Your connection with the sky

The REST of the Story

, September 20th, 2010

I lasted posted to this blog the end of January, 2010. A lot has kept me away since then – both external events and internal. My husband was seriously injured in a car accident in October, 2009; his surgeries didn’t begin until January 2010. As you can imagine, I cleared the decks and focused on him. By May, after the last of his surgeries, I began trying to catch up with other parts of my life. I had a big note on my desk that just said “BLOG” ; but there were so many other things that needed my attention that soon I didn’t really see it.

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In the past few weeks I’ve had two people e-mail me, saying they’d read my Jan. 27 post and wanted to know “the rest of the story”…did I ever buy a new ultralight, and if so, what was it?” I still put off writing, feeling embarrassed that I had failed to keep my commitment to AOPA and Let’s Go Flying. A third e-mail this morning caused me to say “Enough’s enough! Stop procrastinating and sit down and write!” So, I’m back, and — here’s the rest of the story! Read More >>

Getting Over "Mic Fright"

, September 20th, 2010

by Chris Findley, CFI

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For some students, it isn’t the flying that makes them nervous. They eagerly learn the four fundamentals, they practice their stalls and steep turns with diligence and they don’t take their bounced landings as permanent failures. They are solid students and thoughtful pilots. But there’s often one thing that causes these otherwise excellent students to break out in a cold sweat– talking on the radio. They have "Mic Fright."

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It’s amazing how this fear can take hold of a pilot. Usually this Mic Fright is rooted in fear of making a mistake, of saying the wrong thing, of looking like an idiot. (What they don’t know is that most ALL of us know of times when we ALL have been there, done that!) Talking on the radio produces a fair amount of anxiety in new pilots. So how can we, as instructors, help our student-pilots to get over their fear? Read More >>


, September 20th, 2010

With great regret, I’ve decided to sell my Maxair Drifter and get another LSA. Fellow pilots have been urging me to “upgrade” for years. Many of them are frankly astonished that I’ve continued to fly my venerable Drifter, especially on such long distance flights. (Since 2000, I’ve made a long-distance flight each year; the shortest was two weeks and 2800 miles; the longest was seven weeks and 7500 miles.)

My Drifter was built in 1984 and I’m the third owner. It’s completely open and has been described as a molded plastic seat mounted on an irrigation pipe with a lawnmower engine and wings. However others may disdain it, it’s served me well in the 18 years I’ve been flying it. But its cruise speed is 55-65 mph, although I can push it to 70 mph if I absolutely need to. The pilots I’ve been flying with are all flying slightly faster E-LSAs, and are getting tired of waiting for me on our long distance flights. Another 10 mph will make a big difference in keeping up. Read More >>