Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Is this thing still on?

Well, I'm sure the followers of this may  not be still around.  Things are much better now, but I've realized that working full time and flight lessons just don't really work out.  I'm still wanting to finish this, but it will probably have to wait a few years until I get my sabbatical so I can fly full time for five weeks.

Sometimes, plans have to put be put on hold, but the dream remains to chase it, and chase it I shall.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hi, it's me again...

So I discovered and now my itunes streams KOAK radio traffic. That's cool. So upheaval continues in my life, but some awesome positives have as well. The main one being that my fiance is now out here and we're living together (so no more cross country flights to steal a week's romance at a time). Obviously, there's some adjusting there, but I wouldn't have her any place else except with me.

Also, I'll hopefully start doing some part time work at the aero club for plane time credits. I should find out more on Friday.

Things on the financial front are still a mess as the fallout from the divorce and bad decisions finally settle to the ground, but there's a plan and I'm flying the plan.

I have to say that I'm sad to see C. Freeze's response that 2TA is gone from the club. It's kind of like your first lover. The flip side is we have a 182 at the club now, and while the cost per hour is substantially higher, given my size (6'10" 300 pounds), I'm going to see about training in that plane. Barring that, we do have a couple new 172 SPs in the club that are almost the same as 2TA, one of them even ends in 2TA, though she's N382TA.

I guess it would be almost like dating your first lover's sibling...or something.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Way overdue update

Hello, and for anyone still following this, I'm still alive! My flight training is on indefinite hold while I sort out the various financial issues the economic downturn has tossed my way. I also had a bit of a medical problem with my left eye but that has completely resolved so I renewed my medical without issue.

I'm hoping in about 2 years time I can work on this full time, meanwhile I'm still doing ground school study and will try to get my ground exam completed.

I miss flying, and can't wait to get back at it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Changing Flight Schools

I feel bad about this, as I do like CFI. However, I found out quite by happenstance that as a veteran I have access to military aero clubs. The advantages?

$15 per hour savings on instructor time
~$0.75 on avgas

The practice area is almost literally off the end of the runway, so no longer a half hour to the practice area and a half hour back.

Also, the plane is a USAF T-41 which is a Cessna 172 built in 1967 (so not as new inside as 2TA) with a Cessna 182 engine (210 BHP) so I'll also get a high performance rating. But, 2TA is like any first love, you never forget your first. I am also planning on flying with CFI at least once a month so I can work the Oakland comms.

Still, I hope CFI doesn't take it personally but I feel like it would be stupid to not take advantage of the opportunity.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Any landing you walk away from...

So after far too long a hiatus from the controls, me and 2TA took to the skies with CFI. Ah, it was good to see her sitting on the ramp, looking all pristine. I almost feel like she's my bird. Obviously, she's not, but I tend to bond with machines and I really like 2TA.

Unfortunately, it seems other students in my club do not show her the respect I do. Her nearly new upholstery is already showing signs of wear and tear. Someone tightened an air vent so tight I couldn't get it to open until we got back on the ground and with some rather severe force I got it working again. This made for a very warm flight.

Tangent: I'm paying $75 hour dry for this plane, and as such, I treat her with respect. 1) My life is held aloft by her wings. If I don't take care of her, she won't take care of me, it's that simple. Ok, granted, I'm just a student pilot and I'm not an A&P, but to me if you're paying that much money for something, treat it with respect.

Anyway, I preflight my bird and all is going well until I check the sumps. Water in the gas. So, I keep dropping tester full amounts of $6.00 per gallon avgas on the ramp until there's not water. Oh, now we have small pieces of debris. After two tests, that clears up. OK. The bird's preflighted. I ask CFI to take the radios since I've only done it once and it's been over two months since I've sat in the seat.

Taxiing is still a challenge for me, I can't keep that plane going straight to save my life. Left hand turning tendencies and all that. Though I can tell the girl's eager to fly and she pops off the runway and we head over to the practice area. Climbing/descending turns which I actually did better than the last time we practiced.

There's something really awesome about seeing the Bay Area from a few thousand feet at rush hour. The line of cars on the freeway, the pastel shades of lavender, fuscia and orange on the horizon as the sun sets and you're in your own isolated yet connected world above it all. The steady hum of the engine your assurance that all is right with the world, the radio chatter as you hear voices over your headset that you usually only hear on the car radio talking to Oakland tower or ground. It's interesting hearing a traffic reporter call for ground clearance or approach asking someone if they're a traffic plane.

Far too soon, we're making the flight back to Oakland, the Mormon Temple a concrete bastion in my navigation before turning to wing over the bright red roofed McA....Oakland Coliseum. I line us up in the pattern at 2500 feet, fly the (downwind?) leg before turning base and have it lined up on final.

"My airplane" I wait for the CFI to say. That runway is looking rather big. Well, he didn't say it, so it was still my airplane.

200' and still no call for him to take the airplane.




So this is to be my first landing. Granted, CFI has been coaching me this way, and I have to say, I really fought the urge to nose up, it looked like we're getting ready to auger into the ground. The wheels make brief contact with the ground before the plane bounces up in the air that feels like a 200' bounce. I would have laughed if tower asked us if this was to be a touch and go, but they didn't. Now CFI took the controls and took the landing. Thankfully, 27R is a long runway (big jets can land on it) so we get on the ground and taxi to fuel which I notice is now "down" to $5.18 per gallon.

So, while I didn't strictly land the airplane, it was the first time that the wheels of a plane touched the ground with me at the controls.

Friday, February 8, 2008!

I just received my letter from the FAA...

"Our review of your medical records has established that you are eligible for a third class medical certificate"


Of course, the current obstacle is financial, but that's the easy part. I CAN FLY AGAIN!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Long Time No Update

Well, the bird is no longer sick, she was repaired sometime around middle of December. However, my flight training has effectively been grounded. Since I was on welbutrin, I was pretty much denied a medical certification. I am still waiting on word from the FAA on what I need to do to get my medical clearance.

To be honest, I wish I lied on my medical questionnaire but I feel honesty is always the best policy. So hopefully I'll be able to get it resolved but right now the lift has pretty much faded from my wings.

I appreciate the e-mails asking what's going on, and well, now you all know.