January 16, 2014

2013 Year of Flying in Review

2013Hours.jpgTypically my annual review is focused on the hours logged. This past year I feel I was as invested in general aviation as I have ever been, that being said my hours spent as PIC don't necessarily reflect that. Coming off a strong year in 2012 where I logged nearly 40 hours and visited nine states in General Aviation aircraft, 2013 looks weak at just 11.5 hours logged as PIC.

More than ever I had other priorities that conflicted with flying including family, work and dedication to Ground Effect Advisors an organization I co-founded in 2013 which is dedicated to helping create more flying clubs around the country. In 2014 I hope to find more balance that lets me increase the hours flown while also not giving up much time from families or career aspirations. I continue to toy with the idea of dedicating time and resources to earn the Instrument Rating in 2014.

Below is a recap of my 2013 as it related to aviation:

Start a Flying Club
In February I co-founded Ground Effect Advisors with Al Waterloo, Louis Bowers and Marc Epner. We launched StartAFlyingClub.com and the first ever flying club scholarship. In May we announced the winner of the scholarship Zach Piech (SP) and since then he has launched Cape Fear Flyers which now has 10 members and two aircraft! I look forward to helping build more flying clubs in 2014.

Lunchtime Flying
In March I proved to myself that I could carve out a few hours away from the office and log a true $100 Lunch by packing a peanut butter and jelly and doing a few laps around the pattern. I plan to reuse this tactic in 2014 to keep fresh.

Flying the Sky Arrow
One highlight of 2013 was logging 4 hours in the Sky Arrow. Unfortunately, soon after I checkedout in the aircraft the plane was moved out of the club. This airplane was a joy to fly and reminded me how much fun low and slow can be. I hope to find something fun like this to log some hours in this year:

Aviation Adventure
Probably the most fun day of aviating was also the last day I flew in 2013. In August I shared the plane with friend Louis Bowers and we flew down to the press day for the Chicago Air and Water Show. Not only did we get some PIC time in the Piper Archer we both logged some time in the T-6 Texan thanks to Team Aerostars Flight Team. After enjoying some aerobatics and nice views of the city we did some more general aviation aviating, and I experienced my first flat tire in a GA aircraft. The day did not go as planned but offered a fun learning experience.

GA's Up and Comers
In December I was honored to be included in a list of 24 General Aviation Up and Comers selected by General Aviation News and their readers for my contributions with Ground Effect Advisors and this blog. The article can be found in their December 20th issue and viewed online.

This fall and winter worked dominated and I was not able to get out to the airport much. The break from flying represents my longest break from flying. Something I am hoping to rectify in the coming weeks.

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