plotter and the flight computer. The plotter is used to determine your heading (direction) and the flight computer is used for a few things. We went over how it is used to help you determine your actual heading, compensating for wind. Here is an example: say you want to fly directly east for 100 miles. Say there is a wind coming from the south at 25kts. If you take off and head directly east and continue on that heading, you are going to land east, but quite a bit more north than expected, due to the wind carrying you in that direction. The flight computer computes your heading, speed and wind speed, to give you the proper heading to fly. With this knowledge, you will “crab” (point the airplane south east, but remain flying directly east) the airplane the entire trip. Think about crossing a flowing river. If you get in a boat and head directly across, the current will bring you down stream. If your goal is to get straight across the river, you will need to point the boat up stream to compensate for the current.
For the next hour, we reviewed what I am doing in my Sporty’s Ground School. I gave him some topics I had covered and he quizzed me on them and offered some clarification on any questions I had.
I have to say, the DVDs and reading are very helpful, but nothing really beats face to face back and forth.