Sunday, March 16, 2014

Feelings of a pilot



John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was 19 years-old become fighter pilot in for the RAF in 1941 and died later that year in battle. He wrote this Poem on the back of a letter addressed to his father. It is an inspiration to every aviator.

High Flight

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Flying through the clouds

Made this video when I went flying last fall. Clouds are a rare site in Arizona so it's a big deal when you see one.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Back in the air...

Some of you might think that I have fallen off of the blogging world. Well you would be kind of right. With work, home, and trying to finish up my bachelor's degree blogging kind of took the back burner but I haven't stop flying. Last year I got checked out with the Plus One Flyers flight club here in San Diego. I've posted a few of these pictures on twitter and some on facebook I post more in real time there. Here are a few photos from some flights from last fall.


Took my son up in Sep for his first flight in the front seat.
we flew over San Diego bay he was the photographer




In Oct my brother-in-law few to Arizona was a good cross country flight




on the ground at Chandler Muni (CHD) just in time for the wedding
I flew back alone a few days later 


rare clouds



sand dunes by Yuma, AZ
On Halloween my son and I took a flight to French Valley (F70) in Temecula, CA

when we landed back home in El Cajon (SEE) the CAF had some planes out

My son had fun



Monday, January 21, 2013

Champ Story on Airplane Geeks

If you are like me you listen to a plethora of aviation podcasts. I think some of the best aviation news comes from them and they stay on the topic I most care about most... aviation. A few months back I was listening to an episode of the Airplane Geeks Podcast and they were talking about the airplane of the week. One of the choices was the Aeronca Champ.

If you didn't know back in the fall of 2008 I received my tailwheel endorsement in a red 1942 7AC Aeronca Champ. I don't think I've loved and airplane more then the Champ. I think it's a smilier experience to a first car or girl friend you never seem to forget it. Flying the Champ is real stick and rudder flying. Like any tail dragger you have to be quick on the rudder peddles but not hard I can still hear my instructor saying toe pressur that's all you need to control the rudder, sometimes not even that much just thinking about adding left or right rudder would do the trick. There is a real finesse in flying that I think so lost flying heavy more stable aircraft like a Cessna 172 or Piper Warrior. Just before my tailwheel endorsement I had just earned my private from Arizona State University's Pilot Development Program. A great program that gave me a great base of knowadge of aviation and my future certificates. But it was also very airline cockpit and Crew Resource Management (CRM) oriented.  The company procedures were many and the Pilot Operating Hand Book (POH) for each plane were hundreds of pages along with the other supplement guides that the school required to fly with. In contrast the Champs POH was barley 50 pages. The equipment on board was a radio, transponder, altimeter,  airspeed indicator  and an oil temp gauge. Flying the Champ was like riding a bicycle  Once I got the hang of it and in coordinated flight you could just feel everything in balance and it felt good. The visibility in the plane was amazing. It had large windows all around you and tandem seating so there was no one next to you to block your view. With a stick between your legs in place of a yoke it made the Champ more my kind of flying. After receiving my endorsement the Champ was my first choice for the airplane I wanted to take up as offen as I could when going around the patch or for short trips. It was fun and cheap then only $62 an hour wet!

The airplane geeks did featured the Champ as the airplane of the week and David Vanderhoof did a great history segment on it followed by a story I told about flying back from Payson AZ to Mesa AZ  and the experience I had of almost running out of fuel, I thought. hope you enjoy.

Download the podcast here.

This is the day I got my endorsement
My favorite picture in Champ coming in short final in to Falcon Field AZ (FFZ)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New FAA Medical Process with MedXPress

It was that time again to renew my FAA medical, and if you are like me then you are new to the FAA's online process. The FAA have stream lined the process on a new web site at  medxpress.faa.gov. The Stuck Mic AvCast did a recent episode on the process on MedXpress. Having just finished I'll recap what I did.

First if you are a 20-something like me the the online form at MedXpress is extremely easy to fill out to set up an account on the MedXpress site. The site only has one form to fill out. FAA Form 8500-8. This is the old form that you used to fill out at the doctors office. After filling it out online you can print it out and save it as a PDF file. I love saving things as a PDF I have a folder in the DropBox cloud service that I keep all of my important papers so I don't lose it.




This online process is just for the FAA Form 8500-8 so if you have any special considerations those must still be filled out by hand. I recently got LASIK and didn't really know what to do. I asked around on the web and some one said to call AOPA. They have a medical staff there to answer question. I called them up and they said I need to have my Optometrist fill out the FAA Form 8500-7. I did and brought it with me to my Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).

I am pretty young and don't really have problems with my medical. Since moving to San Diego I wanted to find a AME that was the best price and I think I found him. He is retired, only works 2 days and only does aviation medicals. The best part is he only charges $60. (I know score.) The office was a little behind and since I didn't had extra paperwork or any work really for them they only charged my $40. I hope everyones medical experience can be that good.

The medical it self is no longer a thick brown paper with embossed numbers on top. Its now just a computer print out that you cut out the medical.



When I saw it I was initially turned off. It's just a piece of paper and a computer print out but then I thought its only a computer print out. Meaning I'll scan it and put it in the DropBox on my computer and if I lose or it gets ruined since it's just a print out I'll just print another one. Too easy. Thank FAA for making it simple.

Friday, December 21, 2012

T'was the night before Christmas, and out on the Ramp

This poem has been around the internet a while and probably on paper longer. Just a quick search I found it on AvWeb in 2006 and on an Airline forum in 2003. Another had posted it again this year and it made my smile so I thought I'd recored it here. I got bored and added the links in below.




T'was the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.
The aircraft were fastened to tie downs with care,
In hopes that -- come morning -- they all would be there.

The fuel trucks were nestled, all snug in their spots,
With gusts from two-forty at 39 knots.
I slumped at the fuel desk, now finally caught up,
And settled down comfortably, resting my butt.

When the radio lit up with noise and with chatter,
I turned up the scanner to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow,
Called for clearance to land at the airport below.

He barked his transmission so lively and quick,
I'd have sworn that the call sign he used was "St. Nick."
I ran to the panel to turn up the lights,
The better to welcome this magical flight.

He called his position, no room for denial,
"St. Nicholas One, turnin' left onto final."
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight Rotax Reindeer!

With vectors to final, down the glideslope he came,
As he passed all fixes, he called them by name:
"Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!
On Comet! On Cupid!" What pills was he takin'?

While controllers were sittin', and scratchin' their heads,
They phoned to my office, and I heard it with dread,
The message they left was both urgent and dour:
"When Santa pulls in, have him please call the tower."

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
Then I heard, "Left at Charlie," and "Taxi to parking."
He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh,
And stopped on the ramp with a "Ho, ho-ho-ho..."

He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I ran out to meet him with my best set of chocks.
His red helmet and goggles were covered with frost,
And his beard was all blackened from Reindeer exhaust.

His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale,
And he puffed on a pipe, but he didn't inhale.
His cheeks were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster's belly.

He was chubby and plump, in his suit of bright red,
And he asked me to "fill it, with hundred low-lead."
He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,
I knew he was anxious for drainin' the sump.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
And I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom, and sighed in relief,
Then he picked up a phone for a Flight Service brief.

And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,
These reindeer could land in an eighth-mile fog.
He completed his pre-flight, from the front to the rear,
Then he put on his headset, and I heard him yell, "Clear!"

And laying a finger on his push-to-talk,
He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.
"Take taxiway Charlie, the southbound direction,
Turn right three-two-zero at pilot's discretion"

He sped down the runway, the best of the best,
"Your traffic's a Grumman, inbound from the west."
Then I heard him proclaim, as he climbed through the night,
"Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight."

Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Call Sign: "Atlas"

Today I official graduated from ASTAC school I received my call sign "Atlas". Not the paper map, the greek god charged with holding up the entire world. Ya I know I'm awesome at least today. The story behind a call sign is never really fully told but I did have a lot on my shoulders during the course and still made it through, now on to the fleet.
The middle 5 is our class with instructors on the ends. From left to right our class call signs: Jeeves, Snorlax, Atlas, SAP, Siri

In Greek mythology, Atlas was the primordial Titan who held up the celestial sphere.