Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Path to Instrument Currency - Flight 5

Obligatory post flight fuzzy hat selfie
Today was my fifth early morning flight knocking the rust off of my instrument skills. And I can feel that the rust is finally flying! Today will be the last for about a week as my CFI has to attend to his "real job" flying jets around the world. So, chair flying is in order to keep on the up and up!

Today we started with the ILS 27 at Hagerstown, did a touch and go, then went on to the VOR runway 9. When we were on upwind getting ready to prep for the VOR an aircraft with the fun call sign of "Hoagie" was departing behind us. We ended up doing another lap around the pattern (tight pattern with slip in to land) to give him room to take off and beat us past the VOR. To finish off the lesson we tracked the FDK VOR back to Frederick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Repost: Pups that Fly!

Sharing from my company blog:

Flying out of his home base in New Jersey and headed south is airline transport pilot, Matthew Kiener in his Piper Saratoga. But this is not your ordinary flight, on his way home Matthew will have a special package – dogs!  Matthew is the founder of FlyPups, Inc., an organization that transports at-risk dogs in high kill shelters and matches them up with a rescue or non-kill shelter in the north.  FlyPups has flown thousands of miles rescuing hundreds of puppies and dogs from being euthanized.  FlyPups has recently teamed up with an organization that trains dogs for service to veterans.  Their fist trip brought eight potential service dogs from Florida to Pennsylvania. FlyPups is excited & honored to be in a position to give back to those who have served our country so heroically.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Path to Instrument Currency - Flight 4

Trust. That's the lesson for today. It hit me when we were reviewing the VOR approaches to Westminster and Frederick that we did today. I need to trust what I've learned and trust the approach that I have reviewed. The more I second guess the procedures or what I am supposed to do next, the more likely it is that I will actually miss miss what I should be doing at that moment. It was beautiful day, albeit bumpy and windy. But the conditions were perfect for keeping my brain working and the IFR rust falling off. Now back to work with an aviation high and the lingering smell of avgas.

"Trust, but verify." --Ronald Reagan

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Path to Instrument Currency - Flight 3

Just like yesterday, it was another early morning for me, this time sans pooch. I had not been feeling well and focused on rest rather than studying the approaches I would be doing in the morning. Luckily, instrument flying is all starting to make sense to me again now that I am up and doing them in the air. I was greeted by a beautiful sunrise when I arrived at the airport. It immediately got me in a better mood versus the curse words I was muttering to my tired self on the drive in. I had the plane pulled out and ready when my CFI, JJ, arrived and we took to the skies, departing runway 12 with a sharp turn to the north over runway 23.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Early Morning for a Flying Dog

It was an early morning for Turbo and I refreshing our instrument skills! We did a VOR approach at Hagerstown followed by some unusual attitudes and general instrument work. Turbo handled the unusual attitudes like a champ! I myself wasn't such a champ as I have many years of rust to knock off, however, I did way better than I expected and can only build on from today. I'm excited to start the day committing some instrument aviation again! But for now, back to the grind selling aviation insurance. Can I help you with yours? Today, Turbo is assisting me with shopping all the aviation markets to get you the best rate and the broadest policy for your aircraft. He is a talented dog!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Howling Night Flight

The winds were howling, but the sun was out all day Saturday. Bob and I enjoyed several hours of housework in and outside catching the breezes that were gusting to 30 knots. I am supposed to fill up the company plane each time I fly it, and did not last time so we had to get out to the airport to fill it up. So, once the sun started to set and the wind died down, we enjoyed two quick hops around the pattern. While the breeze on the ground may have calmed, it was still howling in the night sky. The practice was good, the landings were great and the view was amazing.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Searching for a Missing Tailwheel in a Herd of Elephants

Wednesday night Bob and I visited the National Air & Space Museum for a GE Aviation Lecture: Searching for a Missing Tailwheel in a Herd of Elephants - Bush Flying with the Kenya Wildlife Service. The guest speakers were world renowned aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff and Dr. Bill Clark from the Kenya Wildlife service who is also a pilot. While the title may sound like an exciting event telling the tales and trials of the life of an African bush pilot, it was actually quite a serious topic. Patty visits the KWS each year to train pilots in their airwing. Their very important job is to protect Kenya's wildlife from poaching. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

SMAC093 – Finding Bucolic New Jersey and Listener Mail

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Finding Bucolic New Jersey

Pre-Flight Checklist

  • Carl recently flew in a 172! We'll put a picture in the show notes.
  • Eric's student Esteban soloed!

Cruise Flight

Tonight we are working on clearing out the backlog of listener email going back to the middle of 2014. You can continue to send us questions at Going forward we will be answering them on a regular basis.
Topics covered: