I’m bored-Seaplane Rating

First – I had a bad landing the other day. Gusty crosswind no where near my limits, but I wasn’t paying enough attention and had to correct quite a bit in the final few seconds. It ended well, but was a poorly executed approach. Thats how you dent airplanes – complacency.

I’m really looking for an aviation challenge. Construction starts this morning on the simulator room, and I’m really looking forward to firing that up this winter. I would love to have an even more capable simulator at some point, but the one I have works very well.

Seaplane rating. I think I’ll be taking a week of my vacation at some point to fly to Florida and get a seaplane rating. It was either that or a glider rating, and I can do the later up north at almost any time. Getting a Helicopter rating is more of a commitment than I am looking for at the moment. I’ll keep those funds in reserve to care for the twin comanche.

I may talk a friend or two into coming along for the seaplane rating, but won’t have any problems doing it on my own. I need the challenge….

Skydiving anyone?

Simulator Room is Moving

The winter season, especially February, is simulator season. The days are short; the nights bitter cold; and the wear and tear on engines and components in those conditions looms at the front of my mind. I’m old and have done enough flying in the winter to know how much extra work it is.

Bev wants the sim room back to use as a guest room, so we are finishing the basement to enable her to evict me (and the simulator and the elliptical machine). Scot suggested finishing the basement and using space we already have. He had some really good ideas, including modifying the stairway down into the area, and even offered to help me do it. Very much appreciated – I’m pumped. Picked up supplies today and framing starts next Sunday.

The primary purpose of the room will be simulation and excercise room (weights and elliptical). In order to do this right and ensure we actually use the room, we will be adding an additional HVAC system; electric supply; nice flooring; wall mounted TV/Monitor; and multiple network connections.

Anniversary Flight

On Friday 11/9/12, Bev and I flew to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. I didn’t get video on the way down, but the flight can be viewed here on YouTube.

Up until the day before, we really hadn’t decided what we would do to celebrate.  Bev came up with a way to get away with the airplane; spend some quality time together; and get back in time to take Susan and Owen out to dinner.

The flight down was smooth as glass and the temperature perfect.  We left the house at our leisure around 8am, and were having a cup of coffee in the Merchant Square at Williamsburg by 10am. The cab cost $25. for the round trip and was very convenient. $8. for the tie down fee at JGG.

This is the first time I’d flown the Twin Comanche into JGG.  Not sure why I don’t fly in there more often. Bev and I both enjoy the area, and Mike and Yvonne don’t live far from there.  This time we were only there for four hours, so we didn’t get over that way.

Very nice way to spend the day.  We’ve decided to do a trip a month from this point forward, so I’ll take the ball and pick the next destination.

Goal Achieved!!

I had been over to Atlantic City Thursday afternoon  (11/1/12), after returning from Storm Restoration activity with the PEPCO folks.  On that flight I flew approaches into Salisbury and Atlantic City, picking up 2.6 hours of flight time along the way. It was also a post maintenance shake-down flight.

Flying from Salisbury, MD up the coast to Atlantic City, NJ, I had a good view of the coast. I flew over the town of Brigantine on both approaches to runway 31. FEMA flights were in the area, as well as a few helicopters, so I did my thing and left. I have no desire to get in the way of active support flights.

During the second approach, I did hear Alberto up there doing approaches in his SR20, so I know he is working on it, same as me.

While receiving vectors for the ILS 31 in ACY, I achieved a major goal. 500 multi-engine hours and 3500 total hours. I crossed this line quietly, but it has been an important objective for me and one of the reasons I purchased this high performance airplane. Now I have to figure out how to build turbine time….   or maybe gliders or helicopters will keep my mind fresh.  I think rockets are out.

fed

Long Beach Island Recon Flight

My sister inlaw Janice has a friend with a home on Long Beach Island, and asked me to check on his property for him. Dave – click the links below to see the YouTube uploads of the flight.

Background

This flight was undertaken on a blustery Saturday morning to help a property owner get a look at the damage he might face on 44th street.  I made sure I was not in conflict with any FEMA or local support flights during the shooting of this video, and will always yield the airspace when they are present.

I have a new video system in the airplane that I planned to us for this. It was was charged and ready to go. I grabbed my DLSR out of the trunk before I left as well, and sat in the airplane to pre-flight both camera systems – configuring the video camera to look down over the nose, and laying the DLSR on the seat beside me. The DLSR didn’t have a memory card, and I didn’t notice that, so the pictures I took while banking and flying with my feet were lost.

The Twin Comanche isn’t the best photo ship I’ve ever flown; its built for speed and has a large wing and two big engine nacelles in the way of easy downward shots. Cessna’s 172 with an open window would be more ideal for this mission – low and slow with a good downward view. None-the-less, the video gives and overview and the DLSR will work for this.

Results

The video, in my opinion, won’t tell Dave all that he wants to know. I was flying in lots of turbulence, but the 50+ mph winds helped by slowing my groundspeed on each pass. I could see sand piled up everywhere, but had to watch for traffic and couldn’t really observe the damage to an individual house.  He’ll be able to tell if the house is there or not, but not what damage has occurred from the air.  Those still shots straight down would have been nice.

Videos were done at 1500′ in turbulent conditions.

First pass is here….  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be9CV27p3yo

Second pass found here….   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVaSSdMMmzs