Your connection with the sky

Mountain flying in France

, May 29th, 2009

Here's an interesting little movie by a fellow pilot landing at my 'home' airfield, Altiport de Méribel (LFKX).

He first flies over the runway to announce his arrival, then heads east towards Courchevel, turning north, west and then south again on final.

You'll notice how difficult the short runway is to spot. Actually the fairway of the golf course running down from the runway is a good indicator to line up with the runway. Read More >>

A day with the Collaborators

, May 27th, 2009

First, we'd like to apologize for the infrequent blog entries.  Will and I have been on the road quite a bit filming exciting content for the upcoming film, A Pilot's Story. Read More >>

The seaplane rating

, May 26th, 2009

Tupper with seaplane during training

It’s been something like 18 months since I completed what I consider to be my “core” training. By that, I mean the private pilot certificate and the instrument rating. The certificate and rating that make aviation practical and fun and give you the best initial set of capabilities. Read More >>

How to improve pilot salaries: Try tipping

, May 22nd, 2009

A lot has been written about low pilot salaries recently.  Especially the salaries paid to regional pilots.  How can anyone live on $20,000 a year, especially when they have $80,000 in pilot-related school costs to pay off?

We, the passengers on commercial airlines, are partially responsible.  We demand the right to fly coast to coast for $99.  Airlines have little wiggle room in managing fixed costs, such as fuel and maintenance.  Where they have room to drive down costs is with labor.  So they do.  The FAA may require minimum hours to pilot a plane, but it doesn't require minimium pay. Read More >>

Help save a Skyraider !!!

, May 21st, 2009

.... from US Homeland Security paranoia, no less!

Yes, you know me from posting about flight simulator topics, but real aviation is also close to my heart, and more in specific the history of it, old planes and old airfields. Here's a story you have to hear if you have any fuel running through your veines..... and why else would you read an AOPA blog !!?? Read More >>

Flying the Pilotmaker: A ride in the USAF T-6A Texan II

, May 18th, 2009

Tupper in the T-6A 14 May 2009

For many of us, the initial thrill of aviation came from military aviation as it was portrayed in the movies and on television.   Read More >>

Sailplane flight simulators

, May 15th, 2009

PC flight simulators have proven very popular. The current generation of gaming PC's deliver performance that only a few years ago was the province of supercomputer labs. It's not surprising that aviation enthusiasts have written flight simulator software to take advantage of this computer power. Read More >>

No radio use at a towered airport!

, May 15th, 2009

Brent on the tarmac

It was now time to accomplish my three takeoffs and landings at a towered airport. In my case, my instructor and I had to make some accommodations due to my Deafness. The tower will need to use a light gun to signal the commands for me as I taxi, takeoff and land.


Pretending there are clouds

, May 14th, 2009

Today, Dana and I worked on simulated instrument flight (instrument flight is flying based only on your gauges (as if you were in the clouds)).  Dana had been running a little late today, and I was running early (for once).  Since I had a little bit of down time, I took the plane up solo and practiced cross wind takeoffs and landings.  Today was a good day for them too; the wind was blowing directly across the runway at about 10 knots.  To make things harder, there were significant air pockets that kept bumping the plane up and down.  This made those three landings quite difficult.  More than once I had to go around because of up and down drafts.  After Dana arrived, we departed to the Northwest to start the lesson.

Night flying to PDX

, May 14th, 2009

On April 20th, I had to do a night operation in order to complete my training. I needed to do ten total takeoffs and landings at night as the sole manipulator of the flight controls. I first did eight takeoffs and landings with my instructor at my home airport. I completed the task without problems and then did the next two takeoffs and landings on a different night and at a different destination. I was required to fly at least 100nm roundtrip at night to move on with the training, so I flew from Independence State Airport (7S5) to Portland International Airport (PDX).