Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #24

SPJ Audio and Video Capturing:

This podcast will answer 2 of the most frequently asked questions and that is how I capture audio and video for the podcast.  This video will also feature 2 products from a company called Foreflight- Foreflight Checklist and Foreflight Mobile.  Below is a direct link to the audio cable and camera mount that I will feature as well as links to Foreflight.

Audio Cable:

Camera Mount (Updated 2017):

Mount is discontinued. There are several on the market and too many to list here as a recommendation. 



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #23

Instrument Flying Lesson 1

I took my first instrument flying lesson. Not much video to look at, but at least it is documented. As you can imagine there is not much of a visual when doing instrument training. It also did not help that I forgot my camera mount so my apologies for the less than average quality and the audio has some noise issues. I edited the audio the best that I could to cut out the scratchiness that you may hear from time to time. Suggestions for future instrument podcasts are always welcome. Just like the private is always an experiment to capture the training effectively.


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lunch in New Smyrna

Hello everyone. The weather finally improved this week enough to get some flying in. I have not been able to fly as much as i have wanted to lately. Work has been hectic among other things. Today I took off early and picked my sister up and we flew for a late lunch to New Smyrna (EVB). Sorry David....I left work early so I knew you could not go...and that 152 is tiny... :-) I promise we will go soon.....anyway...There is a great little restaurant off of the airport called Stellas Skyline Cafe. I have been there a couple of times before and the trip is fairly uneventful so it was a good choice. The weather was great with a few bumps. Clouds stayed scattered at 3500 and apparently everyone had the same idea as me for flying 2500. I contacted Orlando Approach for flight following and they were constantly updating all of us at the same altitude. I tried to get the club 172 or the Archer but they were both reserved so I opted for the 152. What a long trip...weighing in at an hour to get there. I followed the interstate and I swore cars were passing me.

In the next week or so I will be filming a new podcast. This one will be a little different. Often I am asked how I record video and audio so I figured it would be a good opportunity to answer that in a podcast. I will also be showing off some iPhone apps as well. I have been using foreflight mobile and I recently purchased "Checklist" from the same vendor. I need to get the iPhone suction mount first. The company is on back order for the cradle that the phone sits in. Anyway, be on the lookup for that in a couple of weeks when I can coordinate an flight to show it all off.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #22

Part 1:

Please welcome fellow club member Peter Jensen to this weeks video podcast. Peter is currently pursuing his instrument rating with Casey Allen as his instructor. This video documents Part 1 of a 250 NM cross country. I enjoyed riding along on this one as I am gearing up for my instrument training as well. For Florida, this is about as much as you get for instrument conditions. Enjoy!


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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #21

Flying With Jason:'s been a long time since I did an sorry. I have been flying a little, although not near as much as when I was training. I have a few flights on video, but finding the time to edit has been an issue. I finally made myself sit down and get this one out. This is a flight with my good friend Jason. We did not fly anywhere in particular, but Jason was able to get some good pictures and we got enough altitude to get a smooth flight. I will try to be more consistent in the future and put out more episodes. Here are some photos from this podcast flight:

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Flying Today (As a New Private Pilot)

Sorry to be out of touch. It is funny how I was building up to this grand finale of getting my Private Pilot License and then I put a video saying I passed it but I never put any text on the blog that I passed the PASSED THE CHECKRIDE!!!! YIPPEEE!!!

I have been able to fly every weekend this month, but I was not shooting any video. Today I took up my friend Jason, and he took some pictures and we got some video so I will get out a podcast soon. On another note, I got a chance to talk to a student pilot this evening who has a podcast that you should check out. His name is Bill Williams and he is the host of The Student Pilot Cast. He has a few audio podcasts as well as a couple of video podcasts. Bill had emailed me right after my checkride, but I finally got around to actually talking to him last night and today. Be on the lookout for a podcast with the 2 of us. We have been bouncing some ideas off each other for future podcasts. Be sure to check out his blog here.

Aside from flying the norm, I got a chance to fly in a 2007 Cirrus SR22 G3 Turbo. A friend of my instructors took me up as a treat for passing the checkride. Can you say...nice? Can you say...AC?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #20

No flight video yet. Just me talking for a minute or two. That is all I will say. More flying videos to come.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #19

Checkride Update and Status:

This is a brief update of what has been going on. My checkride is scheduled for tomorrow, May 29, 2008. Sorry, but no flight video...just me driving. I am stuck on editing the Seneca flight, because I have not had time to put music to it. Hopefully, I will be able to post something after the checkride.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Checkride Scheduled

I finally got a date for the checkride. It is scheduled for Thursday, May 29. Flying has been sporadic this month due to various aircraft maintenance issues and environmental reasons. We have had some major forest fires in the area and the division of forestry put a TFR out that included Valkaria so that caused a weeks worth of headaches because we could not even get to the plane to fly it somewhere else. I got checked out last night for the 172 so that will be good. When I pass the ckeckride I will be able to take a couple of people and actually carry some fuel. :-) I don't really have any new video to show since we have only been drilling in the same maneuvers over and over. I have been editing a flight that I took in a Piper Seneca so I will at least show that and also give a brief video update of my progress before the flight video. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #18

Check Ride Prep

A little late, but here is the footage for the short and soft field takeoffs and landings. I also included another day in here due to the fact that my camera continued to fall throughout the short/soft video. The last half of the podcast documents our return to basic maneuvers such as power on and power off stalls and emergency procedures. As of this journal entry things are progressing as planned. We are having some difficulty scheduling an FAA examiner, though. The DPE that the club primarily uses is having a medical issue that is under review from the FAA. Our other option is an airline pilot from Merritt Island. Unfortunately due to the current Delta/Northwest merger, he has been out of reach...not sure what the deal is with that. -Enjoy


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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #17

This episode documents my long cross country from Valkaria (X59) to Pahokee (PHK) to Vero Beach (VRB) and back to Valkaria. Aside from a couple more hours of hood work, this flight marks the completion of Part 61 requirements for the private pilot certificate. To date I have logged just over 40 hours and move on to my next phase of check ride prep. Yesterday we brushed up on short and soft field landings and I will release the video footage for that later in the week. For this episode I left in a lot of radio work, since that covers most of the CC. Towards the end of the video we have some humerous audio from Miami approach which proved to be entertaining for my wife and I when we watched the orginal footage. Maybe it is one of those "you had to be there" moments but I enjoyed it. Enjoy.


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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

FAA Private Pilot Written Exam.....Passed!!!

I took my private pilot written exam this morning and passed with a 92%. I can't help but be bummed that I did not score higher, but I am trying to look past it and realize that I am through with the written and can focus on check ride prep. Weather and skill level permitting, I should be able to take my checkride this month. I picked up a copy of the PTS (Practical Test Standards) and oral exam guide and we will take the PTS along with us when we fly to go over each manuever and mark them as pass/fail to get ready for the test. I need to squeeze in a couple hours of instrument but we can do that during prep. I am so excited and of course nervous, but will be glad when I can pass the checkride. Thanks for all of the emails and feel free to contact me anytime at



Saturday, March 29, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #16

First Solo Cross Country!

This episode of the Student Pilot Journal documents my first successful solo cross country from Valkaria (X59) to Pahokee (PHK). Notice that I said successful. I had previously tried to accomplish it but low ceilings caused me to play it safe and turn around about 15 miles out. Better safe than sorry. I chose to get flight following for the entire CC. I have to say that flight following makes things so much easier. It never hurts to have another set of eyes on your route. This episode only shows the trip to PHK. I forgot to plug the audio cable into the camera when I changed tapes at Pahokee so the trip back was noisy. It was probably a good thing because I started back trying to hook up with Melbourne's VOR at the North side of the lake and soon discovered how flaky the VOR is. I can only imagine what my ground track looked like as I was trying to intercept it. All in all things went very well aside from my Pahokee landing which was way off centerline due to slacking on the sideslip over the runway. Crosswinds are commonplace at Pahokee airport.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Steve Tupper From Airpseed Podcast Visit

Throughout my flight training and this podcast I have been talking back and forth with Steve Tupper from The Airspeed Podcast. Early on I learned what a huge aerospace junkie he was. I never claim to know too much about it myself....hey...I just work there. IT guys can be fairly involved in their work, you know. Forget everything else. :-) Early in the year he had made mention of a planned trip to Kennedy Space Center which is literally just down the street from my office so I offered him a tour of our satellite processing facility at Astrotech. Last week we were able to meet and it was a pleasure to have him. Of course we talked a good bit about flying and then proceeded with the tour. I am sure most of you reading this are well aware of Steve and his podcast, but if you are not please check it out here. He is just as nice in person as he is in the podcast. I hope to meet up with him again in the future. It truly is amazing how you can meet people through the podcasting medium.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #15

Dual Cross Country

This is the video for the dual cross country from Melbourne to Okeechobee. See the blog post from Feb. 15 for details on the flight.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #14

Night Flying

This was my first introduction to a number of things. Night flying, a Cessna 172, right hand traffic pattern at an unfamiliar airport, and takeoff from a towered airport. The video quality is extremely dark, so in an attempt to make things somewhat better I increased the resolution of the video to 640x480 so you might make out some objects so this is the reason for the larger download. It is still pretty dark, though. There is some good audio for those interested in what is different with night flying.


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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!


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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 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 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.


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.


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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.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

3rd Supervised Solo Completed!

Finally.....I finished my 3rd and final supervised solo. The weather really cooperated for us. My landings went a lot better...not perfect, but much better than before. My wife and son were able to make this one so it meant that much more to me. The night was ending good until I drove out of the gate. My wife had decided to walk to her truck which was parked outside the fence. As I drove through the motion activated gate it closed behind me, which locked her in. I don't have my badge yet so I had no way to open the gate and nobody was around. Fortunately, my instructor was nice enough to turn around and come back to let her out. Aside from that things went better than I expected, and I am excited about what lies ahead. I went by one of the clubmember's house and picked up a set of keys to the 152. I am now able to take the plane by myself for solo work per FAR 61.89 (Student Pilot General Limitations). My next lesson is this Saturday. We will be flying to a couple of other airports so I can get my endorsement for solo flights to those airports, otherwise I am limited to flying around Valkaria. I got some outside video of the takeoffs and landings that I may post on the blog. They are not enough for a podcast so I will probably incorporate them into another flight and post it later. I have been receiving more email from all of you lately. I really enjoy reading all of them so please keep them coming. You can email me at

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #11

Second Supervised Solo Podcast Video!

We tried something different for the camera in this one. We mounted it on the passenger window (Out of my view, of course...for safety) which gave an over the nose view. It was a cool morning with winds around 4 kts. Per my previous post, my landings left a bit to be desired. I have picked them apart and will get them down for the next solo. I would appreciate feedback on the new camera view at or you can leave a comment by clicking the link below.


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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #10

First Solo Podcast Video!

It is finally here. I did the best I could without pulling out the rest of my hair.....if I can even say that. My original video was more inspiring, but I did the best I could with the music that I could find and use. The music makes the video more comical than anything. Thanks to all who have emailed and posted comments as well as those who have given reviews on iTunes. I really do appreciate the kind words. ;-)

-Greg S

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

2nd Supervised Solo

Bad weather scrubbed Friday's lesson but I just got back from Valkaria and did my second supervised solo. I could not have asked for calmer winds, but that still did not stop me from making the worst landings of my training so far. This time I was coming in too fast and flaring too late....just call me Kamikaze. I will have it down for next time. The outside video camera reported a bad video tape head when Casey tried to shoot video on the ground. I guess that was a good thing since my landings were so bad. I got some inside video and will try to combine some from today's solo and my first solo. I will work on that tomorrow and try to post in the evening with the footage. I will fly my last supervised solo next Thursday or Saturday, and then we will start some dual cross countries and I will be able to go out on my own in the local area....solo. See you all soon!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Flying this Friday

Sorry I have not put anything out. I am having difficulty finding music that is fitting for my solo video. I guess I will have to write and record it myself.....which will prove to be time consuming. I have a flight this Friday and one the next morning on Saturday. I should be able to get at least one more supervised solo in, if not 2. Weather will be a key factor. I will do my best to get some video, even if its just me talking things out by myself while in the pattern. Thanks for all of the support!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Solo!

I did it! The weather was set to deteriorate quickly after 10am so we started a little before 9 and stayed in the pattern. I did 2 landings and Casey asked how I felt about going up on my own. Even though my second landing was shaky I felt good about going up so I agreed to it. I am putting the finishing touches on background music for the video footage. I need to keep things legal so I am searching for non copyrighted material that I can use that is fitting for flying. I have 2 more supervised solos and then I will be able to go out on my own for the solo portion of the training. The weather continues to be bad this week so we will try again early next week.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

No Solo Today

I guess this post jumps right over the phase check. Last Friday I went up with another instructor and did a phase check to make sure I was safe for solo. We went through some maneuvers and landings. I was fairly nervous being with someone new, so things could have gone better. Despite my mediocre performance for the lesson, he signed off and gave me an ok for solo. I passed the "safe part" at least.

Now fast forward to today:

I woke up this morning only to see overcast skies and heavy fog. Visibility was less than a mile and things did not look hopeful until an hour after my scheduled time of 10 am. We waited and finally got a break in the clouds. If things went well I would solo...maybe. I unpacked my camera, mount, and audio cable. I turned the camera on and to my surprise the battery indicator was flashing. I was sure that I had charged it. I had a spare battery and was hopeful, so I attached it and it indicated that it had 57 minutes so I turned it off to save battery life until solo time. I also brought a smaller camera for my instructor to use on the ground if I had the chance to solo. When we took off we had some strong gusts so we climbed to 3000 to avoid the remaining clouds. Things were breaking up at this point so it was easy to get around. It was a lot smoother once we got higher so we did some slow flight and stalls. After that we started the descent and worked on some landings and got some crosswind practice. It took me a couple of times to compensate for the wind drift and at this point I knew that I was not going to solo today. What a bummer, but everything happens for a reason. We did not get an ounce of video and no solo. We will try again during the week. :-(

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #9

Back to flying! I am glad to be at it once again.....a week off feels like an eternity sometimes. I'd fly everyday if I could. For this lesson I was introduced to some hood work (Instrument work). For your private certificate you need a minimum of 3 hours instrument time. I included some video of things that have already been shown in previous podcasts, but it was such a beautiful day that I had to include some footage. All my videos are shot in HD and I wish I was able to show you just how awesome the view a better resolution. It was great to see the waves crashing along the coastline and the manatees in the water. I even saw a set of four tires in the water...I hope there was not a car attached to the past! Maybe somewhere down the road, I will publish a page of all the podcasts in HD, but the file sizes can get out of control, so for now the current format will have to work. :-( I will be flying this Friday with another instructor for the pre-phase solo so wish me luck.


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Thursday, January 3, 2008

No Flying This Week

Weather scrubbed today's lesson. We had some of the coldest temperatures come through the last couple of days. We had temperatures in the low 30's with the wind chill around 25°. The cold was not a factor, however. Today was rather windy with gusts around 25 kts. The windsock at Valkaria was erratic which would have made for some interesting flying. Such is life. I was looking forward to trying out a new headset, but I guess that will have to wait. My instructor is flying out of state this weekend so we will not have a lesson until some time next week. Until then I will keep reviewing my previous lessons and study for my written.