Friday, July 16, 2010

2 landings for your perusal, both in glorious 720p hidef. I love my little Kodak Zi-6 video recorder, I got it last year for $150 online.

Anyway, the first approach was a nice circling visual approach into MYAM, Marsh Harbour. The airport itself is out of town, so you can really get a good idea of what the 'black hole approach' is all about. It was at 10:30pm with some local fog in the area. This approach was kinda screwed up at first (not recorded on video) as the Miami controller forgot about us and we ended up losing communications with ATC for about 10 minutes while approaching Marsh Harbour. Eventually a passing airliner heard us and relayed the correct frequency to us through their ATC person, and it worked out, but the end result was that we were about 10 miles from Marsh Harbour at 22,000' before we could descend. Normally we'd be at about 3,000', so we had to dump the speedbrakes and drop like an elevator for a few minutes to get back on the proper descent angle. Our speedbrakes are fairly effective but they also rumble the whole airplane like crazy, so I made sure to let our passenger know about that beforehand so the pax didn't think the plane was coming apart when all the rumbling started.

You should fast-forward at least the first minute, it's pretty boring. Sorry for the blur, I was holding the camera instead of mounting it. As you will undoubtedly notice, a night VFR landing into a black hole airport is pretty much an IFR procedure - there really isn't much to look at outside, so we go by the PAPI lights (if they exist) or by simple math to calculate how high we should be on final approach. If there is no glideslope information then we use 300/1, meaning that on a 3-mile final, we should be 900 feet above the runway threshold, at 2 miles we should be at 600 above, etc. In our jet that works out to about 600-700 feet per minute descent rate, and you better believe that the pilot who isn't flying is constantly updating and crosschecking the distance vs the altitude and letting the flying pilot know if we are a little high or a little low. In the case of CYAM, there was a PAPI indicator to the left of the runway, so we used that as well as basic math for a crosscheck. All credit to Kitsch for the actual landing.

This next one is all Sully, it's pretty much a clone of the one I posted last week. After we overnighted in Marsh Harbour, we flew back to Toronto yesterday morning and I did a visual approach onto runway 23 at Toronto Pearson. It was nice and bumpy with a gusty crosswind of about 18 knots. In this case, the crosswind was from the left to the right, and you will see that the nose of the plane is angled to the left of the runway during the final approach. The last minute gives an idea of my crosswind landing technique - different people do it differently, but my shtick is to point the nose into the wind until the last 50 feet or so, then align the nose with the runway, drop a wing into the wind and keep the plane straight with rudder. Ideally the first wheel that touches down is the wheel that faces into the wind, followed by the other wheel, followed by the nose wheel. In this particular landing it's more like clunk-clunk-clunk all at once. Some landings you win, some landings you win a little less. It wasn't my greatest, but the plane was still useable afterward, so I'll take what I can get :)

This particular trip gave me some material for yet another post, so I'll do that soon - we did something that I have never had to do before in 22 years of flying, and I'll share what that was shortly.


LLambert said...

I have a Zi-8 and it's work pretty good as well. Shooting through the single prop up front sort of ruins the picture though.

CeridianMN said...

You should look into getting sound from the headsets to the camera, or at least a lav mic for commentary. It would be nice for those of us that wish we were able to partake.

Sarah said...

Cool. (I'll have to look at the new movies when I get home.)

I was wondering what you used to record these. I just ordered a point-n-shoot that supposedly takes good 720line video also. ( For Oshkosh. )

Todd said...

Looks like a fine landing to me, considering an 18kt x-wind.