Your connection with the sky

Cool, calm, and collected

, September 27th, 2012

For those of you who have been following me on this blog, you might recall one of my first posts, chockfull of different quotes describing how it felt to experience the freedom and beauty of flying. I ended it with Orson Welles’ words of wisdom, “There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.” I went on to say that I anticipate it being a long time before I ever get bored flying an airplane. Well, on my first solo cross country yesterday, I can honestly say that even with all the gorgeous scenery and thoughts of “this is so awesome”/”I am so cool” running through my head, I found myself bored in an airplane for the first time.

My solo cross country has been a long time coming. Before I went to AirVenture, I was getting super close, but weather delays kept me from ever reaching my intended destinations on my practice cross countries. After AirVenture, as some of you know, I was feverishly studying for my FAA knowledge test. Getting back to flying after being out of the loop for almost two months was rough. The plane felt so foreign to me. I was scared that I had lost my touch. However, a few cross countries later, I was feeling secure being back in the saddle. Read More >>

September 27th, 2012: Navigating in the air…and on the ground

, September 27th, 2012

Having made it reasonably well through my mock check ride, and with less than 2 weeks left before the real deal, and no time left on the "lesson" clock, I decided to knuckle down and use any available time to study.

One of the things that's been gnawing at me throughout this process is the limited time I seem to have to learn specific things, like getting a real handle on the Garmin 430's in the cockpit of the Cessna, so last week I found and installed a 430 simulator on my computer. I had actually been looking for one for the past couple of months but hadn't come up with anything until one day last week, when my CFI sent me a link to one he had come across. Read More >>

September 21st, 2012: It’s Make it or Break it time

, September 21st, 2012

With everything getting down to the wire, I'm finding that I have less and less time to do things, like write about it all.

Today was my final "Mock Check Ride", a 4 hour lesson set up to prepare me for my actual check ride on October 9th. Between now and then I plan to go up for at least one more solo, but other than that it looks like I've made it through the training for my private pilots certificate. Am I ready?

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Engine Failure on Takeoff

, September 19th, 2012

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Engine Failure on Takeoff
An engine failure on takeoff is a tough spot to find yourself in. We're going to look at 2 Scenarios:

- Engine Failure With Runway Remaining

- Engine Failure Without Runway Remaining

The first is engine failure with runway remaining. The one thing that you need to understand is that, if you were to have an engine failure on take-off, you’re already low and slow.

The moment you take away that thrust, your airspeed will drop like a rock. Your number one priority is to get that nose over. If there’s runway remaining, you just put the aircraft right back on the runway you just took off on.

CHALLENGE!

September 7th, 2012: ATC Mayhem and Landing Practice at Santa Rosa

, September 7th, 2012

Since I'm getting closer to my checkride, my lessons now consist primarily of honing my skills. With all of my solo, cross country and night flying requirements completed, my flying lessons focus on improving my skills, and when I'm not flying, I've got my head buried in books, videos and websites in an attempt get my brain wrapped around the academics of flying.

At this stage in the game there are a number of aspects of flying that I'm pretty comfortable with, flight planning, cross country, night flying, ground reference maneuvers, normal, soft field and short field takeoffs, flying under the hood, solos, unusual attitude recovery, even tower work to some extent, but there are a few areas that still elude me, and I'm doing my best to keep from getting frustrated. At the top of the list are a number of instruments and the on-the-fly calculations required while in flight. As anyone keeping up with my journal is aware, VORs remain a challenge, some days I feel like I get it, and some days, well, I don't. Several other challenging aspects include on the fly calculations for density altitude and airspeed and a clearer understanding of airspace. I know it's just a matter of practice so this weekend I'm going to pound away at every piece of information I have at my disposal in an attempt to get through it. That said, today was about landings and tower operations. Read More >>