Summer Update

It’s been a busy summer with a number of miscellaneous trips. To keep with the recent aviation theme, I’ll share the photo below that I took on a recent commercial flight of an Antonov 124 – a large russian transport plane that you definitely don’t see everyday. It’s the smaller version of the world’s largest airplane, the AN-225 Mriya.

Antonov An-124 Ruslan

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BBQ Flight

This weekend we headed south to a small airport with an on-field BBQ restaurant. It’s an hour and a half drive, but only 20min by air.

The pictures of the light sport plane landing give a good representation of the between-the-trees approach. This is not uncommon at small airports; it’s a bit intimidating at first but is not a problem if you stay on center-line and are ready to make a go-around if something doesn’t look right.

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Archer Transition Complete

After another flight I was signed off to fly the Archer and we took it out this weekend for a scenic/practice flight. It was a nice, relatively clear, day and Christina got lots of pictures.

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(and for anyone that notices – I’m not flying a plane with no tail number, that would be very bad. I just edit it out of the photos the same as I do with license plates or any other identifying info)

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“Fly-in”

We drove down to the coast this weekend for an aviation conference. It was very rainy but the worst of it passed by mid-morning. We went to a number of great classes and learned a lot. There were several military helicopters and an Osprey that were there and open to free tours. Christina got a lot of pictures.

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Piper Archer Transition

After a busy winter and uncooperative weather I’m finally back to doing some flying; first the usual Cessna 172 a few weeks ago and then this weekend a new type: Piper Archer. The Archer is roughly the same size but ‘low wing’ rather than ‘high wing’ like the 172; other than that and cruising a bit faster (~145mph vs ~135mph) it basically works the same way. After another hour or so of adjusting to the differences I should be cleared to go solo with it.

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First Passenger Flight

Christina and I went for a short cross-country flight today. This was the first flight that I wasn’t either solo or with a flight instructor. It was a bit bumpy, but extremely clear and Christina got a lot of pictures.
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Checkride Passed!

I haven’t updated in quite some time; summer was very busy with work, travel, and the occasional practice flight. I documented a number of these things with the intention to later post, however I failed logging into my phone one too many times and it deleted all photos.

Bus: Only minor work done on the bus, mainly more wet-sanding & polishing.

CNC: I created a homemade drag knife for cutting out vinyl/cardboard/paper. This is still a work in progress as are accuracy refinements and fine tuning.

Aviation: I passed the Private Pilot check ride! This generally means I can now fly any single engine land airplane (that does not require a Complex, Hi Performance, or tail-wheel endorsement) to/from any airport (besides the obvious: military/etc); and I can now carry passengers that aren’t flight instructors. I should be getting the official plastic certificate (There’s no such thing as a “Pilot’s License”) card in the next few weeks like the one below.
Private_PilotIn practice, switching to something other than a Cessna 172 would require a little bit of transition training and there are time limitations to renting the trainer plane. So not sure what’s next with this hobby, but there’s a lot to learn and it’s still very interesting…

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Long Cross-Country Solo

Today I completed the “long cross-country solo” part of the the private pilot requirements. I made a big triangle over the middle of the state with legs of 104, 61, and 56 nautical miles. Along the way I spoke with approach control of two different class C airports, everything went great.

LongSolo

 

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Controlled Field Solos

This afternoon I completed the controlled field solo take-off and landing requirements; 3 take off and landings to a full stop. There’s plenty left to learn but altogether this went fairly smoothly; some of the intimidation factor is now gone and that will be a big help for future flights in controlled airspace. Here’s an old photo of the airport (guess which) where I did this:
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I may have only a handful of flights left prior to the checkride: a night cross country (dual), a long solo cross-country, some more practice, and then the mock checkride.

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First Night Flight

The first night flight was tonight, I arrived a little early and had to wait for sunset. Things looked very different but overall it wasn’t that bad.

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