Tom Haines

Mastering the Meridian: Day One

September 9, 2009 by Thomas B. Haines, Editor in Chief

I watched the Pratt & Whitney turboprop engine’s Ng stabilize at about 15 percent and then I lifted the fuel control lever up and slid it forward. The Piper Meridian’s engine lit and within a few seconds it was clear this was going to be a “good” start. It doesn’t always happen that way. A miscue or a few seconds inattention can turn that $400,000 engine into an expensive conversation-starter coffee table.

With the Pratt spooled up, SimCom instructor and center manager Bill Inglis and I were soon launched into the steamy Florida sky over Vero Beach. After some introductory maneuvers we came back to KVRB for some stop-and-go-landings, a fitting and rewarding end to a challenging day of training that had started 11 hours earlier.

 Ground school on systems and then a pass through the Meridian FTD led up to the late-day flight.

Tomorrow is day two of this five-day initial course. At the end of it, I hope to be able to fly away in a new Meridian with its flashy Garmin G1000 panel.

More ground school and sim sessions tomorrow and then back in the airplane for some approaches to Melbourne.

Do you have any Meridian or G1000 tips and advice to pass along? All input welcome.

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