Capt Lutz Heinrich, CAP
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188
|N183CP at the Cessna factory|
As reported earlier, Group 2 got a new airplane, a C-182 G1000. However, after having the pleasure of flying it as an Mission Observer I have to say, it's not just a new plane, it is a real beauty of an airplane.
On March 10 our squadron commander, Captain Noel Luneau, gave Lt Bob Adams and me the chance to evaluate this beauty with him on a proficiency flight. The shiny new bird was sitting proudly in our new hangar which was recently painted and extensively renovated inside by industrious enthusiastic members of our squadron. After a thorough preflight check and flight release we wanted to push the plane the traditional way out of the hangar. But - no standard hand pushing any more - since Captain Luneau brought a motorized tow bar. Obeying the standard safety rules we then rolled it from its dedicated place in the front and center of this huge hangar. Now we could admire this glory in the sunshine. It even smelled new inside.
|Capt Heinrich cleaning the windshield|
Our task was to practice local flying and checking out the advanced avionics provided with the airplane. I have to say, the sophisticated dual display of the G1000 can be also very confusing when you are not intensively trained for its optimum usage. However, I even discovered a few traditional round gouges as back ups secretly mounted below the big primary and multifunction displays right in front of the pilot and observer. Taxiing from the new hangar area to Runway 27R is took a bit longer than from our squadron building tie down. Plenty of time to practice disciplined Sterile Cockpit. After run up we were cleared for a right downwind departure and aimed for Livermore airport. I was impressed when Captain Luneau engaged the autopilot soon after take off and let it follow the programmed electronic flight plan.
|Capt Heinrich and Lt Adams at the Squadron's hangar|
All the equipment worked fine, radio communication was clear, and we could even contact Yosemite 55 on the local repeater via the COM3 radio. While supported by ATC with radar service we also saw air traffic around us depicted on the MFD which is a great safety addition, because sometimes it is tough to see small airplanes right away. After a few smooth touch and goes on runway 07L at Livermore airport we practiced further proficiency flying near the San Pablo Bay and eventually turned to a visual approach via the Mormon Temple for our home runway of 27R. After another perfect smooth landing, taxi, and fuel refill we had the pleasure to clean and polish the leading edges of the wings and struts.
Now N183CP, the beauty of sky, is waiting to fly more and to participate in training and real missions and is looking for more G1000 certified pilots to use it.
Pictures of the Aircraft are located here
Pictures of the Hangar are located here
Photo's courtesy of Capt Lutz Heinrich
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