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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.

25 June 2006


I flew this evening. 0.7hrs, and five landings. It was good practice, and while it wasn't a CAVU day, it was very calm air. The airplane flew great, and I practiced short field landings and soft field landings, and had some really nice ones (ones that I could be proud of). Good to be back in the saddle, now just to schedule some night flying with my instructor.

24 June 2006

Summer Vacation Plans

It's been 5 years since I've been at the Oshokosh AirVenture in 2001, and I still have really great memories of the two days that I spent there. I drove up with my roommate at the time, Campbell Soup, and we had a really good time walking around the airshow, trying not to run into a rather strange co-worker that happened to be up at Oshkosh at the same time. Highlights for me that year was riding my bike over to the seaplane base, sitting on the shore of Lake Winnebago with my toes in the water, just watching the endless stream of seaplane takeoffs and landings. Some other great moments were the Hawker SeaFury demonstration, the dual-B1B low-level flyby with full afterburners (which basically shook everything in my frame - awesome demonstration of raw jet power). I've had to wait a few years since then, between other vacations, weddings, and the usual things that crop up in life, and so I'm really excited to go back, now that I'm not just an enthusiast, but a real-honest-to-goodness student pilot. This trip will also be special for me, because I will be accompanied by the wife of my youth, a beautiful woman that I hope to be able to explain some of the reasons behind this flying mania that I have been pursuing. I really want her to see the seas of cessnas, mooneys, texans, RV's, and to get a sense of the wonderful comraderie and history of this adventure we call flying. So, I'm really excited to be there AND to be there with my wife. (She will probably be a little concerned by the crazed little boy rapidly shooting pictures of obscure airplanes and making airplane noises all night in the tent) What will be a great weekend at Oshkosh will also be followed up with a trip to Isle Royale NP in the middle of Lake Superior. We'll take a ferry from Copper Harbor out to the Isle Royale, not a seaplane, unfortunately:-(, but we're trying to keep the costs lower. We will spend a couple of days of backpacking around the island, seeing what we can see and just enjoying the wilderness of Isle Royale. We aren't planning an epic backpacking tour of the island, just a glimpse of what the island can offer. Now, I've got to plan for trails and campgrounds to stay at. I will definitely be busy over the next month!

Cold Front

Thursday evening, as I was walking out the front door of the ol' cough syrup factory where I earn an honest day's wage, I was struck with awe at the quickly moving cold front right above me. I've never seen clouds like this, but the high pressure compression band between the two air layers was clearly evident, as the storm that was moving in had some serious speed behind it. It was moving at probably 45mph, and was just snowplowing the leavings from the last cloudburst out of the way. Super cool. You could see thousands of feet up the crevasse in the clouds, it's kind of hard to see in the photos, but it was perhaps the coolest weather formation that I have ever seen in Coshocton. I'm glad that my feet were planted firmly on the ground, because it was not very good flying weather. I kept thinking as the rain started to pound down, "what would it be like to be flying and be caught in something like that?" There would be a tremendous amount of wind shear and it might rip the plane apart. The forces of weather are indeed awesome, but pale in comparison to awesomeness of the Creator. When Jesus comes again, riding on the clouds of glory, what an awesome sight that will be! I'll be sure to have my Sony Cyber-Shot out and ready for that one...do you think that we will have 10 mega pixel cameras in heaven?

07 June 2006

34.3 hrs

So yesterday, I just happened to log 3.1hrs of flying....it was great. In the morning, I flew up to Millersburg (10G), and the air was clear and calm, just perfect flying. I felt like just keep going and flying up to the lake or something, but I didn't have a flight planned out, so no dice:). Up in the air, I just kind of played around with the airplane, seeing what control inputs (if uncorrected) would result in. I flew straight and level, and just pushed in a little rudder, and felt the plane bank slightly to the left and then level out. The Cessna 172 is really a very stable aircraft! After reading a couple of aviation blogs about power-on stalls, I did a couple of power-on stalls, and turns around a point, and some steep turns, both directions, just to get more familiar with the handling of the aircraft.

I'm really getting more and more comfortable with the "feel" of the aircraft - it's almost automatic when I correct a slip or level the wings. I'm also getting much better at holding my altitude, and maintaining a course heading. Now, I'm not trying to be cocky, but I'm just getting excited about my awareness and control of the airplane. Flying 3.1hrs yesterday was really fun, and I got lots of good landing practice in. I praticed short field, soft field landings & takeoffs, I'm really starting to look forward to the check ride, and I just need to get some night flying in, some serious solo cross-country time, and I'll be ready for the scary, scary C-H-E-C-K R-I-D-E!!!!! OooooOOOoooooo......maybe I should be more scared, but I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. Later that evening, I took a cross-country flight to Newark (VTA) and managed to get a couple of landings in, as well as some great sight-seeing of the Newark & Heath ohio area. I just love flying over an area that I drive frequently and seeing how much different it looks, and where the roads really go. You know how you get that idea of which direction the roads go when you're driving around. I just love seeing them laid out like a road map. Here's a photo of the world-famous Longaberger Basket, which I hear is visible from space!:) It's amazing what you can build when you're selling baskets for $120 and running what amounts to a highly paid sweatshop in the hills of Ohio. Nevertheless, it definitely is a unique structure.