Monday Musings: Unable


Four years ago…

Miami Center, can we get direct Ft. Pierce,” I asked eying the ominous looking dark clouds at our 12 o’clock.
“Unable for the next 10 minutes. Maintain heading,” responded Miami Center.

We had departed Bimini, our final halt in the Bahamas before heading back to the States. It was cloudy and IMC along the Florida Coast and we had filed an IFR flight plan for the return.  Bimini is a mere 10nm miles from the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ ) and with luck, we had circled as we climbed to altitude and after multiple attempts, finally established radio contact with Miami Center. This was not only crucial since we were in-bound, crossing the ADIZ, but also because weather along our route was mostly IMC.

We proceeded as directed, continuing to watch the rapidly approaching weather system, straight ahead. When is the best time to tell the controller I am unable to follow his directive, I pondered. The system ahead looked turbulent and moisture laden. It is not fun heading into this mess in a Cessna 172. But I was also curious to see how it felt, how I would handle it, and understand my limits. Fortunately, just as we started penetrating the mess, Miami Center, cleared us direct to Ft. Pierce, so we could avoid the system.

Unable might seem like a taboo word, something you should never use or one you feel affronted to use since it admits a weakness of some sort or some such frivolous reason, but believe it or not it is the most effective word in your pilot lingo that might just save the day.

Continue to read here.

Words on Wednesdays: Seems like yesterday


I almost missed this milestone.

This month marked two decades since my first intro flight when I officially began my flight instruction. Has it really been that long?

I still fondly and vividly remember that day like yesterday, when I flew my first solo.

Or that first cross country I made to King City, that made me nervous I would get lost. Or better yet that second  long cross-country to South County airport that required two go-arounds, to the ire of others in the traffic pattern.

Or the first foray to Bakersfield after getting my ticket and getting lost for dialing in the wrong VOR frequency and having a non-functioning transponder! How about that first ILS approach into Watsonville in actual  IMC after getting my instrument rating ?

Or that time I took my friend from college to Monterey and experienced my first instrument failure.

Or the long solo cross country to satisfy the requirements for commercial pilot license.

Or the uncomfortable attempts to achieve the minimum night time requirements, or flying night solo cold turkey or the single night solo cross country flight or later the single night and IFR flight.

Seems like yesterday 🙂

See Also:

Logging Memories I

Logging Memories II

Logging Memories III

Logging Memories IV

Logging Memories V

Logging Memories VI

 

Thirteen Years Ago: From Palms to Pines


“A first time racer’s personal account”

“You have to go down to 350 feet for the flyby,” I reminded gently. “I am not going any lower“, pat came the response while Grace stayed steady at 400 feet. “We’ll be disqualified if we are not at or below 200 feet for the flyby,” I said a trifle forcefully.

craterlake
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Fresh on Fridays: Countdown to OSH#5


Seaplane Base

One More Time — 2 Fly America


 

If you spend any time around us, about this same time every year, our vocabulary begins to take on a few special words (GREEK to some, GEEK to others). In particular, Oshkosh, AirVenture & “Goin’ Again”. (Okay, that last one is two words). For those who don’t know what it’s all about, here’s the best […]

via One More Time — 2 Fly America

Words on Wednesdays: When Life was Simple


Soaring on Top of the World!

And I dream I’m an eagle
And I dream I can spread my wings
Flying high, high, I’m a bird in the sky
I’m an eagle that rides on the breeze
High, high, what a feeling to fly
Over mountains and forests and seas
And to go anywhere that I please

               — From the Eagles by ABBA

We took off under our own power and climbed in circling turns to about 12,500 ft. “Where are the thermals?” I had asked Bob as we prepared to take-off. “Over there, where the clouds are,” he responded. Once the engine settled down and cooled, he prepared to turn it off and closed the air  vents.

Five years ago today… Continue to read here.

Unforgettable: A Review


After a rejuvenating Young Women in Engineering Event, meeting and networking with high school girls, I was reminded of what inspired me.

First posted in 2003.

From Fall of 2000. Enjoy!

Unforgettable.

Yes that is how every memory we make is.

Unforgettable by Lane Wallace is a book about flying. It is about Lane’s ten best flights. From the Swiss Alps to Key West, from Alaska to Sudan to Mexico and even to the edge of space.

Unforgettable is also about the passion and the joy of flying: be it in a piper cub, a U-2 space plane,  a blimp or a Grumman Cheetah.

Unforgettable is also about the wonder of flying: the emotions that race through the authors mind as she experiences and explores the world.

Each experience is unique and unforgettable and provides valuable insights into life, living, the joy of flying and the incredible resilience and fortitude of the human race for survival and happiness. Ultimately you must feel it personally to experience any connection with the author’s view. If you are passionate about flying, and enjoy the simple joy of it, Unforgettable is a must read.

One fine October day, several years ago, I had the distinct pleasure to attend an event that left a tremendous impact on me. I had just soled and was flying my first cross country to Santa Barbara (SBA) with my flight instructor. As we landed after the cross country flight, my instructor had said:

“I have an extra ticket to the SLO99s banquet, do you want to go?”

“Sure”, I responded, even though I was excited and tired after our flight. Although I had heard about the 99s, in those days, as a future women pilot, I was not eligible for membership.

As I listened to the calm, quiet voice of Lane and her passionate exposition on the wonder and joy of flying, my own enthusiasm and passions were sharply awakened. Writing was something I had yearned to do since I was in high school. Here and now was a voice I could relate to. The emotions, the excitement and the passions that Lane described appeared so inline with my own views and passions about flying. That unforgettable day, rekindled the fires within me to write.  In actuality my flying adventures are the fodder to my writing. Since that fateful day, I have devoured the Flying Magazine (i.e. until recently :-)). The first article I always read was Flying Lessons by Lane Wallace. More recently my copy of the Sport Aviation Magazine actually started to see some wear. Unfailingly, on the day I receive it, I swiftly open it to get my fill  of Flying Lessons by Lane Wallace.

You can learn more about Lane by visiting her personal websites:

Lane Wallace
No Map, No Guide, No Limits

Find the book on Amazon or Sporty’s.