Your connection with the sky

Mrs. Alaska United America

, November 30th, 2012

As my new title of Mrs. Alaska United America continues to take shape, I’m proud to announce some very exciting things happening with my platform – a project to encourage and educate women of all ages to be involved in aviation.  Educating the next generation of women to keep the aviation community strong, not only for general aviation but in our country’s military as well.  The aviation career field is so diverse with pilots, air traffic controllers, maintainers, to safety inspectors – the opportunities are endless for women.  I am proud to announce as of September that we are a non-profit organization in the state of Alaska and a scholarship fund geared to help sponsor future female Alaskan aviators!  Our non-profit organization continues to reach Alaskans throughout the state and beyond.  Read More >>

iPad & iPhone apps

, November 26th, 2012

Benet Wilson requested that readers of  her AOPA Blog post send her their favorite training & flight apps. After writing a response, and I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, I thought this would make a good post in the Let's Go Flying Blog as well.

Since I am an avid geek when it comes to flying apps and during my training tested out a number of iPad and iPhone apps, here are the ones that I think are the best and most useful apps on the market for students and pilots alike.

For moving maps and navigation there are a few good choices, and there were specific things I liked about each of the apps below, but in the end, WingX Pro7 is the one that ended up on my home screen. Read More >>

Eleanor Flies: First Flight with Dad

, November 14th, 2012

There’s no shortage of reasons to learn to fly.  One of the best is sharing flight with others.

I’ve taken each of my kids to the airport since before they could walk.  My son, Nicholas (callsign: “FOD”), has known how to operate a flap lever in a Cessna 172 since he was three.  My daughter, Ella (callsign: “Deadly”) reached for the throttle with her right hand the first time I loaded her into the left seat of a C-172.

I took FOD up in a Cessna Citation Mustang (a light business jet that seats six) on a demo flight at AirVenture Oshkosh three years ago when he was seven.  And I took him up again in a TG-7A motorglider with my airshow team in August for some formation practice.  But, up until now, I’ve never taken up Deadly, who's seven now.  So I set out to do something about that. Read More >>

Sophie T. Dog’s first flight!

, November 1st, 2012



 To me, the best part of being a private pilot is flying myself to fun destinations. Just recently, my boyfriend (also a pilot), my Australian Shepherd, Sophie, and I flew to Penn Yan, NY to spend the weekend on Keuka Lake. It was wonderful; what has taken us 5.5 hours to drive from Frederick, MD took us only 2.5 hours to fly! Read More >>

October 9th, 2012: Anxiety, crosswinds and the check ride

, October 9th, 2012

IMG_1518_1.jpgSo here I am, at the end of this journey. Along the way I have written something about nearly every lesson, for the most part, selfishly, to help me understand and reflect about what I'm going through in the hope that it will make me a better student, and ultimately, a better pilot, but perhaps also through this journal, to help others understand what the process of learning to fly is like, at least from one other person's perspective. Read More >>

October 4th, 2012: Smart enough to fly?

, October 4th, 2012

This has been a tough couple of weeks. After flying 3, 4, even 5 days a week all summer long, I have come to the end of my flight training and have only flown once in the past week, which at this point seems more like a month.

Today was knowledge test day, and while I have studied as much as I possibly could throughout the summer I still felt like there were areas where I could have used more time. Personally, I found it difficult to prepare myself for the written exam, not so much comprehending the particular areas of knowledge, but in psychologically preparing myself and trying to predict what might be asked, which, of course, you can't do.

Here's a few things I'll say about the whole process. Read More >>

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?

092112_last_student_solo.png

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!