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Showing posts from 2010

FIFI the only Flying B-29

My youngest brother and I in November of 2010 got to go see the only flying B-29 when it came to the valley for a few days it was very neat. There was also a B-25 and B-17 there. We got to go inside of all of them and took lots of pictures. Below are some and on a link to even more.
Download the short podcast of the flight over here.

 Check out more pictures of our flight here.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy

Yep I did it, On November 1st I swore in and joined the U.S. Navy. I know there might be a lot of questions so I'll just tel the whole story.

Last year I got I changed my major to Air Traffic Management or Air Traffic Control (ATC) from the more general Aeronautical Management that I was doing. Really the only difference in the degree is that the last few classes in ATC are labs in ATC sims which seemed cooler then upper level management classes. Since taking these ATC classes I've found that I really do like them and would want to do ATC for a career. I do still want to be a pilot but I've since put that on hold. I need a job that I can support my family with. In order to be a pilot I would have to go at least another $10,000 in debt and after I get hired the average starting pay for a regional airline pilot is around $20,000 a year. With almost $100,000 (by that point) in student loans and a family to take care of, making only $20,000 a year won't cut it. So I start…

Copperstate Fly-in 2010

Copperstate Fly-In 2010 Oct 23, 2010
by Ben Cowden View Album
Play slideshow

Here are some photos from this years EAA Copperstate 2010, I flew down on saturday in the CAP airplane and hung out. We got to tour and talk with the captain of a the B-17 that flew down there from the CAF at Falcon Field. I ask if you had to be a really high time pilot to fly the B-17. He said "No" and that he was an account for his day job. To fly it is just like a big flying club that you buy into and it they see that you have some common sence and your head screwed on tight then they'll start to train you. I had never been in a B-17 before and it was a lot smaller then I thought it would be but man was it cool. I'm definitively going to join the CAF when I'm settled down a little more.

[Video] Air Bus A320 landing PHX Sky Harbor

I did it. I made the sacrifice and switched to AT&T and now have an iPhone 4. One of the features on the iPhone is that I can upload HD video that I took and edited on my phone to Youtube. I've done a few videos and wanted to post them on here. I flew a non-rev flight to Texas to see my cusins went to a Rangers game and rode along with my cusions who is a local cop there. tons of fun.








Shuttle Launch Meet-up

I know it’s been a while but it’s been a very eventful summer and now I’m back in school and all is well… Right.
If you haven’t been following me over the summer I went to Florida with my wife, 9-month-old son, and brother in law. The original reason for going was to see the STS-133 launch that was scheduled for the end of July. But after we had bought our non-refundable airline tickets and hotel room NASA pushed the launch back to the fall. We still went and had a great time at Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center. See picture below.

The next shuttle launch is scheduled for November 1st and I’m going to go. Here’s how.

Over the summer I was lucky enough to get an internship with the Mesa Air Group. Their training department, where I work, is also right where I go to school at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus at Mesa Phoenix Gateway Airport (KIWA), formally Williams Gateway Airport, formally Williams Air Force Base.

What does this have to do with seeing a shuttle lau…

[Video] CRJ-200 Sim

Last month as part of my intership at Mesa Air Group 3 other interns and I got to "play" in their Canada Regional Jet (CRJ) model 200 full motion simulator while they're was not pilot scheduled for training. It was loads of fun.

Number of Student Pilots Down

This is a short segment (3min) from NPR that talks about the decline in student pilots in the US and why. It's great to help anyone understand what is going on in the industry. 

Although most of the things in the story does hit the issue on the head I, along with JetWhine.com, don't agree that less student pilots will lead to less professional pilot. It will just lead to lower qualified pilots. One of two kinds, a fool who is up for his neck in debt or some one with rich parents.

So which one am I? Well I hope to be nether by staying clear of debt and not speeding though to stay proficient and professional. I'm learning that any schooling right now is going to put you in tons of debt. I plan to pay off my debt while working as an air traffic controller. At the same time building hours at CAP and working as an instructor aka Free flying. Then when I have enough hours I can get a good retirement for the FAA as an ATC and be hired as a pilot.

Flying is still my dream but I l…

CAP O Flight

This last Wednesday morning I did my first Civil Air Patrol cadet Orientation Flight (or O flight). Three 13 year-old cadet boys and I went off for a 2 hour flight making 2 stops letting each cadet taking turns in the front seat flying. Each cadet gets 5 of these in CAP. First stop was Case Grande, second was Coolidge airport. When we landed we saw a DC-4 on the ramp fueling up. We got out and walked over to it. You don't see a DC-4 everyday and after talking with the pilot we learned that some one had bought the old plane that had been at Coolidge for years and they were ferrying it up to Anchorage, Alaska. They let us climb inside and take a look around. It going to be used to hall fuel to small towns in the bush in Alaska. I only had my cell phone for pictures so they are not that great but cool none the less.

me and the three cadets.
These are the big tank they had in the back to hall the fuel.

UPDATE 6/13/10: I got sent some more pics from a little better camera so I thought I w…

[Video] Flightbag and Survival Gear

A little while back I was listening to the Uncontrolled Airspace podcast ep. 186 and they were talking about flight bags and all the things that they carry in their flight bag. I was shocked when they didn't mention any survival gear that they carry. I consider survival gear an essential part of flying and my flight bag. I put this together to show everyone what I carry and give some ideas. I'm open for any input so send it my way.


Arizona Survival Gear from Trevor Smith on Vimeo.

Download the video HERE for your mobile device.

[Video] RC School Project

In my Aircraft Design and Logistics Management class at Arizona State we made a Radio Controlled Airplane. But the way we did it was the class was step up like a company would be with a design, supply, manufacturing, etc. departments that all worked together to make the plane. I learned a lot and was a neat idea for the class. The grade we got in the class was not based on if the plane flew but how we worked together and what we learned from it.

I was in the test and evaluation department and charged with recording and editing this video which is a summary of the semester.


Arizona State RC Airplane Project Spring 2010 from Trevor Smith on Vimeo.
Download the video for your mobile device

Through the students into Scottsdale

This is a recording of a flight back into Scottsdale coming home from a 5 hours Civil Air Patrol exercise. We are flying in from the north west and there are tons of students around we really had to have our heads on a swivel.




http://www.archive.org/download/FlyingIntoSdl/CapIntoSdl.mp3

CAP flying videos

I did another funded Civil Air Patrol (CAP) flight this last week. Instead of taking my audio recorder this time I decided to shoot some video. I shot video in the past with the video function on my camera but I've since gone out and bought a Kodak Zi8 that shoots HD. I'm still getting used to all the settings that I has. The video I shot for this flight was not the best that I think the camera can shoot. The morning shots seem to be fine but the prop wash seems to get really bad later in the day. I'm going to try to mount it in some different locations in the plane and see what works best. Because the shots were so different I didn't edit a nice video I just put some of the raw shots on the web.







Free Flying!

Download podcast here:
http://www.archive.org/download/FundedCapFlt/fundcapflt.mp3

This flight is my first really funded flight flying for the Civil Air Patrol that I flew last Tuesday. My squadron at Falcon Field Airport (FFZ) just got a plane assigned to them again and today I signed up for a crew pick up flight. The Arizona Wing does consolidated maintenance and for good or for bad some has to go pick up the pilot that takes their plane in to the shop in Payson (PAN). On this flight I pick up a pilot after he dropped off his plane and took him back to his car at Chandler Municipal (CHD).

Falcon Field like many in the Phoenix valley has its roots as an Army Air Corps field build for training British pilot in World War II. Falcon Field was it's original name give to it by the British in the 40's and the name has suck since. Currently it has one 5100ft and a parallel 3800ft runways and is one of the busier airports in the valley one probably my favorite. 
This recording is just …

[Video] B-17 at IWA doing touch-n-gos

Boeing B-17 touch-n-gos at IWA from Trevor Smith on Vimeo.

Podcast Download:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13836556/b17touchngo.mp4

I was driving (Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010) to Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport where I go to school back from lunch and looked up and saw the B-17G Sentimental Journey fly over the car on final a few hundred feet off the ground doing touch-n-gos. The plane is based at Falcon Field (FFZ), just to the north of IWA, and operated by the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force I've never see a B-17 flying before and it was quite a sight.

The video in the podcast feed is a lower quality the one found on the blog so it can be viewed on an ipod

Mom's First Flight

This episode is my mother and I flying back from Payson, AZ to have breakfast with my Grandpa on his 79th Birthday. Mom did great she was a little nervous but that is normal from anyone who hasn't sent too much time in little airplanes. Here is a link to her blog where she talks about the flight and posts a few more pictures.



The breakfast crew

IFR training and Harriers

First I wanted to note that in the podcast I said this flight was done in September that is not true it was November 2009. 



I flew a plane from Chandler (CHD) to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway (IWA) to pick up my instructor then we flew south to Coolidge (P08) did a DME arc on the way out then shot an approach in to Coolidge and one in at Gateway coming back.

Here are some photo of the cool planes on the ground at Gateway.






The red line is CHD to IWA blue is the IFR training and pink is IWA to CHD.


Click here to see a 3D map of the flight using Google Earth