November 26, 2006

Flight into Flint

I woke up early this morning with an itch to get in the air... Who can I get to tag along and share the cost -NOBODY! Do I really have a hundred bucks to blow? Ah, you only live once.

I check the weather, and it was showing mostly VFR conditions in the local area with some spoted marginal areas (MVFR). So I call D95 (Lapeer) to see if the plane is available. It was, so I'm going!

The weather looks great on the ground, ceilings at 12,000 and reported visibility at about 5 miles. I go through my preflight and take off. Turns out that it was quite “soupy” up there today, but very smooth.

Visibility was about 4-5 miles and haze. I turned up the XM radio and headed over to KFNT for some more work in controlled space. I even tuned in the ILS (Instrument Landing System) on the NAV radio for a long straight in approach.

Check it out:

Nice landing, if I do say so myself.

November 20, 2006

On my own

Now that I am current again I REALLY want to go fly. So, I give my dad a call and see if he’s up for a little sight seeing (and a little cost sharing). We tried to go yesterday, but it was IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) all day.

But today was nice... 3,500 ceiling and loads of visibility! I live about 45mins north of my parents, but luckily they are close to a small airport. So, rather than have him drive up, I flew down and picked him up - SWEET!

I cannot tell you how nice the glass cockpit is... it really takes the workload down to a minimum and brings a HUGE amount of information into the cockpit. Everything from realtime XM Weather/music to traffic to terrain. It is a huge asset! Maybe I took more too it than some simply because I am a computer geek (I'm making a blog about it for petes sake). But this is for sure the future of general aviation... I just need to make more money!

I took some video while flying from D95 -> KVLL (Lapeer to Troy)

Check it out:

I know, I am a tool!

November 18, 2006

Flight Review - CHECK!

It was a great day to fly! The ceilings were about 3,000 and visibility at least 10 miles. Today we planned on doing a little round robin to from D95 (Lapeer) -> KPTK (Pontiac) -> KFNT (Flint) -> D95 (Lapeer)

This was just so the instructor could get a feel for how I handled the navigation / radios / transponder / autopilot / etc... remember, in the G1000 system, EVERYTHING is integrated into the panels, which is quite nice.

Believe it or not, I always felt the hardest part (not really hard, just intimidating) was talking with ATC (Air Traffic Control). Making sure my read backs were correct and getting my calls efficient always frazzled me a bit. So today I was a little cranked up about it. Not sure if it was just the relaxed nature of the traffic that day or what, but I had no problems and rather enjoyed pushing my best pilot voice!

But the check was successful! I am now checked out on the G1000 with a current flight review under my belt.

November 13, 2006

It's been a LONG time... TOO LONG!

Well, its been over 5 years between takeoffs and landings PIC (Pilot in Command). That all changes today... I am back in the saddle, getting the feeling back.

Even though I have not been flying in 5 years, I have always kept my head in the mix by way of Flying magazine and AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). So, its kind of hard to believe its been 5 years.

I found a great small airport near my house D95 (D95 is the airport identifier for Lapeer). They have a helpful staff and nice equipment for rental.

And when I say nice equipment, I mean Garmin G1000 nice! This system is AWESOME!!! For those who do not know, the G1000 is what you see pictured - a computer driven "glass" cockpit.

This past Thursday (11/9/06) we spent some hours on the ground going over stuff that has changed in the past 5 years. Not much, but all for the better. Then we dove into some Garmin G1000 training with the simulator.

Today we hit the sky practicing some take off and landings, among other maneuvers. I really feel like I never skipped a beat and the instructor was equally impressed (patting my own back). This coming Saturday we will wrap up my flight review and I will be a legal pilot once again.

The short clip is of us taxing back to the ramp, nothing too exciting... but more to come.

Check it out:

Geez... we sound like a couple of flight geeks! getting excited about taxi way lights??? you know you are a pilot when... :)