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About 80% of general aviation aircraft fly using Lycoming engines. Clearing the trees at the end of the runway. Leaving 4500ft for 6500ft. Maintaining airflow and generating lift across the wings. All are impossible without a reliable engine. Lycoming powers my training aircraft and so fuels my quest for a private pilot certificate. This blog is a record of my thoughts and experiences on life, flight, and learning.

21 April 2006

Southern Comfort

It was a welcome getaway. 12 hours of driving, and we had left the constant clouds of dreary Ohio far behind to feel the sand of Georgia between our toes. Well, Beth definitely felt them between her toes:). We traveled down with our friends Steve & Alyssa, on our wedding anniversary, no less! We stopped at a purveyor of fine cuisine, Shoney's, in Virginia and almost had a food rebellion on our hands. Granted, it wasn't real good, but where else can you find all-you-can-eat-popcorn shrimp, banana pudding with the 'nilla wafers, and stacks of pale ham, soaking up watery pineapple juice? I remember the days when I used to like going there. Oh well, I suppose that forty years from now, I will be searching the exits on the interestate, trying desparately to find a Shoney's, you know, some place with real GOOD food and great value:). But, I digress....this entry is really supposed to be about our vacation, not the incredible food.
We drove to Tybee Island, just east of Savannah, Georgia, which is one of the more relaxed, laid back places in the south. My wife, Beth & I really enjoy visiting Savannah when the weather is a pleasant 85°F, but we'll pass on the unbreathable summer heat. Here you see a photo of the fountain in Forsythe Park in downtown Savannah, a very nice place to take a stroll, sit on the grass, and just relax. We did plenty of relaxing on the beach at Tybee Island, which was really pretty nice. It didn't have the commericialized high-rise hotels of Myrtle Beach, Clearwater Beach, or the pretentious snobbery of Hilton Head. It felt like we were at the beach with the locals, and the beaches were nice. Very clean, and decent waves at high tide. At low tide, the tidal flats on the south end of the island opened up into a vast expanse of rippled sand and you could walk out about a 1/2mile onto the sand. The weather was very warm for April (85-95°F).
One day, we managed to make the trek up to Charleston, SC, because Steve & Alyssa hadn't visited that city. We spent several hours at Magnolia Plantation, and shot about 120photos of the place with their new N70 digital SLR. It was really fun to experiement with different angles and lenses, and there were a tremendous amount of flowers in full bloom. It was a dramatic change from the last time that I visited magnolia, where it was raining most of the time, and the flowers wer all closed up. I even managed to see some C-17 touch-and-goes from the nearby Charleston AFB!

Here's the Bird Girl statue that was made famous by the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which wasn't a big success, but an interesting movie to watch if you have been to Savannah a time or two. This photo was taken at the main lake in Magnolia Gardens, and I love the colors that come out in this picture.

After the Shoney's debacle, we managed to make our wives happy and ate at "The Old Pink House", a 18th century mansion that has been converted to a restaurant. First-rate food, and excellent service. The she-crab soup was especially good, but I have a certain weakness for buttery, creamy seafood soups like lobster bisque or my new current favorite, she-crab soup.

This simple engraving of Christ's promise on a tomb just reached out and grabbed me while touring Magnolia. What a promise and a hope that Christ gives to us! "Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

How easy it is to be burdened by the weights and sins of this life, and to not run the race that is set before us with endurance. Especially over the yearly remembrance of his resurrection, I am reminded how much I need to look to Christ for hope and strength in my day-to-day faith. Reading that inscription at Magnolia was a comforting reminder of those that have gone before and the common hope that we share. Hope in life, real true everlasting life through Jesus Christ.

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things to Himself." Philippians 3:20-21

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

20 April 2006


Here's the chart excerpt from my first cross-country! I flew from I40 to 10G to PHD and back to I40, which was 27+miles, and counts as my first cross-country time. I logged 1.3 hours, and had a great flight. Once you are up at 2500ft MSL off the end of runway 22 in Coshocton, you can practically see Holmes County. My instructor was relating a story of a previous student that got lost trying to find Holmes County, which is remarkably easy to find (345° and 8miles from I40). I'm glad that I've had lots of experience in the right-hand seat, looking at charts and helping my dad look for airports. I had no troubles at all.

Now, on to the landings....Landing at 10G was textbook, really, really good. My landing at PHD was a little more hairy. There was a pretty good cross-wind (60° @ 8kts, well, a pretty good cross-wind for me:)), and I had a little bit of a tough time flying the rectangular course...something to work on.

Overall, a good day. I've logged over three hours so far this month, which is a major improvement, and hopefully the good weather holds up!

07 April 2006

Soft Field

Well, I finally flew with my instructor again after about 7 months of solo work. The weather was good, and I flew for 0.6hrs in the patterns around I40 before my instructor showed up at the airport. Weather was nice, sunny and clear with some haze below 4000ft. The winds were pretty strong aloft - I had to fly at about a 30 degree angle from my course heading to maintain a rectangular pattern around I40.

When my instructor arrived, we flew up and did some slow flight work, practicing power-on and power-off stalls, holding 60mph airspeed (into the wind, our groundspeed was only about 30mph). He showed me some spin recovery tactics, and then we went back to the field to practice soft field landings and takeoffs. It was fun to do something different in the 172 instead of just traffic patterns and landing practice. I was about going crazy!:)

Hopefully, I can cover some navigational topics soon, and I can get that cross-country endorsement......I'm getting closer! 24.5hrs so far!