Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The weather decided to play nice today after almost two weeks of endless low ceilings, snow, rain, more snow and wind to top it all off. My solo night currency was expiring tomorrow, so I decided to take an opportunity and go up for a night flight.

Came in and asked for the same plane I had on my last night flight – it was snagged. The choices remaining were the plane that game me radio problems few weeks ago, the plane that reportedly had an unreliable engine and VLD, my namesake plane that I have not flown in a while. I picked VLD even though I never flown it at night.

Checking the journey log, I discovered a radio snag, on both radios and a standard “can not replicate the defect” note from AME. However, I was told that the plane was up all day today and no one reported any issues. So VLD it was.

Did my walk-around started the plane and did a run up facing into the wind – plane seemed to run a bit rough, so paid attention to mag check which it passed with flying colors. With that done, called Ground and tried to taxi. “Tried” being the key word. Plane refused to go straight and wanted to go right. After some efforts, I decided that a) I certainly was not going to fly that plane today and b) I will try to put it back into empty parking spot. Holding the right brake, I turned it around so that I was facing that empty parking spot and then holding the left brake tried to move straight. Plane was sluggish and then suddenly lurched straight and then left (as I was still holding the left brake when that happened). The wingtip came in contact with another plane wingtip at which point I had both feet on the brakes and hand pulling the mixture.

I exited the plane, shut it down and went back to dispatch to snag two planes, one with the plastic wingtip cover broken and the other with some unclear brake issue (and yes, parking brake was off when I checked). It was a snag day at school – one more plane returned from a trip and was entered on a snag list. And my night currency now expired. I must be now due for some real nice acro flight in Citabria.

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