Saturday, September 28, 2013

Landing on Every Runway

Turbo and Kyle after the flight
It was finally time for one of my boss' famous Hangar E7 cookouts! Bob got called to a satellite truck job, so dropped off Turbo with me and the pooch and I headed over to the airport after work. My boss had mentioned that there would be a surprise, so I immediately knew something special would be flying in. Sure enough, soon after setting up a sleek, black MD500 helicopter buzzed by and came in for landing on the grass across from the hangar. We knew it was a start of a good night.

Like most hangar cookouts, new and old friends chat about aviation, the dogs ran around chasing each other on the grass parallel the taxiways and good food is greedily eaten up. As the sun set, Turbo took in more and more attention from those at the cookout. Things were slowing down and our friend Kyle, mentioned it was a perfect night for a quick night flight. I agreed and quickly volunteered Turbo and I for the back seat of his Rans S7. 

The Rans is a great aircraft and I enjoy how Kyle flies it. We departed runway 23 and turned just after the tower and were in a slip for landing in what felt like an instant. Another landing on 23 made Kyle decide to switch it up and he called downwind on 5. We landed on 5. Ok, next we were downwind for 30. We landed on 30 and departed. Look at that, now we are downwind for 12. Let's land on 12! After landing on all four runway options at FDK we did a casual buzz down the length of 23, made a steep climb at the end and came in for the final landing. 

Usually Turbo sleeps throughout our flights and wakes up when the landing stage starts. Well, since we were in the landing stage almost the whole flight he actually stayed awake and looked out the window! The constant climbs and descents did not seem to phase him in the air, although he was happy to hop out into Kyle's arms when we were back at the hangar. 

Just when you would think we were ready to call it a night, we rounded the corner of the hangar row and my boss and several other pilots had made a horseshoe of chairs and were enjoying friendly banter. Kyle, Turbo and I grabbed some chairs and closed in the circle. Turbo quickly grabbed in some more attention before falling asleep upon my lap.

It's funny how aviation can bring people from so many different walks of life together. Nothing does that better than a good ol' evening hangar cookout!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pushing the Limits

'Pushing the limits' is our 2014 theme. We are assembling the most amazing panel of keynote speakers. One of our speakers, Carole will in Montreal and online on March 8.

Share the news with your friends about this great free opportunity to listen and ask questions to accomplished women of aviation Details at

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flying in the "Tin Goose"

I've loved the Ford Trimotor since I first saw one displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. That Trimotor was the first plane to fly over the South Pole and I loved how it shined and how its three radial motors stood out making themselves known. Built not far from where I grew up, 199 Ford Trimotors were manufactured there between 1925 and 1933 and immediately became a popular purchase for airlines flying from coast to coast.

The Kalamazoo Air Zoo's 1929 Ford Trimotor is making its rounds around the US and this weekend it is visiting FDK. I couldn't pass up the chance to go fly in a piece of history. So, I quickly visited to get tickets for Bob and I. Thursday afternoon I met Bob at the airport, who was working there all day and had Turbo with him. We thought maybe someone at check in could keep an eye on him while we flew, but they said he could fly! He even got his own ticket!

The day was perfect for flying, we took a few photos around the plane then hopped in to enjoy a 12 minute flight around Frederick. I was geeking out at being in something so old and so historic. I also had an avgeek moment when discovering that one of our pilots (this model of Trimotor requires two) was aerobatic performer Gene Soucy! Turbo nestled on my lap (we didn't bring his mutt muffs not knowing if he'd be able to come) and slept until it came time for landing. I was expecting it to be much louder than it was and loved that every seat was a window seat! 

Below are a few of my favorite photos-video to come soon!
To see a more complete set of photos, visit here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I play with space robots

We had a great list of keynote speakers during Women Of Aviation Week 2013, I can't wait to see what we have in store for 2014!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Turbo Flies to VA Beach

Fall is quickly approaching so this weekend Bob and I decided to go on an impromptu visit to the beach. The question was, where? Ocean City, NJ and Ocean City, MD are not dog friendly until October 1st. We first planned for Kitty Hawk, NC, but wanted something closer and where dog friendly finds were not as sparse. Luckily, after Labor Day Virginia Beach becomes dog friendly. Norfolk Airport, ORF, also offers some cheap rental cars. We had visited VA Beach before, but this was our first time with Turbo the Flying Dog. Yes, my dog has a Facebook page...

We headed to the airport and Turbo hopped in the plane, ready to fall asleep and wake up somewhere new. We departed, and got our code to transfer through the SFRA following the VFR corridor between VPONX and VPOOP (poop!) intersections. An hour and a half later, we were passing over some boat races then soon aircraft carriers and other large ships. I manned the whole flight down and took the (slightly hard) landing. Landmark at ORF is undergoing a huge renovation and were currently in a makeshift trailer. We checked in, used the powder room, then were shuttled to our rental car to enjoy a day at the beach.

We dined at Ammos Greek Cusine for lunch which was right on the boardwalk with a great view of the fishing pier. I love Greek, this place did not disappoint, they even brought water out for Turbo. Once our stomach's were full, it was time to lounge out on the beach and play in the water. The windy day caused a chill in the air while sitting in the shade, but we were quickly warmed up in the sun. The water was really warm, too! As an added bonus, several military aircraft flew over throughout the day, including F35s and a V22! As we got antsy, we buried Turbo (a tradition), walked the length of the boardwalk, got some ice cream and re positioned our blanket for renewed people watching and some reading.

Soon, we were watching the sun set, and went over to Atlantic Ave for dinner at Giovanni's then headed over to the dog friendly Hampton Inn. There, we started a new tradition of burying Turbo in the pillows. Our home is so quiet at night, it takes Turbo a bit to get used to the hustle and bustle at hotels, but he did really great this weekend which meant a decent night's sleep and even a bit of sleeping in!

Still, brunch at Cafe M came all too soon and before we knew it, the rental car was returned and we were packing up the airplane. The air had warmed up quickly, so I rolled up my jeans (they look really cute that way, by the way) before hopping in the Glasair and Turbo following right after me.

The flight home was easy, Bob flew as I watched more boat races below. The SFRA was a breeze and we even received a Class Bravo clearance. The flight was easy and uneventful until we hit a bird on final. Luckily, after shutdown we discovered that no bird parts were in the intake, but the bottom cowling, the wing and the tail needed some washing. 

Turbo slept the whole car ride home and I admit, I was ready for a nap, too! Just another fun adventure for Turbo the Flying Dog and the pilots that spoil him! If you want to see more photos from VA Beach from this year's and last year's trip, check them out here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stuck Mic AvCast - Episode 56 is out!

Welcome back! By our collective years of experience as aviators we truly hope these shows help you fly smarter and fly safer and today’s episode is no exception. 

Back in Episode 29 we talked about flying to Canada. After a recent experience taking the Glasair and Turbo the Flying Dog to Ottawa, co-host Victoria Zajko has some information to add the the Canadian discussion regarding broken airplanes, dealing with customs, and animal issues to name a few.

In Episode 53 we talked about aviation accidents and how we cope. Co-host Rick Felty had some thoughts to add to 53 after a recent general aviation crash fatally injured the occupants allegedly due in part because of failure to remove a flight control lock. 

Then to wrap things up, Len Costa Carl Valeri talk about the risks and responsibilities of being a pathfinder flight including some considerations you should take into account before accepting such a departure. All that and more, coming up now, on this edition of the Stuck Mic AvCast.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Following their flight paths

September 13, 2013 in Latest News - United States by Victoria -US Team Leader 

I remember my first solo as if it was yesterday, as I’m sure most pilots do. The airplane felt significantly lighter, the right seat absent of an instructor. A first solo is a rite of passage for all pilots, and is full first of anxiety, and later pride. The first cross country solo comes next and before you know it you’re off to explore a new airport, getting there completely by your own navigational skills. As you leave the runway behind you, there are miles of sky between you and your destination. After my first solo cross country I couldn’t help snapping a few selfies – I was so proud of keeping my heading on track and finding all of my marked check points on the charts. Despite the title of ‘cross country’ a cross country in pilot terms is only 50 miles, can you imagine soloing around the world? 

That is exactly what Jerrie Mock did in 1964 when she spent 22 days flying a Cessna 180 solo over 22,000 miles, making her the first woman to solo around the world. During Women Of Aviation Week 2014, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this courageous woman’s remarkable flight. Jerrie never did as expected of a female: As a child, she played cowboys and Indians with the boys on her side of the street because her mother wouldn’t allow her to cross it to play with the girls. People may not have thought it was appropriate for a little girl, but Jerrie ensured she belonged, just like when, years later and a mother of three, she proved she belonged in the sky. 

Many females have expressed a feeling of belonging in the sky. It is often associated with another type of flight: aerobatic. As you strap on a parachute and buckle into a sleek, high performance aerobatic aircraft you can’t help but think about how to recover from a spin, or what to look for in a coordinated roll. I surprised myself on my first aerobatic flight: I didn’t mind spins at all and wanted to do as many as I could before I had to recover. By my next aerobatic lesson, I was flying all the way back to the airport upside down. Learning different aerial maneuvers offers a new set of challenges to pilots, but also pushes the importance of coordination and safety. 

I am far from the first woman to perform loops in an airplane. That honor belongs to Lidia Zvereva. It just took one loop to put Lidia into aviation history. Her feat was accomplished in a Morane monoplane, the same type of plane that she assembled at a plant she ran with her husband. Her job was unconventional for a woman of her time, but she defied normality. The loop wasn’t her only first in aviation history, she was the first woman in Russia to earn a pilot’s certificate as well. In 2014, we are celebrating 100 years of female aerobatic pilots. 

Women Of Aviation Week celebrates the women of aviation’s past, present and future. Jerrie Mock and Lidia Zverena set upon new flight paths and are role models I strive to live up to in the present. I hope that through my actions and participation in WOAW, it will inspire the women pilots of the future as these two women, and countless others, have inspired me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Present Day NYC Skyline...We Will Never Forget

Above is a photo of the forever changed skyline of NYC taken when we flew the Hudson Corridor two months ago. This post is in memory of the souls lost on September 11th and prayers for the families left behind and those who rushed to help during this tragedy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Flight to the Oldest Continuously Operating Airport

DC airspace can be a hassle. Especially if you want to fly into three specific airports that require a vetting process and a "PIN" to enter. I always knew the horrible effect these government regulations had on the airports, but it was always something in the back of my mind because I had yet to see it with my own eyes. Bob has a PIN (I have not gone through the long hassle to get one yet) that is required to visit Potomac, Hyde, and College Park airports within the DC airspace so we called up flight service, filed an SFRA flight plan, told them the pin and headed on our way to College Park, KCGS. 

Bob took the reigns for the flight to CGS and we decided to go "low and slow" with a window open. Staying under 120 knots, the Glasair can have the sliding windows open, which would mean the window on Bob's side. The sun was quickly warming up the earth below and it felt great (albeit much louder) to feel the crisp air above in our face. Just 10 minutes and 33nm later we were landing at CGS with a hazy view of DC off my wing.

College Park is the oldest continuously operating airport in the world. The airport was once bustling and the center of the growing aerospace industry. Now, it sat still. We were the only airplane coming and going during that time period on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Our plan for the day was to visit the College Park Aviation Museum, just follow the little blue and yellow stamped airplanes on the ground from the FBO and you are there. Admission is just $2 for kids and $4 for adults, but the FBO gave us some free passes. For the price, I was shocked at the quality and beauty of the museum we toured.

Airplanes hung from the ceiling and were displayed across the main floor. Above, a balcony overlooked everything had had a lot more fun facts, including a wall about women's involvement in WWII. There was even hands on activities for the kids, including a pilot dress up area and a airplane they could climb in. I absolutely adored watching a father try to convince his young boy to go look at other things in the museum-but he kept wanting to get back in that airplane!

Before leaving, we passed some kids learning about airplanes before heading into the birthday party room. They were all excited to learn about aviation and see all the planes. I picked up a shirt and a sticker in the gift shop. They had a great supply of children's activities but also had some fashionable shirts, books, and DVDs for the adults as well.

The flight home, we opted for a closed window and I stole the controls. It was a sweltering but short hop back to FDK. I had wished to do some pattern work, but upon a greaser of a landing, said let's get our butts in some air conditioning! If you want to see more pictures from this little hop, check them out here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lunch with a fellow pilot/blogger

It's funny how the internet made the world shrink. Heck, that's how I met Bob! Most recently, it's how I was able to meet a fellow pilot and blogger, Chris over at Photographic Logbook. Chris and I have been following each other's blogs now for several years and have yet to cross paths. In fact, we both often visit the same places in Michigan, as we grew up in the same town and went to the same elementary school! Bob and I took Chris and his family to downtown Frederick for lunch last week when they stopped at FDK along their way to First Flight. His blog is great, check it out and learn about his flight to visit us here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Flying Lawn Chairs & Crash Landings with Joe Barbera

Today’s interview is without a doubt the most UNIQUE and CRAZY story we’ve shared on the podcast yet! A while back one of our listeners sent us an email after hearing a guy tell the story of his homemade flying lawn chair adventure at a local EAA chapter meeting. Curiosity got the best of us so we reached out to this flying lawn chair aviator and asked him to come on the show.

The story of Joe Barbera includes his inspiration behind the flying lawn chair, trials and tribulations of building the homemade craft, launch day challenges and why he left everything (including his shoes and toilet paper) behind, intentions to break world records, crash landing in the trees, and so much more. This episode is not to be missed!

Without further ado we bring to you Flying Lawn Chairs and Crash Landings with Joe Barbera.