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.