December 27, 2004
The television watching public will get a taste of general aviation this winter. AOPA will be running four thirty second television ads on the Weather Channel starting Monday, December 20th through the end of the year. You can watch the clips on AOPAs website. The commercials will be directing viewers to a website called General Aviation Serving America.
The goal of the ads is to educate the public about the benefits of General Aviation.
December 9, 2004
Morgan Freeman will need to return to driving Miss Daisy as his newly acquired pilot's license has been revoked by the FAA. The Oscar-nominated star who has spent the past few years chasing Ashley Judd in frighteningly similar films failed to observe landing regulations at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
During approach, pilots need to wait for approvals from air traffic controllers before descending. Freeman reportedly descended 2,000 feet without previous approvals and therefore violated FAA regulations.
An FAA official stated "Each airport has specific approach procedures that are published for that airport, and pilots are given directions by controllers as to what altitude to maintain."
Freeman made the following comments, "I'm being censored by the FAA, and they're going to ground me. The hardest thing about flying is holding altitude."
Many pilots on StudentPilot.com have blasted Freeman for not being able to maintain altitude. When I first learned to fly, managing altitude was tasking but over time became very manageable to the point where maintaining feet to an degree of accuracy of +/- 100 feet is not difficult. Though in Freeman's case the arrival procedures to a busy airport can be tricky for a new pilot.
Looking a great gift for someone special who has always wanted to learn to fly? Give them the gift of flight. BeAPilot.com has negotiated a deal with 2000+ flight schools around the country that allows you to give someone an introductory flight for just $49.
With $49 and the gift certificate, the recipient can take a 45-minute flight with one of the school's instructors. The time spent on this introductory flight can be logged as training time that will count toward earning a license.
Using this certificate is a great way to decide whether flying is the right fit for the person. It also allows them to see if a school is right for them. I strongly encourage checking out a few flight schools before selecting one to train with!
December 7, 2004
Red Flag is the Air Force's equivalent of Top Gun where the best of the best practice their trade. Red Flag not only welcomes the best of the United States Air Force but also that of our allies. This winter a new IMAX film, Fighter Pilot - Operation Red Flag, tells the story of a young F-15 pilot as he trains at Red Flag over the desert of Nevada.
The trailers and clips available on the website for the film are amazing. I am sure this is one film that will make you feel like you are actually in the plane. Like most IMAX films there will not only be great action scenes but a story of what goes on behind the scenes at Red Flag as well.
I am anxious to see this film. The film will debut at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum this Saturday but will be showing up at IMAX theaters around the country soon. You can view a listing of theaters and expected release dates here.
December 5, 2004
After a three-week hiatus I found some time to get back in the cockpit of the trusty Cessna 152. This is the longest break I have had between flights so I decided I would spend the day in the pattern re-familiarizing myself with the plane and work on my landings.
As I expected, my first few landings were sloppy. In each case I found that I was too fast on my final approach, causing the plane to bounce a little on the first landing and float longer than planned on the second landing. Realizing the problem was my speed in the pattern, I made a conscious effort to fly a slower pattern the next time around and made a much better landing. I continued to improve on the next three and was completely satisfied with my final landing of the day.
It was great to get back in the air and I hope I will be able to fly again this week. With this flight I completed the fourth page in my logbook. I thought now would be a good time to summarize some of the statistics:
- Total hours flown: 63.3 hrs
- Dual hours flown: 37.1 hrs
- Solo hours flown: 26.2 hrs
- Cross-country hours flown: 13.5 hrs
- Night flight hours flown: 5.6 hrs
- IFR Hood flight time: 3.2 hrs
- Landings: 206
- Airports flown to: 15
December 3, 2004
Discovery Communications has announced that it will transition its Discovery Wings Channel to the Military Channel on Monday, Jan. 10, 2005. According to the announcement the new channels mission will be to "Offer a broad focus on all aspects of the military with a wide array of programming about its people, strategy, technology and history."
At first I was not disappointed by the announcement since much of the programming on the Wings station was already military focused. But, in thinking about it this evening I will miss knowing I can flip to Wings and know that I will find aviation content. Many of the shows that currently air on Wings will be applicable on the new Military Channel but some of my favorite Wings series will likely be canceled in the transition such as Learning to Fly, A Plane is Born, and Airline Story.
I have to admit to not watching Discovery Wings on a regular basis but it was a comfort to know it was there. Although, I will miss it I am sure I will enjoy some of the programming that is expected on the Military Channel.
It has been three weeks since I have flown and feels like forever. Between the Thanksgiving holiday, bad weather, earlier nights and a busier work schedule I have had few opportunities to fly.
It looks like the weekend will provide clear skies for flying. As long as the winds stay under control I expect to go flying tomorrow afternoon or Sunday. This is my longest time away from the cockpit and I have missed it dearly.
While learning to fly I tried to never take more than a few days off at a time. I did this to stay proficient and to make my training as cost efficient as possible. Now that I have my license I cannot keep up that pace but would like to keep to flying once a week or at a minimum of once every two weeks.
When I log my flight this weekend I will be completing my fourth page in my Jeppesen Pilot Logbook and increasing my total flights flown to 52.