Well another couple weeks have gone by with no major problems with any of the aircraft. To pick up where I left off, we were changing out the aileron cable on one of the GV. To do this we had to take a number of measurements along the flaps and ailerons at full deflection and at various flap settings. To help out the auxiliary hydraulic pump we used our hydraulic mule to provide hydraulic pressure to the systems. The job took a little over 3 hours to complete and the most time consuming part of it was getting all the readings.
All that week, a couple of our pilots were down at SimuFlight. SimuFlight is a large facility on DFW airport. Our pilots, who were participating in recurrent training, had been going through classes all week. The Friday that I was allowed to observe, the pilots were working on their Category II approaches. The simulators that SimuFlight provide for training are Category D full motion sims that many operators use for type ratings in various aircraft. The day started off with a flight out of Denver Intl. which, as soon as we passed through 3,000 ft AGL, the instructor failed one of the engines. It never does get old loosing an engine in a simulator. After completing two approaches our pilots switched and did the same thing. Then they flew over to Aspen and set up for the approach. Even in VFR conditions this approach is difficult because the glide slope is so steep. A normal approach has a 3 degree GS and the approach to Aspen is more like 6 degrees. For this approach the pilot has to set up really early, get the airplane slowed down and configured. If you expect to configure on a long final, good luck, you are going around, which in Aspen is another difficult maneuver. The best part of the day came as the pilots finished and it was my turn to try out the GV. The instructor dialed in Anchorage, Alaska and set me on runway 7L. As I familiarized myself with the cockpit and tried to set up the Heads Up Display (HUD), I realized that this was an extremely complex aircraft. I set the EPR to 1.17 and hit the autothrottle which from there on out took care of adjusting my throttle settings. We did a loop around the airport and set up for the ILS into the airport. I think the most amazing thing about this was how much information is provided through the HUD. Even on short final and flare it gives you the exact nose up attitude for a smooth landing every time. The second approach was very similar except this time it was at night in full IMC. Gulfstream has an advantage when it comes to this, the GV was equipped with a Forward Looking Infrared System. The FLIR is amazing when in IMC. It’s amazing how much sooner you can identify the runway and the surrounding area including terrain.
Well I have to get back to work but I’ll talk to everyone in a couple weeks and in the mean time. Have fun.