After being in Peru for 4 months, I was curious to see how I would do back in the cockpit. Two weeks ago I went to a local airport and got checked out for rental in an American Champion Explorer (7GCBC). That went well and I had a great weekend as I flew up to Asheville, NC to see one of my former college roommates. There is just something about tandem seating, great visibility on all sides and up through the the Plexiglases ceiling, control stick, 180 HP engine and little wheel in the right place. Needless to say, I had a great time. There are no airplanes to rent in Peru so I have to take advantage of these chances while I can!
Anyways, my flights in the C-206 went well. I was a little behind the airplane and it was a challenge to remember all of the "V speeds" for different configurations. "V" stands for velocity, for example; Vr is the speed for rotation (48 kts) Vy is climb speed (61 kts) and we have different speeds and flap setting for different points in the traffic pattern.
The 206 is a great airplane and while it may have the appearance of a truck, the handling is very stable. Our first periods will be at 3200 lbs and moving up to 3600 lbs (max gross weight) for the rest of the training. In Peru our airplanes have wingtip fuel tanks which add another 3 feet to the total wingspan and give us another 200 lbs of gross weight for a total of 3800 lbs.