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

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

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

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

One Step Closer to Solo…

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Well since POTUS was in town today, that meant no flying for me!  Thanks Mr. President!  But it didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything aviation related.  I’ve been working on my presolo written exam for a couple of weeks off and on.  I decided to finally finish it today and review it with my instructor.  So we spent an hour or so going over the last few questions we didn’t get to review on Sunday and then I got my first Log Book Endorsement!!  “Presolo aeronautical knowledge:  61.87(b)  John E Hurlbut has satisfactorily completed a presolo written examination demonstrating knowledge of the portions of Parts 61 an d91 applicable to student pilots, the airspace rules and procedures for Pierce County/Thun Field/KPLU, and the flight characteristics and operational limitations for a Cessna 172” I have another flight lesson scheduled for Thursday morning, but I seriously doubt that will be solo day. … Read More