Marc's Public Blog - Flying


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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

Table of Content for flying:

More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999




2016/12/30 Brussels Air Museum
π 2016-12-30 00:00 in Belgium, Flying
While visiting the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Bruxelles, we entered the hangar where they kept all the planes. That section of the museum is effectively Brussels' Air Museum, with a nice collection. It seems like the museum doesn't get a lot of funds, the hangar wasn't heated (as in near freezing), many plane tires were flat, but it doesn't change the fact that the collection was quite good and well worth a visit.

Considering the airport wasn't nearby, I also came to wonder how they got all those planes there.












some kind of training drone?
some kind of training drone?










another interesting midget plane
another interesting midget plane














what was that?
what was that?

another training drone?
another training drone?

See more images for Brussels Air Museum
2016/08/29 Flight to Burning Man and Back
π 2016-08-29 00:00 in Bm, Flying
This year, I took my friend Arturo to BM, and since I had a fair amount of RC gear to bring, and things I wasn't able to get ready in time for my other friends, Helen and Brian, who drove there week early and took our bulky things, the plane was reasonably full volume-wise with 2 people.

As opposed to last year where it ended up being a one way trip with an engine out landing, this year was pretty uneventful :)

After some successful RC flights last year, I worked almost all year on improving the design and safety measures further in my RC planes, brought a new one this year with better video resolution (4K), and got some great footage shown on this page.

Here is a direct google photos link of most of the flight, airport, and BRC from the sky.

And do not miss my Main Burning Man 2016 report

Pictures of the flight, around 1h45:

it had been 10 years since I last took 5302N to BM, nice to be reunited :)
it had been 10 years since I last took 5302N to BM, nice to be reunited :)


Mt Diablo
Mt Diablo

Alpine Maedows
Alpine Maedows

Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley

Northstar
Northstar

Truckee Airport
Truckee Airport

Reno International
Reno International

Reno Stead, where the Reno Air Races take place
Reno Stead, where the Reno Air Races take place

Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake

And finally we made it to Black Rock:




for a monday noon, it was already pretty full, but there were holes by the edges
for a monday noon, it was already pretty full, but there were holes by the edges

My 30X zoom handheld camera came in handy, sadly it got better shots than my RC plane at times:

Barely any cars arriving
Barely any cars arriving

Very reasonable line, almost no cars
Very reasonable line, almost no cars

the man didn't look like much and was still being built
the man didn't look like much and was still being built



lighthouse
lighthouse

pyramids, still being built
pyramids, still being built

temple, also still being built
temple, also still being built



Shots of the airport:




not too hard to see the runway :)
not too hard to see the runway :)

long runway meant for jets, I was supposed to land very long
long runway meant for jets, I was supposed to land very long

they even had marked taxiways, this is looking way too professional :)
they even had marked taxiways, this is looking way too professional :)

And finally we got on the ground, Arturo helped me install the fly ties while I taped the plane up:



all good here
all good here

wheel bearings don't like playa dust
wheel bearings don't like playa dust

there you go, all done :)
there you go, all done :)

and we were warmly welcomed as usual
and we were warmly welcomed as usual

A few shots of planes:


water was a bit low this year :)
water was a bit low this year :)

a good amount of Ultralights too
a good amount of Ultralights too

And after a week of fun, we left sunday afternoon, as lots of cars were still driving out, and there were many:



traffic pulsing to let people behind in line turn off their engines and just take a 1H nap
traffic pulsing to let people behind in line turn off their engines and just take a 1H nap


lots of cars, must have taken hours to make it to the road
lots of cars, must have taken hours to make it to the road

by then, BM was getting a bit thin, a lot thinner than when we arrived monday
by then, BM was getting a bit thin, a lot thinner than when we arrived monday

the temple was getting ready for being burned a few hours later
the temple was getting ready for being burned a few hours later

what was left of the man
what was left of the man

The flight back to PAO was unevenful, I was just worried about getting there before sunset:

high altitude chips
high altitude chips

my trusty RC planes, going back home
my trusty RC planes, going back home

after landing, we gave the plane a good wash, and headed home
after landing, we gave the plane a good wash, and headed home

See more images for Flight to Burning Man and Back
2016/07/26 EAA Airventure 2016
π 2016-07-26 00:00 in Flying, Oshkosh

It had been 3 years since my last trip to Airventure, and this time I went with Daniel. We both flew to Milwaukee (direct via Southwest) and then drove the last bit with a rental car (1h30 each way, not too bad). I was actually flying from Osaka to SFO that day, and arrived in time to connect to our Southwest flight and arrive tuesday evening around 22:00 at our hotel. This time I picked the AmericInn because it was walking distance from one of the gates (still had to take a bus/shuttle, but it only took around 20mn once on the bus, so not too bad).

Nice to see the heat concentrator during the flight, again
Nice to see the heat concentrator during the flight, again


This year, I probably went to too many talks, so even though we had 4 days, I didn't have the time to see all the expos carefully enough once you add watching at least one airshow in the afternoon. I could have used 5 days, or next time I'll need to cut the airshow (sad) or just see fewer talks (although at least half of them were quite worthwhile, so it's a tough call).
Here are pictures of various parked planes, and warbirds:









that is a _very_ long nose
that is a _very_ long nose

Airbus had a hybrid-electric plane that could burn fuel to recharge batteries if needed
Airbus had a hybrid-electric plane that could burn fuel to recharge batteries if needed



and this
and this




an experimental heli trainer with a single seat? mmmmh...
an experimental heli trainer with a single seat? mmmmh...

prop and engines that retract back inside the glider? cool...
prop and engines that retract back inside the glider? cool...



And then, there was this beast with a big turbine engine. The video barely expresses how loud this plane was:


Center stage had interesting planes on display every day:














Then, we had warbirds:



















I didn't have/take/spend enough time to go see the multiple booths and tents, but here are a few pictures anyway:


very cool, sky surfing behind a tow plane, what could possibly go wrong ;)
very cool, sky surfing behind a tow plane, what could possibly go wrong ;)


augmented reality glasses would be great if the technology was ready
augmented reality glasses would be great if the technology was ready

in the meantime the made up demo looked cool :)
in the meantime the made up demo looked cool :)



Lots of other tents, with random plane bits to buy, or other things:


this one will buff right out :)
this one will buff right out :)

you can learn how to build your own plane
you can learn how to build your own plane


I was even able to get my global entry card fixed, sweet! :)
I was even able to get my global entry card fixed, sweet! :)



Our 2nd morning, we got up early and showed up at the museum to do a heli ride at 08:00 and avoid the long 1-2H waits later in the day:














A few pictures from the museum, they seem to change their displays:








Next, time to mention the many talks I went to, some were quite good:

I've seen Dick Rutan talk several times, but enjoy it each time
I've seen Dick Rutan talk several times, but enjoy it each time






a U2 landing on an aircraft carrier, madness...
a U2 landing on an aircraft carrier, madness...





pilot of the original U2 vs the newest glass cockpit U2
pilot of the original U2 vs the newest glass cockpit U2

Patty, nicely signing autographs
Patty, nicely signing autographs

Dick Rutan
Dick Rutan

And last, but not least, pictures from the airshows: prop planes, jet planes, and a long demonstration from the canadian snowbirds. Then we also had the night airshow and the fireworks:






tora tora tora, attack from the Japanese planes
tora tora tora, attack from the Japanese planes


















lucky us, we got a U2 overfly
lucky us, we got a U2 overfly




The snowbirds were awesome:


















And then came the night show and fireworks:










with a wall of fire as finale
with a wall of fire as finale

This was a good time as always, even if I'm a bit sad to have missed the olden days when you could see an SR71 flyby, or a concorde doing a touch and go in front of the audience :)


See more images for EAA Airventure 2016
2016/05/15 Jeju Air and Space Museum
π 2016-05-15 00:00 in Flying, Southkorea2016, Trips
while visiting Jeju Island in South Korea, I noticed a pamphlet talking about some air and space museum. Initially I shrugged it off, because seriously, how good could it be on a Hawaii style island. But I was wrong, while it's not one of the best I've seen (and to be fair, I've likely seen the best ones in the world at this point), it was much better than average and definitely much better than what I expected. It was a very pleasant surprise.


One hall was a bit of recruitment for the local airforce, showing how they'd like their future air defenses to look like (although it was kind of shown as if it were their current capabilities):


shooting balastic missiles with a bit laser from an AWACS like plane, nice but we're not quite there yet ;)
shooting balastic missiles with a bit laser from an AWACS like plane, nice but we're not quite there yet ;)

The museum had a nice section explaining how flight works, and they had this nice demo of drag, showing how the middle widget rotated longer thanks to the pointy bits that reduce drag:





The top floor was about space and had multiple theater show, albeit all in Korean. The 5D 360 degree screen one was still fun to watch (but content was kid oriented):














Otherwise, while it wasn't a a huge collection of planes, they had a decent one, especially considering the location:








very short takeoff and landing plane
very short takeoff and landing plane





A37-B
A37-B


F-4E
F-4E





See more images for Jeju Air and Space Museum
2016/02/27 Albuquerque Museum of Nuclear Science and History
π 2016-02-27 00:00 in Flying, Sciencemuseums, Trips
After landing in Albuquerque, Arturo came to pick me up, and we went to the Museum of Nuclear Science and History closeby and made full use of the 2H we had before it was going to close. It's a very interesting museum that's a mix of airplanes involved in nuclear delivery, cruise missiles and rockets all the way to ICBMs. The other part was about nuclear energy.



The part on nuclear energy was very well done, and included a fair amount of French nuclear reactors, France probably being the leading country in nuclear energy, and interestingly, I learned that France, and in turn most of Europe, recycles and reuses most nuclear waste to further get energy from it and reduce the waste to much smaller amounts. In the meantime, the US doesn't recycle waste, and has huge amounts sitting in what were supposed to be temporary cooling ponds, where it's more vulnerable to attack, while politicians are still fighting over whether that waste can be transported to its supposed final storage location in the middle of a mountain in Nevada. Go USA!







french poster selling radioactive cream, supposedly to make women prettier. Ooops...
french poster selling radioactive cream, supposedly to make women prettier. Ooops...

let's not forget radium water you can make at home :)
let's not forget radium water you can make at home :)

I didn't get an atomic energy lab kit when I was a kid :)
I didn't get an atomic energy lab kit when I was a kid :)

But outside of nuclear energy, they had quite a good collection of planes and rockets:






atomic cannon, never had seen one before
atomic cannon, never had seen one before



The collection of cruise missiles and ICBMs was very good:














Hello! :)
Hello! :)

the list of broken arrows, lost nuclear missiles, was 'interesting'
the list of broken arrows, lost nuclear missiles, was 'interesting'

ICBMs have multiple nuclear warheads that get ejected on multiple targets
ICBMs have multiple nuclear warheads that get ejected on multiple targets


The first nuclear bomb, named "gadget", tried at the Trinity site in New Mexico


this was used to create fat man
this was used to create fat man

and sadly ended up in Japan
and sadly ended up in Japan

2016/02/20 Ride in Arnaud's Extra 330
π 2016-02-20 00:00 in Flying
Arnaud nicely offered to give me a ride in his Extra to try some acro. Sadly, I wasn't very awake that morning so I may not have appreciated this as much as I could have, but Arnaud says I did ok with the Gs and not getting sick :)


front seat
front seat

read seat has more gauges :)
read seat has more gauges :)


KSJC
KSJC

Quick refueling at KTCY
Quick refueling at KTCY

group of RVs, taxing before takeoff
group of RVs, taxing before takeoff


oops, this one didn't land so well...
oops, this one didn't land so well...

and back in KSJC
and back in KSJC

Quick video of the acro bits:

Thanks Arnaud for the ride, nice flying :)

See more images for Ride in Arnaud's Extra 330
2016/01/29 Melbourne RAAF Museum
π 2016-01-29 00:00 in Flying
[isu:title:RAAF Museum next to Melbourne]

As we got off the plane in Melbourne to drive to Geelong, we stopped at the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force). It actually is the oldest still running Air Force Base in the world (goes back to 1913). It was a nice little museum:









They even had a rare F111:



Love this :)
Love this :)





this wasn't part of my pilot training :)
this wasn't part of my pilot training :)









French Dassault Mirage
French Dassault Mirage




See more images for Melbourne RAAF Museum
2015/11/19 Visit of the Golden Gate San Francisco Coast Guard
π 2015-11-19 00:00 in Flying
Thanks to San Carlos Flying Club, we got invited to visit the Coast Guard:






2015/11/03 I've been a Pilot for 10 years
π 2015-11-03 00:00 in Flying
Stats:
  • 627H of flight
  • 42H of night flying, only 6.3H of actual instrument flying
  • 6 landing shorts of 1000 landings, 1 night landing short of 100
  • 131 instrument landings, 490H in high performance, 172H complex
  • I'm checked out in C152, C172, C172RG, C182, C182TR, M21K (Mooney 231 Turbo Retract), TB20 (Trinidad), SR20, SR22, TSR22, Mooney Acclaim.
  • Highlights:

  • I got to fly an extra 300 twice, and for dogfighting no less, with Sky Combat Ace :) ( 1 and 2 ).
  • Also did some dogfighting in with Air Combat USA
  • I also got to fly a pretty good 737 simulator in Perth and Auckland
  • I got to try flying a glider (need to try more of this)
  • I got to try paragliding and hang gliding.
  • It was cool to have flown myself to burning man several times, the perfect place to take advantage of personal flying.
  • But probably the most practical use of my license has been to fly to Willows airport where I've been racing my car. Turns out I've flown there 31 times so far, not bad.
  • Another reason to learn flying was to go skiing. As expected, it was never helpful for Tahoe, but I got to fly to Mammoth a few times ( 1, 2, 3).
  • I've flown myself to Oshkosh 3 times, in SR22, TSR22 G3, and Mooney Acclaim
  • And just for good measure, I jumped out of a perfectly good plane.
  • Destinations: I got to do other nice real cross country flights with nice destinations I woudn't have driven to:

  • Shelter Cove to hike the lost coast trail
  • Yellowstone
  • Seattle/San Juan
  • Grand Canyon to hike down and back up
  • Palm Springs
  • Colorado Rockies, Grand Canyon, Death Valley
  • Unexpected experiences in 10 years:

  • Got a stuck starter after engine start in Visalia and had to abandon the plane
  • Got a bird strike while under the hood at night.
  • Got a 2nd bird strike after flying back a Mooney 231 with a dead battery I had to jump start with a car (flock of birds took off as I was landing)
  • Got a dead starter in Willows and had to abandon the plane
  • And to top it off, got a turbo oil leak in a C182TR which led to an engine failure and dead stick landing at burning man
  • Engine Failure After Landing
    Engine Failure After Landing

    Lowlight?
    I flew my first 200H in 1H, 500H within the first 5 years, but only flew 127 hours in the second 5 years.
    Yeah, that's kind of sad in one way, but I kind of know why. It's a combination of:

  • In my earlier years, I spent a lot of years training to higher levels, IFR, went to increasing faster planes all the way to the 240kts Mooney Acclaim (I never cared for doing commercial, doesn't seem that useful to me, and I never went for twin aircraft because the ones I can fly are not faster, hard to find for rent, and I don't think I'd stay proficient enough in them to be safe).
  • I flew to a lot of the places I wanted to fly to around where we live
  • I have many other hobbies, so I stopped flying randomly just for adding flying hours :) (I'll go fly for a purpose/destination though, but just have fewer now). I didn't really quit flying, but I'll mostly go fly with a purpose.
  • Does that mean I'm getting a sucky and rusty pilot? I would hope not. While I might not be able to do the best heavy crosswind landings due to lack of practise, or hard IFR, I at least feel that I continue to be capable of flying in weather, or in a pitch dark night, so my flying seems to be enough to keep my skills, so that's good news.

    And as parting words, some of my bestof bestof pictures:

    nice picture from Jim Gerber, flying his TB20
    nice picture from Jim Gerber, flying his TB20

    My trusty copilot :)
    My trusty copilot :)

    flying over the great barrier reef in Australia
    flying over the great barrier reef in Australia

    flying a trike over kawaii
    flying a trike over kawaii

    being towed in a glider
    being towed in a glider

    flying an extra
    flying an extra


    Air Combat USA
    Air Combat USA


    An obvious thing to do is to fly the San Francisco Bay Tour:

    on a bay tour, we used to hold by the racetrack waiting for a bravo clearance. Now, it's been replaced by a bunch of condos :(
    on a bay tour, we used to hold by the racetrack waiting for a bravo clearance. Now, it's been replaced by a bunch of condos :(













    Stanford
    Stanford


    SFO airport
    SFO airport




    Of course, we are super lucky to live close to the Sierras with so much nice scenery:






    Lee Vining
    Lee Vining

    Mono Lake
    Mono Lake

    Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite
    Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite

    Hetch Hetchy is too full and drained
    Hetch Hetchy is too full and drained


    Then, Vegas and the Grand Canyon sure isn't bad either:

    North Las Vegas
    North Las Vegas



    The hoover dam before they built the bypass bridge
    The hoover dam before they built the bypass bridge

    Later, the bridge was built
    Later, the bridge was built



    walk over the grand canyon cliff
    walk over the grand canyon cliff


    Other Misc pictures:

    landing at Catalina airport
    landing at Catalina airport

    flying over LAX airport
    flying over LAX airport


    Mt Rushmore
    Mt Rushmore



    landing at Oshkosh...
    landing at Oshkosh...

    Moffett, back when it had a blimp
    Moffett, back when it had a blimp

    Yellowstone
    Yellowstone



    Glacier Park
    Glacier Park



    Salt Lake City's Salt Lake
    Salt Lake City's Salt Lake

    Hawaii road taken over by lava
    Hawaii road taken over by lava

    Lava meeting the water
    Lava meeting the water

    Another road to nowhere
    Another road to nowhere



    Molokini Crater in Maui
    Molokini Crater in Maui

    Mt Haleakala in Maui
    Mt Haleakala in Maui

    Awesome craters
    Awesome craters




    Mt St Helens Volcano, Washington
    Mt St Helens Volcano, Washington

    Castle AFB and Museum
    Castle AFB and Museum


    Flying over Dordogne, France
    Flying over Dordogne, France




    New Apple Campus
    New Apple Campus

    Moffett Wind Tunnel
    Moffett Wind Tunnel

    Burning Man
    Burning Man


    Weather and Sunsets:


    crashing wave
    crashing wave





    And that was it for 10 years, here's to the next 10 years! :)

    See more images for I've been a Pilot for 10 years
    2015/10/15 Aviation Expo in Palm Springs
    π 2015-10-15 00:00 in Flying
    : -

    It had been 3 years since I flew to Palm Springs for AOPA Aviation Expo. Back then, the flight had turned ugly half way and I ended up IMC half way during the flight.
    This time, I only had a crappy C172SP with no in flight weather, so it was a bit more challenging. Sure enough the weather was interesting too, and while we made it there VFR, I had to take a very non direct route to avoid weather, and the flight took 3.5H in the end, but we made it.

    The non aviation parts of Palm Springs are here.

    cute :)
    cute :)


    the plowing started ok, and then the guy started drinking
    the plowing started ok, and then the guy started drinking

    another interesting one
    another interesting one




    nice racetrack
    nice racetrack


    weather got a bit more interesting as I got closer to Palm Springs
    weather got a bit more interesting as I got closer to Palm Springs




    The aviation expo was a bit small and no frills (nothing to rival what AOPA used to do), but still nice to attend. I went to a bunch of talks on various aviation topics and got to see a few planes up for show:













    The flight back on sunday late afternoon was interesting too as we had to escape before thunderstorms started getting in, and dodge weather visually while sun was setting. Thankfully I made it across the Sierras before it got 100% dark, and while I had to get below clouds to land at Palo Alto which turned IMC just after I landed.








    See more images for Aviation Expo in Palm Springs

    More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999