Friday, June 28, 2013

Remembering Jane Wicker

The other day, while reminiscing, I came across this message from Jane I had previously posted on my blog. I thought I would share it again as it really shows what a genuine woman she was. Always surprisingly down to Earth and so eager to share her passion with others. Also, this video has been passed around a lot of Facebook, I thought I would post it here in case anyone had missed it. Such a refresher from the videos of the crash that I cannot bear to watch. Let's remember these remarkable pilots for doing what they loved!

As I kick off my 2012 airshow season, my first stop will be “Women Fly it Forward 2012” in Frederick, MD.  I’m very excited about this event.  I was there last year and simply amazed at the turnout.  It was such a success that I was not surprised when Frederick was named the most female friendly airport.  This is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Victoria Neuville.  She is responsible for this great event and at the helm once again.  I have no doubts that this year will be even bigger and better.  

I am looking forward to meeting everyone there and sharing my own passion.  It is one of my greatest pleasures to share this love of aviation and inspire others to become pilots, especially women.  We are every bit, if not more, capable then men to fly.  There is nothing else that can compare to soaring through the sky in a machine that is under your control.  I hope everyone will join us on March 10.  Stop by, say hello and feel free to check out Aurora up close.  It’s one of the few times that others can get a breath away as she’s typically behind the fence line at an airshow.  I will be there to answer any questions that come up about my flying, the airplane, and even the wing walking.  Let’s all make this a record breaking year and start changing the world, one female pilot at a time. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fly-to Doggie Beach in NJ

The first weekend of summer called for sun, the ocean, and puppy paws in the sand! After a scenic trip through the Hudson River Corridor of New York City we landed at KBLM, Manmouth Executive Airport in Farmingdale, NJ. While a bit dated, the airport was busy with skydivers and many aircraft, including jets, coming to visit the shore. We landed on the 7,000' runway and went in search of the FBO. Just look for the big 66 sign at the end of runway 14. We were quickly greeted by a lineman and went in to fetch our rental car.

I was astonished by how difficult it is to find a dog friendly beach on the East Coast! We also wanted to visit a new area, so opted for Fishermans Cove Conservation Area which was also known as "Dog Beach", just 20 minutes from BLM. The beach was on an inlet and less crowded than the Jersey Shore. While not as nice of a beach as the ones dogs are not allowed on, it was full of people just happy to spend the day with their beloved pet in the sun. Turbo enjoyed rolling in the sand and did OK with walking in the water. Once he got deeper and the waves hit him, however, he was not so sure! It turns out he's a natural born swimmer, although his favorite direction was heading right back to the dry sand! Boy did he love to roll in that sand and get buried in it, too!

There were two great spots we hit for our meals, the Riverside Cafe was just down from Dog Beach and had outdoor seating and a menu of burgers, hot dogs, BBQ and my favorite, breakfast! There's a great view across the road of an inlet and boats going by. Turbo enjoyed the shade under the umbrella and grabbing some water now and then from the bowl a employee brought out to us. Order at the counter and they will holler your name when your food is ready. Inside the restaurant, there's a mark showing how high the water from Hurricane Sandy got up to. The city seems to be really healing quick. Most houses have already been repaired and countless others were in the final reconstruction stages. Only a few lay abandoned and untouched. 

For dinner, we stopped by Union Landing by some boat docks and enjoyed amazing food and a great live band on the patio. Dogs are no longer allowed on the patio, but you can just grab a seat along the outside of the patio and tie them up along the fencing. 

The flight home was bittersweet as I had discovered about the passing of Jane Wicker. However looking back at the day in awe of the city, smiling at a puppy in the sand, and precious moments spent with my husband, I remembered how amazing the gift of flight really is.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Flying the NYC Skyline

It was the first weekend of summer and Bob and I decided it was time to take our pup, Turbo, for his first visit to the beach! We chose a dog friendly spot in New Jersey, but decided to take a detour 23 NM and fly the Hudson River corridor for an aerial view of New York City.

There are two options to view the skyline. The first is "transient" for just flying straight through on your way to another destination. You will be below Class B airspace and have to ask for clearance on one of two frequencies depending on your direction. You will fly between 1,000 and 1,299 feet straight through.

Next, is the local operations, perfect for if you are going through NYC for taking photos and want to get a great shot of Lady Liberty! Flights are done below 1,000' MSL and there are mandatory reporting points along the way for both areas of operations. It is very busy through this corridor, so it is important to keep your situational awareness and always be on the look out for other traffic.  We had a game plan while flying through this corridor: Bob flew, I took (lots!) of photos, and Turbo slept.

There are a few other rules other than I have mentioned here so I recommend prepping before flying through and take a handy kneeboard printout of the New York Class B Airspace Hudson River and  East River Exclusion Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) with you in the cockpit

We started our flight southbound with a few circles around the Statue of Liberty. Next we continued south over the river and through the city. Once reaching the last reporting point, we did a 180 and headed north again. We ended with another circle around the statue, then departed the area to head to the beach.

While our senses were heightened, it was quite a fun experience and seeing all the tour helicopters and banner airplanes around us. It's funny how such a compact city can look so small from a distance but when you are a plane at building level, you are the one who starts to feel little. 

To view more photos from this flight, visit here.
Check out the video below! Yes, we need to get a GoPro. :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

You were an inspiration, Jane

I'm sure that now most people in this close knit pilot community have heard about the passing of Jane Wicker. To all who left comments on some of my older blog posts about Jane, I will get those published shortly.

Jane was so encouraging. She always told me I could accomplish and do the amazing things she did. Her love for what she did was contagious, which was evident every time she came as our special guest at Women Fly it Forward.

This was a tough weekend as just yesterday an aircraft I flew many times at my flight school in Michigan crashed, killing four. It was hard getting back in the plane returning home today, thinking of these tragedies. But as I was on final, I tried to shove the TV news videos out of my head and focus on how I want to remember Jane, exactly as she is in this photo. I was fearful and teary eyed as I landed, but I was happy to be PIC and to have the freedom of flight.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

So I heard about this...

Lots of bloggers and blogettes have been using Bloglovin' as of late since Google Reader disappeared. I figured I'd hop on the bandwagon and give this a try! Might be a good way to find new aviation blogs and people to share my silly stories with.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Flight with my Parents

In the Spring of 2001, I had completed private pilot ground school and was taking my first discovery flight. I had always been encouraged to become a pilot by my Dad and he had helped get me to this point. He sat in the backseat and documented the flight, including the steep climb out that made his stomach turn!

10 years later, I am an commercial and instrument pilot and have several aviation events and publications under my belt. 10 years later, my Dad had yet to fly with me again. Same with my Mom! When they came to visit for Father's Day, we quickly changed that! 

I was feeling a bit under the weather and we were short for time, so flew out to circle over my house, with Bob waving from the deck. I let my Dad take the controls as I took some photos (just FYI, he's enjoying himself, he just doesn't like to show it) then headed back in to land. My first pattern wasn't so great, so we decided to do another landing after the first. Both were smooth as butter, a great way to show off to my Dad on Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

SMAC050 – The Show About 50′s – Our 50th Flight, 50th Hour, 50th Airplane, & More!

Holy takeoffs and landings, Batman – We’ve hit 50 episodes! To celebrate our 50th show each co-host spent time going through their pilot logbooks to find and share some of their 50th flying events. From their 50th logbook entry, to the 50th hour flown, 50th landing, 50th aircraft flown, and a whole heap of other 50′s! This is our golden episode, the show about 50′s, where we reminisce in logbook memories.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Flying Update

Update: There has been no flying. Ah and the weather has been perfect for it! Many obligations and rainy weather has got in the way of enjoying the skies. Bob recently had LASIK which put him out of commission for a bit and we found out our little 7 month old Turbo needs surgery.
Looking forward to a possible quick flight this weekend, but we shall see. I did enjoy visiting Lockheed Martin in DC which hosted a general aviation discussion for Young Aviation Professionals. I was one of two special guests.
And so you have it, my obligatory update since I have not written in a week, just so you don't forget about me ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

REIL Remarks #17

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

"Weather robot phone 209–835–6098." TCY, California


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

Sunday, June 2, 2013

SMAC049 – Puppy Puke, Radar & Instrument Approach Lights, Currency vs Proficiency

In this show Victoria shares her experiences flying with her new dog, Turbo, what to do when dogs become airsick, protecting their hearing, in-flight doggy gear, and other flying with pet considerations. Carl answers some listener questions about radar requirements on instrument approach plates and we talk about instrument approach lights. Then we wrap it up with a discussion about currency versus proficiency including some tips on how to stay safe when returning to the skies. That and more coming up right now!