Your connection with the sky

It's a drag to find a rag … inside the cowling.

, December 14th, 2011

One of the things I find consistently more difficult as I gain experience flying is maintaining the diligence I know is required to maintain safety.  I believe in standard operating procedures.  I practice them and I teach them.   I’m a full time professional CFI, after all, so most of my flight time is in an instructional environment and yet I still find that my procedures continually need tweaking and improvement. I most often fly in the training environment, one in which we have the luxury of always choosing the safest option.  There is no training mission that HAS to be flown ... there are very few external time pressures ... we follow protocol every single time (as a matter of training as much as maintaining safe operating procedures). Read More >>

Direct Dyersburg

, 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 >>

At AirVenture, Oshkosh

, December 13th, 2011

Landing at EAA AirVenture on Monday, July 26 was SUCH a thrill! The largest air show in the world!

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The turf runway slowed me down nicely and as I taxied up to the “gate” to the ultralight area, a volunteer sped up on a small scooter. Unfortunately, I had no way to alert the helpful volunteers that my brakes had failed 4 days previously and I hadn’t been able to fix them. He came a little too close to my wing, probably assuming that I’d brake, and I promptly took off his left mirror! Lots of apologies all around, and then I had lots of folks helping me push the Talon to a parking spot near Bob and Wayne. (There’s a strict “no engines on” rule in the tie-down area.). Read More >>

Pat O'Malley's Jet Room

, 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 >>

Debriefing at ICAS 2011

, December 5th, 2011

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I'm at the 2011 annual convention of the International Council of Air Shows at Paris Las Vegas.  It's an annual gathering of almost everyone who matters in the airshow industry.  The image above is from the welcome reception last night.  ICAS is always festive.  It's a reuinion of really good friends who might not see much of each other over the course of the year.  Or, if they do see each other at airshows, everybody's working and there isn't time to catch up. Read More >>