Sunday, February 24, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #13

Solo Flying

It has taken me longer than I wanted to get this one out. I have probably accumulated another 10 hours since this one. I have had the flu and have not felt up to editing the last couple of weeks. Not the most interesting of my podcasts, but hey.....flying is cool anyway you put it. My goal was to catch the sun rising but ground fog rolled in just when I was set to taxi out so I had to postpone for an hour. It is just me by myself talking so not too much in the educational department. Enjoy!

-Greg

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Friday, February 15, 2008

First Dual Cross Country

Yesterday we flew our first dual cross country. I flew the 172 (N183SP) from Melbourne (MLB) to Okeechobee (OBE). Flight time was 35 minutes. For this cross country we used pilotage and dead reckoning for navigating. I really enjoyed navigating this way. Although the trip was short, it is interesting to see just how accurate the sectionals are. I managed to stay fairly accurate to the estimated airspeed (105 kts.). I was surprised at how quickly the checkpoints arrived. Once I calculated the time it took us to get from our first checkpoint to the second, it was time to look for the next checkpoint. After the next checkpoints, Casey asked me if I could see my next major landmark. Well.....if you look at a map of Florida, there is this gigantic body of water in the south central part of Florida. I pondered for a few moments and looked at my sectional only to see no more checkpoints, but I did not see anything that jumped out at me. Little did I know that about 15 miles in front of me was the huge lake of Florida known as...well....Lake Okeechobee. Once I saw that, I knew the airport was close. We had an uneventful landing and went inside to have some coffee and take a short break. They had a complimentary coffee/cappuccino/french vanilla/hot chocolate....you get the picture, machine in the lounge so I enjoyed a french vanilla and managed to scald the tar out of the roof of my mouth so needless to say nothing tasted the same for the rest of the night. On our way back to Melbourne, I got a little off course because I read from the sectional a bend in the Florida Turnpike that was a bend off to the west so I was flying about 5 miles west of our ground track. Other than that, the trip went fine for my first one. What did I learn? Don't focus so much on too much detail in the sectional. See the big picture. The sectionals are very detailed and when something is just off of the right of your ground track....it really is...just off to your right. The scale is much closer than I was thinking. Also, stay ahead of the airplane. I always know this, but easier said than done when your 3500. And the last thing - get a kneeboard so you’re not fumbling with everything when the ride is bumpier than expected. Our next cross country scheduled next Thursday is from Melbourne (MLB) to Lakeland (LAL) to Orlando Executive (ORL) and back to Melbourne. I have already started plotting the course. I should learn a lot on this one seeing as how both LAL and ORL are Class D airspace.

-Greg

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #12

Busy week....finally I am able to get this out to you all. This is from last Saturday the 2nd. We intended to fly to Melbourne (MLB) for some more towered field work as well as Sebastian Municipal (X26). We only made it to Melbourne due to some holdups at Valkaria. In my previous post I mentioned the headset frustration so you will get to see it first hand in this one. Overall it was a good lesson as aggravating as it was. You are always guaranteed to learn something each time you fly, no matter your level of experience. I've taken a few more videos so I have plenty of material for the next few podcasts. I just need to find the time to edit them. This one took a while, since I wrote the music for it. Sometimes the better musical ideas come when you are not even trying to write anything.

-Greg

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Solo Flying and Next Scheduled Podcast

Hello everyone. I have been flying a little by myself the last few days. I had a Saturday lesson and got there early and took the plane around the pattern a few times......because I can!!!! :-) I also took the plane up after my lesson. Am I crazy for doing stalls my first real flight on my own????? Maybe, but I feel I needed to do them. I was shaking after I did them, though...just knowing that I did not have my instructor there. For my lesson we went to Melbourne again for some more radio work and touch and go's. The radio work was frustrating. I returned the Bose headset that I was trying out, and used a set that one of my friends gave me. I can't complain because he was nice enough to give them to me, but going from the Bose to passive noise cancelling is a big change for me. I had a hard time repeating everything back to ATC so I blamed it on the headset. :-) Needless to say I am on the hunt for a good ANR headset. I love the BOSE but it is difficult for me to justify the expense. I shot some video of Melbourne and also a couple days of solo flying. I went up Sunday morning and the weather was great. Yesterday....not so much. The wind was around 12KT but straight down runway 14 so I did not consider it to be a factor and it was a good opportunity to practice some ground reference maneuvers over the practice area. As I continued flying though, the winds varied much stronger than I was comfortable with so I decided to head back to Valkaria. I have more to tell you about that in another post but overall I was able to get done what I needed to. Keep checking back for the next podcast. I will try to work on it this evening.

-Greg