Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Renting a Piece of Ground

I struggled through numerous difficult decisions, many of those all of us must face. I once told a friend that flying is nothing more than an expensive love affair, it is an affair that takes time as well as money. When last I posted I had neither, today only slightly more but the desire has become intense.

So with my wife's counsel we decided to make an investment in our future and signed a purchase agreement for an airplane. I just got a call from the seller, closing should be in two or three weeks.

Yesterday I contacted 7N8 to rent a tie down spot and get on the waiting list for a hanger.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


More than 300 EAA members stuffed the "Meet the Administrator" forum at Oshkosh on Thursday, welcoming FAA administrator Randy Babbitt with unusually strong applause as he was introduced by EAA chairman Tom Poberezny. He said he's been coming to EAA Oshkosh long before he became the administrator.

He said he was "so impressed" with the success of Light Sport Aircraft in the aviation industry, pointing out that 8,700 new LSAs have been delivered since the ASTM validation standards went into effect in 2004. More than 3,500 pilots have earned licenses in LSAs in the past six years, according to Babbitt and their safety record is "marvelous". He said that the government / industry partnership in developing the LSA standard was a prime reason.
I've been watching the LSA news for awhile now. Is this something to be seriously considered? The FAA thinks so. Any opinions?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Code

Code of Federal Regulations: Sec. 61.57

Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.

(a) General experience. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crew member unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days, and--
(i) The person acted as the sole manipulator of the flight controls; and
(ii) The required takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class...

Barbossa: First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner .

It has been awhile. Too long. So even if the code says 90 days, my own personal limitations have been exceeded. I'll have an instructor in the right seat the next time I go up. Too conservative? Not for me.

The bill for the insurance company is on my desk.
The 'soft economy' has left us with just one wage earner in the house. My job is in transition, as IBM sold my division (of 600 people, labs, equipment, etc) to Dassault Systemes. Hopefully I won't have to move.

Its just really hard to justify the expenses right now. So I've decided to go dormant once again. To wait for a better time, another opportunity.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Decision Criteria

I could hear the wind buffeting the vinyl siding when I got out of bed at 6:00AM. My "Flurry" weather clock said it was blustery in Reading, but I needed more information before I could make a decision.

Most of the area airports were reporting some winds, but many were only 10-15MPH and close to runway heading. So far, my monthly escape into the blue was a Go. That was at 6:30Am. Each half hour it got a bit worse, picking up speed and veering more out of the Northwest. My backyard weather station showed average wind speed to be increasing.

Hmm, what am I comfortable with? Gusts to 20MPH at 45 degrees to the runway is unacceptable to me. If I check the performance data (Fig 5-8) I'm still within the envelope for the crosswind component for the airplane, but what about me? If I were flying every week maybe, but once a month even with my experience, has degraded my abilities. So what is a reasonable metric?

Gusts less than 18MPH within 30 degrees.

So I've set my "rule of thumb" for guidance, now what are the current conditions? Rats. Not only Wings, but all of the local area fields are outside my criteria and the trend continues to get worse.

Reservation from 02/19/10 10:00 to 02/19/10 12:00 has been canceled.
Weather - gusty winds

Friday, February 12, 2010

Closed for snow removal - airplane not available

"The worst winter weather in a lifetime" said the local meteorologist. I've been shoveling snow for two days and have a narrow slot down the driveway for the vehicles to get through. Evidently the airport has the same problem. Most of the planes are still snowed in and the taxiways are all iced over. The skies are clear, but I just can't get to them.