Why I’m Not a Pilot…Yet or What Went Wrong

John HurlbutFlying9 Comments

The most frequent piece of advice I’ve heard since last Friday after not passing my private pilot check ride is “Hey, if it was easy everyone would be a pilot”. While I suspect there is some truth to that, and I do take comfort in the fact that I’ve come a LONG way since I started on this quest some 14 months ago, it still sucks to know that I’m not a pilot yet. The guys and gals over at the Facebook Group I’m a part of, Flights Above the Pacific Northwest (FATPNW) (Cause Everything is an Acronym in Aviation) (CEIAAIA) have been great about sharing that many of them too did not pass on their first attempt. Again, even more comforting especially with the immense amount of respect I have for them as a group. But did I mention it sucks I’m not a pilot yet? OK, so what … Read More

Putting it All Together…With Video!

John HurlbutFlying6 Comments

OK so I’m STILL waiting to schedule my check ride to get my private pilot’s license completed. I think I’ve officially psyched myself out. I know I know how to fly. I think I’m pretty good at following all the appropriate procedures and I know I’m a safe pilot. I just haven’t had time to study for the oral exam and my flight instructor and I haven’t been able to connect to really polish my maneuvers over the past month or so. So I’ve been trying to fly at least once per week. Last week I went out and practiced some maneuvers and did a flight from Thun Field to Tacoma Narrows, South to Lacey and out to Eatonville and back to Thun. To be honest, I didn’t really feel like I remembered how to fly that day. In fact, coming into Tacoma Narrows, I carrier trapped. Coming into Thun, … Read More

Crest and Boeing Solo + False Labor

John HurlbutFlying3 Comments

OK, so I’m an only child.  What’s that have to do with flying? Not much, other than the fact that when I want something, I want it right now. I feel I’m pretty darn close to being able to take my private pilot check ride. In other words, I feel I’m about ready to be a fully licensed private pilot with all the responsibilities and privileges that come with that title. So last week after my last flight lesson I looked at the weather for this upcoming week and realized that we’re gonna have a pretty amazing week here in the great Northwest! So I planned out the following schedule: Fly Solo Sunday (today).  Fly with instructor on Tuesday.  Mock Check ride with other instructor on Friday, REAL check ride on Saturday the 31st.  I asked my instructor to coordinate with the FAA designated flight examiner for next Saturday.  The … Read More

Crest and Boeing and a HUGE Compliment!

John HurlbutFlying4 Comments

Today was an exciting day for me! (Even though I still can’t talk much from the game yesterday). I had a flight lesson scheduled, polishing my skills before my check ride.  We took off out of Thun field and headed to Crest Airpark (S36).  Surrounded by trees, getting into Crest for my first time was a little nerve wracking especially the “dog leg” landing on runway 33 to skirt around the trees at the end of the runway.  If you look at the image of Crest here, you’ll see the trees.  Runway 33 is at the top of the image. You’ll notice it’s not advisable to come straight in on runway 33 because of the trees.  You have to scootch over to the right (left as you’re flying in) and once you’re past the trees, scootch back over the runway and set it down.  It was a little white knuckle … Read More

Never Has The Title Of My Site Been More Appropriate!

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

Guy trying to fly is right!  I booked two flight lessons for this week, Monday 10-12 and Tuesday (today) from 9-12.  I’ve been fogged out both days.  The last time I flew on New Years Eve, the plane was late, my instructor had car trouble and she was late (which is fine because we didn’t have a plane to fly anyway), when the plane finally did get there, it was almost empty of fuel, and two of the three tires were low on air.  So I had to wait for the plane to get towed to the fuel pumps to fill it up, then towed to the maintenance hangar to get air in the tires.  So by the time we actually got to fly, our noon reservation turned into 1:30.  Someone else had the plane right after me, so I couldn’t just extend my flight by 1.5 hours.  Instead of … Read More

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

The Finish Line Draweth Near!

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

I’m so excited!! The weather around here (Washington) has turned to our typical fall gray, rainy days.  The opportunities to fly have been few and far between.  But I just checked the weather forecast for the rest of the week and Friday and Saturday are looking stellar!  I think between the two days, I’ll be able to get two big chunks of my license requirements done.  According to FAR 61.109: 61.109 Aeronautical Experience.  (a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time (DONE!!) that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor (DONE!!) and 10 hours of solo flight training (ALMOST Done!) in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b)(1) of this part, and the training … Read More

Workin’ On Our Night Moves…

John HurlbutFlying3 Comments

Tryin’ to make some front page flyin’ news… Some of you will get that, all the rest of you Google “Bob Seger, Night Moves”.  I got to fly at night tonight! That makes four days in a row flying!  I think it’s time to take a couple days off.  As I’m headed to Vegas this weekend, it may not be until next week that I get to fly again, but the last week has been an absolute blast!  I flew 5 of 7 days, I only wish I could keep this pace up!  But most of what I have left to do are cross country flights, which take a significant amount of time, both to plan and execute.  So I don’t think my pace will be nearly as frenzied going forward. All day today I was looking forward to tonight.  Nervous anticipation to be sure!  My instructor was teaching ground … Read More

First Solo Cross Country Flight!

John HurlbutFlying1 Comment

Today marked another milestone in my journey to become a private pilot.  Today I did my first solo cross country flight. No I didn’t fly from Washington to Florida.  A cross country flight is defined as a flight that is more than 50 nautical miles from your home airport.  This is a pretty big deal.  This is where you really put all your skills to the test.  Can you successfully navigate from your home airport to another airport dozens of miles away using all the skills you’ve learned so far?  Of course you have to know how to takeoff, fly and land the plane.  It seems as though that’s all you’ve been practicing for weeks.  But can you use pilotage and dead reckoning? Can you navigate the dozens of frequencies on the radio you’ll need to get from point A to point B?  How about using the E6-B flight computer … Read More

Skagit Bayview (KBVS) Cross Country

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

Another milestone reached in my flight training!  This week I scheduled four flight lessons positive that at least two of them would be cancelled due to weather.  Well so far I’m three for three this week and with any luck, tomorrow I’ll be four for four!  On Tuesday (09/30/14) I flew for the first time solo to another airport.  It was the closest airport to home, but the fact that I took off from ONE airport, landed at another and came back was significant.  I expanded my sandbox as my instructor likes to say.  Yesterday (10/3/14) I flew out to the practice area over Enumclaw and did maneuvers.  Power on stalls, power off stalls (no, we don’t turn off the engine), maneuvering in slow flight, turns around a point, and S-Turns.  Then came back and landed.  Both of those were solo flights. Today’s plan was to fly from Thun Field … Read More