Showing posts from May, 2006

13th first-time passenger

Today I took up 2 friends from college, Phil and Chrissy. Phil was my roommate for a number of years (one of the few people that could tolerate living with me for any length of time) and Chrissy was a neighbor of ours for a year or so. The two of them eventually realized they should get married, so they did that a year or so ago. They came up to visit K and I for the long memorial day weekend. We flew 99A out of Newport News. Chrissy was a little hesitant about the flight as this would be her first time in a small airplane, but after a bit decided that she would go with us. There were about 10 kt winds almost right down runway 02 which was nice, but I was a little worried that we'd have a bumpy ride since the sun was out and the temps were getting high. It turned out to be relatively smooth in the air, so we went to around 3000 and just cruised across the peninsula for 0.7 hours. We ended the flight with a view of the " ghost fleet " that resides in the James River.

500 MPH F-4 Phantom vs. concrete wall

My dad sent me this video via email today. Pretty impressive display of the strength of a nuclear power plant's wall:

Another first-time passenger

Today I had the pleasure of taking my friend Maciek and his Mom up in a Cessna 172. This was his Mom's first time in a small airplane. She is from Germany and doesn't speak English so Maciek had to translate my passenger briefing for me. She enjoyed the flight, though she started feeling a little sick about 45 minutes into the flight. It was a little warm out and we manged to catch a few thermals around 3000 feet so I think those factors played their part. Plus she was in the back seat where motion sickness tends to be worse, at least in my experience. I've never had anyone feel sick in the front - only the back. When she started feeling bad we were, thankfully, very close to the airport so a quick radio call to the tower had us going down for a straight in approach to runway 20 in no time. The approach was interesting as we had a gusty medium-speed crosswind that changed from a headwind to a tailwind and back a few times. The landing turned out to be just fine though

Recovered B-25 Pics

Found this link from today. It shows pictures of a B-25 bomber as it is being pulled out of Lake Murray in South Carolina. I hope I find something like that on my next outing to the lake!

JGG Open House

K and I spent a little time at the JGG open house this morning. They had a few interesting planes parked on the ramp to look at and a skydiver coming in at 10AM. We got there a bit before 10 in order to see the skydivers. At 10:10 they had still not showed up and we had seen all the planes on the ramp so we started to head back to the car. Just then we heard a flag whipping in the wind above us. I didn't even look up because it was windy and I just figured it was a flag on a pole. But Krista said "Look at that!" and before I knew it there was a skydiver, all alone, landing near the runway. They hadn't even announced his arrival so we didn't get to see him do anything but the final landing. A bit strange. Before we left I noticed a sign for "Colonial Air Center" where the old flight school used to be. Maybe they will have some interesting airplanes for rent when they open.

iAviate Open House

This morning we went down to Norfolk for the iAviate open house. They had a collection of Cirrus aircraft in their hangar and on the ramp nearby. One of the SR22 GTS aircraft was on external power so they could demo the avionics inside the hangar. I was blown away by the quality and fit-and-finish of the SR22 GTS interior. It looked better than even the nicest car interior I've seen. Here's a video K took while I was sitting in the right seat of a GTS . In that video one of the iAviate folks talks about a chute deployment that an SR22 had in Pennsylvania (though I think it could be a recent Alabama incident ). One thing to notice in the interior picture to the right is that they have done away with the analog engine instruments that used to live on the right side of the panel. That area houses the A/C and a glove box compartment now. The engine gauges are all glass in the new SR22s. They were giving SR22 demo rides to the very serious potential clients of their newly offered &

Dusk Air

Tonight a little bit of night flying was in the cards, so we headed out to Newport News to hop in 99A. We had hopes of seeing an amazing sunset in flight, but high broken cloud layers were threatening to prevent that. As we were buzzed out the door to the ramp, the distinctive sound of "jet" could be heard. Not 70 feet away from us was a pair of Dornier Alpha Jets spooling up in preparation to taxi out to runway 7. No doubt my little-kid-smile turned on right as I saw them, but as we made our way behind them, where 99A was parked, the jet exhaust and noise was less than desirable. We were about 40 feet behind them and a little to the right. The sound was loud enough that I seriously contemplated doing the external preflight with my headset shielding my ears. The smell was a little bit choking and the heat significant. But don't get me wrong, I'd rather be near a jet than not. :) They were taxiing away from us to go do their thing before I needed to start doi

Time Lapse Video of FedEx Aircraft Avoiding a Thunderstorm

I stumbled on this video today - thought it was pretty impressive. They have a variety of good videos on that Airline Pilot Central site . A few favorites are the Boeing crosswind landings and the United Safety video .

Some Cirrius Cirrus fun

OK, I hope you can excuse the mighty lame play on words in the title, but I thought I'd write a little about how I spent this afternoon. I was in a 10AM meeting going over VIBE 4 software bugs in order to decide which must be fixed before we can make our impending "gold" release in the next few weeks. Suddenly my phone lets out a ring and I see that my instructor Charles is calling. I step out of the meeting for a second to chat. He tells me that they have a Cirrus SR-22 G2 over at PHF and asks if I'd like to come check it out. Not one to pass up that kind of offer I say "sure thing!" and ask my boss, Maciek, if he can join me. He agrees and an hour later we are at the airport talking with Charles. Another instructor, Bill, was showing the plane to someone else, so after we waited our turn it was time for Maciek, his wife Heather, and their daughter Sarah to go for a ride with Charles. They flew for about an hour while Krista, me, and Bill talked ab

Night current for another 90 days

I went down to PHF tonight to go around the pattern 3 times with my instructor, Charles, and his daughter. This was to get night current again in the hopes of taking my wife for a sunset flight sometime soon. I was surprised how hard it was to see runway 20 from the air, at least until you get on final. I think they had the lights down low so that larger aircraft coming in on 25 didn't get distracted. Runway 25 was quite easy to spot. My landings were fairly cruddy, especially when we did a simulated landing-light-out scenario on the last approach. I got the flare setup OK but must have overworked the rudders because we landed with side load, even though the winds were fairly mild. I should have used my peripheral vision more during the flare. We had a cloudy night so it was a good way to get re-familiarized with real low light flying. While I was there Charles told me about an open-house that the company he works for, iAviate, is having next weekend. I hope to convince the