Break On Through…Signed Off For More Airports!

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

So I haven’t written much in my Blog lately… I’ve been super frustrated with my flight training as of late.  I soloed on August 21st, then promptly went on a weeks vacation.  By the time I flew again, it had been two weeks since that epic day.  The day I did fly, the winds were pretty strong, I was flying with an instructor I had never flown with, and had a horrible day.  I was really discouraged. I did a couple more flight lessons, and then my instructor and I did a day of nothing but laps in the pattern, my first three takeoffs and landings were great.  So my instructor hopped out, and I was soloing again.  Super excited about it! Finally getting to fly by myself again!  My takeoff was great, my pattern was great, my landing… Excuse my French, sucked ass. I bounced three times, should have … Read More

A Couple of Flight Lessons

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

After soloing, I headed off for a much needed vacation.  It was my birthday week and Teri and I try to get over to Leavenworth a couple times a year.  This time was for a week.  It was awesome, I had a really relaxing time, but I didn’t get to fly.  At all.  OK, 10 minutes in the right seat of a DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver where I didn’t get to touch anything, but I’m not counting it because it didn’t get logged in my logbook.  But no flying to speak of. So coming back, the earliest I could fly was on the 4th of September, which was a full two weeks since my solo.  And it showed.  To top it all off, my normal instructor wasn’t available so I flew with the Chief Flight Instructor for Safety In Motion Flight Center, Shawn Pratt.  Shawn is really nice, and I’m not … Read More

Just Call Me “Wog”… With VIDEO!!!

John HurlbutFlying, Personal Growth2 Comments

Well today was finally the day!  My first solo flight!  The day started out rather discouraging.  The automated weather at Thun Field (KPLU) is still out, so we’re still going on best information we have available to determine what the weather is doing, which usually means checking the METAR and TAF at McChord Field on JBLM.  They were reporting Marginal VFR conditions with the ceiling between 1,800 and 2,000 feet.  Pattern altitude at Thun is 1,500 feet, but being a student pilot I need to maintain at least 500 feet of vertical separation from the clouds, which means the clouds need to be at a minimum 2,000 feet. I arrived at the airport at 9:30 for my 10AM flight lesson.  I checked the gas and the oil in the plane and began my weight and balance calculations.  Since the automated weather was out, AND I REALLY wanted to fly, I … Read More

Solo Close But Yet Solo Far…

John HurlbutFlying2 Comments

Amazing flight lesson today!  I had booked the plane (N84823) from 5PM – 8PM for a good long lesson.  Unfortunately my two other scheduled lessons this week were cancelled due to weather.  Tuesday and Thursday were no gos, but the sun was shining brightly today and even though it was hot, we were gonna fly! I arrived at the airport at 4:30, checked the gas and the oil in the plane, and did my preflight calculations for weight and balance.  Final check of the weather and headed back out to the plane for my preflight check.  My instructor was still debriefing with her last student, but that’s quite alright.  I like doing the preflight on my own, taking my time to double check everything is just right.  At about 5:15 she arrived at the plane and we saddled up and got ready to head out.  She originally said we were … Read More

The Pilot’s Lounge and a Flight Lesson

John HurlbutFlying, Home Improvement2 Comments

I’m super stoked for how today went! I got to sleep in until almost 9AM!! Teri and I got up and we had some errands to run in our effort to turn our bonus room into a home theater/swanky pilot’s lounge.  First up was a trip to the Old Cannery to see if we could find a TV Stand for the new TV that will be going in the room.  Success! We found one that will fit the new TV perfectly, as well as the front main speakers, center channel speaker and all the AV gear.   The TV will be a Samsung UN65H7150 65″.  I’m going to wire the room for 7.1 surround sound. I’m going with Definitive Technology ProCinema 600 for the Sub, center channel, surround, and surround back speakers.  A pair of Definitive Technology ProMonitor 100’s will provide the front main sound.  Finally to drive everything, I’ll pick … Read More

Stop Wearing Black T-Shirts…

John HurlbutFlying1 Comment

Finally after a couple of weeks off, I got to fly again today!  Last week my instructor was at the EAA AirVenture in OshKosh Wisconsin (Note: Teri and I WILL be there next year) and I was in Las Vegas.  The weekend before that, the winds had my instructor and I in the simulator, not the actual plane, so it’s been awhile. I always try to get to the airport early to do my preflight so I’m not using valuable flight and instructor time to do that.  I had to put a quart of oil in the plane, but no biggie, I’ve done that at least a half a dozen times.  The AWOS (Automated Weather Observation System) was out of service at Thun field today, so I had to look around the area to get an accurate depiction of the weather, but again, no biggie.  I was a little nervous … Read More

One Step Closer to Solo…

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

Well since POTUS was in town today, that meant no flying for me!  Thanks Mr. President!  But it didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything aviation related.  I’ve been working on my presolo written exam for a couple of weeks off and on.  I decided to finally finish it today and review it with my instructor.  So we spent an hour or so going over the last few questions we didn’t get to review on Sunday and then I got my first Log Book Endorsement!!  “Presolo aeronautical knowledge:  61.87(b)  John E Hurlbut has satisfactorily completed a presolo written examination demonstrating knowledge of the portions of Parts 61 an d91 applicable to student pilots, the airspace rules and procedures for Pierce County/Thun Field/KPLU, and the flight characteristics and operational limitations for a Cessna 172” I have another flight lesson scheduled for Thursday morning, but I seriously doubt that will be solo day. … Read More

Video Showing Weight & Balance Plane…

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

Last Sunday I wrote a post about Weight and Balance in which I described a pretty scary situation where a plane, seemingly over loaded, took off, bounced on the runway, took off again and made what I thought was an impossible turn back to the runway and landed again.  This is just a quick video that was shot by my Garmin VIRB camera while I was preparing for that flight lesson.  Maybe if you have eagle eyes like my instructor, you can see if the plane is heavy or not.  The right side of the screen is pixelated due to privacy concerns for my instructor.  Sections of the video are sped up for brevity.  I’m not sure you can see much from this, but I thought it was kind of cool that I did get the plane taxing, taking off, landing and taxing back.

A Lesson In Weight & Balance…The Hard Way

John HurlbutFlying2 Comments

I had a nice long flight lesson scheduled today.  Truth be told, all I wanted to do today was fly the pattern.  The plan was to take off from KPLU, head over to KTIW, go a bit West of the airport and practice a couple of maneuvers then do touch and go’s at Tacoma Narrows.  I was going to get more practice on the radios talking to the tower, I was going to get to practice forward slips and simulated engine out procedures, the day was going to be great! One step closer to solo! Or so I thought. When I got up this morning, KPLU was reporting VFR conditions, but KTIW was reporting Marginal VFR with a pretty low ceiling.  I got to the airport a bit early to work on my presolo written exam, and walked in right at 9.  I told Meg about the weather, and she … Read More

I AM a Student Pilot!

John Hurlbut3rd Class Medical, Flying0 Comments

Well finally after four months, my 3rd class medical certificate and my student pilot certificate showed up in the mail!  Some of you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.  Well I’ll tell you. First of all your 3rd class medical serves as your official student pilot certificate.  Kind of like your learners permit when you’re learning to drive a car.  “But John, you’ve BEEN flying, so why do you need that?”  That’s true, I have been flying.  According to Part 61.109 of the FAR/AIM I need to have a minimum of 40 hours of flight training, of which 20 hours must be dual instruction and 10 hours must be solo flight.  So I’ve been doing my dual instruction flights in the absence of my Student Pilot Certificate, so technically I haven’t been a student pilot until now.  I must have my Student Pilot Certificate to Solo.  So … Read More