It was just after I got my private pilot license, one of the first airshows I attended was the Salinas International Air Show. The biggest attraction was the Sean Tucker and Team Oracle. Local news was abuzz that year:

“Tucker returns with the excitement and enthusiasm of a kid who”s back to play before his hometown crowd. Having won the Championship Air Show Pilots Association (CASPA) Challenge for the fourth straight year this past July, he also brings the very best that the world of aerobatics has to offer.”

After watching him fly and see my very first airshow, I came away with excitement too. Aerobatics was on my mind. Tucker School of Aerobatics was a mere short drive away from my airport homebase and I even made the trek up there to checkout the school and aerobatics training opportunities.

Oracle Challenger III, the aircraft now graces the Thomas Haas We All Fly exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum. Since that first airshow, I have seen the Oracle Challenger at many airshows around the country, so excited to see it displayed at NASM.

Top Ten Popular Posts and New Year Resolutions

My adventures flying to the Bahamas in a C172 continued to be the most popular post for a second year in a row.  It seems there are a lot of people interested in or at least dreaming about doing this trip. To all of them, just do it!

To some who might wonder, I have a cooking blog too… Flyncook

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TOP 10 Popular Posts of 2014:

Flying to the Bahamas in a C172
$500 Vegeburger
DCA From the Catwalk
The Bahamas
Blacksburg, VA
Flying Lessons
Book Review: Fifty Classic Destinations for Pilots
Flying Buddy
How to Speak like a Pilot

As for New Year Resolutions? I am resolving to Just Wing It! How about you?


Stay Safe and Have a Happy New Year and I hope to see you back here next year!

See Also:

Flyncook: 2014 Year in Review

More Loops, Rolls and Hammerheads

Monday Musings

“Pull the stick all the way back and keep the turn going,” said my instructor from the back seat.

We were upside down, and I could feel the pull of gravity and the allure of the earth tugging me. And just for a brief moment, all thought ceased as I gazed downwards mesmerized: by the green earth still lush with myriads of color ranging from green to browns and even some yellow and vibrant oranges; the azure of the skies, clear from any clouds; and the turquoise blue waters of the Potomac.  I was almost expecting us to be crashing straight down towards earth any moment!

goneflying1There is something fascinating about staring straight down, upside down at 3,000ft above the ground. The feeling in the pit of my stomach was akin to the emotions of going fast on a roller coaster, just when it dips down hill or sweeps round a curve at breakneck speed.

It was a beautiful, but slightly chilly Saturday morning. I was expecting to be wearing warm winter gear that morning. Despite the weather forecast, the temperatures were mild and in the 40s. The sun was shinning brightly and with clear blue skies, there was unlimited visibility. A light sweatshirt was all that was needed.

After departing Potomac, we headed straight for the training area, which  is a mere 10nm south east of the airfield outside the FZ, and right along the Potomac river, to practice some aerobatic maneuvers.

I pushed the nose down and let the speed increase to 130knots, before pulling up and applying full left rudder and left aileron, this time transitioning us into a roll. “You need more aileron. Push it all the way to the left,” instructed Marianne, helping me put us into a roll to the left all the way around, before we returned to straight and level flight.

fly1 It has been almost two months since I flew the Citabria and more than four months since  I tried aerobatics. I was glad to see that I hadn’t forgotten all that I learned.  I am definitely getting more comfortable flying the Citabria.

After practicing some rolls, loops and hammerheads we headed over to Maryland airport for some practice landings  before heading back home.

goneflying4My flying plans have not been successful the last few weeks hindered by weather, winds or aircraft availability or some other reasons. Winter is almost here, and chances of opportunities to fly, like this past weekend, are going to be few and far in between. It was good to be back in the air. And good to practice some aerobatics again.

The Citabria is a fun aircraft to fly any day!

See also:

Aerobatics 1: Spins, Loops and Hammerheads
Gone Flying Part 2: Joy of Tailwheel Flying
Gone Flying Part 1