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: April 2017 January 2017 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



2006/10/29 Instrument Pilot Cross Country
π 2006-10-29 21:42 by Merlin in Flying

Since the IFR training includes a 250NM X-Country flight, I used the opportunity to combine this with a flight to Santa Monica to see Monster Massive 2006 in Los Angeles.
The flight was Palo Alto, Salinas (ILS), Paso Robles (GPS), Santa Monica (VOR/DME). It was just a long ass flight with an average groundspeed of 90 knots in a C172. My thoughts to go the patient and understanding passenger in the back of the plane :)
Landing in Santa Monica and parking between Citation Jets was kind of fun, and as for the flight itself, it was good training, but I really really wish the plane had had an autopilot. Flying by hand the entire way was quite tiresome.
















A few more pictures of that cross countries here
2006/10/25 Sport Pilot Planes
π 2006-10-25 21:07 by Merlin in Flying

West Valley Flying club had a sport pilot day, showcasing the new sport pilot planes. While I don't quite get the point of the sport pilot rating, the sport pilot planes are quite nice as cheap trainers.
What was interesting, was that these new planes were using Garmin 296 portable units as mounted panel units, because they're a lot better and the old panel units you'd find on existing planes.
Here are a few pictures of the said planes





2006/10/23 IFR training...
π 2006-10-23 19:29 by Merlin in Flying

That's it, my class started today: 5-6H of ground time, and 2H of flying.
10 more days to go :)

(i.e. this means that I will be mostly unavailable for the next 2 weeks)
2006/10/18 Passed my Instrument Written exam
π 2006-10-18 16:32 by Merlin in Flying

After 7 to 10 days of heavy studying, I took the test and passed it with 90%.
On one side, I got lucky for not getting too many tricky or very hard questions.
That said, it took that long because I just didn't cram for the test, I read the PIC instrument book twice, all the relevant FARs, Aviation weather, portions of AIM (I have to read the rest now), studied charts, and took an 8 week IFR ground school in 12 hours :)

The only question I got and that sucked was the one where you have to build an entire flight plan leg by leg, computing time, cross wind, fuel burn, and in both directions, just to answer a single question of how many minutes you can stay in the air before you have to turn around for fuel. The question wouldn't be that bad if the answers weren't spaced out by just 3 to 5mn, making it very easy to pick the wrong answer if you try to do a reasonable approximation instead of the whole 30 to 60mn of computing.
That's just silly in my opinion, and I told the FAA so much in my feedback. In the end, I just didn't feel like doing all this silly paper math in the day and age of electronic flight plans and computers (I've done it on paper more than once for my private, that was enough), and I just put answer at random.

The other problem is that it's frustrating that they don't tell you which specific questions you made errors on. They only give error codes which could refer to one to 20 or more questions.
I looked mine up in the Gleim book, and for at least 3 of them (one is a 1-1 mapping: H945), and I can't see how I made a mistake on them, especially on H945 aka 11-10 which had an answer of 139KCAS or (B). I know I computed and answered that, and my E6-B computer still has the correct answer dialed in. Yet, I still got the answer wrong according to their report :(
It might be that somehow I clicked on the wrong button, and really made a mistake on the 2 other questions I think I most likely got right too, but none of this would be happening if they were more transparent and gave you the exact questions you got wrong along with what answer you gave.
At least, it's not as bad as my private, where I could swear I knew almost every single question and answer, and somehow managed a 88% (in this case, I felt a bit more shaky on some stuff, despite much studying, and did better comparatively)

Anyway, despite all those little details, even if vexing, 90% is a passing grade. I'll be taking the rest of the day off, and go back to the books to finish up what I haven't read entirely (aviation weather services explained, and all of AIM)
2006/10/11 IFR training with PIC
π 2006-10-11 23:09 by Merlin in Flying

I decided to get my instrument rating and go with Professional Instrument Courses . Most people are dubious of a 10 day course that can teach you everything that people learn in 6 months on average, and their pass rate is 93% instead of the average of 40%.
So far, I have spent about 4-5 days studying the books intensely, and one day with a CFI to review the ground info. I'm planning on taking the written test next week, a few days before the CFI from PIC flies over to Palo Alto and spends 10 days with me to train me.
While I'm not sure I'll get all the training I'd like to get in 10 days, if that's enough to pass the checkride, it'll be nice to get it out of the way and get my rating. I can then worry about doing additional training in other planes at my leisure (like G1000 training)
2006/10/11 Online logbook
π 2006-10-11 23:02 by Merlin in Flying

In case, I ever lose my logbook, I've taken pictures of all its pages, and will keep doing so as they fill up, so that I have some kind of backup should I ever lose my logbook, or when I need to get info on flights or hours without having the logbook on hand






All the pages of my logbook are here
2006/10/07 Red Bull Air Races, Fleet Week, Blue Angels
π 2006-10-07 22:44 by Merlin in Flying

Jennifer and I went to San Francisco for the Red Bull Air Races, and Feel Week Airshow. The plan was to park far out, and rollerblade to the Marina.
The Red Bull races were pretty impressive, the pilots had to negotiate a very tight course between inflated pylons. Not only that, but they also had to be crossing them with a 90 degree attitude, pulling up to 10Gs in the process.
You can see a video of the winner










The Airshow and the Blue Angels were quite nice too.












If you'd like more, see the rest of the pictures of the Red Bull Air Races and Fleet Week Airshow

More pages: April 2017 January 2017 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