April 28, 2005

Like an Eagle Soaring Over Mountains

firstflight.jpgIt was a year ago that I started this blog and took my first flight lesson. I remember it well and the best part was the emotion I felt during and after the flight. The best thing I can equate it to is what it must feel like to be an eagle soaring over mountains*.

To any of my readers who have dreamt of flying but not taken the first step to do so I recommend you go out to your local airport and sign up for a lesson this spring. Visit BeAPilot.com and get your introductory flight certificate for just $49.

It has been an exciting year learning to fly and interacting with fellow pilots through this blog. I look forward to another great year of flying!

*If you love photographs of eagles check out my friend Tom's Alaskan Photography at www.rock36photography.com - Some of the best Eagle photographs you will ever see.

Posted at 7:07 AM | Post Category: General | Save & Share This Story

April 26, 2005

Moving to Chicago

chi_skyline.jpgMy wife and I have decided to move from Cincinnati to Chicago and the moving day is quickly approaching. I was hoping to get one more flight in before leaving but based on the current weather forecast it doesn't look like it will happen.

I will miss flying over Cincinnati and in and out of such great airports as Lunken and Blue Ash. I will also really miss being able to drive or fly to Sporty's Pilot Shop at the Clermont Country Airport. Anyone looking to learn to fly in Cincinnati should check out Co-Op Aviation based out of the Blue Ash Airport.

Although I will miss flying in the Cincinnati area I am really looking forward to new flying experiences in the Chicago area and in Wisconsin. You can't go wrong with having the Chicago Skyline as a backdrop for your flying experiences.

I plan on posting a message on StudentPilot.com to find suggestions for great airports in the area. If you know of a great Fixed Based Operator(FBO) or airport let me know. I will need to spend some time working with an instructor in Chicago getting comfortable flying in a higher trafficked airspace and being so close to an airport as busy as O'Hare.

Posted at 9:03 PM | Post Category: General | Save & Share This Story

April 11, 2005

Fatal General Aviation Accident Near Cincinnati

A University of Cincinnati Student and his flight instructor were involved in a fatal accident today. Details at this time are limited and most details will not be released until the NTSB report is put out. Until then you can learn more about the accident by reading articles on WLWT.com and in the Enquirer.

As a private pilot it is always sad and frightening to learn of general aviation accidents. It is a reminder that this hobby I am so passionate about is also one with inherent dangers.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these fellow pilots. I hope they can take comfort in that their loved ones died doing something they probably loved.

For the pilots out there we should be sure to read the NTSB report when available and learn from tragedies like this one to make our flying safer. We should also keep in mind that reports like the Annual Nall Report remind us that flying is safer than it has ever been before.

Posted at 11:40 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

April 10, 2005

Shaking the Dust off the Wings

It was a beautiful weekend in Cincinnati with clear skies, calm winds and a mild 70 degree temperature. Since I had not flown in over a month, I scheduled a Cessna 172 and a flight instructor. It was my first flight with Tom, a flight instructor with Co-Op Aviation based at the Blue Ash Airport.

Before today's flight I had only logged 5.5 hours in the Cessna 172 so I was anxious to get some more dual instruction in this aircraft. We spent the first half of the hour in the pattern working on my landings. Since I did not fly much during the winter my landings were kind of sloppy at the beginning. After three or four trips through the pattern, the landings were getting better but no where near as smooth as I used to be able to perform them. I am going to need to continue practicing landings in the 172.

Next we departed the pattern and flew north towards the practice area. We did standard procedures for an insurance or aircraft check ride. We did 45° turns, stalls and slow flight. Like the landings, it was obvious I was rusty but I improved as the flight went on and just need a little practice to get back to performing up to my standards.

flight_time_small.jpgIt was great to get back in the air today! I enjoyed flying with Tom and am going to try and schedule another flight with him soon. As I mentioned earlier, I am a little rusty having flown only a handful of hours in the past few months.

I put together a chart of my flight time since I started learning to fly. You can click on the thumbnail image to the right to see the full size graph. I really racked up the hours last fall. When I first started working towards my license I wanted to be as efficient as possible so I flew up to three times a week. I would recommend that for anyone learning to fly. After earning my license in August I flew about 5 - 6 hours per month for the next few months which was enough to stay proficient and feel comfortable in the plane. Unfortunately, as the winter came along I cut my hours back to about 1 - 2 hours per month and missing flights completely in March. I hope with the nice spring weather starting to take hold I can get back in the habit of logging between 4 - 8 hours a month.

Posted at 5:14 PM | Post Category: Flight Time | Save & Share This Story

April 5, 2005

Spring Flying

I am not sure if all pilots associate flying with the spring or if I just do it because that is when I started learning to fly last year. But, Spring is a great time to fly.

For the past few months I have not flown as much. It just is not as much fun to pre-flight a plane in the dark and the cold not to mention it has been cloudy and overcast for much of the winter. But, with the time change behind us providing more evening light combined with warmer weather I am itching to get back out to the airport and in the air.

The weather looks to be nice this weekend so I plan on reserving a Cessna 152 or 172 on Saturday or Sunday. The Katana I flew recently although more sporty does not allow you to open the windows and I am looking forward to getting up in the air and letting some cool spring air float through the cabin.

Posted at 7:53 PM | Post Category: General | Save & Share This Story