Monday, July 06, 2009

Fall Flying 2009

As you can see I haven't posted any flying related blogs for quite some time.

As it stands right know I plan on getting my currency again this September and then resume flying again after that.

Have a great summer everyone.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Flying 2009

This year I haven't done any flying... many things contributed to this, but sufficed to say I do intend to get back at it in September.

I'll likely take a couple of trips with my old flight instructor to get everything current again and then I'll make some new posts.

This lack of flying does not mean that I haven't been busy though... I do have a new toy to spend my money on... my wife is starting to refer to my hobbies as a "bucket list".

I say "life is short, don't forget to live it !".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flying in August

I went for a flight recently with my friend Jamie. This is the same Jamie whose girlfriend had a mild panic attack last summer when we went flying.

This time it was just me and him and we had a great time. We flew east for a change and watched the Wood Islands ferry depart. It was fairly easy to spot from 20 miles away since it was basically a big white dot on a earth tone canvass, we were cruising at 3,000 ft.

I let Jamie take the controls and he did a fairly decent job of keeping us straight and level, next I had him do some gentle turns. I took back control and climbed to 4,000 ft, we then did some steep turns and stalls for practice. On the way back to the airport we dropped down to 1,000 ft to get a better look at the little communities we were flying over.

My landing was pretty good, it looked for a moment that it was going to be a "solid one", but I flared her out at just he right time and we gently touched the mains down with a light chirp.

I gotta do this more often.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Flying in July

Just got back from another local sight seeing flight with my brother and sister in-laws.

This was the first time either on them had been in a small aircraft. The flight went well, both of them were great passengers.

I took them along the beaches found on our north shore, then we switched over to Summerside unicom (which surprisingly answered my call) and did a loop over Summerside. Next we visited the confederation bridge and ended out flight with tour of the Charlottetown harbor.

It was a smooth morning for flying, with just a little distant haze.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ordered a headset today

I finally broke down and bought a headset today.

It was tough trying to decide which one to purchase but after reading some reviews I ordered a pair of DRE-1000s.

Now, this is a very entry level headset but it has received some very good reviews and for the money seem to be quite a good deal. I figured that I go cheap and purchase a (passenger) set first, that way I can give them a demo and if I'm happy with them I'll get another set for myself, or if I'm not, I'll upgrade to a higher end pair for myself.

The rational behind this is that I want to have two headsets of my own when I go flying, this will hopefully keep me from rummaging through the other aircraft at the school to find headsets for everyone.

Keep in mind that I'm still just renting and most of my flights are usually an hour or so. The headsets that I currently use are provided by the school free of charge - which is pretty nice deal as I understand most places charge a fee. The downside is that some of the sets are better than others, one time I had to swap the set out that I ended up with in order to improve/enable communication with the tower.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Up, Up and Away !

I booked a flight for Saturday morning with one of the new instructors at the flying school for a check out flight. It seems that since the school has added some additional staff my old instructor Dave no longer works weekends.

I've never been flying with Greg before but he always seemed to be a pretty easy going with a good sense of humor. I preflighted the aircraft and when Greg arrived we fired her up and finished up the preflight checks. During the magneto checks one of the spark plugs turned out to be fouled and it took a few extra minutes on the apron running Fern leaned out at a high power setting before she burned off the carbon deposits.

We took off and did a few circuits, it was a nice day and rather busy with two of the school's students in the pattern with us, us in the 172 and them in a 150 or 152. We ran our circuits a little larger than normal to account for the small differences in speed. We then departed to the training area located to the north east and did some upper air work review, my slow flight was text book bang on. Did some stalls and steep turns and finally we returned to the airport and did a crosswind landing on the inactive for practice. Greg was cool with me using my preferred crab method.

When then joined the active circuit and my final landing of the day was unusually "firm". Greg commented that, "at least we know we're down". I said something about how that sucked a big one.

As we were taxiing back to the apron Greg said that everything was great and he'd sign me off so that I now have my rental privileges back.

I'm looking forward to the summer... if it ever arrives on the East coast.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back in the saddle again... soon.

I dropped into the airport this afternoon and booked a "Shake the rust off" flight with one of the instructors for next Sat. I could just get checked out in the circuit but I want to also review some upper air work etc. I'll hit the books and probably read some of my older blogs to help me get refreshed.

I haven't been doing any flying of my own for the past four months, but I have been doing a lot of the commercial kind of flying though, but that really doesn't count does it?

I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Air Canada makes it right

I went out last night to the local airport to pick up my newly repaired bag. After a few minutes the local ticket agent comes back with what I thought was my bag but it's not actually. It seems that the handle on the old bag was far too damaged for repair so they have replaced it with a brand new bag, which is of slightly better quality than my original.

I am no longer ticked off, and they have been taken off my (won't give this company my business unless there is absolutely no alternative) boycott list.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Flying on the big iron

Last week I had to do some flying of the commercial kind, my destination was New Orleans. Obviously since there are no direct connections from Charlottetown to the "Big Easy", I had to make a couple of stops on the way down, via Montreal and Dulles.

I arrived at the airport very late, (eight minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave - damn taxi). I checked my bag and since I was very late I obviously needed to be punished so all I received from the customer service agent was my boarding pass for the first leg of my trip. Once I landed in Montreal I would have to leave the "secure zone" and go out to the United Airway's desk, stand in line and get the rest of my boarding passes.

I took my punishment quietly and thanked the ticket counter guy... at least he let me on. Since I was the only passenger in the whole entire airport that wasn't already on the aircraft I went quickly through security, they were all shaking their heads at me in disbelief, but they "processed" me quickly, I finally boarded the aircraft (a 50 passenger regional jet) and the door was immediately shut behind me... Whew I made it!

The flight down was fine and before we knew it we were in New Orleans and running around in light T-shirts. My checked bag was MIA but United assured me that it would be on the next aircraft which was due in two hours and that they would deliver it to my hotel that night (They kept their word).

The week went fast and before I knew it it was time to head north again. Everything went well until we got to Halifax. The weather coming into Halifax was crappy and the rough ride was making some of the passengers firmly hold the seat-backs in front of them. To me it felt like we were actually flying for the first time in the whole trip. It's amazing how smooth commercial travel is, you only have to fly small Cessnas for a short while to appreciate it!

We landed without any further drama and since we had a couple hours to kill we grabbed supper, for airport food it wasn't all that bad actually. Our Air Canada flight was scheduled for 6:15 but it got delayed due to a mechanical reasons, now this is what flying in Canada is all about! We finally boarded a replacement aircraft some three hours late. (Air Canada did not even offer us a complimentary coffee for our three hour wait, - great customer service). We rather quickly departed the airport and about 20 minutes later we arrived back home in Charlottetown, but we soon found out that our checked baggage didn't make the flight. I can only guess that Air Canada was in such a hurry to at least keep this aircraft on schedule that they didn't have time to load all our bags, which we had checked some five hours earlier at the Air Canada desk in Halifax.

So I and about ten other passengers filled out lost luggage reports and were assured that our bags would be tracked down and delivered to us. The ticket man told me that I could actually go to the Air Canada website and "just follow the links" to check on its location from the comfort of my computer.

The next day after wasting ten minutes trying to find the magically hard to find lost baggage web page, all it told me when I entered my information was that it didn't know where the heck my bag was. (Good luck trying to find the "link" - I finally gave up and did a key word search).

Literally 15 minutes later the Air Canada rep called me to tell me that he had my bag at the local airport and that I'd have it in a few minutes. This was great news but it kinda left me perplexed regarding Air Canada's bag tracking application called WorldTracer, it would seem that it couldn't locate my bag even when it was only a few miles away, let alone in the whole wide world. A great waste of time disguised as customer service if you ask me.

When my suitcase finally arrived at my home the main handle was completely ripped off and hanging by one side. I can only guess that the Air Canada's guy must have assumed that this was the condition in which they had received it. A few minutes later when I opened it all my clothes were completely soaked, I'm not talking damp I'm talking soaking wringing wet all the way to the middle of the suitcase. It was raining the night before and they must have left my bag out in the rain for the whole five hours! Thank god I left my training material in a plastic bag or all of it would have been destroyed. Great customer service.

Back on the Air Canada's website I finally track down the information that I need in order to get my bag fixed. It seemed that I have to take my bag back out to the airport and have the local ticket guy inspect it in person. Talk about going in circles. Now I get to waste more time, gas and money on parking. I approach the desk and present my bag for "personal inspection". He looks at it and then goes into the back office and quickly returns with a form which he starts filling out. After a couple of minutes I asked him what he's doing, since up to this point I am completely in the dark. He tells me that they are going to ship my bag across the country to the Air Canada repair shop and have it repaired. He hands me a piece of paper and tells me that I should have it back in a couple of weeks.

I take one long last look at and I have to refrain from waving good bye... I don't beleive that I'll ever see it again.

To sum it all up my trip was great until I got back to Canada, or should I say Air Canada. Then I waited for three hours in Halifax, finally got a damaged bag containing completely soaked clothing, and a encore trip back out to the airport to send my bag on another trip to the AIr Canada repair facility. Let's not forget that there's a chance that I might have to go back out to the airport and eventually pick it up again.

Next time I might drive to the closest American carrier just to avoid Air Canada in the future.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Flying with my daughter

Today I decided to take my 14 year old daughter up flying.

Breea joined air cadets this past fall and she seems to have an interest in becoming a pilot. I thought that I'd take her up and give her a chance at taking the controls for a few minutes to feel what it's like to control an airplane in flight. She has been up flying with me before but never in the front seat.

After a few minutes she got used to the yoke and how the aircraft handled, she was able to do some easy turns in no time.

It was a great flight and we took a few pics for the old family album.

free hit counter javascript