Chris Findley, CFI, June 23rd, 2010
by Chris Findley, CFI
What do you do when you look up and realize that its been 2 years or 10 years since you last flew? Getting back into the plane can seem a little intimidating. As I often work with people who are getting back into flying after a break, I've found that the longer the break, the more apprehensive the pilot is about their ability to recoup their knowledge and skills. I know, I was in that position myself.
I had a 15 year break from flying. After earning my degree in Aviation Management and my Commercial, Multi, Instrument and CFI ratings from Auburn University, I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and entered active duty. Between getting my feet on the ground with the military and shortly thereafter getting engaged and married, I just slipped away from flying. It was never a conscious decision, but just something that happened. After a couple of career shifts over 15 years, an almost comical turn of events got me back in the pilot's seat. It was mis-handled mail.
I went to my office mailbox one morning to find a single piece of mail-- Plane & Pilot's Annual Guide to Aviation Careers. I thought it ironic as no one at my office knew my background in aviation. Why was this in my box? I kept it and over my lunch break began leafing through it. Something within me awakened, a long-lost passion for flying and a hunger to feel the response of the flight controls in my hands once again. But I was nervous. Would I remember everything (or anything) a decade-and-a-half later? Would my skills in the air be miserable or would they return? Read More >>
Chris Findley, CFI, June 17th, 2010
by Chris Findley, CFI
One of the greatest gifts of flying is flying for the sheer joy of it.
The “Sunday Drive” holds an iconic place in American life. Like front porch swings, sidewalks, and town squares, a family drive in the country on Sunday was a mini-getaway for the family. There was no rush, no elaborate plans, no particular agenda. It was using the car for more than the normal weekday commute. It was about using the car for leisure, for recreation.
The notion of the Sunday Drive has all but disappeared from the American consciousness. As the pace and pressure of modern society has increased, our intentional use of leisure has diminished. It is pretty rare to see people simply taking a walk in a park, or chatting with neighbors across their back fences, or just getting away together for a little while. But today’s Private Pilot can renew this age-old and forgotten tradition of the Sunday drive, but with a twist–the Sunday flight. Read More >>
Evan Krueger, 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.
Evan Krueger, 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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FrancoisD, February 1st, 2010
Basically, isn't that what brings YOU here too? We are all passionate about flying, aviation and/or airplanes in one way or other. I have been away for awhile. I guess that happens to many of us from time to time. Life is difficult on many and it takes more time these days to scrape a living together. But that just leaves even a larger NEED for a passion.
And that's why I think you will just LOVE the short video about the Tiger Boys and Girl that's available from the WhyFly.aero website that was recently opened. Check out the Tiger Boys and Girl article here and DO run that video. There are lots more interesting stories by interesting people there and I think a subscription is more than worth it. Give them a try and click here for more information.
The people writing on that site can REALLY tell you what flying is about and especially WHY we... and YOU!?.... do it and so it is a great complement to the Let's go Flying initiative and this blog here!
Steve Tupper, January 7th, 2010
This is to tell the man in the red plane that he has a fan.
I've been watching you from the ground. Well, from my farm pastures and yard actually. More often than you know. I am in awe of your skill and the performance you give is wonderful and joyous.
Who are you? Are you a man or a woman? A professional stunt pilot or a pleasure flyer of that pretty red plane? Do you perform for others besides me, or is what I'm seeing just an expression of your own preferences? Read More >>
Steve Tupper, December 10th, 2009
My piece of Let’s Go Flying is about exploring the envelope of aviation. And this is a little reminder that that envelope isn’t strictly limited to stall speeds and G tolerance. Sometimes it’s about demonstrating that other instrument rating.
And, by instrument, I mean musical instrument.
I just returned from the convention of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) in las Vegas. Hundreds of men and women who spend the summer flying upside down for the crowds gather in December each year to talk about safety, marketing, organization, and where they’ll fly next summer. Read More >>
Arty Trost, November 30th, 2009
As I look back on over 20 years of flying, I realize how much I've learned - not just about flying itself, but about taking on new challenges, making risk acceptable, and pushing away the fears and anxieties which hold us back from what we’d really like to do. One of the things I've learned is that you need to be Pilot-In-Command. You should listen to experts, but then you need to rely on your own judgement and make your own decisions. Read More >>
Jason Schappert, October 29th, 2009
Sharing aviation with someone, now that's a rewarding experience! I recently had the opportunity to design and lead an after school aviation program for middle school age kids appropriately called "The Future Pilot Flight Academy."
I've always had a huge passion for aviation and try to be an ambassador wherever I go. Seeing a group of kids at this age get so excited about flying and what happens "behind the scenes" to make each flight a success was powerful to experience.
You don't have to create programs to enjoy sharing your talents and fervor with everyone. They're programs already out there. The Young Eagles is a prime example, in-fact my first flight was thanks to a Young Eagles pilot.
As an instructor I get to share my passion with a student, watch them grow, and become a positive light to show others the joy of aviation, it's a wonderful cycle.
You don't even have to be a pilot to take your loved ones flying. I take up many of my students family members on a regular basis. You'd be surprised at how carefully the airplane is preflighted and how delicately they fly it when they have family on board. "Now only if you flew that way everyday!" I usually say to them. Read More >>
Arty Trost, October 16th, 2009
Hello, pilots and those who are exploring flying! I’m delighted to play a part in AOPA’s Lets Go Flying program. In this Blog I want to share the lessons I’ve learned through flying. I especially want to encourage you to “live out loud” — to push your boundaries, and explore new possibilities … to soar even if you never leave the ground.
A bit about me: I’ve been flying ultralights and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft for twenty years. I soloed in a Sunburst ultralight in May, 1989. That sweet bird had a five gallon gas tank, 40 foot wings with spoilerons, a 28 hp Cuyuna engine, and a cruise speed of 32 mph. I flew it happily, often pushing it to its 40 mph limit since everyone I flew with flew much faster than I could. They were the “big boys” flying CGS Hawks, Flightstars, Quicksilvers, and other ultralight types. Read More >>