Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hundred acre woods type wind!

     Friday the 27th was supposed to clear up in the afternoon, but alas it was rainy and snowy all day.  So Mike and I rescheduled for Saturday around 330pm.  Right around noon or so, the clouds lifted, the sun came out and it was an absolutely beautiful day.  That is until I walked outside.  Those of you who have read or watched Winnie the Pooh probably remember Pooh or Christopher Robin carrying or wearing something that gets taking by the wind and they spend the rest of the story searching for it?  That's what Saturday was like.

     I walked out side and put my hat on a little loose, rounded the corner and almost lost my hat.  Before leaving for the airport I chatted with Mike about the winds and he thought that this might be a "ground only" training day.  Winds were steady at around 19knots with 30+knot gusts.  Then the higher you went the faster the gusts became 40+ knots.  For a little plane like we're flying...that'll really knock you around.  So a ground lesson it was.

     So for twenty minutes we reviewed all the information we've gone over since we started.  Since we were on the topic of weather and wind in the area, we decided that would be a great learning topic.  We covered just about every topic of weather we could.  Not every thing but alot!  We covered clouds, wind, fog, temperatures....the list goes on and on.  Fog...I never thought about fog before.  Except it stinks to drive through and it's there.  I never knew there were a bunch of different types of fog, or that they form under different circumstances.

      Then after about 40 minutes of weather we started talking about the systems in the plane.  We covered most of the systems used to tell you "where" and how "fast" you're going.   I'm flying the little 4 place Cessna 172.  I've flown two types of this particular plane and even though they look exactly alike from out side they are quite different in respect to each other.  One is the O-360 and the other engine is the IO-360.  The IO-360 is the fuel injected version, both cylinder displacements are exactly the same, 360cc.  But both have just about the same indicators on the front panel.

     An hour and half had gone by and we thought we'd check the weather one more time to see how the winds were doing (hoping they had died down a bit).  He gave me a couple of resources to use to do this.  Both are actually operated by the same organization, N.O.A.A.  The first was a numbered we called which is first routed through Lockheed Martin and on to a specific state office.  1(800)WX-BRIEF  The second of which, www.aviationweather.gov, is a website that you can get weather reports uploaded by individual airports.  After the phone call and weather updates online, it was clear that we were not going flying that day.  We have another flight scheduled for this week Friday the 3rd.  The forecast is looking good so far.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

2.9hours down a life time to learn!

Some great resources of aviation information are listed here.
Private Pilot Resource Page
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


     Every once in a while you run across a resource that helps you along and keeps you going.  A good friend of mine got his bachelors degree a while back.  One of his senior projects was to develop a web site.  As he is a private pilot he decided to make his website about everything flight.  His site has every thing from regulations to what to expect on your final check ride with the FAA.  He's still developing it but it's really cool and makes the information you need to know very easy to access in one spot.  Here's his site if you want to check it out.

Private Pilot Resource Page

His name is Alex Murphy, he has his private pilot and he's a Crew Chief in the United States Air Force Reserve.

Check it out.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

16 Knots True Airspeed

     January 6th, 2012 was a great day to fly!  We had a 20 knot wind out of the south west that we took to our advantage, and clear skies for all intent and purpose.  All that and I had a blast!

     We started out with a half hour ground lesson about traffic patterns and the workings of them.  We also reviewed information that we had gone over the previous few lessons.  After that we headed out for the plane and almost didn't make it.  We got about half way there and one of the guys came out of the building and motioned us over.  He thought that some one had already booked the plane we were about to use before we had.  If that had proved true that meant that we wouldn't have a plane to use for the day.  Two of the planes were down for maintenance, two were already rented and flying and the last, ours, was apparently already booked.  That did not sit well with me as I haven't flown since December 16th.  So we checked it out in the rental program and found that who ever was scheduled to fly it, had canceled.  WE HAD A PLANE!

     We did a preflight and started it up and I taxied out to the runway and Mike showed me how to check to make sure the magnetos were both working.  After all checks were good I taxied on to the runway and pushed the throttle to the firewall and let her roll down the runway.  At 55 knots I pulled back on the yoke and took off into some cool, yet bumpy air.  Wow what a work out!  I was sweating by the time we leveled off at 3,000 feet.

      After flying out towards London, OH I was eager to start doing the maneuvers we had been talking about!  First we set up the airplane like we were going to land and did some slow flight while maintaining our current altitude.  Then we proceeded to go into a power off stall and just pulled back on the yoke and let the plane slow way down and drop! Wow what a rush, that's all I can say!  After a few stalls we did some steep turns.  We were banked at 45 degrees and to keep our altitude I had to pull back on the yoke quite a bit.  Boy was I pinned to my seat!

     So like I said we had a twenty knot wind from the South West, and since an airplane stays aloft due to air flowing over the wings it doesn't matter if it's from forward motion or from the wind.  So we pointed our nose into the wind reduced our power and lowered a little bit of flaps to increase lift.  As we reduced our power our airspeed indicator said we were still flying at about 100 knots, but we looked down and it didn't look like we were going any where!  We had one thing that let us know exactly how fast we were going, a GPS.  I looked down and would you look at that 16 knots!  Mike said we could go up when the wind was a little faster and we could fly backwards!  I can't wait for that!

     After about an hour or flying we headed back to the airport where I flew the pattern a couple times while Mike did a touch and go and I got to set us up for landing the last time.  Mike put her down with finesse, and barely squeaked the tires when we touched down.  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day to fly and was psyched that we actually finally went up!  I now have 3 hours and am learning so much every day.

    3 hours down and a life time to learn!

I'll take pictures next Friday when we go up and post them here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


It has been since the 16th of December since I've flown last.  There has been bad weather on top of clouds on top of mixed schedules and timing has just been awful.  But the forecast for tomorrow is mostly sunny with a high of almost 50.  I've got school til 1pm and then it's a short trip around the airport for the lesson.  There has been way to much time in between lessons, and I'm believing for the weather to be a little nicer to me as the winter progresses.  I will update you all tomorrow on how the flight went!

Look at the radar! No precipitation!