Saturday, February 22, 2014


I'm still grounded. We went out to the airport this week to find ...nothing. I couldn't find the runway. Snow covered everything and the plow left great mounds of ice and snow where the taxi way should be. I'm still waiting on the thaw.

Rod Machado's "Learn to Fly" piece in the March 2014 AOPA Pilot is called "Expand your Mind". Among other poetry, he pointed to Solo by Patrick J. Phillips.

Thanks Rod.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Sally is snowed in. Butter Valley got the runway cleared, but the taxi way from my hangar is still unusable due to deep slippery snow. Today was beautiful flying weather so I am annoyed that I'm still stuck on the ground.

I got an offer earlier this week to fly with a friend. He lives adjacent to a private field (PA35) and had just plowed the runway. We jumped in his golf cart to get down to the hangar from his house. The Cessna 170b was already out of the hangar, preflighted and ready to go. A beautiful airplane.

It took me awhile to get acclimated. Not a standard six pack, I had to search for the gauges. GPS? He had an old one bolted to the copilot's yoke. The plane had everything needed to fly VFR cross country, just not the latest glass panel technology I've grown accustomed to. Have you ever flow in an airplane with a Venturi System? The tach fluctuated a bit making it difficult to see the magneto drop during the run up, but he could tell by the sound of the engine. All ground checks complete, we went flying.

What a joy. A clean flying honest airplane and pilot who knew how to get the most out of her. He wanted to practice some "under the hood" time and asked if I would be a safety pilot. I complied by giving altitude and configuration changes as well as assigning headings. It has been awhile since I've flown without a vertical compass card and was challenged by giving the proper direction for the turn. He did well. It was fun.

So as I contemplate whether to update my XM weather with ADSB, or improve my tablet with the latest with TIS hardware,  its good to remember what you really need in order to go flying. In order to have fun. Appreciate what you have.