Monday, December 31, 2012

A Puppy Pick Up Flight

Meet Turbo.  He's half Pomeranian, half Pug, and a puppy born to fly.  In his spare time, he tries to take off his collar, chews on his ropes, and occasionally walks across the keybolaksjdflkdsal.

The flight started out of Frederick around 12:30.  We had a 38 knot direct headwind most of the way.  Crossing over the mountains we could see lenticular clouds to our west and experienced many updrafts and it became quite choppy.  It was clear most of the flight until we encountered some snow about 20 miles out from our destination.  We were quickly through it, however, and landed at Braxton County Airport (48I) in West Virginia. 

Two male puppies, one brown and one white, were waiting for us along with those at Dustin's Angels pet rescue.  They thought it was "so cool" that one of their puppies were being rescued by plane.  The airport was deserted and we all decided to go into the airport office to play and see which pup would be the best match for our home.  It didn't look like many people frequent the lounge.  There were several couches, an old TV and a bathroom.  Dead flies were everywhere (which the puppies both insisted on eating).  We turned on the electric heaters so we could all stay warm. 

After picking our puppy, soon to be named Turbo, and signing the contract it was time to take some photos and say our goodbyes.  Everyone joined us out at the plane for a family photo and I helped one of the young girls up onto the wing so she could see what all the instruments were like.

Turbo, as puppies do, loves to sleep.  The second I buckled up and Bob set him upon my lap, he was out.  I had put cotton balls in his ears to protect him from the noise and some towels were on my lap in case of a puppy poo or two.  My first intention when adopting a puppy was to slowly get them used to the aircraft, but to avoid a 3 1/2 hour drive, the flight was worth it.  As it turns out, Turbo did fantastic.  He perked up and looked around when the plane started but slept a majority of the time.

It turned out to be a pretty quick first flight for this young pup.  On the way back, we had a 47 knot tailwind.  Our peak speed while level was 231 knots!  Maybe it was a gift from our new pup.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cold enough to break a headset!

I used to fly that plane!
Craaaack!  Yep, that's what I heard when putting on my headset when trying to leave Coldland aka Michigan yesterday.  I decided to save this blog post for later because I could not wait to share yesterday's sunset pictures.  I'm not used to the cold Michigan weather anymore and I did not miss it!  After the day after Christmas snow left seven inches on the ground, the FBO ramp was white and the jets blended in.  The bright sun caused everything to shimmer. 

Upon arrival, we loaded the plane with all our Christmas goodies.  It was like a game of Tetris to fit it all in and not break anything.  The battle RC helicopters I had bought for Bob would now serve as my headrest.  There was about three inches of snow on the plane as well as a nice layer of ice.  We adorned our gloves and began wiping away until the FBO lent us a broom.  A credit card would later scrape off the remaining ice as we went around the plane with a focused eye.

The plane was ready and fueled. The weather was double checked.  My headset lay upon my lap while Bob put the keys in the ignition. didn't start.  The propeller turned ever so slowly, but just couldn't get fast enough to start.  It was just too cold and we needed to preheat.  Out we hopped from the plane and somehow managed to fit a hose that was meant for a jet into the wheel well.  We waited by the loud preheater hopping around in the cold for 15 minutes.

As we got seated in the aircraft again, it was now happy and started up without any complaint.  Even with the engine roaring, as I went to put on my headset I froze at the loud noise I heard coming from between my hands.  Craaaack!

"No way!" I thought.  Ok, maybe I swore, because I knew I'd be a little more than perturbed if the sound was what I thought it was.

Wish we had that for our driveway!
It was. My beloved Lightspeed headset (which Bob had passed onto me on my first birthday we had celebrated together) had become brittle in the cold air and cracked straight through the top.  It now has a 'hinge'.  Luckily, it held together for the flight and kept the noise cancelling seal well enough.  I'm not sure how much longer it will and I don't believe duct tape on a headset is very fashion forward for an aviatrix such as myself. 

I heard Lightspeed has good customer service so hopefully they can fix it without an extreme cost to me.  I have been wanting to upgrade for awhile now, so maybe it is finally the time.  I favor the noise cancelling on the Lightspeed, but prefer the lightweight and the look of the Bose.  Unfortunately, money is a factor in this decision so I may have to go the duct tape route for awhile.  

What is your current or dream aviation headset?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Sunset Descent

“There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don't miss so many of them.” ~ Jo Walton, author
Our plan to fly home the day after Christmas was delayed to a snowstorm, today the worries were of overcast clouds and icing.  However, the skies soon cleared to a bright blue in Pontiac and we flew away from seven inches of snow.  At 7,500 feet we were above an overcast cloud layer and enjoyed a magnificent sunset and a bright moon prior to an instrument approach to descend and land.  I'm not going to go into the small details of the flight and let the beauty of the video and pictures speak for themselves.


Now THAT'S windy!

KEKN 271424Z AUTO 300143G148KT 3SM -SN BR SQ OVC012 M03/M06 A2991 RMK AO2 PK WND 310148/1424
I'm hoping that's an error ;) 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Cherish these moments and hold your loved ones close!  Please pray for the lonely and those who go without this year.  Tailwinds and safe flying!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Eve Flight

It was a very chilly, but clear and crisp day when we left for KPTK to visit my family for Christmas.  Despite the AIRMET for turbulence, the sky was surprisingly smooth most of the way.  It was fun to see ski hills making snow in PA, then snow covered ground over Canada, back to a light dusting here and there in MI.  It was a busy day at KPTK and multiple aircraft were in the pattern as we came in for landing.  I had flown most of the trip, however, passed the controls over to Bob for landing.  It's very easy for that plane to get a bit too fast on me and a Mooney was still on his landing roll when we were on short final.  The Mooney turned onto a taxiway right as we touched down, a bit too close for comfort!  It's quite cold up here and so far, the forecast for our trip home is not looking good.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Things are getting so busy and we'll all be traveling to visit loved ones soon!  Please don't let the rush of the holidays push you beyond your safety limits while flying over the next week!  Do not nose dive like the Cessna 310 on our Christmas tree :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

SMAC038 - Ah the Aviation Medical!

In this edition of the Stuck Mic AvCast we deliver quite a lineup of announcements before jumping in to a detailed discussion of the new changes in obtaining an FAA Medical specifically with regards to the paperwork process which has recently gone all digital! Join us for this educational chat about working with the new MedXPress system including tips and tricks from an actual AME followed as always by the co-hosts aviation Picks of the Week.

Enjoy listening to Stuck Mic!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The $100 Winery (formerly $100 Hamburger)

Keeping warm!
In my previous post, I foreshadowed a fun day of flying with Kyle in his Rans.  Before I get to the fun stuff, here is my obligatory "do not try this at home" rant:
  • Do not try this at home (well, you can't.  You need an airplane or helicopter!
  • You must have landowner's permission!  Checking with your insurance is not a bad idea either.
  • Make sure you are in an aircraft appropriate for such a venture.
Ok!  Now that we have gotten through that!  The other day, after the video shoot for Women Of Aviation Week, Kyle took one of our 'actresses' up for a flight. During that flight, he flew over Linganore Wine Cellars to see if it would be possible to land there.  Fast forward to Saturday morning, post breakfast, Kyle dials up Linganore, gains landowner permission and we head to the hangar.

On "downwind"
It was a beautiful day to fly, the sky was crisp and clear.  As we taxied, a glider was departing.  Once off the runway (which takes no time at all in that airplane), Kyle passed the controls to me as we headed out to find Linganore.  I was surprised to see how responsive the Rans was.  I wasn't expecting it to be as heavy as a Cessna, of course, it was actually closer to the the responsiveness of the Glasair.  So, that didn't take long to get used to, however, I found it difficult to judge if I was level or not from the backseat.  

After several minutes of searching for the winery, Kyle said, "I see a biplane!"

"Where?!"  I quickly dash my eyes out the side window. Bummer, I had misheard him.

"I have the airplane," he repeated and I correctly heard this time.

On the ground!
With a wing over and a descent, we headed towards Linganore Wine Cellars.  One low pass was completed to determine the best area to land.  On the second time around, Kyle would go even lower and let the wheels touch to get a feel for the land.  As it turns out, the approach was great and the ground was smooth.  The test turned into a landing and we taxied over and got out of the airplane.  We had gone completely unnoticed to those inside! 

Once inside, we ran into a friend of mine who works there as a side job.  We immediately had to brag how we came to arrive at the winery, and went out to show her the aircraft.  Four bottles of wine and several photos later, we were back in the airplane and taking off over rows of grapevines.

Still full of adrenaline, we decided to fly a bit longer and find another winery.  Not to land, but just to scope it out.  Unfortunately, after a few circles over the future target, it did not appear to be the best spot to land.  With that, we headed back into Frederick.  I would have loved to continue on our flying adventure, but this girl had to get her butt in the kitchen to prepare a dish for a Christmas party!

Check out more photos!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I thought you were flying!

First, I am praying for all those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut.  Sadly, Bob was called out there to work, so I went to have some airport fun without him today. 

I enjoyed a fun breakfast with seven pilot friends and enthusiasts and it, of course, ended with us all going out to fly.  I joined Kyle in his Rans for a remarkable flight.  Where did we go and what did we do?  Video and more photos to come tomorrow! 

Hint (if you aren't my friend on Facebook and know already) it's a twist on the $100 hamburger!

~Wait! I thought YOU were flying?!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Call Kyle for a good flight

Shooting video for Women Of Aviation Week this weekend wasn't all business, how can it be with so many fun pilots and airplanes around?  Needless to say, there was a lot of extra footage that we just had to have some fun with.  Meet Kyle.  He flies planes.  Meet Kyle.  He's single.  Meet Kyle.  Call him for a good flight!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Women Of Aviation Week's Wish

We wish upon a star that women would be closer to breaking the skies barrier. You can help. Ask Intuit to grant our wish by voting for us and then share and ask everyone you know to vote for us.  Click here to vote now!

REIL Remarks #8

A new weekly segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!

"Hump on RW04 at displaced threshold" M18, Arkansas

So that's where the kids are doing it these days?

Have some to share?  Feel free to send them my way and I will add them to the REIL Remarks archive!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Videoshoot at Frederick Airport

I am helping make a video for Women Of Aviation Week and dedicated Saturday to getting all the clips we needed.  It was a surprisingly busy day at the airport, some clips were just B roll so that was very helpful.  However, for our speaking shots, it was hard to get those in with airplanes constantly starting up around us and flying overhead.  Usually, I would not mind that!  We shot over 75 clips, going straight through lunch and ignoring hunger pains.  A big thank you goes to all my friends for meeting me out there to help out!  No worries, we did end with a quick flight around Frederick-snapping a quick shot of our house! :o)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Astronaut Guides Women to Reach for the Stars

Astronaut Guides Women to Reach for the Stars

6 December, 2012 in Headlines, Latest News by Victoria

Young children tend to have many big aspirations.  When asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up,” responses such as a doctor, firefighter, and actor often come up.  The most popular childhood dream is often becoming an astronaut!  

Many children do not know whom Valentina Tereshkova, the first women in space, was.  They also may not know how few women had made this courageous journey.  Despite these factors, they insist that someday, they will fly in space!

Following the 2013 Women Of Aviation Week theme celebrating 50 years of women in space, Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland is hosting 'Women Fly it Forward', an event that will reinforce to the female participants that their dreams of becoming pilots and astronauts could someday come true!

Only 56 women have flown in space, Colonel Pamela Melroy is one who has earned that honor.  Colonel Melroy has flown over 5,000 hours in 50 different types of aircraft, with 200 of those in combat situations.  Even more impressive is an additional 924 hours have been earned flying in space!  She has participated in three NASA space shuttle missions.  In 2000 and 2002 Colonel Melroy piloted two of these missions to the International Space Station, the STS-92 and the STS-112, respectively.   In 2007, she returned to the International Space Station as the Commander for the STS-120 mission, becoming one of only two women to command a shuttle mission.   Presently, Colonel Melroy is using her extensive experience as the Director of Field Operations at the Office of Commercial Space Transportation for the FAA.

Thanks to the efforts of the Association of Space Explorers, Pam is excited to be the guest of honor at the Frederick Airport’s Women Fly it Forward event on March 9th.  She will speak with event participants and the public at 11:00am and at 2:00pm.  Following her presentation, there will be time for questions and answers.

If you cannot make it out to Frederick in March, there are many other ways to inspire future astronauts throughout this week!

1.      Host your own event!  If you love aviation and aerospace, why not spread that passion to the community around you?  Need some inspiration?  Request our organizer handout.

2.      Find an event near you to join!  New events are added on the Women Of Aviation Week website daily.

3.      Females ages 13 through 19 are invited to enter the 'You are an inventor' contest.  Finalists inventions will be exhibited in museums around the world.  The grand prize is a one-on-one conversation with an astronaut!

Many adults will still openly admit, as they look into the sky, that they wonder what it would feel to see the Earth from so many miles above.  Participants at Women Fly it Forward will no longer have to wonder, Colonel Pam Melroy and Frederick Municipal Airport will guide them to reach for the stars!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Association of Space Explorers celebrates WOAW!

The Association of Space Explorers celebrates Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week

3 December, 2012 in Headlines, Latest News by Intl Team Leader

Earth From SpaceToday, the world population stands at more than 7 billions. Worldwide, 252 children are born each minute of each day. That translates to 15,120 a hour.

With a worldwide pilot population standing at less than 1 million, pilots are pretty special as they stand at less than one in 7,000. Female pilots are rarer: approximately one in 175,000 human beings. However, given the current world’s birth rate, a pilot is born every half hour and a female pilot is born every half day.

There are even rarer individuals among us: cosmonauts and astronauts.

AstronautYuri Gagarin became the first human ever to travel in space in 1961, more than 50 years ago. 2 years later, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly to space. Today, the total number of cosmonauts and astronauts barely exceeds 500 worldwide. More people have won a lottery jackpot than flown in space!
These are unique individuals with a unique life path. They have lived a unique experience that only another cosmonaut or astronaut can understand. That shared experience and perspective led a small number of them to meet in Cernay, France, in September 1984 and decide to form the Association of Space Explorers (see document).

AstroNote - Association of Space ExplorersBut, here is what you may not know about cosmonauts and astronauts: most started their quest for space by becoming pilots and… they are the nicest people you want to meet.

Among their many activities, members of the Association of Space Explorers are collecting funds for scholarships by issuing AstroNotes upon request.

What are AstroNotes? They are very special cards especially inscribed for the recipient and personally signed by a selected astronaut. What a great gift to give to a space fan on a special occasion! The price? Just  $35 each.

When the association heard about our “You are an inventor” contest with a spacey theme, it had to get involved and made sure that the winners would have the opportunity to speak with real astronauts.

When it heard about the events taking place during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, it immediately offered to support and participate in a big way.

We are pleased to announce that iWOAW and the Association of Space Explorers have come up with the best of prizes for WOAW week’s event organizers and volunteer pilots.

The top 3 performing event organizers as well as the winner and runner ups of the “Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide” and “Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide” titles will each receive a specially inscribed congratulatory AstroNote signed, not by just one astronaut but several astronauts; a one-of-the-kind special thank you. Just priceless!

Thank you Space Explorers!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Another Lady on the Stuck Mic AvCast!

Well, just for the one episode, but I was happy to have another female voice on there.  It made it even more special because it was my good buddy, Lynda Meeks from Girls With WingsListen to the interview :)