Repost: Bahamas Baby

Accept the Challenges.
So you might feel the Exhilaration of Victory

Sunday dawned,  clear and beautiful.

 

After breakfast, all of us departed to the airport in shared cabs.  The time was here. Over the weeks we had planned and re-planned. And that morning, re-planned again.

bahamas20

In order to fly to the Bahamas there are some key things to plan ahead of time:

  1. A User Fee Decal for the airplane
  2. A Radio license for the airplane
  3. A radio license for each of the pilots who wishes to fly in the Bahamas
  4. An owner authorization letter for rented aircraft
  5. An international VFR or IFR flight plan to the airport of entry (AOE) with customs in the Bahamas
  6. An eAPIS account to submit the manifest prior to entry into the Bahamas
  7. Customs forms per person or family and an Arrival form for each aircraft
  8. A Transient form to fly to multiple airports within the Bahamas
  9. Life vests (and raft if you prefer) for safety.

Continue to read here.

Repost: From the Right Seat

It was one of those days when nothing was working in my favor. Have you experienced one of those days when you feel more like a spectator and things appear beyond your control? When you want to protest or butt in and say that is not what I want to do or how I want to do it? Or realize just a tad bit late that was the wrong thing to do? I was determined to not let the day’s somberness pull me down. After all every cloud has a silver lining.

So when Mike offered the greatest show in the world, I jumped at the chance to ride right seat in the Baron down the Hudson river corridor southbound past the Alpine Tower, GW Bridge, Intrepid, The Clock, Circle the Statue of Liberty, VZ bridge, and back home to DC at night. New York city was resplendent as always with lights turned on all over the city. The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building stood majestic as always lit up to brighten anyone’s day. If seeing New York from 1100ft during the day was awe inspiring, seeing it in all its glory at night left us breathless. It was one of the coldest days of the season, but the air was clear and crisp in the night sky. With very light traffic flying the corridor that time of the night, we flew in complete contentment enjoying the splendor of the New York skyline at night.

Continue to read here.

See Also:

New York, NY
New York Again
New York Skyline
Finals are here…
Montauk Point
Cape May

Repost: Solo Again

A trip down memory lane

It was a cold winter day- sunny, but cold. The preflight briefer warned that it was going to be clear, but cold, with headwinds all the way up the Sacramento Valley. Lower is better he reiterated. Decision time was nearing. Go or no go? It has been so long since I had flown alone, I racked my brain to remember when last I had flown solo. Since getting my instrument rating, I have always had another pilot along, so I could fly an approach and stay instrument current. This flight though had to be done solo.

Continue to read here.

Repost: iPad+Foreflight+Stratus=Awesome!

Okay I agree I am way behind on the bandwagon… But I have not been flying as often as I would like to, the last year or two.

After my visit to California last time (see Hanger Walk Anyone?), I came away excited and enthusiastic to invest in a new iPad and ForeFlight for iPad. But the iPad I had was wifi only and so all I used it for was pre-flight planning for almost a year.

I saw Stratus in action a few months ago on a $500 hamburger run with fellow 99s and friends Pat and Linda. We dodged clouds and traversed the VFR corridor through the DC SFRA. Wow! I thought, I need to get me one of those!

Continue to read here.

Repost: Welcome to North Carolina

Welcome to North Carolina

First in Flight (1903-2003)
Welcome to North Carolina!

So read the welcoming sign post as we tied down the airplane and made our way to the Wright brothers’ memorial site. But I am getting ahead of my story. There were many hurdles to cross before I could be there to read that sign and feel the reverence one feels when visiting a sacred site. Returning to the east coast after nine months of living in the west, I was excited to hear about the flight to Kill Devil Hills that the flight school was organizing. I knew I definitely wanted to make this flight.

Continue to read here.

Note: A version of this appeared on Forbes WheelsUp.

Repost: New York, NY

Flying the Hudson River Corridor Exclusion

“First will be xxxx aircraft, then John in xxxx will follow on and next will be…” continued Bob from our flight school, who had planned the whole flyout to the last minute detail.

I wondered how in the world we were going to keep the order straight leave alone spot the aircraft in front of us. Countless times ATC gives traffic warnings routinely. Only on a rare occasion am I ever able to spot the traffic. Often, I rely on ATC to tell me that I was clear of the traffic or to provide me deviations to avoid the traffic.

Maybe it will all work out, I thought.

Being on a C172 and in no hurry to exit the Hudson river corridor, I and my passengers opted to fly second last.

Bob in the Cougar was planning to fly last.

Continue to read here.

Flying Destinations: Santa Ynez

Day in Solvang

When I think of Santa Ynez (IZA), the first thing that comes to mind is the Chumash Casino. The advertisements on TV were so frequently aired that one couldn’t think about Santa Ynez without thinking about the Chumash Casino. But back in 2001 though, the casino was non-existent, so Solvang was foremost in mind when thinking about Santa Ynez.

Roughly a month after I got my PPL, I planned my first cross country as a pilot: to none other than Santa Ynez. A short flight, not quite 50nm, one I could easy trace following Highway 101 without getting lost. If you can imagine flying in a C152 with single nav/com, no GPS onboard or hand held, no smart phone, and a newly minted pilot, you will understand how important it was not to get lost 😊.

Although I had been doing some flying locally, it was time to spread my wings farther to new airports in search of new adventures. The plan was simple: fly to IZA and spend the day in Solvang. Just barely five miles from IZA, Solvang is a Danish village located in Santa Ynez Valley. Founded in 1911 by a group of Danes, it is home to bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark. Many of the buildings reflect Danish architecture. But even before the Danish arrived, Santa Ynez Valley was originally inhabited by the Chumash, an ingenious and industrious people. Mission Santa Ines served as a gateway for the Chumash Indians.

Photo courtesy Nicole Kraus.

As I made my plans, my only thought was to get there safely. I forgot totally to plan for the other logistics on getting to/from Solvang or even the return flight. One goal at a time, right?

The inbound flight to IZA went without hitch. After all, I was used to driving up and down the coast of CA on 101 so often, that flying a couple of thousand feet and following it seemed a piece of cake. Goal 1 achieved. As it happened I needn’t have worried about the rest. Checking in at the FBO, I ran into a pilot and when he heard my plan was to head out to Solvang, offered me a ride since he was headed that way anyway!

There is a lot to do in Solvang. Wander the avenues, shopping nooks, and walkways, or rent bikes to ride along the streets. Checkout the Santa Inez Mission, Hans Christian Anderson Museum, replica of the Round Tower from Copenhagen, windmills, Danish architecture and so much more. Relish the traditional Danish treats and gourmet food at sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

After a fun filled day, I took a cab ride back to the airport and flew back home with the experience of my first solo cross-country flight as a PPL under my belt and a boost in confidence to plan more adventures!

See Also:
Solvang, CA
City of Solvang