One Week. One Oshkosh!

Airventure 2014 is almost upon us! 45 Days and counting…

I just attended the first Webinar: Tips for Flying to Airventure earlier this week…oshmorn2What’s new this year?


  • And TFR’s associated with them Aug 1-3rd, 2014 all the way to 16,000 ft.
  • Crowd lines set back on those days

Airshow Time Change

  • 1:00-4:30 pm on the last Sunday

New Approaches to VFR arrivals near Midway (MDW) and altitudes.

  • But techniques remain the same
  • Altitudes changes to below 2000ft over Chicago Airspace

Managing the Risks

  • *Landing Accident*– still remain high. But nothing that can avoided by practice!
  •  Taxi Accident
  • Take-off Accident

Should you fly to Airventure?


  • Your recent experience counts. Immensely. Practice. Practice.Practice!
  • VFR Navigation by ground references
  • Holding specified speed and altitude…
  • Non Standard Approach Patterns: Right Traffic
  • Descent on downwind and very short final!
  • No downwind and very short final!
  •  Spot Landings
  • Last Minute Landing Changes— Go Around,
  • Runway Width Illusion ( landing on a taxiway :-))
  • Crosswinds
  •  Know your limits!
  • Non Standard Radio Communications
  • Whose in Charge?
  • No exceptional skills needed. You just need to practice to sharpen your skills.

Planning your trip:

  • download your copy of the NOTAM (1-800-DOWNLOAD)
  • movement areas is controlled by FAA

IFR Flying

  • Might not always be your best choice
  • Traffic separation
  • High volume of non transponder traffic

When should you arrive?


  • Arrive early mornings (less traffic)
  • Schedules in the NOTAMs when group arrivals occur
  • Avoid just before or just after the airport closes!

Space for parking

  • Show planes have room (vintage airplanes)
  • Other GA almost do get in… but due to ground condition can be restricted
  • Listen to ATIS for latest information!
  • Parking Status updated
  • Check neighboring airports
  • Have extra fuel reserves!



  • What to expect?
  • What to watch for?

Packing the plane

  • Plan for diversion
  • Have chocks and tie-downs (rentals available)
  • Have signs..
  • Go Around if needed..
  • Checkout



  • Plan your departure
  • Departure sign
  • Departure ATIS


  • Markings changed

Checkout the Webinar for all the Tips and Tricks to flying into Oshkosh during Airventure!

BTW 61% voted they would be there 🙂

See you there!


2013: Year in Review

As I kicked-off 2013, I promised myself to take my flying to the next level. 2013, has been an incredible year for flying.

After some training flights, getting IFR current and comfortable flying with iPad and Sratus (See iPad + ForeFlight + Stratus = Awesome), we headed off to the Bahamas for some exotic times in the Tropics at the peak of winter.


Flying to the Bahamas in a C172 was an incredible journey. Not only was it my first longest cross-country ever, but the lessons learned were unbelievable. Once my feet were firmly back on the ground and no longer floating on clouds, I had a challenging experience of flying through ice/snow in C172. But all ended well.

Nothing could match Bahamas Flying. This was the year, I wanted to fly as much as I could. For the March flyout we planned a flyout to Blacksburg, VA.  Flying to Blacksburg brought back fond memories of fun times, old friends and even ones no longer among us.


April was all about flying to Connellesville, PA to see Falling Water. While third year in a row, I couldn’t pull off this flyout, three of us pilots, decided to drive over instead and had a marvelous time!

IMG_3820Every two years, May means Bi-annual. Each of my flight reviews have been with a different instructor. They are always fun and most times, I come away learning something new.

After my original experience with gliding, I never really got back in a glider. This past summer, I took a fun ride in the Stemme S2 at the second highest airport in the country, Telluride, CO. I could absolutely try gliding again!

telluride1July-August is usually about Oshkosh and Airventure. While I have made it to Airventure 8-9 times, this year’s experience was unbelievable since I flew in to Oshkosh!

bitsandpiecesOctober it seems, is a bad month to plan for Niagara Falls. While we did not end up driving there, although I have done this a few times, maybe next year I will plan a different month.

Niagara2November flyout was to Hampton Roads: fun and enjoyable. Meanwhile I learned to quilt….

photo(32)December is a time to spend with friends and family. To wind down, rejoice, reflect and plan exciting new adventures next year. Bahamas is again in the horizon… How can I get to Oshkosh again any other way, than fly myself? Niagara, fall in the Northeast, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and so much  more! I did not quite finish my commercial as I hoped, but no rush for it.

I also attended several safety seminars and online webinars hosted by my flight school,  AOPA, EAA, Sporty’s etc.

Rusty Pilot Seminar
Rusty Pilot IFR Seminar
Night Flying Seminar

2014 is a whole new year with innumerable possibilities.

Have a safe and happy holiday season. And see you back here next year!

Air Crafters

It’s what we call our selves…..

Update: All gone 🙂

An apt name for an apt group. See Flynthings for more information.

photo(32)We have been silently working the past few weeks….

20+ airplane pot holders ready for silent auction next week.

photo(31)maybe sample iPad covers

photo(17)and maybe, just maybe, an apron….


Reunion Flight with M^2

Seems like Old Times

“Cutlas 02B, cleared R29, straight out”

We were off, with familiar sights ahead of us: pristine blue skies, three stacks, Morro Rock and the wide blue ocean.

Straight out, as we departed runway 29 and headed straight for the ocean, following highway 1. Off somewhere to the left, was my home, when I last lived in these parts. It was clear and calm, with unlimited visibility. The sky blended into the ocean and the Cuesta Ridge, Irish Hills, Islay Hills, and Bishop Peak, were all clearly visible. The lack of rains and drought, had rendered the hills brown. Yet, the clear blue skies and turquoise blue Pacific Ocean, provided uninterrupted and unending vistas.


We headed out to the ever familiar Morro Rock, before turning towards North, hugging the coastline. The three stacks clearly visible as was the Morro Rock. We traced the coastline following the Cabrillo Highway past Estero Bay and further north to San Simeon. Circling Hearst Castle is something every pilot did in the Central Coast. Talk about circling about a point!


We headed out further north to Point Pedras, circling the lighthouse, before turning south, keeping the coastline to our left and heading back, looking for seals.  For old times sake, I had opted to shoot the ILS R11 approach in VFR conditions. We headed straight for CREPE intersection, while I attempted to re-familiarize myself with flying an instrument approach procedure without an on board GPS, using ILS and VOR only.


Once I got the handle of things, the approach itself was fairly straight-forward. Leveling off a little before HASBY intersection  at 1,200 ft, I circled and set up for downwind 29 with short approach. Landing on R29 brought back fond memories of the innumerable landings I had made here…


I learnt to fly in SLO. The last time I flew with my primary flight instructor Michelle G was back in 2002. The last time I flew with my friend Michelle TG was back in 2005 and the absolute last time I flew here was back in April 2009 when I got my BFR and helped paint the Compass Rose!


m2Good to be back in the air with M^2 in familiar territory.

imageGood to be home!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Some photographs by Michelle Torres Grant

Flying Bucketlist

It’s the time of the year when it’s normal to think of New Year resolutions and future goals for the upcoming New Year. Anything related to flying cannot be bound with a time frame. Not the least because it is not cheap, but also because there are too many uncertain parameters.


On some occasions, I have taken an alternative approach such as flying a scenic flight in a seaplane over Vancouver B.C, or Sydney, Australia or a helicopter over the Great Barrier Reef over Cairns, Australia. But, I hope to eventually pilot a plane over these areas!


Given that, my top ten flying bucklist destinations include:

10. Flying over Niagara Falls, New York
09. Flying over Grand Canyon,Arizona
08. India
07. England/Scotland
06. Canada: Over the Canadian Rockies, Prince Edward Island
05. Alaska
04. Australia and Tasmania
03. New Zealand
02. South America —Patagonia and Machu Pichu
01. Africa


Fly’n Things

If you ever wondered why I named my blog flynthings, I hope this post answers it : I am crazy about all things related to flying.

What do women pilots, analysts, economists, researchers and other staff do in their spare time?

Every time I visit Oshkosh I love to scour the fly mart for cool aviation themed stuff: such as my very cool airplane shaped cutting board, or my newly acquired potholders, I’ll rather be flying license plate, or key chain ring. Not to mention my airplane fork, airplane earrings, bracelet, locket, pin, letter opener and so much more.
bitsandpiecesEvery time I visit an Airport Shop I love to buy aviation themed things.

There are many online stores such as Sporty’s, AvShop, Airport Shoppe and possibly several others where you can find not only useful tools and gadgets to aid a pilot, but also cool aviation themed things: license plates, key rings, jewelery, t-shirts, aprons, sweatshirts, decorative arts such as pens, pen knifes, pen holders, stained glass decorative arts, paintings (original and re-prints), clocks and so much more.

photo(17)The last year or so, I have been involved with a small group at work where we meet and learn new things. Be it quilting or knitting. This year, we have found and started a cool new project: airplane themed quilting projects as part of our annual CFC fundraising: iPad covers, potholders, aprons and so much more.

photo(18)What do women pilots, analysts, economists, researchers and other staff do in their spare time?
Make cool aviation themed fun stuff 🙂

This year, I am learning to make cool flynthings that I normally scour the web to buy online, or in Aviation Shoppes, or in Oshkosh.