Repost: Flying the Hudson River Corridor

Remembering this flight from thirteen years ago…

“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.

Continue to read here.

We All Fly: First Airplane Ride

No pilot ever forgets his first airplane ride – Bill Kershner

Coming across this quote recently brought back some fond memories of my very first flight in a small airplane. Seems almost another life time ago. but oh so true… a pilot never forgets!

It was back during my college days that I had the good fortune to go for my very first ride in a glider, ably piloted by my friend, a glider pilot and fellow class mate. It was a short and sweet flight. An introduction into the wonderful world of flying. Until then even though I had thought of it, it seemed beyond reach, not only in terms of access but also in terms of cost and effort needed. I had attended the local glider flying club meeting with him and considering the cost and options offered by the club, it almost seemed possible. I was excited and enthusiastic and ready to try.

Despite the excitement of my first flight, it’s my second flight though that overshadows my first one. Who can forget the adventure of an emergency landing on a street, the long day and process of dismantling the glider and towing it back to the airport?

Gliding? Hmm… maybe. While that episode caused a brief pause in pursuing my pilot license, it certainly did not deter me and a few years later, I did obtain my private pilot license. The joy of flying knows no bounds. It has to be experienced!

The National Air and Space Museum in DC is going through a complete transformation. The renovations in progress have added several new galleries. It is exciting to see a new General Aviation gallery. If it has been a while since you visited NMB, be sure to check it out if you are in the area. It might almost seem like a brand new museum!

See Also:

An Encounter with Gliding

National Air and Space Museum

Current Again. Yes!

Lately I have been thinking about the word “Rusty”.

Back in 2011, I had thought four months was too long a gap since my last flight. The gap this time was almost four years. For the first time, I even missed a flight review or two. It was interesting to experience the true meaning of “Rusty Pilot”. It was interesting to realize how much can be forgotten if one is not flying regularly!

While the review of current policies, procedures, regulations, aeronautical information, aircraft performance, weather and environmental factors are all vital and necessary, and can be part of every day activities even if one is not a pilot, the visual acuity, coordination, practical techniques, sensory perceptions, nuances, awareness and resource management are vital skills that are all accrued over time through application. These skills evolve and grow through continuous application, recurrent training, and pursuing other advanced ratings and endorsements.

As with anything, human behavior is built through constant practice and application. We focus on what’s in front of us or what’s important in the moment. With time forgetfulness can seep in. Other factors such as loss of memory, age etc. might add to it. As I attempted to refresh my memory, it was interesting to realize how much I had forgotten. Although I have been attending virtual rusty pilot seminars over the last two years, it was evident almost immediately to me that despite having flown for almost two decades one can forgot basic things from lack of practice.

May has always been the month. I got my private pilot license in May. Three years later, I got my instrument rating also in May. This meant every two years May was the month for my flight review with my instructor to maintain currency. That is, until this year.

Its good to be current again, after this unplanned hiatus!

Links:

AOPA Rusty Pilots

BFR, It can be fun!

Flying Lessons: Flight Review

Rusty Pilot Seminar

Rusty IFR Pilot Seminar

Repost: Rusty Pilot Seminar

There was time when I attended a safety pilot seminar monthly. Be it hosted by the FAA Safety Office, AOPA, 99s or other aviation organizations.  In fact I helped organize some fly n talk safety seminars as an active member of the local SLO chapter of the 99s. Living in a small town with numerous highly active aviation organizations there was never a chance to feel rusty.

Lately that is what I have been feeling. Rusty. I no longer fly as often as I did and I am sorry to report that today was the first in person safety seminar I have attended in the last 4 years (sans the one or two AOPA webinars I managed to listen in to). Living in a large metropolitan area, commuting on a weekday competing with the rush hour traffic attempting to get home expeditiously, it is impossible to consider attending a safety seminar.

Safety seminars on any topic are a great asset to general aviation pilots. It’s a shame to pay $50 when AOPA hosts so many freely if only they were conveniently timed and located. But considering I hadn’t attended one in 4 years, it was still worth the cost to attend one to review all that I had learned during my private pilot training. An in person safety seminar is also an excellent way to get all your doubts and questions answered. I even managed to come away learning something I did not know before!

Continue to read https://flynthings.net/2012/10/07/rusty-pilot-seminar/.

Happy National Aviation Day

Source: NASA

In 1939, FDR proclaimed and congress codified August 19th National Aviation Day. It marks the anniversary of Orville Wrights birthday and each year allows the sitting President to proclaim August 19th, National Aviation Day.

Events are organized by airports, aviation organizations and associations across the US. It’s the day to spread your wings and go fly. Or visit a museum, watch an aviation themed movie, take an intro lesson or just go fly, hang out at an airport plane spotting, read an aviation themed book, or build a plane. It’s a day to celebrate.

It has been one thousand two hundred and forteen days since my last flight at the controls, not counting that Low and Slow Flight over Cape Canaveral back in January 2020. Back in 2011, I thought 4 months was too long. This is the first time, I missed a BFR (back in 2020), since I started flying. Happy to be back in the air for my flight review. Will take a few flights to feel normal again. But excited to be back at the controls after the long hiatus.

Happy National Aviation Day!

Repost: Oshkosh 02

Twenty Years Ago…

50 years of Airventure


Finally this year, I had the opportunity to attend Airventure 2002. It was well worth the effort to travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. We arrived in Oshkosh on Friday afternoon. The place was brimming with people and with luck we found a decent site to pitch tent and settle in.  Camp Scholler is not only a fun place to camp but is also very close to the action, within walking distance to the airport and the airshow. There are shuttle buses that operate on a regular basis between the campground, the entrance to the airshow, seaplane base and the EAA Museum.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of Airventure. It is estimated that more than 750,000 attended this year; an estimated 10,000 aircraft were flown with a total of 2503 showplanes.

Continue to read here.

Repost: Yikes I almost stalled over Lakeland

“Aircraft arriving over Lake Parker, expect holding until 7:15 pm over Lake Parker,” was what we heard on the radio a few minutes after our planned group departure from Leesburg International Airport (KLEE) in Leesburg, Florida.

snf0

Four aircraft from the Mid-Atlantic had made it easily, albeit, at different times to our chosen airport of rendezvous. Considering the aircraft in play: a Columbia 400, a twin Baron, a Cessna 182 and a Cessna 172, we definitely needed a rally point to meet, prepare, and plan a departure to Sun ‘n Fun (SNF).

snf9

According to our original plan, we had all congregated at KLEE, briefed the arrival procedures and departed on cue around 6:00pm. The plan was to arrive at Lakeland Airport around 6:30pm for a group arrival.

Continue to read here.

Repost: First Solo

Lights. Camera. Action!

That’s how I always remembered it.

Strobes. Transponder. Throttle.

No pounding heart, sweaty palms or shaky legs as I raced down the runway, applying a little right rudder to maintain center line, eyes glued to the airspeed indicator.

At least not yet.

Airspeed indicator needle gradually turned, as the airplane gained speed. 40, 50, and finally 60 Knots. Gently ease back the yoke and lift-off.

I was airborne.

Oh my God!

It finally sank in. I was all alone in the cockpit having just performed a take-off, for my very first solo flight. I still had to land this aircraft all by myself.

Continue to read here.

Repost: Flying Among Clouds

Like any new student of Instrument training I eagerly awaited my first foray into clouds. Would I be nervous, disoriented, distracted or maybe even a total disaster, I wondered often how I would react when it all happened. It has been several months now since I had started my instrument training. Now almost at the end of my training, I was sure I would not get a chance to find out, at least not yet, how it would all be.

Lo and behold, Saturday loomed gloomy and cloudy. For once I was excited and eager to be off the ground! This is quite contrary to my normal expectation for nice, clear weather on a Saturday morning. You see, I had scheduled a flight with my instructor for that morning. I was literally waiting for 9 am so I could be up, up and away.

Continue to read here.