Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oshkosh is AMAZING!

     Oshkosh 2012 was absolutely astounding. It was a pilot's dream. If you went this year, you know there were tons of airplanes, great people, and unique experiences waiting for you to arrive. EAA AirVenture 2012 was an amazing experience.

     Day 1 - I left my house with my mom and dad at about 9AM and drove up to Chicago. We couldn't drive through without trying some famous Chicago style deep dish pizza, so we were recommended to go to Gino's East by a friend. It was delicious. After leaving Chicago, we took a quick detour to drive by O'Hare and continued up to Oshkosh. We got our wristbands for Sunday/Monday and Tuesday, then went through the entrance to see what we could before the actual event begun. We looked around the booths for each company that were being set up and planned for the next day. Next, I just stood out at the flight line and watched the unlimited amount of airplanes arrive at Oshkosh. I was stoked for the next day!

     Day 2 - On our second day at Oshkosh, we woke up at 5:30AM and got to the Airshow at 6:45AM. I'll go ahead and say, this was way too early. The temperature quickly rose to a solid 101F, making it unbearably hot. Everyone there was seeking out shade or air conditioning where they could find. First thing that day, we went over to the Ultralight runway to watch some powered parachutes and ultralights there. After quickly growing bored of that, we went to check out all of the piper cubs(all 181 of them there). It was a truly amazing sight to see! Never in my life have I seen that much cub yellow. We checked out some of the booths and really took an interest in the Bose tent where they had an excellent Bose A20 headset setup for anyone to try them out. After taking a look at some booths, we headed to the Honda tent where I had the first highlight of my day. The new Honda jet was in there, so we looked around in there for a bit. Then, I was shocked to see Sean D. Tucker standing just a few feet away from me getting ready to be interviewed on stage along with the Honda chief test pilot. After that, I got to meet and get a picture with Sean D. Tucker! He was really an inspiration for me after seeing this video. We wondered around and enjoyed Oshkosh for the rest of the day until the airshow. It was pretty good, but I have to admit I expected a bit more excitement from Oshkosh. After that, we went straight to the Steve Miller opening concert. Next comes my second highlight of the day. As the President of the EAA stepped out onto the stage, my dad realized he was a friend of his. We got backstage and met Rod Hightower, the president! Today was probably my favorite day.

     Day 3 - Our third and final day at EAA AirVenture started about 3 hours later than the first. We were completely worn out after the first day and had realized that it just wasn't worth it to be out in the hot sun that early that day. Thankfully, we were blessed with about 85F weather that day. We got a quick breakfast that consisted of the famous EAA donuts and started our day. We begun by waiting to get up in the cockpit of a C-17 that just happened to be from Wright Patterson AFB which is close to my home. This was a pretty cool experience. Next, we waited in yet another line to tour the Orbis "MD-10." This is basically a name for a DC-10 that was upgraded to MD-11 avionics and such without the MD-11 body. The plane was a flying, mobile eye hospital that travels around the world to treat people in need. After this, we spent the rest of the day in the Vintage Warbird section of Oshkosh until the Airshow.There were a ton of old warbirds over there! After lunch, it was time to go the airshow. This one was much more exciting than the first day. We got to see Kirby Chambliss in his Edge 540 from Red Bull and Sean D. Tucker Perform. The piper cub comedy act today also ended with a successful landing atop a moving truck. Although it was such a great day, it was time to head to home.

     Possibly one of the saddest moments of my summer this year was driving away from Oshkosh that evening. I could have spent all week there, but it was time to head home. Nonetheless, it was a great trip. We are already planning for next year!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

It's that time of year - Oshkosh!

     Well guys, it's that time of year. The largest aviation event in the world takes place this week up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin! From taildraggers to F-18's, over 10,000 planes will be taking part in the event. EAA AirVenture is a pilot's dream!

EAA's official promo video for AirVenture 2012

     Tomorrow, Sunday the 21st of July, I will be driving up to Oshkosh since I don't have my PPL yet. I'll only be there for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. But, my first time should be a blast! I will try to bring my good camera and my GoPro so I can post some pictures and videos for you guys. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Taking the C150 to Dayton Wright Brothers

     On the 16th of July, I made my second flight in the Cessna 150. Once again, this was N3718J. Today was a pretty simple lesson. This time, we didn't do any ground school stuff. Joe and I just went straight out to the plane.

     I pre-flighted the Cessna 150 and mounted my GoPro on the windshield while Joe talked to another pilot at the airport who was getting his glider ready for a short flight. The plane had more than half of its 26gal combined tanks, plenty of oil, and everything was looking good. We were good to go! Instead of borrowing a headset from my flight school, I used a David Clark H10-13.4 headset that I borrowed from my dad's friend who owns a Bonanza. It was very comfortable and worked great. Hopefully I'll be getting a pair for my Birthday in September. Moving along, I started it up and we had a short taxi to runway 26 after the run-up.

     Because the president was in town at CVG, there was a TFR set up just south of Waynesville. So, we decided to head up northwest to Dayton Wright Brothers(MGY). Once we got close, we looked at the windsocks on the ground, and each one was pointing in a different direction. Moments later, the winds calmed down and favored runway 20. I entered the left downwind on the 45 degree entry. I came in a bit low on my first approach, and having not been used to the C150, made a pretty ugly landing. This wasn't the pay to start off! I improved on each landing and after a while, a slight crosswind started to form. I made 3 full stop landings and 1 touch and go at MGY. After the touch and go, we were closely followed by an Aero Commander departing right after us. Then, it was time to head back to Waynesville.

YouTube video of the flight with the GoPro HD Hero 2
     As we neared Waynesville from the north, I decided to cross over the field and enter the left downwind for runway 26. After a normal, but high, approach I made a smooth landing. It was nice to be back on grass, it's very forgiving! On the way back to the parking spot, my camera battery died with pretty good timing.

     We shut down, tied the plane down, and wrapped up the flight. Joe and I talked about getting my Student Pilot Certificate soon so that I can reach my goal of soloing on my 16th birthday. I'm not sure if you have to be 16 when you get it. Overall it was a great flight. I learned a lot and got much more comfortable with the Cessna 150. This flight was also my first time talking on radio which was really easy. Next lesson will be in the Cessna 150 again, so look forward to it!

P.S. Next time, I'll try to mount the camera lower. I'll master the GoPro eventually!

This Flight: 1.0 hours, 5 landings, 5 takeoffs, N3718J, 40I-MGY-40I
Total hours to date: 14.4

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A new airplane!

     On the 5th of July, I took another flight lesson. This time, I flew a 1966 Cessna 150, N3718J. When I met with Joe before my lesson, we went over some of the basics of the plane and he told me what we were going to be doing that day. Since I didn't have my own headset yet, I borrowed one from my flight school and it worked fine. I have to say, I was pumped to fly something besides the Piper Cub!
Me taxiing back to our spot
     We walked out to the plane and I learned how to measure and check the fuel for contaminants(one of the fuel gauges wasn't working). After a normal preflight, I learned the start up procedure quite quick, and we taxied to runway 8. It was nice that we didn't have to do S-turns while taxiing like in the cub! Since this was my first time flying the plane, Joe did the first takeoff and I took control in the climb.

     I took us up to 3,000ft so that we could practice some normal turns and steep turns. All went well, so we continued to do a few stall sequences. Then, Joe acted as a controller, and I basically just followed his instructions and practiced what I would have to say over the radio. After some time in the air to get used the controls, I entered the left downwind for runway 8 and did my first landing. Let's just say that ground came up a little faster than I thought I was. It was a bit firm. I did my first takeoff in the plane and re-entered the pattern. My second landing was much better, but not perfect.

     Overall, it was an extremely fun flight! I got a feel for the new controls and extra instruments, and got a good taste of tricycle-gear airplanes. The next lesson will be in the same plane since the other C150 that Stewart has was damaged(flipped over during the storm last week when it was parked). I'm very excited, so look forward to my next post!

     P.S. I forgot to turn my camera on again, I'll try to remember to next time. Sorry guys, no video.    

This Flight: .8 hours, 2 landings, 2 takeoffs, N3718J, 40I-40I
Total hours to date: 13.4