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
First Flight With a Passenger – Puyallup to Friday Harbor
So having passed my check ride finally I was anxious to take my first passenger on a trip somewhere, anywhere! I booked the plane the day after check ride #2 for about 5 hours in the hopes that I would be able to take my wife, Teri, flying somewhere. (Author’s Note: This flight actually occurred on May 10th, 2015. I’m just now trying to get my blog posts caught up, so expect a flurry of activity coming through!) One of the cross country flights I did as a student pilot was to fly from Puyallup Thun Field (KPLU) to Friday Harbor (KFHR) in the San Juan Islands. That flight was amazing for me on many levels, and I wanted to recreate that for my wife as much as I could. You can read about my solo cross country flight here. I booked the plane for 5 hours and my computations … Read More
Putting it All Together…With Video!
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
Never Has The Title Of My Site Been More Appropriate!
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!
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!
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
First Solo Cross Country Flight!
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
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
OK today I’m simply giddy with excitement! I got to do my third cross country flight, my longest time in the plane yet, 2.3 hours. I haven’t spent the time to total up my log book yet, but I’ve got to be closing in on 20ish hours of flight time. Today, our route was from KPLU (Thun Field) to 0S9 (Jefferson County Airport) up on the Peninsula. The way I planned it was like this: Take off out of KPLU and head pretty much due west, crossing over McChord AFB (KTCM). Which means I’d have to contact their tower and ask permission to cross over. Once we were past McChord, and over Harstine Island, I’d turn us just a little west of North and follow one of the designated Airways (Think Highway in the sky) using the Olympia VOR pretty much all the way up to Jefferson County Airport. Passing … Read More
Great Flight Lesson Today!
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
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