Rod Machado and Me!

Today was President's Safety Day at ERAU - CAPT. We had a great talk from the Main Campus Safety Advisor, the President and Vice President of ERAU, Our Executive Director and Safety Advisor and Mr. Rod Machado himself. For those who may not know him, Rod Machado is a well known pilot within the GA (General Aviation) Community and is a big contributor to the overall awareness of aviation in the public sector. He is also a motivational speaker and has authored many books on "How to Fly" type scenarios.

Rod Machado spoke for quite a while today emphasizing on different aspects of complacency. The five different points all basically came down to asking yourself: What am I going to get out of the situation? In other words, if you are iffy on executing your flight, you should maybe just stand down and wait out the weather. Or if anything, just try to make a decision that you'll be better off with by staying in your realm of comfort

The rest of the time, there was a huge emphasis on safety. CAPT is a young program but with the culture that it posses, we have a bright future. So far, we have flown approximately 15,000 some odd hours, approximately 2 years and 3 months, and have been accident free. We are looking to keep that tradition going.

Of course, as you are reading this, you might ask, what I am not flying. If you aren't, just look at the time. I'm suppose to be in the air practicing night landings in the PA44. (It's 2006 EST) We have two front converging and they just felt like placing themselves right over my area. So, the minimums went down below our standards for dispatch and we were put on hold. Again, putting what Rod Machado emphasized today, we felt that it wouldn't be a good idea to go flying because of how we felt about it in the first place. I call up Gainesville Flight Service and they weren't too keen on VFR or even IFR (winds at 6000 were around 60 knots out of 270) and cloud coverage was just all over the place with embedded thunderstorms. Not a fun thing to fly around especially without any weather data on board. So, we made the decision to just wait it out till tomorrow night. It should be nice.

Adelle went home this morning. I had to take her to KDAB around 500 EST which was great fun. She spend the night before flying with Manoj and I. Last night we flew around and did night time maneuvers for the first time in a while in the PA44. Emergency Descent was fun along with the Commercial Standard Steep Turns. I fly second to kind of give Adelle a heads up on what I would be doing come my turn. She clasped my hands for some of the maneuvers but relaxed after she got use to it. It was fun sitting in the back of the Seminole just her and I. We never got a chance to fly just the two of us in the back of a small plane. Of course, I was still acting as pilot monitoring and made my necessary call outs so Adelle and I didn't speak to each other that much. We did an approach in KSFB (Sanford Executive, Orlando) followed by 3 stop and gos.

Now, when it came around to my turn, I got ready to go and after the first take off made a turn to stay in the pattern. It was great flying at a towered field again, at night, but I was definitely not ready for it. I haven't flown like this in quite a while so I was making myself really alert and trying to stay on top of things. All three landings at KSFB were okay, but not to my day standards. The ground would always just pop up out of nowhere about 2 seconds prior to me expecting touchdown. I could never get use to it. On the way back home to Flagler, I once again tried to settle it down slowly, but because the change in the sight picture, I wasn't ready again and still landed okay, but not to my standards of feather like. I have a lot to work on, but the next few lessons are on night proficiency. That hopefully will take care of it. Till then!