CDM – Houston, TX
When: Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM (Central Time)
Where: Global Select Terminal Building, Sugar Land Regional Airport, KSGR
CDM seminars take an intensive look at general aviation safety, analysis of past accidents – including some Cirrus accidents – and create a formal method of conducting individualized safety routines for each of our pilots. This is a highly interactive seminar with lots of thought provoking discussion and analysis. We want to encourage broad Cirrus pilot (and partner) participation. Non COPA members are invited.
Do you know how risky your last flight was? Or how risky the one you are about to take is? Do you think anyone who ended up in an NTSB report didn’t expect to arrive? Do we necessarily have to live with increased risk because we fly?
We fly an incredible plane with fantastic safety features on board, yet our statistics to date, aren’t any better than that of general aviation. We know from commercial airline statistics that it isn’t the act of flying nor the capabilities of aircraft that cause accidents. IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE OUR FLYING AS SAFE AS COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL? We believe that answer is YES.
A Critical Decision Making (CDM) seminar isn’t really a seminar but rather a facilitated interactive hangar flying session where the group looks at general aviation and Cirrus statistics, reviews case studies of Cirrus accidents, and participates in the reenactment of an actual accident.
Although we discuss and set minimums, our decisions aren’t usually black and white, but often quite gray. Combined with a lack of appreciation for risk and the confluence of otherwise benign risk factors (no one thing in the flight meets the NOGO criteria), our human nature minimizes risk or leaps to wishful expectation that everything will be alright. The seminar concludes with the group understanding and quantifying the various factors that add risk to a flight and how to minimize or eliminate the risk.
This isn’t just for low time pilots. Higher time pilots often add useful experience to the discussion. And, although lower time pilots often lack the experience that aids judgment, higher time pilots often use experience to justify risky behavior. Almost half the accidents in Cirrus, to date, have been by higher time pilots. Click here to register.
The Critical Decision Making Seminar (CDM) in Houston, TX (KSGR) will be held at the Global Select Sugarland Terminal on Saturday, March 23rd. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Lunch is being sponsored by Houston Aviation, the onfield Cirrus Service Center.
All COPA and Non-COPA Cirrus pilots and those interested in becoming Cirrus pilots are invited to attend this valuable FREE seminar (donations are accepted). Flying partners strongly encouraged to attend!
THIS EVENT QUALIFIES FOR FAA WINGS CREDIT.
How it Started
One of my best friends in high school, (Doug Gray) was a private pilot. He offered to take me up for a flight in a 1967 Cessna 150, N6228S. We took off from Calhoun, Georgia, and he took me on a scenic tour of the area, I was hooked. I later found out that my English teacher, (Jan Haluska) was also a flight instructor and the school was offering a ground school course the next year, which he taught, along with flight training with the goal of becoming a private pilot. I managed to talk my dad into funding the training, at the time the total cost was right around $500. Cessna 150 rental rates where $12 an hour, and the 172 we used for cross country was $15 an hour including fuel.
It started August of 1977. The fall semester rolls around, and I am enrolled in ground school, and if memory serves me, we met twice a week. First came the paperwork for my student pilot certificate, which at the time was included with the 3rd class medical. I loved ground school, especially learning navigation, plotting courses on the sectional, again this was before iPads and GPS, so we did a lot of dead reckoning and VOR navigation for cross countries. At the end of the course, I made an 83% on the Private Pilot written exam, remember this was before we had the question-and-answer books that on future test I would consume before taking a written.
The fun really began on August 22, 1977, it was my first flight. To my surprise we used the same Cessna 150, N6228S that my friend Doug Gray had taken me for a ride in. The Cessna 150 had a standard VFR instrument panel, with one NAV/COM, and one VOR CDI. No intercom, so no headset, at the time I didn’t know what I was missing. I didn’t get my first headset until I started my instrument training in 2003. I was a big guy, I was 6’ 4” and weighed 245 lbs. but I do not remember being uncomfortable in the 150 even with the instructor in the right seat.
First flight lasted .8 hours, and we accomplished orentation, shallow turns, stability, and effects of flight controls. Over the next few months we added steep 720’s, slow flight, stalls, turns around a point, S-turns, emergencies, landings, (short field, soft field and normal).
At this point I want to talk about a training experience that still stands out. We were close to solo and were practicing takeoffs and landings. Turning base to final Jan got very upset at the way I was cross controlling the aircraft. Cross control is when you are in, say a left turn, and use opposite rudder to line the nose up with the runway. So, he had me depart the pattern and head east to the practice area, and climbing up to 5500 feet MSL, he had me slow down to just above stalling speed, start a left shallow turn and add right rudder. As the airplane stalled I had the strangest sensation, no roller coaster has ever come close, instead of blue sky in the windscreen I was looking at brown ground, and as far as I could tell we were upside down, through the terror of the moment Jan talked me out of the spin, controls neutral, oposite rudder, pull slowly out of the dive. As we leveled off he asked me what altitude we were at, as I remember it was around 2,800 feet MSL. Then he asked me what would happen if I experenced this on base to final in the traffic pattern. The answer was obvious, I would be a pile of wreckage off the end of the runway with a very short-lived aviation career. Needless to say this cured my cross-control tendencies.
Another training event the sticks out in my mind was the first time we did takeoffs and landings at the High School runway. The runway was 1,500 feet long, not sure of the width, but it seems like we had about 5 feet on each side of the wheels when on the center line of the runway. Landing from the south you also had to go between a cutout in the trees to be able to stop in time on the runway. After getting confortable landing here every runway since seemed huge. I remember landing at Chattanooga (KCHA) on a night cross country and commenting to Jan, that I felt like I could of landed sideways on the runway, it felt that large.
Very soon after this I started wearing old shirts to all my flight lessons, the reason for this occurred on February 8, 1978. The lesson that day was stalls, takeoffs and Landing. As we were taxing back in Jan told me it was time for my first solo. I was very excited, and after some last minute advice from Jan, including watch for floating on landing the plane will be light with him not in the right seat, complete 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop. It was a blast, and at the end of my shirt was shorter in the back because Jan cut the tail out of it signed and dated my solo [an aviation tradition]. Total flight time accumulated on the day of my solo was 18.1 hours. I was now officially a pilot with solo priveleges.
In my next article I start cross country training, when Jan decided that it would be best accomplished this in the 172. Checking out in N5970R was like moving into a 747, this started a love affair with one of my faviriote planes to date. Since this time I have flown over 900 hours in many different models of the 172 and feel like I am stepping into an old friend every time.
More about Randy here: https://www.flyhpa.com/team/randy-delong/
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