Blaine Transue, July 23rd, 2012
July 20th, 2012: Tower Solo at Napa County Airport
I awoke this morning rehearsing tower calls, and I spent the whole morning repeating them over and over. I was scheduled for more tower work today again at Napa, but this time with JP. After the time I had yesterday, I was determined to get it right today. After preflighting the Cessna, JP grilled me with a couple of tower calls and hit me with a couple of spontaneous questions on the ground. "What's the first thing you're going to do today to get ready for landing in Napa?" he asked. "Configure the radios and listen to the ATIS" I responded. "Excellent, that's the answer I was looking for". Whew... I really didn't want to disappoint him before we ever even got in the plane. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, July 23rd, 2012
Up until now I've been posting retroactively from my own flying journal, but it seems to me, this would all be much more interesting if you knew what was happening right now, so from this point forward I will be posting current entries from my journal, and catching up with the older posts as time allows.
Anyone who is interested can catch up with all of the entries in the meantime on my website at http://whizbomb.com/flying-journal.html
Thanks for reading!
Blaine Transue, June 27th, 2012
So I'm on vacation visiting my wife's family out in New York, so I thought, why not take a ride out to the East Hampton airport and see what's going on. Having visited here for over 25 years, I've always wanted to get up in the sky above Long Island and well, now that I have a means, I think I'll take advantage of it. I went inside and sure enough, right in front of me is the sign for Sound Aviation and a brochure for their Flight School. The weather being what it is out here, unpredictable, I signed up for the first lesson I could get, tomorrow morning at 9am.
It rained all afternoon and into the evening last night making me wonder if I was going to get to go up today at all. When I woke up at 5:30 this morning I was greeted with fog and low cloud cover, but by 7am I could see patches of blue breaking through. By 8:30 most of the clouds had cleared out where we were, but a few minutes later, just as I was ready to head out the door, my cell phone rang. It was the flight school calling, but not to reschedule due to the over cast, rather, they wanted to push the lesson back an hour since my instructor was already up in the air with a local photographer who was shooting the area. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, June 21st, 2012
Arriving at the airport today it was pretty hard not to notice that the wind was blowing 13 - 15 mph right across the runway. It was enough to make the Cessna rock and roll in it's parking spot. I was ok with whatever happened today, I needed practice doing the preflight check, and getting familiar with the Cessna, so if that's all that happened today I'll still be ahead of the game. The one thing you can count on every day is that weather happens and if you want to learn how to fly, you need to be ok with it, and as far as I can tell, when it comes to pilots and flight, it is the great equalizer. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, June 20th, 2012
Take off, landing, medium and steep bank turns, slow flight and stall practice in the Cessna 172 with JP.
Having successfully mastered the Citabria…
Ok, so maybe that's going a little too far, but having successfully received my tail wheel endorsement from my instructor and soloed in the Citabria on Monday, which suddenly, albeit temporarily, catapulted my ego to Flying Ace, it was time to get some experience in a new plane. Today was my first flight with my new instructor JP in the Cessna 172. Now don't get me wrong, I love the Citabria, it's an amazing airplane as far as I can tell, quick and responsive, and flying stick and rudder just makes you feel like, well, like you're really flying. I also have earned a great respect for pilots who fly, and especially land, tail wheel airplanes of any kind. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, June 18th, 2012
Pretty hard to describe a day like today but I'll give it my best shot.
Word was on Friday after having a number of nice landings, that Monday might just be first solo day. Don't think I didn't chew on that one all weekend. Not that I was worried or nervous, but it's certainly something that gets your attention, I mean, really? Sure I've been putting in a lot of hours trying to get this figured out but solo? Me? As in...fly the airplane alone? I was super excited by the thought of it all weekend and if I had any nervousness or apprehension it was more about "not" being able to do it. What if the weather didn't play along, what if it was too windy, what if I was more nervous than I was letting myself believe and when it came right down to it I wasn't confident enough? Read More >>
Blaine Transue, June 15th, 2012
Straight out to Petaluma today, out, up and over the Petaluma Gap, along the hills on the east side at 1700 feet it was clear and beautiful. Before reaching the Petaluma Gap I had tuned the radio into Petaluma weather where I discovered there was a 6 knot crosswind, ok, well, that should make it interesting. I'm comfortable flying into and around the Petaluma airport at this point. I have all my visual references and the timing of the pattern down, so it was easy to integrate the radio calls back into the lesson, starting with the first call, that I was setting up for a 45 degree entry into the right downwind pattern for runway 29.
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Blaine Transue, June 14th, 2012
So I made good on my promise, whatever I was doing yesterday wasn't coming along for the ride today, that included recording the GPS tracking, not that I even was consciously aware of it once we were underway, but I wasn't taking any chances.
When I arrived at Skypark today there was a flurry of activity out back, so I rounded the corner to see what was going on. There on the bench was some healthy video equipment, my instructor and a few other folks from the airport all looking attentively at some video footage they had just captured of Travis, my instructor, doing intentional spins in the Citabria. It was cool and I wasn't the only one who thought so. The pilot and the videographer went up in their Cessna 172 and captured some amazing footage of Travis flipping the Citabria upside down and spinning out towards the ground not just once, but twice. The video, I'm sure, is going to be used to promote his new "Spin Class"...and we're not talking stationary bikes at the gym here, we're talking planes in the most perilous of all situations...spinning out of control, straight towards the ground. Wow...to have such confidence, that's amazing. I've told him before, that's what I'm looking for, to know that whatever happens up there I've been trained to deal with it and not fear it. Maybe next week though, today I'm going to try to get the wheels on the ground with the plane in the upright position.
After watching the video a few times over we all agreed it was impressive, but now it was time for the real work to begin, getting me closer to my solo. Here's the thing about that soloing part, no matter how much you want to do it, no matter how well you take off and fly, if you can't land the plane, it's an issue. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, June 13th, 2012
Just when you think you've got it all figured out, everything changes.
What is it about this flying thing? 11 perfectly reasonable landings one day, and then 48 hours later...
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Blaine Transue, June 11th, 2012
June 11th, 2012: Takeoffs and 3 Point Landings at Petaluma Municipal
I Just have to say, today felt really good. Compared to last week when I just botched attempt after attempt and went home feeling more than a little disappointed, today felt very good. There wasn't much time to think about anything. As soon as I got to the airport I checked out the plane and we were off, straight out on 26 out of Skypark and headed over the Petaluma Gap at 1700 feet on our way up to Petaluma Municipal. I headed north west up along the edge of the hills and made my left turn about 3 miles out for a 45 degree approach into the right downwind pattern for runway 29. Read More >>