Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In the Hangar

I recently started using Lightroom 5 to develop my pictures. The software does pure magic working with the stills captured from the Virb so I decided to experiment with some shots taken with really poor lighting conditions. I'm satisfied.

Nice reflected light pattern
Nose art

The panel.
I'm really very fortunate to be in a hangar. This was Sally a few years ago when we were tied down at Butter Valley.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Planning a Trip

This is how I typically plan my trip:

1. http://skyvector.com/ to check initial distance. This will tell me how many flying days should be planned.

2. http://airnav.com/plan/fuel/ Break trip down into 200 mile legs. Find 6 routes (or so). Provides rough idea of intermediate stops.


3. Check airport comments and nearby alternates. Eliminate poor reviews. Elevate those with interesting comments. I'll also check comments on AOPA. I prefer places I've never been...adds to the adventure for me.

4. I plan 600 miles a day for travel (2 fuel stops before an overnight) Consider "on airport" dinners/restaurants. Check on accommodations, for me AND Sally. (I like to actually talk to someone at the FBO if I plan to spend the night.)

a. 600 miles ~ 6 hours. That's enough time for me to be flying a small airplane each day. Add in preflight, fueling and securing the airplane it easily turns into 8 or 9 hours. If the weather is good and my energy level is good I can skip a stop. But I'm usually ready for a break after a 2 hour leg. Reference here

b. What do I talk to the FBO about? Hangar or tie down. Services available. Transportation options (crew car?). Any preferred hotel (discounts?) etc. Do they sound like good people?

5. Review for hazards (SUA, terrain, TFR, etc)

6. Break the trip into day trips.

7. Enter plan into Pilot (or Foreflight) Check NOTAMS. Adjust and finalize.

After a GO decision I enter the plan into my 696 and put my tablet in the bag. The tablet goes into the FBO with me if I need to change the plan.

Reference: Quiz

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Uphill Monday Morning

Take off on runway 29er @ KUKT
It might be the last nice weather flight this year:

A strong cold front will move through on Wednesday and send temperatures south in a hurry for the 2nd half of the week and weekend. There may even be some snowflakes in the air Thursday night in some areas.

So I took a short flight just to enjoy the countryside. Added a few landings just for practice and called it a day.

Video Notes: I tried a different camera angle and set the aperture to "wide". It gives the impression that Sally is always going "uphill" but does capture a lot of the terrain.

Monday Morning

See the memo from the FAA, or read the summary below:
The mounting of external camera does not constitute a major change and therefore is not subject to the regulatory purview of 14 CFR Part 43.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Night means the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the Air Almanac, converted to local time.
14 CFR 61.57 - Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.
Night takeoff and landing experience.(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, unless within the preceding 90 days that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, and—
(i) That person acted as sole manipulator of the flight controls; and
(ii) The required takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required).
 14 CFR 61.315 - What are the privileges and limits of my sport pilot certificate?
(c) You may not act as pilot in command of a light-sport aircraft:
(1) That is carrying a passenger or property for compensation or hire.
(2) For compensation or hire.
(3) In furtherance of a business.
(4) While carrying more than one passenger.
(5) At night
An awesome power. Five clicks on the radio button turns a black hole of darkness into a runway lit up like a Christmas tree. The world stays beautiful at night, but it also becomes a bit more dangerous to those of us use to the light. Obstacles remain unseen. A deer on the runway, the tree that grew too tall on the approach corridor, minor mechanical failures all become more hazardous.

"Night flight is so completely different from day that it requires careful introduction. Any pilot deficiencies become magnified at night. The night horizon is less visible and more indistinct. Night flight is semi-IFR with considerable reliance on the instruments. Clouds and terrain are from difficult to impossible to see.  There can be a gradual loss of visual clues when flying into darker terrain. This leads to disorientation and loss of control." PilotFriend
Video Notes: This video really stressed the Camtasia software. I wanted to show the effect of decreasing sunlight. Running the clips simultaneously seemed to be very hard on the rendering engine. I had many crashes before this video was finally successfully rendered.


20 Things You May Not Know About Night Flying
Darkness comprises roughly half of every day, but that’s no reason to avoid flying at night, if…
By Bill Cox