July 18, 2008

Big Bird

Not much time to blog here at the moment, so I'll keep this short and … well, short, anyway. I'm sure I'll have more to say later, but I've started working with John on getting my high performance endorsement in the club's G1000-equipped Cessna 182. So far so good — it's all about power management, better attention to detail and landings, cowl flaps, endlessly trimming, trimming, trimming (this is a heavy-feeling airplane that lets your shoulder and leg muscles know when it's even slightly out of trim), and ginormous fuel bills — but then the fundamentals are pretty familiar to me (I've had a complex endorsement for many years now), and I enjoy a challenge (even if it's not quite the same sort of challenge as getting an instrument rating or learning aerobatics). More on all this later, for sure.

Otherwise, not much to say except to revel a bit in the joys of being on the North Field ramp at Oakland late evenings — the shiny private 757 parked at Kaiser looming over the Citations, Gulfstreams, Learjets and such (the ramp fees for the 757 must be enormous, especially since it's been there for weeks), the Airbus ACJ A320-derivative business jet further down the ramp looking small by comparison, the little fleet of Piaggios looking sleekly futuristic in a very retro way (especially so close-up), the Abex 767 creeping along taxiway Charlie in the dusk, the omnipresent Amflight twins arriving one after the other in the dark, the tart pink lemonade in the (very pleasant) Business Jet Center FBO, the cool Oakland night….

have you looked up the tail number on the 757 to see if it belongs to someone "cool"?
I haven't looked it up myself, but John mentioned some familiar corporate registration, so I guess it's probably not anyone cool or famous :-). Oh well...
What's the difference between a "high performance" endorsement and a "complex" endorsement? Are these kinds of endorsements required by the FAA or by the clubs who rent the airplanes -- or both?
The high performance endorsement is simply for aircraft with one or more engines of 200 HP or more; the complex endorsement is basically for airplanes that have retractable wheels, constant-speed props, etc.

They're both FAA endorsements, but you'd also need to have them as a minimum to be able to rent any relevant planes.
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