100 Hours in an Airplane! What an Adventure!

John HurlbutFlying3 Comments

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In 1977 my parents purchased land in Ocean Shores, WA. For a number of years we would camp there lots of weekends and a couple weeks a year. My parents eventually moved there in 1991 and I sold their home for them in 2003. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Ocean Shores wasn’t much to look at and it wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. There used to be Porsche clubs that raced their cars for a weekend a year on the back streets of Ocean Shores, of which our property was on one of. I have lots of pictures of old 911’s, 912’s, 914’s, and 928’s tearing around the streets. Our property had frontage on Duck Lake, yes there’s a lake in Ocean Shores. And for awhile, seaplanes would land on the lake right in front of our property. Back then, the airport was right … Read More

Getting My Night Currency…

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

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One of the things about being a pilot is maintaining your currency. To be allowed to carry passengers as a private pilot you must have made three take offs and landings in the previous 90 days, so basically if you fly once a month you’re “current”. There are no requirements about being PROFICIENT however. If those takeoffs and landings were done during the day, you are current for daytime flight. In other words you have to be back down on the ground within 1 hour of official sunset. You may remember this post from my flight training days where I did my long cross country and had to add in a few landings at a tower controlled airport? I made it back with about 20 minutes to spare before it was officially dark. As a student pilot you are not allowed to fly at night solo. You have to wait … Read More

Epic Day of Flying! FATPNW Fly-In and Sight Seeing Around Mount Saint Helens!

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

Since I started flight training in 2014 I’ve been a member of a group called “Flights Above the Pacific Northwest” (or FATPNW for short) on Facebook. I learned about them at the Northwest Aviation conference at the Puyallup fairgrounds. It’s a really cool group of NW pilots that share their flying adventures often with photos & video of our amazing landscape here in the upper corner of the country. We have everyone from aviation enthusiasts, student pilots all the way up to professional pilots that fly for the airlines on the page. Anytime I have a question about how to do something, I usually get 30+ responses and many of them are incredibly detailed. It’s a good representation of what the entire aviation community has been like for me. Incredibly welcoming and giving. In fact, they were recently even written up in AOPA magazine after surpassing their 2,000th member! Here’s … Read More

Quick Flight For Dinner . . . Or . . . The $300 Hamburger

John HurlbutFlying0 Comments

All over pilot blogs, forums, books, etc. there is mention of the $100 hamburger. The premise is that as pilots we will find any reason to fly, even if it’s just to fly across town to a neighboring airport for lunch and back. The airport I fly out of, Pierce County Thun Field (KPLU), has a restaurant and nearly every weekend I see pilots flying in for breakfast and flying out. So of course after getting my pilot’s license this is one of the things I wanted to do, grab a $100 hamburger.  However, I’ve pretty much realized that to get this $100 hamburger, the only way you’re going to do it is if the airport you fly out of happens to have a restaurant.  Because renting a plane at roughly $135.00/hour about the only way you’re going to keep the cost under $100 is to take off, do a … 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!

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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!

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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