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The Centerline
The newsletter of San Carlos Flight Center
In This Issue
Member News 
Welcome New Members

Miles Brodsky
Katie Dill
Christopher Hobbs
Chip Huson
Jurrel Malilay
Michael Moody
Everleigh Porter

Member Achievements

Nicholas Gomez
First Solo
CFI Daniel Stellini

Gunnar Asgeirsson
First Solo
CFI Kyle Smathers

Nathan Flores
Commercial Pilot
CFI Patti Andrews

Nico Ghilardi
Private Pilot
CFI Stephen Heesacker

Leonid Igolnik
First Solo
CFI Stephen Heesacker

Adam Durity
First Solo
CFI Lukasz Zoromski

Ritwik Ummalaneni
First Solo
CFI Daniel Stellini

Pop Quiz
A fun monthly
knowledge test.
Editor: Dan Dyer

1. What "standard" departure is allowed by SQL Noise Abatement Procedures off Runway 12?
  1. Left downwind
  2. Left crosswind
  3. Left 45
  4. None of the above
2. Why is it common for the tower to begin the day using Runway 12 but switch to Runway 30?
  1. Controllers trying to be fair and balanced
  2. 12 is cool weather runway.
  3. 12 is the calm wind runway.
3. What is the most common error made by pilots arriving to land on Runway 12?
  1. Lining up on the parallel taxiway instead of the runway
  2. Turning base too close and arriving high on final
  3. Failing to yield to traffic on Redwood Shores Parkway.
(answers are at the bottom)

SCFC Events and Safety Seminars

  Handling an Electrical Failure while IFR in Busy Airspace

Dec 9 (Wed) 7pm
Events & Trips
The Fleet
C182 - TAA
N1483L - $238/hr
N123TZ - $228/hr
N182EE - $234/hr

C182 - Analog
N9894E - $195/hr

C172S - G1000
N63251 - $180/hr
N6198N - $180/hr
N646DW - $172/hr

N236SP - $165/hr
N410BS - $165/hr
N458SP - $165/hr
N21591 - $165/hr

N996RA - $154/hr
N2370F - $154/hr

N111RK - $125/hr
N530CA - $129/hr
N5369H - $121/hr
N669NE - $125/hr

Piper Archer
N6848J - $163/hr

Piper Warrior
N91338 - $139/hr

Piper Saratoga
N349MA - $345/hr

Beechcraft Baron 
N169SP - $350/hr

BATD GNS-430W - $40/hr
 (member prices shown) 
Contact Us 
Front Desk
(650) 946-1700

795 Skyway Rd, Suite A
San Carlos, CA 94070 
Pop Quiz Answers
1.  d, all departures require a 20° left turn after the runway (therefore not standard)
2.  b
3.  b

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December 2020

Here's the Latest COVID Update
San Mateo County recently reverted back to the more restrictive purple tier due to increased transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Please remember to wear your mask around the office and while in the plane with your CFI.  Wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you feel sick. If you feel like you've had a potential COVID-19 contact, you can obtain a test through a variety of services, including Project Baseline.

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New Classroom Windows
When you next visit the SCFC office, you will notice improvements to the windows in the big classroom. The team recently added tinting to the bottom windows and paint to the top to shield the room from the hot afternoon sun, and to give the building more SCFC blue character.

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December Holiday Office Hours
We've finally made it to the end of 2020! The holiday season brings reduced hours, but members are welcome to fly on days the office is closed. The SCFC office and maintenance department will close at 2pm on Thursday, December 24 and will be remain closed through Saturday, December 26. The following week, the office will close at 2pm on Thursday, December 31 and will be closed on January 1, 2021. 

For those wishing to fly on those days, please be sure to make your reservations before 2pm the day before the office is closed to ensure the aircraft keys are placed in the after-hours lockbox. Please email info@sancarlosflight.com with your beginning and end tach and hobbs times. Thank you and happy holidays!

Taxiing Back to Parking - Wrong Row?
Last month, we talked about returning the aircraft to the assigned tie down spots (reminder: key tag has location). Parking in the right spot first means turning down the correct taxi row. So what happens if you turn into the incorrect row?

Safety issue #1: SCFC and SQL airport policies do NOT allow airplanes to be taxied through the tie down areas. It is too easy to accidentally damage wingtips and elevators, and the propeller can pick up rocks, ropes and chains.

Safety issue #2: The taxiway rows in Kilo parking are one-way in, and one-way out. There is no way to taxi down and around near the building. Just not enough room.

So, what do you do? Shut the aircraft down and get out.  If there is sufficient room to do so safely you may pull the plane through to the proper spot with the towbar. If not, carefully turn the plane around 180° by hand, get in, start up and contact ground control to request permission to reposition the airplane. If you have any questions, contact the Chief Pilot Team.

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Winter's Rare Danger for Bay Area Pilots: Frost
In winter, there may be days when you arrive at the airport to find the aircraft covered in frost or dew. The air picks up moisture from the ocean and bay that condenses out at night when the temperatures drop. Is this a problem? Yes, and no.

If the moisture is dew, no problem. The water will simply fall away from the airframe as the plane taxis and departs. However, frost is different. The jagged crystalline nature of frost can have dramatic effect on the smooth movement of air over the wings.  Even if the frost layer looks thin, frost can actually decrease lift by up to 30% and increase drag by 40% or more, resulting in drastically degraded takeoff performance and a danger to you and your passengers.

Similar to dealing with other weather-related issues, the best course of action is to wait, letting the frost melt in the process. Try pointing the back of the plane towards the sun to expose the majority of the control surfaces to the heat. Never pour water on the airframe or try to scrape the frost off yourself. By following these simple steps, you can relax knowing you'll have a safe departure on your next trip this winter.

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Preflight Safety After Sunset
With shorter days, and crisp cool nights, winter brings some great night flying to the SF Bay Area. Make sure that you are equipped to safely preflight the aircraft, even in restricted lighting situations.

Your flight bag should include one or more flashlights and backup batteries for use on the ground and during flight.  Many pilots find that the easiest preflight flashlight solution is a headlamp style light often sold at camping supply stores. These attach to headbands and free your hands for use during preflight. They also are less likely to be dropped or to scratch the aircraft.

Remember to adjust brightness and color so as to protect your night vision during the flight. Many headlamps come with varying brightness settings and light colors. If you don't already have one of these useful tools, add it to your holiday wish list.

Need a refresher on night flight? Listen to our archived safety seminar What to Expect When Flying at Night.

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Safety Seminar: Electrical Failure under IFR
As pilots we are prepared to handle the worst, but how often do you put those skills to the test? Join Saturday, December 5th at noon when instrument-rated pilot David Mackler will discuss his recent experience encountering an electrical failure, while flying through busy SoCal airspace. 

During this recap/case-study, pilots can evaluate the various ways this problem could be handled and learn how David safely solved the problem. If you have ever wondered how an electrical system failure evolves, the process to handle complex situations, and ensuring the safety of your flight, do not miss out on this seminar.

To find out more information about this seminar please click here. We hope to see you there.
Member Profile: Adam Durity
SCFC: What got you interested in flight training at SCFC?
AD: I have had an interest in aviation for much of my life.  I originally began taking lessons with a colleague who was an instructor, but then COVID hit and all flight training ceased. I sought a means to safely continue my flight training and thought of the well-defined program and excellent team at SCFC.

SCFC: How does flying in the SF Bay Area compare to the places you've lived on the East Coast?
AD: In Northern California, the weather presents only minimal challenges to the VFR pilot. Occasionally you may need to wait an hour for a low layer to dissipate or there may be heavy smoke from a nearby wildfire, but most days are filled with sunny blue skies. Also, the Bay Area has easy access to airports and once out from under the SF Bravo, there is plenty of airspace waiting to be explored.

SCFC: What was the journey to first solo like for you?
AD: The principles and theory of flight came naturally from my enthusiasm for amateur flight simulation. But you can't really get a feel for landings on a home flight simulator, the flare in particular. I struggled with allowing myself to lose sight of the ground. Why would you not want to look at the piece of Earth onto which you are trying so carefully to gently settle? My CFI Lukasz and I practiced over and over until one day I convinced myself to just stare straight out at the end of the runway, and finally I found my flare. Shortly after, I was ready for solo. But high winds, rain and other factors forced delays. After rescheduling multiple times, the day finally arrived. The weather was perfect, N106RA and my instructor were available. I was ready and it was going to happen. I just needed to remember my flare. Oh, and more right rudder!

SCFC: Can you describe the feeling the first time you took off and landed an airplane alone?
AD: At first, everything was routine, almost mechanical: taxi to and hold short, await clearance, line up on centerline, power set, "RPMs good", "gauges green", "airspeed alive", "no runway". After that last call out, I had the realization that the plane had just become airborne with only me onboard to land. I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility. 

There were other feelings also - joy, weightlessness, freedom. But the feeling of authority and autonomy caught me off guard. In that moment, I felt almost as if I was more in control over my own destiny than I ever had been before. I imagined I could go anywhere.

SCFC: Has becoming a pilot impacted any other areas of your life?
AD: I have shared this journey with my wife and our two-year-old daughter. My wife has learned to put up with the study sessions, endless stream of training videos, and my envious glances skyward at every passing plane. My daughter has learned to recognize the sound of those overhead planes and helps me spot them. She and I have toured Hiller Aviation Museum on several occasions. She loves to watch the planes landing at KSQL except when they are "too loud." Through these experiences we have all grown closer.

After earning my private pilot's certificate, new adventures await me and my family, whether a quick weekend getaway or a long cross-country exploration. Finally, once the pandemic is over, I hope to deepen my relationship to the aviation community around me, through the FlyOutGroup, my local pilot's group, and other opportunities.

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Join the Proud, the Few: Airplane Owners
There's a subgroup of pilots at every airport that share a common bond of challenge, risk, frustration, triumph, regulatory burden and pride: airplane owners!

While flying club rentals offer most pilots the least expensive way to enjoy aviation, many pilots are looking for a more personal connection to aviation. Owning an aircraft takes you on an educational journey deep into into areas many pilots only skim the surface of.

SCFC is always looking to expand our fleet. If you are considering airplane ownership, check out the upcoming Airplane Leaseback seminar. We will discuss owning your own airplane, as well as opportunities to lease it back to a flying club like SCFC. 

FlyOutGroup Challenge: The Sacramento Trilogy
The FOG Challenge for December is to check off landings at the three towered Sacramento Airports! Can you land at Sacramento International, Mather, and Executive in one day? You'll have to make sure you're lined up for the correct runway at each, and remember which "Sacramento" Tower you're talking to.

You'll have to make sure you're lined up for the correct runway at each, and remember which "Sacramento" Tower you're talking to any any moment. If you're instrument-rated, see if you can fly instrument approaches into each airport. 

To participate, complete the Trilogy by the 14th, and send us a description of your experience!

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LA TEC Routes:  IFR Pilots, Assemble!
Are you an instrument-rated pilot or an instrument student? You've probably heard of TEC Routes, but have you flown one? During the month of January, find and fly at least one TEC route in California. You'll be surprised to know that many of these routes you've only heard of in Ground School exist in our state!

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Airport of the Month: Porterville,CA (KPTV)
Why not ring in the new year with a new airport? Travel down to Porterville this January to explore the former military base, and be rewarded with cheap fuel and large runways. While it's a place many pilots probably haven't heard of, this is a great opportunity to get one more airport closer to landing at every California airport.

Give the gift of flight this season!

The best way to show your love and support for the pilot in your life
is to go along on a flight adventure and share their passion.  

The second best way?  Get them an SCFC Gift Certificate!
Your gift can help them get started on their next certificate or rating,
or to get checked out in a bigger and faster airplane.

Talk to our Front Desk team at 
info@sancarlosflight.com or by calling (650) 946-1700.