4.7 Hours Of Flying Logged today! Epic!

John HurlbutFlying2 Comments

Wow!  What an amazing day I had today flying!  I’ve been waiting to do my long Cross Country flight for a couple of weeks now due to weather.  Today the weather gods smiled upon me and I got an amazing amount of flying in. The plan for the day was to take off out of Puyallup (KPLU) Thun Field, cross over McChord AFB, hang a left at Anderson Island, overfly Olympia (KOLM), overfly Centralia/Chehalis (KCLS), hang a right over Kelso (KKLS) and follow the Columbia River to Astoria, Oregon (KAST).  After landing at Astoria, I would stretch my legs, then hop back in the plane for a trip to Hoquiam, land there, stretch my legs and finally head  back to Pierce County, Thun Field skirting around the Rainier Military Operations Area (MOA) to the South, overflying Eatonville airport on the way. My flight was scheduled for 12:00PM and I had … 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

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

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

Great Flight Lesson Today!

John Hurlbut3rd Class Medical, FlyingLeave a Comment

Today, as I posted about earlier, I found out on the FAA’s database, my 3rd class medical is in the mail.  With any luck it will be here Thursday or Friday.  I had a flight lesson scheduled for today and when I arrived, Meg, my instructor, had a present for me. My presolo written exam.  Fortunately it’s a take home test, and there is no time limit.  So I’ll be hitting the books over the next week or so making sure I get this done.  Can’t solo until it’s done and I’ve passed it.  That “S” word is coming up more and more lately.  I’ve really got to work on my landings before I’m going to feel comfortable soloing.  I don’t know if ANYONE feels comfortable soloing??  But it’s an incredibly special thing and I’m super excited that Meg is even HINTING at it!! I mean what percentage of the … Read More

Time To Start Wearing Shirts I Hate to The Airport!

John Hurlbut3rd Class Medical, FlyingLeave a Comment

Last week I called the FAA office of aerospace medicine here in WA State and inquired about the status of my 3rd class medical certificate.  The guy I spoke to, Shawn, was really helpful and told me that he could see all my medical records were received, they were scanned in, and a letter had been written with a special issuance 3rd class medical attached.  It was just waiting for a signature.  So I put a note on my front door telling the letter carrier I was waiting for a VERY IMPORTANT letter from the FAA and if she could, pleas call me when it arrives.  (All of their communication thus far has been sent registered mail). Nothing all week.  So yesterday I called again.  The nice lady that picked up the phone gave me the same story that it was there (In Oklahoma City) just waiting to be signed. … Read More

Density Altitude – Flight Lesson 07-02-14

John HurlbutFlyingLeave a Comment

After a week in California helping my dad recover from his Pacemaker surgery (read: laying in the 105° sun), I have been itching to get back in the air and continue my flight training.  I called the FAA on Monday to make sure they had received all my medical records and letters from doctors, etc.  I was told that everything was received and scanned in, a letter had been written and it was just waiting for a doctor’s signature.  It sounds like FINALLY, the wait for my 3rd class medical certificate might be over!  According to the person from our local office of aerospace medicine, I will be given a “special issuance” 3rd class medical.  Which means simply that in addition to my regular flight physical every couple of years, I’ll need to provide them with additional information.  Specifically about my sleep apnea and usage of my Cpap machine.  No … Read More

My First Cross Country Flight

John Hurlbut3rd Class Medical, FlyingLeave a Comment

Today (Sunday) I hit another milestone in my flight training, my first cross country flight!  As I’ve mentioned before a cross country flight is a flight more than 50 nautical miles from your home airport.  The plan today was to fly from KPLU (Thun Field) to KHQM (Hoquiam).  My flight lesson started at 9:00 AM, and I booked 4 hours of time.   I got up at 7AM and started plotting my course on the Sectional Chart and filling out my flight plan.  I quickly realized I hadn’t allowed myself enough time to plan this flight!  It’s crazy that a 2 hour flight, takes that long to plan.  I’m sure as I get better at it I will be faster, but today there definitely was a steep learning curve. I called Lockheed Martin Flight Services for a standard weather briefing.  Told them we’d be cruising from KPLU to KHQM at … Read More

Learning Plateaus Suck…

John HurlbutFlyingLeave a Comment

“More Right rudder John” “Don’t let the ball slip out John” “I feel like we’re a little fast John” “It seems like we’re a little high let’s fix that” “Let’s not do that again shall we?” “No more that 20 degrees of bank John” “More right rudder John”  (Yes, I know I already said that, pilots know what I’m talking about). I’ve hit, according to Meg, a “learning plateau”.  It feels like I’ve never been at the controls of a plane before. Yesteray was supposed to be a day that we just practiced takeoffs and landings.  We got all of two takeoffs and landings completed.  Yesterday I was frustrated, Meg was frustrated, even the plane seemed frustrated with me. I expected to get at least four takeoffs and landings in yesterday, instead I got two. The first takeoff was one of my better ones.  But climbing out I was pitching … Read More


John HurlbutUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Welcome to my blog, please read the “About” Section to get an idea of what you might find here.  I’ll start adding content soon, feel free to fly along with me.  I’m just a guy, trying to fly.  So here we go!