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.

Repost: To Shear or not to Shear

Has it really been that long…

It was the first day of my advanced flight training class. The weather outside was superficially deceptive. Clear blue skies and  sunny, but with moderate turbulence and wind shear. Not the best of days to select for a flying lesson. I went to the airport guessing, I wasn’t going to be having my first lesson after all. My instructor walked in and said “Ready to go?”. Surprised I said “Still want to go ahead with the lesson, considering the weather?”

We got some feedback from other instructors. The general opinion was it was quite rough flying.  Earlier in the day there were reports of 3000 foot drops!

Continue to read here.

Repost: From the Right Seat

10 Years ago…

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.

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Repost: From Palms to Pines

Fly 'n Things

“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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Repost: BFR – It can be fun!

Current Again!

It has been 4  months and 8 days since my last flight. The first time ever that I let such a long gap between my flights happen. It is good to be back in the air and  in control!

Over the last decade I have had a total of 5 flight reviews. Each had it’s unique flavor to it. For, each CFI has his or her own style. Each different, yet a good experience. While some might consider it a waste of time or wish to go through with it quickly and at minimum cost, I have always enjoyed a detailed flight review. After all safety begins with the pilot and I always want to be sure I am staying sharp and safe.

Continue to read here.

Repost: Yikes! I Almost Stalled over Lakeland!

Fly 'n Things

“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.

snf0Four 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).

snf9According 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.

Being the slowest aircraft of all, a Cessna 172, we had departed last. Hearing the SNF radio communications, Linda and I, pondered our options…

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