Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Not Yet

So far no tail dragging, or any flying for that matter.

A combination of an illness in the extended family, and implosion of the automotive industry; resulted in a loss of both time and money for flying.

I can take some solice that I'm not the only one in this fix.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dragging my tail

Well the winter flying drought has rolled on into spring.

I was onwdering how to break the drought, unil I received a postcard from the folks Taildragger Flying.

I think I'll take them up on the offer. Always wanted to fly Cub. Wish me luck and active feet...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who where you?

You were flying somewhere between 1000 and 2000 feet agl over the San Ramon, Danville area on Sunday about noon.

You got my attention with the rapid throttle advancement and change in pitch that I identify with someone doing steep turns. We get that in the area as lot of folks do maneuvers around Mt Diablo.

You kept my attention because you where doing tighter turns than I would associate with a normal steep turn drill. You're in a 172, showing off to someone on the ground I expect.

You had my attention, because you flew from that tight turn to another location, and then another and finally, your directly overhead. One of the kids on the ball team says,"Hey dad that plane is doing tricks."

From this vantage point I can see you almost at 90 degrees on the bank. Your turns stink, the tail is all over the place and your losing lots of altitude.

You make one last turn and head south. I wish I had take a picture or could read the N number.

You make the rest of us look bad, I hope you get some training before you hurt yourself or someone else.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Best Thing

After the business part of the The Boys Trip was over I scheduled a day at Lego Land. The ulterior reason for me was the chance to fly from Riverside to Carlsbad for that activity.

I checked Airnav for the FBO comments, Carlsbad seems to have many choices, which is nice. I called the top two choices and decided to go with Jet Source. They sounded happier on the phone.

On trip day, the boys loaded up and we were off. KCPQ was reporting ceilings at 1500 overcast, but it was clear just to the east. Having lived and worked in Carlsbad I'm familiar with the airport being marginal with clear skies just a few blocks away. Without local knowledge I wouldn't have been so certain.

Arriving above Escondido, I turned inbound and made my landing intention announcement to the tower, only to be told that I was too close to the ILS and had to turn south and report Lake San Marcos. I picked the closest lake in a southerly direction and consulted the chart. I couldn't for certain determine the lake in front of me was where I was told to head but I called at the lake and was cleared to land from that point. I call that good enough.

After landing and taxi we were directed to a parking spot at Jet Source. The line guys brought the rental car and asked how much fuel was needed. I loaded the boys and we were off for our day at the park.

During our day I watched at the clouds moved from overcast/broken/scattered and then finally clear. About 5:00 the process start to move in reverse. Around 6:30 I told the boys it was time to head back to airport( the ASOS was reporting 1500 overcast again). The usual chorus sang out, but it was time(fortunately Lego Land close around 8:00 so we weren't missing out on much time).

I did a quick loop to show the boys the beach I used to hang out at and promised we would come back to spend some time there on the next trip.

I forgot how much I miss the warm southern beaches. Although, the development in the area is astounding. It's hard to relate to some of the places it's grown so much.

Back at the airport, we dropped the car and were pointed to our plane. Amusingly parked next to another Arrow, they were nuzzled up to a Citation. Not bad company.

The last stop before we left was the obligatory bathroom stop. Here was christened the bast thing ever. Mints in the bathroom, the usual dollars spent comment ending with priceless, mints in the bathroom.

By now vis was down to 1200 overcast so we made a hasty retreat to the east and were rewared with a fantastic sunset flight back the waiting grandparents.

Another day with the boys, The best thing.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What's the Frequency?

It was time to be heading back to Riverside after doing the work part of the Boy's Trip.

Whenever I'm in the LA Basin, I use flight following if at all possible. It's not infallible, but I'm up for any help with traffic and it's good that the destination knows I'm on the way.

I added a few gallons to each side, called my parents to come get me(their 6 mile trip to the airport almost matched my flight time), and started up. Requested flight following from ground, and received the squawk code and departure frequency. A read back was confirmed as correct.

Lifted off and followed the downwind heading towards Long Beach harbour. Tower (same voice as the ground controller as far as I could tell) handed me off to departure.

I call departure. No response.

At this point that's no big deal could be busy, could be a change over time. I wait a bit and make another call. No response this time either. Also I haven't heard any other traffic calls as well. I quickly look at the departure frequency I wrote down. It matches what I have dialed in. Check the radio volume(turn it up more), and make another call. Still no response.

At this point I've assumed I've messed up somewhere in the translation. Even though there was a good read back. But, another aircraft come on frequency and starts requesting departure. OK, now I'm confused.

Also, I'm moving along in airspace that is both complicated and busy. A quick power reductions to slow me down, confirm my altitude is above the class D's and below the B's and C's nearby and slight turn direct for the harbour which will be keep me out of trouble longer.

While this is taking place the other aircraft makes another call to the same unresponsive departure control.

I figure now is the time to check back with the tower. I call in and tell them the departure frequency and how no one is responding. A new controller voice responds that he doesn't list that frequency and offers another one that would be for the area I was now in.

I change over to that new frequency to be greeted with," xxxxT, ident if you can read me". I respond on frequency and ident. That's followed by a lecture about being off frequency that I reply with the ground controller gave me the wrong frequency. There was no more said on frequency after that.

I felt good about my fly the plane first handling of the situation, and I think I did everything in the correct order. Based on the other plane on the original incorrect frequency I lean towards that ground gave me the wrong frequency in the first place. Since there was no fall out, other than the first lecture on the initial call up to the correct departure controller there is no real way to know.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Straight as an Arrow

Received an email from Ahart yesterday. A new Arrow II is going online, and since next week is the big boys trip to So Cal, the new Arrow is cheaper and it's time to fly something new I've scheduled a check out.

My boys are excited about flying the new bird. Anything that has retractable gear is automatically more interesting. (Have to admit to similar feelings)

Almost more than the flight I look forward to the eventual naming of the aircraft by my sons. All of the the planes so far have been given pet names. Laney and Hawky for the Cessnas, Action Speed for the DA-40, and Mooney; it already ended in a y, so it was left as is. I don't make the names, I'm just along for the ride, as it were.

I didn't get any indications on the name yesterday when I told them of our change in rides, but I'm certain we'll have something setup by the time we leave. I look forward to it and the time away with the boys.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Along with my BFR it was time to renew my medical this week.

I don't use the same doctor as Hamish, but somewhere there must be a rule. If you're to become an AME you must be a character.

I spend most of the time in my doctor's office discussing his families trip down to Catalina, and the weight and balance concerns of his little old 172.

Document in had I'm stamped and approved for another two years.