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Archive for June, 2008

Airwork from Thursday

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Definitions, and a picture

100LL is 100 octane, low lead fuel, generally referred to as “aviation grade” fuel. In comparison “Regular” at the car gas pump is 87 octane and is “unleaded”.

Under the hood refers to simulating flying an aircraft under “instrument” conditions. This would mean that there is low visibility and you must rely on your instruments, rather than what you see (or don’t see) out the window. The hood blocks your vision of the outside while allowing you to focus on the instruments. My “hood” was actually a pair of safety glasses with scotch tape, but hey, it has the same effect!


And… Buffalo Mountain


It’s soo close I can smell the 100LL

Finished my “Requirements” today for my Private Pilots license by getting in my last hour of “hood” (instrument work). Now all that is left is preparing for my grueling “Practical” exam by the FAA Examiner, after a spot check with my other instructor.

Studying, here I come!


Second Solo XC to Mount Airy & Mountain Empire


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2 New Handstands!

Mountain Empire

Mount Airy

More Photos Here


More Pics from Danville XC

This is how I got there…

Outside the terminal


First Solo XC to Danville

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Danville, VA Handstand

Akward Pano of Danville Terminal

Danville FBO Office (Next 2)

Took this one for Justin

Leaving Danville (Next 3 pics)

Out the front on the way back from Danville


Dual Night Cross Country

Blacksburg->Mountain Empire->Hillsville->Blacksburg
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Solo XC posponed due to iffy weather

However… I went up locally and flew for over two hours.

Can you find where I did “S turns across a road” and “Turns about a point?”.

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So, Danville XC is now supposed to be tomorrow AM.

Here are some pictures from today:

The New River near Claytor Lake

More New River

I-81 going over the New River

Zoomed out, the same bridge

Part of Claytor Lake

“The Quarry” where people usually get community service hours for trying to run down the railroad tracks and cliff jump into it.

Lane Stadium

Lane Stadium Again

Recognize Main St?


Revised Plan for XC Solo?

If i go from Blacksburg->Danville->NewRiver->Blacksburg… That is 150.4 ooo I love minimums :-) Might end up doing that instead to make it more straight forward, being my first solo XC and all.


Plan for First XC Solo

I have to plan this flight out and get it approved on Saturday, but I should be flying it for my long solo cross country (Which must have a leg which is at least 50nm and must be 150nm total at least). This flight will have a 64nm flight to Danville and will be 154.6nm total, so just right!

Excited/stressed to plan/hope weather is good.

Blacksburg->Danville->”Blue Ridge Airport”->New River->Blacksburg (154.6nm)
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Lewisburg (KLWB) Cross Country

Bewow is my dual cross country to Lewisburg that we flew this morning.

The GREEN and RED (My GPS probably lost signal for a few seconds? a minute?) are where we flew.

The BLUE was where we were “supposed” to go. Well, we had Blacksburg->Lewisburg planned real well, but that was about it…

3 Solo Tower Controlled Landings to a full stop at Lewisburg.

After that, the next leg to Bluefield came out of the “blue” (ha!) and was different from where we planned (Beckely, WV) because we had to get the plane back for the next guy. We then diverted off “course” from Bluefield back to Blacksburg and I learned how to triangulate using the VOR.
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Roadtrip Checklist

Everyone knows the simple rules to follow in preparing for a roadtrip:

  1. Put all your possessions in a safe place or get rid of them in some manner.
  2. Clean your previous place of residence.
  3. Get your Private Pilot Certificate.
  4. Go camping to celebrate your birthday.
  5. Go on your trip.
  6. Come back in debt.

As of right now, I’m on step 1. I slept on the floor last night (and will be doing so for the next 4 months really) . I currently have my bed, recliner and TV stand all in my car and ready to be put in storage. (And hopefully can get another load in tonight before flying)

That will leave only a few things to finish up step 1…

  • A huge desk
  • A dresser
  • A 2 person sofa
  • 2 Kitchen carts/stands
  • Bathroom supplies
  • Pots/Pans/Dishes/Silverware/Cooking “things”
  • All the random things/clothes in my room
  • My bike
  • Camping gear

I’m hoping to finish step 1 as soon as possible because it is kind of just “in my way” at this point. Just an update on where things stand :-)

Roadtrip Ideas:
I just found out yesterday that Oshkosh will be occuring from July 28-August 3 in Oshkosh, WI which is “just” 5 hours north of Peoria, IL… Emailed the flying club for others interested. Hopefully I can come up with an excuse to go.


Left to do for my Private Pilot Certificate

Remaining Requirements:

  • More Dual Cross Country – (Lewisburg Cross Country, Will get tower controlled TO&Ls as well as hopefully be ready for solo cross country)
  • A little over an hour of instrument work
  • Night dual cross country and TO&Ls (This can all be done in one night by going to Mountain Empire, Hillsville and back, 108.4nm total)
  • Solo Cross Countries (5 hours minimum, at least one that is 150nm with a straight leg between airports of 50nm)
  • Practical Preparation (Lots of studying, oral review and in flight review)
  • Practical Exam

Tonight I am going up with my instructor for my first stab at night flying, and that will prepare us for our dual night cross country of 100nm+.

Thursday it is off to Lewisburg, WV for more dual cross country practice and 3 Take offs and Landings at a Tower controlled airport.

If I finish, I can do this…

See this…

And this…


First Cross-Country Flight to Bluefield

Today was my first cross country flight!

Blacksburg (KBCB) -> Bluefield (KBLF) @ 4500′

Bluefield (KBLF) -> New River (KPSK) @ 5500′

New River (KPSK) -> Blacksburg (KBCB)


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So, my first leg got off to a not so great start. We ended up in Princeton, WV which I thought was Bluefield and that got me all turned around, finally we started to loop around the “town” and the airport was off to my right, I was a little confused, but it all makes sense when you look at the GPS track. (We weren’t allowed to use anything but the compass and the map for the flight) Anyways, it was a good day and first Cross Country experience because I learned how important it is to stay on your heading, correct when you can do so, and if you have gone as far as you planned, and you’re not there… something is going awry.

Well, it was odd that on our last short leg we were really low on fuel in our left tank and the right was pretty much full. After we were back in Blacksburg we found out that we’d been flying the whole day without a gas cap on the right wing. I guess it wasn’t put on securely after fueling up the plane. This made sense of the left tank being low (it was the only tank with suction to the tank). In any case, the new guy “Hop” (Last name ‘Hopper’) from LC’s flying service (Blacksburg’s new F.B.O.) helped us search for us and the maintenance guy from Blacksburg (Jim) was finally able to find it on the taxi way down towards where you turn onto the runway. Well, that was a lucky day!

Well, definitely a fun (at times mildly nerve racking) first cross country flight!


Beware of picture theft!

Soo… I stumbled across a picture of myself on my friend Rebecca’s blog, and never even knew it was there! Shammery I say!

Check out more “Guys Eating Stuff”


Passed with flying colors

Passed the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge exam with a 90% yesterday. Certainly suprised myself :-)

Now, some more requirements such as cross country flights and night flights, then the practical test and I’m done! (A lot still, haha)