Friday, April 30, 2010

It's warm!

I sit at a desk all day. I can't wait until my job let's me see the sun! Michigan is finally producing the kind of weather I can appreciate!  When I got home from work today I set up the hammock and took the most relaxing nap. Then I caught up on some reading on the hammock and then onto the dock to enjoy a good drink.

 Flying Magazine: good for reading and shade!

 Eight hours bottle to throttle, kids!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Red Wings Face Curfew Violation For Flight

Red Wings Face Curfew Violation For Flight

SAN JOSE, Mich. (WXYZ) - The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the Detroit Red Wings are facing a $2,500 fine for arriving too late in the day.

At issue is a 11:30 p.m. curfew at Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport. Under the regulation, any plane that arrives after 11:30 p.m. faces a fine. It was put into effect to accommodate people living near the airport, and lasts until 6:30 a.m.

The Red Wings flew to San Jose from Phoenix on Tuesday night, after wrapping up their series with the Coyotes. They arrived at 12:19 a.m. Wednesday.

There are exceptions for things outside of a pilot's control, like bad weather, mechanical problem or air traffic control issues.

The San Jose Sharks also have a special exemption that allows them 15 late landings each year. Records show the team has violated the curfew 18 times since September.

The Red Wings have 10 days to respond to the violation report.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Air Stability and my Grandmother

A stable atmosphere resists the rising movement of air making for a smooth, albeit hazy, airplane ride. Introduce some warming from below and the comfort of smooth air can change. Warm air is lighter than the surrounding cold air and begins to rise, soon wispy feather-like clouds start to turn to cumulus and the airplane ride starts to feel like a rodeo. It may become bumpy, but the rising air increases your visibility and you can see your destination ahead.

My grandmother loves to prepare for guests and to make sure everybody is happy. I have attempted to make several trips up to her house in the upper peninsula for the past few months but bad weather got in the way every time. My brother always made the mistake of telling her I planned to come. She would have the bedroom all cleaned up and nice with fresh sheets, plan dinner, get all excited and then my brother would forget to inform her that the flight just wasn't happening. There's a possible flight scheduled for next week and I told him to not tell her so she doesn't get all worked up.

Family dinners with my grandmother are a lot like an unstable atmosphere. She's constantly getting up to make sure my glass of water is always full and see if I may need seconds (even before I eat my firsts). Her constant rising from the dinner table is equal to that of the constant rising warm air creating uncomfortable turbulence. Eventually family members begin to resist the upward motion of my grandmother she sinks into the chair creating a stable atmosphere. We manage to get her to sit still for the remaining dining period-well until dessert.

I love my grandmother more than everything and that is clear, just like the unstable atmosphere surrounding her. Leaving grandmother's house and entering back into the stable air visibility starts to decline when being reintroduced into the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences with family members, turbulent when with them but you miss the good visibility when without them. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another type of wing...

The Red Wings.  C'mon boys, make Hockeytown proud!

Tents and Airplanes

I love flying.  I love camping.  I love love love to mix the two.  Nothing beats camping with fellow pilots as well.  Camping at EAA's Sun 'n' Fun and AirVenture are two of my most favorite camping trips just because of the company we kept, but I'm ready for a quiet, laid back, middle of nowhere camping trip.  I'm trying to compile a list of airports that offer on site camping as well as airports that have camp sites just a close walk way.  The goal is to arrive via plane and set foot in no other vehicle.  The following sites have been helpful but I have yet to find one that lists and reviews them all in one place.  Someday I hope to compile a pretty complete list.

Aircraftcamping.com ~ for camping in AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, OR, TX and WA.  Even tells you what the place is like and if cell phone service is available.  Also has some webcams for a few of the airports.
Camping with your Airplane ~ an article mentioning camping sites in AZ, UT and OK.
Brian's Flying Blog ~ mentions a few sites in ID, MO, OR, TX and CA along with a review.
Shortfield.com ~ probably the most promising.  A website for short field and backstrip enthusiasts including an interactive "airstrip explorer."
American Air Campers Association ~ it's a new association and that has a lot of potential.  No camping database yet, although I thought it was worth the mention.
 
Again, keep checking back as this is just the start of my list.  There are a wealth of articles available on the internet on tips for camping-too many to list here-that I encourage you to check out.  Maybe I'll share my own tips at a later date!  Also, please let me know if you have any great camping spots, stories, or tips to share as well!

P.S. Anyone have a Husky I could have...and I don't mean the dog... :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reaching for their Dream

Something I've always imagined myself doing someday is bush flying in Africa.  The possibility of me becoming rich and flying my own aircraft bringing medical supplies to orphans like I want is pretty slim, so one may need a paying job.  Apparently, this tends to be a difficult task-check out Dave's adventures on bush flying in Batswana (episode 5 is my favorite).


While watching the Dave's adventures I came across another flight related reality web show following three students at Moncton Flight College in Canada.  Episode 4 is my favorite :)




If you happen to know of any other neat shows like this on the web, please share with a comment below!

Messages to my Cilia

Dear Cilia,
I am very grateful you little hairs lining my nasal and sinus cavities...when you move.  Now you are no longer moving therefore bacteria and mucus are getting trapped within these cavities. 

Dear Cilia,
Do you know how much it sucks when you are not moving as you are supposed to when you're flying thousands of feet above the air?  Have you experienced the pain that feels as if your head is being squished so your ears will touch?

Dear Cilia,
Do you know how aggravating it is when you don't cooperate every two months?  Do you think I enjoy carrying around a box of tissue and rubbing my head?  Where do you think I'm going to get the money to go to the doctor...again...and again?

Dear Cilia,
I am going to take care of you the natural way.  Here are some things that may help us work together:

  • Steam: This is an easy one.  Nothing I love better than trying to reduce the pile of airplane magazines I have yet to read than in a hot bath.  I'm not a fan of hot drinks, but I'll try that too.  Apparently keeping you moist and humid the key to your cooperation.
  • Hold back on the horn-blowing: I'm guilty.  I blow you way too hard.  I feel as if when I blow my nose and an elephant-like sound obtrudes that it's more efficient, that it's working.  It's not.  Also, one nostril at a time.  Apparently, one needs patience when blowing a nose.  The "wrong" way can cause more pressure build up and send bacteria even deeper into your schnoz.  
  • Rubbing does work: Rubbing your sinus areas brings a fresh blood flow to that area and in turn, sweet relief!
  • Apple cider vinegar: Apparently people swear by this little tonic-an 1/8 to a 1/4 cup in 16 oz of water or 2 tbsp in 8 oz of water is supposed to stop that bacteria coming on in it's tracks.  I can imagine an advertisement for this vinegar along the lines of the Mentos commercials: ACV-"The mucus thinner!"
  • Potassium supplements: Apparently it dries up the mucus.  So if you'd rather have a clogged nose than a runny one-this may be for you!
  • Stress: Yep we all have that from time to time!  When you're stress it puts strain on your body, for example many different chemical reactions happen in your brain when stressed, blood vessels swell and lead to headaches.  Stress also puts strain on your immune system making you more susceptible to illness.  Time to go do some yoga...
Dear Cilia,
Today we will enter into a new era, the era of the Healthy Toriafly Collaboration.  Let's work together towards a clear sinus future, shall we?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flying Couples

Pilot: (noun) a poor, misguided soul who talks about women while he's flying and flying while he's with women.

Flying Couples

Meet Bob, I would have never have this wonderful man in my life without our shared passion for aviation.  We "met" on a pilot blog on MySpace and soon our discussions left the main board and became private messages.  We both wanted to go to the Sun n' Fun fly-in in Lakeland, FL and decided, why don't we go together?  Problem was, we had never met-he was in D.C. and I was in Detroit!  We decided to meet before spending five days camping together at an airport and upon that first day we knew there would not be a problem.  The rest is history.  Our flying adventures have helped me gain 50+ more hours in my logbook and experience a kind of plane you don't normally get to train in.  I owe him a lot for that, without him I would not be at my minimal hours required for my commercial.  I would still have a long road of ahead of me.  I am so thankful for that and I although I can not repay him monetarily I promise to be his beck and call flight instructor once I become certified.  I love flying with Bob because it's just about the only time I can fly for fun, it is not a lesson or a flight to fulfill a requirement.  Our flights are just us sharing the skies together.  We have always drawn attention at fly ins and landing at various airfields, first due to Bob's Glasair and second to our youth and that we are both pilots.  We had been together less than two weeks when a gentleman upon hearing that I was a pilot too said to Bob, "Now she's a keeper!"  Someday we plan to built a kit plane together; at the present moment we are leading towards a slow open cockpit biplane.

When one thinks of a couple flying together the first that usually pops into mind is John and Martha King.  After starting an unsuccessful trucking business these two pilots decided to become full time CFIs.  They became so overwhelmed with requests for ground training at the flight school that they started to tape their lessons.  These lessons soon became the base for their lucrative business, King Schools, a training system that almost every pilot has used at one point or another.  John and Martha hold the record of being the only married couple to both earn all class, category and instructor ratings from the FAA!  Together they fly their Dassault Falcon 10 jet around the world, rotating pilot and co pilot roles.  An article I once read for the couple stated that it when flying together to try to hold back from being a "backseat pilot".  Martha suggested you had to correct your partners flying to do it in a gentle, non instructing way.  To heed her advice maybe us flying couples should say things such as "how's our heading looking, honey?" versus "you're five degrees off our heading!"  Acting professional, as not to sound like you are nagging will keep tempers cool in the cockpit.  When asked about their business Martha stated, "We knew from the start that we wanted to be partners in our own business.  We were looking for something that would be fun and enjoyable, balancing our love and appreciation for life with our fascination and respect for technology."

Another couple who met through aviation are Brian and Carol Carpenter.  Brian was Carol's flight instructor and they married eight months later.  The couple now runs a successful flight school and FBO specializing in light sport aircraft and ultralights, Rainbow Aviation.  Together they have authored two books, A Professional Approach to Ultralights and Sport Pilot Airplane. In regards to coauthoring books together Carol says, ""It’s both a challenge and very rewarding,"

Charles Lindbergh is a name well known within aviation history for being the first to fly non stop between New York and Paris in 1927.  A lesser known name is his wife, Anne, who helped him map air routes to China and across the ocean in their Lockheed Sirius.  Anne, who had wanted to be a pilot since a child, soloed the year of their wedding and became the first female American to earn a first class glider certificate. 

From 1917 to 1932 Martin and Osa Johnson filmed their many adventures to make the documentaries Among the Cannibal Isles of the South Seas, Trailing Wild African Animals, and Across the World with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson to name a few.  In 1932 the couple realized how pilot certificates would benefit their excursions and settled for a period of time in the town of Chanute, Kansas to earn their various ratings.  The couple purchased Sikorsky amphibious airplanes and flew them in Africa to shoot their next film, Baboona.  Martin and Osa were the first pilots to fly over Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya.    Martin perished as a passenger in a crash of a Boeing 247 in 1937.  Osa passed due to a heart attack 16 years later.  There is now a museum, The Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute retelling their remarkable journeys.

While researching aviator couples I came across the obituary of Dr. William Hospers an aviation addict who while serving in the ROTC, National Guard and Navy learned to fly helicopters.  He married his wife Charlyn in 1959 who did not share his passion for aviation. William, usually called "Doc" was determined to get Charlyn to share his passion and he eventually did by buying her an airplane.  He did not purchase her just any trainer, however, he bought her a B-17 bomber complete with her nickname "Chuckie" painted on the nose.  The couple spent hours working together to restore the bomber and keep it in flying condition.  Together they formed the Vintage Flying Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.  Although Doc has passed Charlyn is determined to keep the B-17 flying and is preparing it for the Thunder Over Michigan airshow this year.

In the National Air and Space Museum resides a couples' pride and joy, the now retired Nemesis racer.  Jon and Patricia Sharp and their racing team has built a new aircraft, the Nemsis NXT to become their new record breaker in Formula One Racing.  Jon and Patricia serve as the president and vice president of Nemesis Air Racing Inc., and have filmed the race to their dream at over 400 miles per hour in their film Air Racer: Chasing the Dream.

The title of the first married couple to fly in space together goes to Marc Lee and Jan Davis in September 1992 on a mission performing material experiments.  The couple married in secret and disclosed this information to NASA only days before the mission ensuring there would not be time for either spouse to be replaced.  "Just sharing the experience of preparing for a space flight, and flying in space, it's a major benefit being able to do that together," said Davis.


Flying Together

An article from AOPA, Flying Together: Couples in the Cockpit, contains the following advice from flying couples:

"Only one person can be in charge. Leave the challenges of the relationship outside of the cockpit. Maintain a sterile cockpit during all flight-critical aspects of flight. Don't nit-pick each other. Have fun! Enjoy your time in the cockpit together, and let aviation enhance your relationship." Pete Tobin

On teaching your significant other to fly, "I will say that teaching a spouse borders on trying to 'boss around' a spouse, but with several good arguments under our belts and a better understanding of each other, we have worked through this (for the most part)" Bobby Pitman

AOPA also has a page called Flying Together sharing couples stories of flying together.  It is well worth the read.  Here are a few highlights I found amusing and could relate to:


"When I am flying, my wife loves to tell me what to do during each phase of the flight. I just keep a big smile on my face. And of course, while she is flying, I do the same. She usually tells my to "keep my mouth shut over there" and that she flies better anyway. We often have landing contests and each of us usually claim to be the winner, although I admit; she does land that Cardinal pretty well." Stan Weber

"As for how we get along aloft, it is simply wonderful. We really use CRM [crew resource management]. We know who is PIC [pilot in command] at all times, and since we know each other so well there's an inherent trust and ease that we bring into the airplane...I would recommend flying with your spouse to anyone. I like to kid that I couldn't have married her if she weren't a pilot. Like all jokes, there is an element of truth in that. I would find it very difficult to be so passionate about something and not share it with the one I love the most." Shawn Sullivan


"Life is good when you fly together." Gene Franklin

"My wife and I are both flight instructors and multi-engine drivers, and we typically share the driving duties when flying together. I discovered early on though that being in the right seat is not an invitation to play flight instructor with the occupant of the left seat. There is but one Captain aboard any flight. As I was once admonished upon return to earth by she-who-must-be-obeyed (with her hands on her hips and glaring at me): "If you're not going to talk to me in your bedroom voice, don't bother talking to me at all!" Now I'm a good little copilot; I talk on the radio when I have to, read checklists when asked to, and bring the Captain candy." James Lyn

"As a couple, flying has brought us closer together and closer to special people. It has been, and continues to be, a wonderful gift, and we'll never truly be able to express our gratitude to those who introduced us to flying, taught us to fly, and still share those special moments with us today. There is nothing better than dancing among the clouds and kissing the sky with good friends, especially when they include your spouse." Kathleen Allen

Aviator Singles

Single?  Want to share the skies with someone special?  While researching information for this post I was surprised to stumble upon quite a few pilot dating sites.  Please note that I don't know anyone who has used them.  If you have please send me a mini review that would be great!

http://www.crewdating.com/ ~ "Free dating and friendship for pilots and flight attendants"
http://aviatordate.com/ ~ "Legitimate online dating for pilots and flight enthusiasts"
http://www.airlinedatemate.com/ ~ "Pilot your own destiny"
https://secure.loveat350.com/  ~ "people in the aviation community who are alone and looking for their significant other"

Share Your Story

While you may not be running a successful aviation business, mapped air routes, or filmed your excursions with your significant other, I'd love to hear your flying stories and flying couples tips.  Please share with a comment below :)

Additional Resources

For more information on the above mentioned couples:




Saturday, April 24, 2010

We aviatrixes love to shop

Here's some cute sites with pilot stuff catered to us ladies:
The Woman Fly Project ~ From hats to shirts to books this site has it all.
Class Y Airspace ~ Jewelry and key chains from sectional charts.
Powder Puff Pilot ~ Lots of pink!    
Jet Line  ~ Sexy and sparkle studded clothing.
Aviation Jewelry ~ The title about says it :)
...and some Etsy favorites:
Flight to the Other Side ~ cuff bracelet
The Amelia Locket Necklace  ~ one of my favorites
Navigator Necklace ~ brass propeller and compass necklace
Steampunk Gearworks Pilots Propellor Necklace ~ spinning prop necklace with gear background

          Welcome to my *new* blog :)

          I previously had two blogs one for my flying and crocheting endeavors and one just for everything else.  A lot has changed since creating those and I thought it was best to start anew.

          I am not one who is often proud of myself.  I can be happy for what I  have accomplished of course, but no matter what I always feel that I could have done more, I could have done it more quickly, or I should have pushed myself harder.  Although my journey is not yet over, I am for once proud of myself for getting this far.  My piloting dreams were planted early in life and were secured with my first flight when I was 16.  This dream seemed so far away at the time though and was put on hold until the unknown future.  The dream finally started to come to become a reality six years ago and has seen its share of roadblocks.  2009 proved a difficult challenge when I was stuck in a job I didn't like that provided an income that was barely survivable.  This is when I decided now was the time to throw myself into it 100% and get it all over quickly no matter what it took.  As life often does, once I had settled on a plan it had to throw a curve ball at me, I finally got a new job.  I soon found myself struggling to juggle a full time job, three college courses and flight training all while trying to maintain the wonderful relationships I have with a long distance boyfriend and a plethora of amazing friends.  This week I will have a certificate in aviation management from Schoolcraft College, but most importantly some spare time to breathe.  I am the first to admit that I took on more than I can chew, but it's almost over.  It's amazing the wonderful support I have of people who believe in me and think I can handle it all, they know I can do it and don't doubt it for a second.  If other people have that much faith in me, I know I can have that much faith in myself.

          My motto has become to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that come my way, and I have.  In 2009 I got to help out on an airplane's annual inspection, received a free lesson in a multiengine plane and took my first flight in a hot air balloon (thanks Bob!).  I flew a large triangle trip from Pontiac to an airshow in Wisconsin to visiting my aunt and then my grandmother.  I took spinning classes to learn how to make my own yarn and in the winter I sold many of my crocheted items both at Paris and on my own.  This year I spent February in Egypt and I got a free, fun and educational 2 1/2 hour flight in a Cirrus SR22.  I'm on a back up list for an aerobatic training movie being filmed and in May Bob and I are going to fly a race in his plane.  Most importantly, I received a grant from the government to complete my flight training.

          I am usually a planner and love to know where my future is leading me, uncertainty usually makes me nervous.  So I was nervous about flying again. Really nervous. Not so much the flying part but the fact that it could all end once again, whether from my doing or that which was out of my hands. I thought that I could just quit to protect myself from that possible future pain, but I know I would live the rest of my life in regret.  I am so excited to see where my future new home and career leads me.  It will bring me even more opportunities and although I don't know what they are, for once I am not the least bit nervous.

          I cannot reiterate how much I have learned and grown as a person from this process.  There was a point where I was confident of my skills as a pilot, and the "simple" procedures became a breeze.  After my long hiatus, though, things simple items aren't as simple anymore.  I recall two flights last year that left me completely frustrated, thinking about the old days.  This further emphasizes to me how important it is for a pilot to keep current.  My skills were deep down there, and I just had to learn how to recreate them once again.  As a matter of fact, one day I believe I will be thankful for this hiatus, after feeling like a new student again just beginning to discover the wonder of flight.  It had been such a long time since I was a nervous student pilot and being in those shoes a second time will give me the ability to relate to my future students.  It all goes back to God's timing.  There's a reason for all of his "delays" in my life; His timing is preparing me to be the best pilot I can be, gaining wisdom through my experiences.

          Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives. — Socrates

          Socrates had it pegged. It's such a troublesome world and we feel like our problems are so big. Hop in an airplane, though, and soar thousands of feet above the earth. You begin to realize how small your problems are and what a big and intricate world you reside in. Amelia Earhart said, "you haven't seen a tree until you've seen it's shadow from the sky." Sometimes it just takes a different perspective, an aerial perspective to put all you in your place. Maybe it isn't just the freedom that attracts people to flight. Maybe it's not the beauty or the adventure. Maybe it's the perspective, one of peace and one of understanding, that causes thousands of humans to defy gravity and flock to the sky.  I can't pin the exact reason I love to fly, I just do.  There has been so many moments that I feel that because of all of the hurdles I have encountered with my flying career that God is telling me to give up and it's not for me.  When I go to an airshow and can't stop smiling out of sheer wonder or get the chance to fly around just for fun, I know that that is sooo not true!

          I'm not where I wanted to be.  I haven't accomplished things I've wanted to do.  I have not flown many types of airplanes or been to all places of interest.  I give myself credit, though, because I have tried.  I am slowly checking off life's items on the list.  I'm proud of myself because although I have pondered it, I have never given up.  When I want something I try to get it with all of my being.  I will jump over hurdles and plow through roadblocks.  Sometimes they are very tough roadblocks and instead of a plow it's more like me slowly chiseling  away at it.  However I get there, whether with a chiseling or plowing, I will get there. Yet it will never end, the world always leaves more to experience and keeps adding items to the bottom of my life list.  It's OK, because I will do what I always do; I will throw myself into it with all that I am.  I think that someday when I look back at my life I will view myself as a determined and successful woman.  At least that's the goal.

          I like to do devotionals before I go to bed at night and/or before I start the day. Bob gave me the most wonderful gift for Christmas, The Aviators Devotional. The message of the first devotional was like it was written just for me, "Our release from the bonds of earth to experience the expanse of our habitat simply reminds us that we can overcome anything in partnership with the maker of it all."