Finally Got Some Flying In Today!

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since I flew last!  That’s what the fall coming in in the northwest will do to you!  Gone are our clear blue skies and sunny, warm weather!  Enter perpetual gray days, fog, wind, rain, makes it tough to fly!  And it’s even more frustrating when you’ve been set off on your own to get some cross country flying in!! Of course it doesn’t help that over the past three weekends, I’ve been in Las Vegas, Tri Cities, and Southern California!!  So I HAVE been flying, just not at the controls.  Maybe next time I’ll say “Move over Captian, I need to get some hours!”  I’m pretty sure that would end my flying career. While we were sitting on the tarmac at LAX yesterday waiting to take off back to Seattle, I decided to check the weather in Puyallup for the week to … Read More

Why I Fuel Up After (nearly) Every Flight…

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As a student pilot, I’m learning a lot of things.  I’m learning about weather, airspace, cross country flight planning, radio communications, lots of things! I have a very conscientious instructor, one that makes sure that things are done just so to ensure the safe operation of every flight.  Not just our flights, but the flights after ours.  One of the habits she has instilled in me is fueling the plane after (nearly) every flight.  Now I’m getting flight training at a pretty kick @$$ flight school with a pretty kick @$$ FBO attached to it in Spencer Aircraft.  If I asked someone at Spencer to fuel up the plane I just flew, they would.  Do I necessarily like lugging this huge hose out to the plane, climbing up on a ladder, occasionally spraying cool blue 100 Low Lead Aviation Gas all over? No. I really don’t. So why do I … 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

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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

Really REALLY Solo!

John HurlbutFlying1 Comment

So as I mentioned, I soloed on August 21st!  And yes, that means I flew a plane ALL BY MYSELF! I’m still surprised by the number of people that still think that soloing means that your instructor is in the plane, but just doesn’t do anything.  Nope, it’s just you and the airplane all alone.  It’s a feeling I’ll never forget and it’s pretty darn incredible!  But after you solo, you’re only about half way through flight training.  There’s still a lot to do and you’re not only on your own after that.  My last blog post was about my breakthrough.  Finally getting my landings down to the point where my instructor is confident enough in me to let me go to the airport and just rent the plane and go flying.  Do you remember when you first got your drivers license and you were free to just go anywhere … Read More

Break On Through…Signed Off For More Airports!

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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