How it all began


Re-post from 2002. Looking forward to Airventure 2018!

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.  This year’s air show performances included among others:

  • Spectacular performance by the Liberty Parachute team, well orchestrated descent to the singing of the Star Spangled Banner
  • Splendid performance by Julie Clark accompanied to a fireworks display
  • Ethereal performance by Manfred Radius in his sailplane beautifully synchronized to music that soothes the soul
  • Is this for real?  Is that really a woman on my wing? Bob and Pat Wagner in their wing walking act.
  • The most incredible airpower of all – a demonstration of the Harrier II, a Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft (VTOL)  that can hover
  • Performances by Patty Wagstaff though not as spectacular as anxiously awaited owing to weather. But hey she did go up and do some of her tricks!
  • Masterful performances by Sean Tucker in his Oracle Challenger II.
  • Mike Mancuso finding new heights to flying. If it can be done, he can do it dare-devil act.
  • The War birds of America had a daily extended show. The most spectacular was the recreation of “Wall of fire”
  • Daily racing by the Aeroshell team in their T-6’s

22_19A

14_12 19_16A
Airventure Oshkosh is a must see event. It is the place once a year that aviation enthusiasts converge. With shows, workshops, booths, aircraft displays, dare-devil aerobatics and best of all the people who make it all happen. With most people it is a tradition. People come year after year to share the joy of flying.

There are other places to see and visit if you are in the Madison area. One such place is Taliesin built by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
26_24 23_21 15_13
If you have never been to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, visit  http://www.airventure.org and start planning for your trip in 2003 now. From what I hear all the best places are all gone early. But you will always find a campsite at Camp Scholler.

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.

Ice, Ice Baby!


Pushing the limits

I rarely fly in IMC.

First off, not too many pilots I know want to fly in IMC. Second most of my flying is, for that coveted ham (veg) burger and there is rarely a need to set off in IMC conditions for that. So yeah,  I know no one who wants to fly in IMC or through icing scenarios.

And yes, this was my first foray into icing conditions!

IMAG0340

Sometimes, I set off with my favorite  CFI (see Night and Actual ) or a favorite  safety pilot (see Chasing Clouds )when the limits are reasonable for either an IFR flight in actual IMC or a VFR on top flight,  or for shooting an approach at an airport with minimums much higher than necessary for a brand new IFR flight.

Occasionally, I fly with a friend of mine as a safety pilot. I am totally comfortable with his flying skills, so much so that I don’t even plan to adjust my seat position to be able to reach the rudder pedals.

That is how confident I am of his flying skills!

NY_HusdonRiver_0174Did I mention that just after I became a private pilot, I learnt to fly from the right seat and land? I was flying with so many different pilots of different skills, that I wanted to learn to land from the right seat, if necessary.

This was one of those days, when the weather was iffy.

Ceiling at 3,900 ft and visibility at 3 miles. We discussed and perused the weather for a solid hour. Both of us were instrument current. After much discussion we departed with the plan to return if uncomfortable.

Maybe it was because I flew almost 28 hours recently in different weather conditions, over oceans, in IMC, conquered NEMO, strong winds and more. Or maybe it was because I knew I could land this baby if necessary from the right seat. Or maybe I had confidence in my friend to keep us safe. I was relaxed.

The snow was supposed to come later.

I quietly said, “I think, I see ice. It is hard to make out if it is raining or snowing”.

My friend took a peek and knew it was not good. He had turned on the pitot heat as added protection. “We need to return,”  he said.

And I concurred.

Visibility was deteriorating rapidly.

“Potomac Approach,” he said, “We need to fly back IFR.”

With  the approach plugged in, we were glad of our two iPads with Foreflight.  With at least one Foreflight Pro iPad, we were assured of the geo-reference tracking.

What are your limits when flying in IMC?

Drop me a line…

Time for Derby: Always Dreaming or Fast and Accurate?


Derby Day. Check-ride Anniversary. And most importantly the simply joy of flying!

May is always memorable. I got my Private Pilot Certificate. Three years later I got my Instrument rating.

“I hope we will be done by 3:00 pm, ” said Wanda, “I wan’t to watch the Kentucky Derby”

“I hope so too,” thought I. “With positive results.” For it was the day of my private pilot check-ride and I wanted to get home without a pink slip!

It was also Derby Day. And getting home to watch the race would be good too…

I did make it home in time to catch the race that day. That was 16 years ago!

As it happens, Derby day is tomorrow this year (5/6/2017).

Always Dreaming or Fast and Accurate?

Take your pick!

Finals are here… and all I can think of is my NY trip in April :-)


Flying the Hudson River Corridor Exclusion & Montauk Point!

“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 in 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 reading