December 30, 2006
This morning I picked up fellow aviation blogger, Midway Six (Cpt. Rod), for a $100 breakfast burrito adventure. Capt. Rod flies regularly out of Midway as part of the Civil Air Patrol and also for his personal aviation through Midway Aviators. Today we planned on flying Midway Aviator's Diamond Star DA-40 which Rod has flown many times before. The Diamond Star is the four place sister plane to the Diamond Eclipse DA-20 I have enjoyed flying a few times.
Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate again today. It was the third flight this month that was been cancelled due to weather. The flight was scrubbed due to low visibility and low ceilings. But, I did get to fly a few days ago so I was not too let down (more on that in a moment).
Although we did not get to our destination Morris Municipal Airport (C09), we did get to enjoy some time talking about aviation and checking out some planes on the tarmac while we hoped the weather would improve. We took a look at the Civil Air Patrol's Cessna 182 and Rod showed me around the Diamond Star which looks like a roomier version of the Eclipse.
It was fun being back on the general aviation tarmac at Midway and makes me wonder whether it would be a good place to be my home base for flying. Just a few days prior I took a brief flight out of the newly renamed Chicago Executive Airport, formerly Palwaukee. I flew with Alex of the Windy City Flyers flight club. We spent most of our time reviewing the ground paperwork necessary to be checked out to rent Windy City Flyer aircraft.
Once that was completed there was not enough time to do a full checkout flight so we took a Cessna 172 SP up and flew around the pattern a few times while practicing some landings including a short field landing simulation. Alex and I have a Cessna 172 SP scheduled for next weekend so I can perform a full checkout ride so I can rent planes from Windy City Flyers.
Here is hoping January's weather is more cooperative than December's.
December 16, 2006
As I mentioned in my last post I was planning on flying today. All week it looked like the best weather would fall on Saturday. The temps were supposed to rise up into the 50s with no forecast for rain. But, when I woke up and looked out the window it was overcast. I pulled up the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to check the weather for Palwaukee Municipal Airport (KPWK) and saw the weather was not any better there and not forecasted to improve.
It is just after 2pm and I was due to fly at 3pm. The current METAR report (METeorological Aerodrome Report) stated "KPWK 161952Z 20012KT 6SM HZ OVC014". Which translates to "Conditions at Palwaukee Airport on December 16th at 1952 Zulu (1:52pm Central) - winds from 200 degrees at 12 knots with 6 miles of visibility, haze, and overcast at 1,400 feet. Since, I don't have an instrument license I fly under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and for the type of VFR manuevers and flying I was hoping to do today would require a ceiling higher than 1,400 feet. So, I have rescheduled my flight for next weekend. Always a bummer to have to cancel a flight but it is part of general aviation.
Maybe I will stop by the book store to check out one of Clyde Edgerton's other books. I asked him as pilot what other books of his I might enjoy. He suggested "For aviation people, The Floatplane Notebooks and In Memory of Junior are the two I'd recommend. They each have some significant flying in them."
December 13, 2006
I have been doing a fair amount of commercial traveling as of late and often find myself in the airport terminal bookstores. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a book with an airplane on it and the title "Solo: My Adventures in the Air" by Clyde Edgerton. On the back cover was a quote from Men's Journal "Either the best living novelist to fly planes or the best living pilot to write novels". Since I love aviation and enjoy reading about aviation related books I decided to hand over my $12.95 to find out if this was true.
I just finished reading Clyde Edgerton's Solo less than a week after picking it up. The book takes you through Edgerton's flying experiences starting at age four with a visit to a local airstrip, to flying in the United States Air Force and finally to his flights in a PA-12 Super Cruiser he named "Annabelle".
The book was an enjoyable read if you are a pilot or an aspiring pilot I recommend you check it out. I plan on looking at some of his other titles in the near future.
As for my own flight adventures...I plan to return to the wild blue yonder on Saturday.