December 13th, 2011
My GPS track from Carbondale to Dyersburg
For my first night cross-country of this semester, my instructor and I flew to Dyersburg airport in Dyersburg, Tennessee. I spent the hour before the flight preparing for my first night flight in over a year. I made sure that I had my flashlight and an extra set of batteries. I also was reading up on the newer 2003 Cessna 172R. This would be the first time I would fly the newer 172 and although they aren't incredibly different, it’s important to know about the differences. The biggest difference between the new and old models is that the newer R models are fuel injected instead of carbureted. While this means that carburetor ice is now impossible, the downside is that the aircraft are a bit more complicated to start. Little changes included inertia real seat belts and strobe lights. Overall, the R models are nicer. Read More >>
December 5th, 2011
Now that the Thanksgiving break has come to a close, it’s time to get back to business. With a mere three weeks left in the semester, there is a lot of flying to be had with little time to have it. Although the break was meant for relaxation, I managed to get some flying in (not to say that it wasn’t relaxing!). It occurred to me earlier this year that in the two years I’ve had my pilot’s certificate, my family had never flown with me. I felt sort of guilty since they had provided me so much support during my initial training. I asked my sister, Jessica, if she would like to get lunch with me on Black Friday. We set a departure time of 10:00 am so we could both participate in the crazy Black Friday crowds. Read More >>
May 4th, 2010
The Boy Scout motto Be Prepared has stuck with the organization for countless years. And for a good reason too. While pilot supplies is not the most important aspect of flying, it plays a very important role. Have you ever flown a cross country trip without planning for it beforehand? I hope no one has answered yes. Proper planning and preparation is important for any flight; even the quick trip around the patch. Having the right tools at your disposal helps you handle any unexpected situations. I decided to throw together a list of this things I keep in my flight bag to compare with others. What do you have in yours?
Since I don't lug my entire flight library with me, I use a fairly small flight bag. Some spend hundreds of dollars on a flight bag; I find it unnecessary. In fact, I use the free one AOPA sent me for renewing my membership (kind of looks like the one pictured left). It looks cool and holds everything I need. I'm not saying don't buy a nice flight bag, just don't buy space you can't or don't need to fill.
April 27th, 2010
Since receiving my private pilot's licence last September, I haven't done much purpose flying. I would make a point to stay current but I really hadn't done any serious flying. Gazing over the logbook, I had put in a whopping 2.9 hours. Looking back, my primary distraction was high school. Not the worst distraction but still, it kept me from my passion. The other week, a friend and I were discussing date ideas for him and his girlfriend. At this point, I was really itching to get flying again so I made a half-selfish suggestion to take her to a nice dinner; in an airplane. It must not have been horrible since he liked the idea.
We set up the date with enough time for me to secure both night and day currency. Three days before our proposed trip, I spent some time re-familiarizing myself in our flying club's 172. Not only did I practice landings and general flying skills, I made sure I knew how to operate the GPS. I haven't had much time using the Garmin GPS 150. The flight went fairly well in my opinion. In the week before, I searched the internet for aviation-friendly fine dining. AdventurePilot.com directed me to the Grand Geneva Resort (C02). I had heard about the resort on the radio but was unfamiliar it had publicly open restaurants and a runway. After deeming the airport worthy of a fantastic night, I made reservations.
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January 5th, 2010
Hello everyone. Remember me? It's been a while since I've posted, but there's a semi-good reason behind it. Since my last post in August, I've earned my Private Pilot's License! The experience was tense yet exciting. After getting my license, I took some time off of flying to focus on school and to pay off the rest of my training. Although it was hard to sustain life without aviation for a few months, I made it through. Before I explain how the big day went, I'll explain the month or so leading up to it.
I spent almost all of August preparing for my checkride. Read More >>
August 11th, 2009
One of the last requirements that I needed to complete for my Private Pilot's License was a cross country trip after hours. I needed to go 50 miles away, and the trip had to last a total of two hours. Dana and I met on Wednesday at 21:00 to depart Westosha to Madison, Wisconsin. We couldn't have asked for a better night. The sky was both clear and smooth with an almost full moon lighting up the darkness. The trip was one of the best trips I've taken in a long time. Read More >>
June 30th, 2009
Last Saturday, I got my first taste of vintage aircraft. My neighbor invited me to his friends house to take a ride in his North American AT-6 Texan. I wasn't quite sure what it was at the time, but of course I said yes. When we arrive at his home (he lives in an airport community) my jaw immediately drops at the sight of his hangar. Inside of it was not one but two aircraft! I was amazed that people could afford to do that (own more than one aircraft).
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June 17th, 2009
Yesterday, Dana and I took to the sky (for a little bit at least) to conquer controlled airspace. The lesson started with a small ground lesson on airport signs, controlled airspace procedures, and the airport in general. During my call to Lockheed Martin for a weather briefing, the briefer informed me of something I hadn’t heard of; all of the runways at Kenosha (KENW) had changed numbers. I thought it was interesting seeing the effects of a shifting magnetic pole first hand...
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June 15th, 2009
Hello everyone. I'd like to take just a minute to update everyone on my progress. Last Tuesday (June 9), I went to Lake in the Hills airport to take my written test. Needless to say, I passed with a fairly good score (90%). For those who don't know, there are two tests one must take to become a private pilot. One is the practical test and the other is the knowledge test. The practical test is the flying and oral examination portion of the test and the knowledge test is the written test. Read More >>
June 10th, 2009
Tonight I took my first flight lesson after daylight hours. It definitely was a different experience than flying in the day time. Dana and I scheduled to meet at the airport at 21:30; just a little after sunset. While preflighting the aircraft, Dana explained some points to remember while flying at night. At night, lights appear closer than they actually are. Things 15 miles away will appear to be a lot closer (like 5 or so miles). The saying altitude is your friend should be kept especially in mind at night. During the day, Read More >>