13 March 2010
Back under the Hood
10 August 2009
10 May 2009
According to the FAR, this flight had to be:
(iii) For an instrument—airplane rating, instrument training on cross- country flight procedures specific to airplanes that includes at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR, and consists of—
(A) A distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing;
(B) An instrument approach at each airport; and
(C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems;
So, let's see...how did I do? I logged about 330 miles and about 3.3hours in the air. Aside from getting my written test done, I'm nearly ready for my check ride! However, I still need about 16hrs of simulated and actual instrument time, so I'm going to see if someone wants to be a safety pilot for me to fly under the hood with:). Dad? Paul?......anyone?
22 April 2009
11 April 2009
Here's our sad little fire that we built. I understand that because of the emerald ash borer, that it's not a good idea to bring your own rotting wood into the park, but to make me pay $3/bundle for soaked wood? Outrageous! If the wood was free, I wouldn't say a peep - not me. But to fork out $9/night for a fire that never acheives steady combustion? Unacceptable! BTW - the flames that you in the picture there are from the firestarter that I had just crammed into the fire. I would've been better off getting those giant fire starter logs instead...
I recall when I took one of my friends from Malaysia on this hike, promising a large waterfall at the end, and when we got to the top, he was a little disgusted with the puny falls. "You call this a big fall? I take you to Malaysia and show you a big falls!" It's still big for the East Coast of the US - most of our fresh water is contained in lazy rivers.
The next day was absolutely miserable, it was 40-45°F and spitting rain in Gatlinburg, and I suspected that at a typical lapse rate of 4.4°F for every 1000ft, we would be in a blowing snowstorm on any hike above 3600ft (Gatlinburg is only at about 1600ft elevation). So, we applied our hiking energies to the Tangier outlet malls, and found some great deals....however, I was little perturbed at the 9.5% sales tax. I guess they gotta bilk those tourists somehow. The following day, however, was an absolutely perfect day for hiking, clear, sunny, and just some wispy cirrus clouds high in the sky. We decided to hike one of my favorite trails, the Alum Cave Bluffs trail to Mt. LeConte. I've hiked this trail many a time, and really enjoy the views and the memories of racing Joshua to the top. I wasn't in racing mode today, though, because there was a lot of residual ice and snow from the previous day covering some of the more challenging parts of the trail.
Looking towards Newfound Gap from Cliff Tops on Mt. LeConte.
31 March 2009
15 March 2009
IFR Training Update 2
BFR/IFR Lesson #5
My biennial flight review was due the end of December 2008, but over the holidays and with all my traveling, it was just to difficult for me and my instructor to get together to do some flying. So, first chance that we got, I had to bust out a BFR first. It was really no problem, and we managed to squeeze in a couple of approaches at Newark to practice.
IFR Lesson #6 - Enter the Meatgrinder!
This was my first lesson flying into Class C airspace and doing multiple approaches to KOSU (Ohio State Don Scott Airport). Fortunately, this is a university airport, so I think that the tower and approach controllers are use to a bunch of slow operators on the radio and the zig-zag needle-chaser student pilots. It was a whole new level to focus on the approach and talk to approach controllers at the same time - YIKES! It was just sheer overload. I managed to execute 3 progressively better GPS-27 approaches into KOSU and didn't irritate the controllers too much, so that was good. My instructor said that I did pretty good, when I wasn't chasing the needle...which wasn't very often. Must. Do. Better.
IFR Lesson #7 - First File
This lesson was my first flight conducted solely under Instrument Flight Rules. It was a learning experience, and actually didn't go too bad. I had filed for a flight into Circleville, OH (KCYO), then an approach into Rickenbacker (KLCK), and finally to end up in Newark, OH (KVTA). It was a whole new level of pressure and intense focus to keep my heading, not chase the needle, and to hold that altitude. I did fairly well (at least my instructor said so!), and it really boosted my confidence level. Flying under instrument wasn't really that bad....
IFR Lesson #8 - VOR Tracking & Holding Patterns, DME Arcs
For this lesson, we were going to go through a couple of procedural items. Tracking and holding at VORs was first on the bill. Since the majority of my flying had been in the luxurious cockpit of a G1000-equipped aircraft, I really haven't used VORs for navigation very much. the training aircraft that I was using (N785SP) was a 172SP with two VORs and a Bendix/King KLN94 GPS, which is definitely NOT as cool as the Garmin product. So, it's been a real reverse learning curve as I've had to re-learn what the heck a VOR does, anyways?:) Add into that the fact that the DG on this particular Cessna has the tendency to precess about 20-30 degrees per hour, and it is a real challenge to make nice oval donuts in the sky. I also did a DME arc...honestly not too bad at all. You just have to know which direction the winds are coming from and you're go to go!
That's all for now - I hope to have a couple more lessons, and maybe a nice long IFR cross-country here soon. Stay tuned!
Seattle & San Francisco
Cloudy Days per Year
Seattle, WA - 226 average
Pittsburgh, PA - 203 average
Cleveland, OH - 202 average
Columbus, OH - 190 average
Yuma, AZ - 52 average
Sunny Days per Year
Seattle, WA - 58 average
Pittsburgh, PA - 59 average
Cleveland, OH - 66 average
Columbus, OH - 72 average
Yuma, AZ - 242 average
We had a couple of meetings in the morning, but took some time to take a ferry across the Puget Sound towards Bainbridge Island. and headed towards the Olympics. It was fairly warm (45°F or so) and just so brilliantly sunny.
After all that fun in Seattle, I headed south to San Francisco for a trade show for the rest of the week. I had the opportunity to fly on Alaska Airlines for the very first time, and I have to say that I was pleasantly impressed. Service was great, the newer 737NGs are comfortable, and they serve a real microbrew (Alaskan Amber) in a real glass bottle on board the flight. Awesome! On the ground in SF, I met up with my brother Sam, who joined us for the tradeshow appearance, and to escape the clouds of southern Michigan.