January 27, 2014 Taking the turbine plunge

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
— C.S. Lewis,

Bob and Dee sent this to me last night – timing is wonderful. Amazing ride in a typhoon jet.  – where I want to be. Really talks about the next dream.  Moving the ball a yard at a time, but the timing for this video is uncanny – with me deep in training again.

Recapping the last few weeks: You might have seen my posting about the books I’ve just read.  That energy was spent looking for ways to battle complacency that I’ve noticed flying the SR-22, and then confirmed in my PA-30 flying. I just wasn’t meeting my own standards.

‘Redefining Airmanship’ was an ok read that confirmed the importance of my quest, but was largely stuff I know and do already. It did confirm the importance of rooting out complacency, and reminded me to take charge of my own training.   ‘More enjoyable flying’, or whatever the companion book was called, was less useful.  It was an ok read about halfway through, but then devolved into basically minutes for a typical CAP or Wings meetings – which is not necessarily my style.  I stopped reading at that point.

Last months AOPA Pilot included articles that, in my opinion, were bold and on point. Hadn’t seen that much before, and they supported my direction. Nice surprise. I’m continuing to watch this new editor’s direction, along with the usual contributors.  Better advice than the books.

But…. This year I successfully argued with my insurance company to drop the requirement for me to have an annual IPC in my airplane, along with annual emergency procedures for multi-engine airplanes. I have a significant aviation resume, and this makes my life easier from a scheduling perspective. On the other hand, it puts the onus on me to maintain my professionalism it on my own. Since I’m flying less due to work demands, this is a large responsibility.

And….. My Twin Comanche is still down for maintenance;   has been for all of January.  I would not have flown much at all in this awful cold weather anyway, but it feels better having it ready. The cracked left main gear is getting replaced tomorrow, and I should be back online tomorrow or Monday.  Since February is typically my lowest flight activity month, it doesn’t look like I’ll be burning up the personal flying skies anytime soon. Winter truly sucks.

Meanwhile… I have, or had – as it were, a really nice trip scheduled with two of my sons.  We were to fly my airplane to South Carolina and rent Harley’s for a trip down to Key West and back. Each of the boys is as busy as I am, and one at a time their lives pulled them away.  So that mid-February trip is now cancelled.

Therefore…  Fighting the winter blues and complacency at the same time gets me talking to a nice warm training facility in Tampa, where I’ll schedule a few days in a twin comanche simulator to replace the fun trip. Figured I’d fly there and try out sim training for an IPC and emergency work.  The RTC training facility actually sims PA30s, so I was intrigued.  My next airplane is going to be a King Air BE200, so I asked about getting an initial in that aircraft instead or in addition.  Could I do both at once?

Leading to…. The answer was yes – but I’d have to do the initial training in Champagne, Illinois!  Since it is too friggin’ cold, and now I’m jamming in a ton of training in a very short time, I scheduled a commercial flight out and back.  I’m doing it.  There will be no relief from the cold this winter, but here we go.  I’m ready and training nightly on the book work for the BE200 now, and going downstairs to hit the simulator hard.

I’ll be adding a few blogs on the preparations and the experience in the coming days, but you can bet I’ll be simming on Sunday. I have a King Air on my Elite system, so this should be good.

Fly professionally…   Frank