857 hours, 1136 takeoffs and landings
o/~ Come fly with me, lets fly lets fly away. If you can use, some exotic booze, There's a bar in far bombay. Come fly with me, well fly we'll fly away. o/~
When I started this blog I originally intended for it to be a combination computer/aviation blog since those are the things I am into. But I never seem to get around to writing anything. I really should have written up an account of my multi-engine checkride last December but I didn't. Although there wasn't much to write up really. I aced the oral exam, did ok on the flight, and won the ticket. Now I have nearly 50 hours flying the BE-76.
I have long entertained the idea of an online logbook and tonight I realized that I could combine that with the blog and perhaps that would give me more incentive to make blog entries if each logbook entry could turn into a blog entry also. Keeping the logbook online and the math done by computer makes things neater and verifies my math as well as allows others to more easily follow along in my flying. I still have to keep the paper copy as the official record.
But until I get that coded up let me tell you about my flying weekend: I haven't done much flying the last few months so I was out of currency. I was supposed to have made a flight last weekend to visit a friend up in LA but the weather sucked (actually, it was easy IFR weather but it definitely wasn't VFR so I could definitely have made the flight) and I wasn't instrument or even VFR current. A pilot has to make 3 takeoffs and landings every 90 days to be able to fly with passengers and I haven't been keeping up lately. He must also do 6 instrument approached plus intercepting, tracking, and holding every 6 months to be instrument current.
So yesterday I flew N738TB which is a Cessna 172 which I had never flown before. But when it comes to 172's one is really like another except for the radio setup. I haven't flown anything smaller than a BE-76 or C-210 in the last couple of years so it was fun to get back into something as simple as a 172 again. This plane is fairly nice and even has a Garmin 430 GPS. The second radio is an ancient Collins which could do with replacement. So I departed from MYF around noon and flew down to SDM and did 4 touch and go's then came back to MYF. 1.1hrs total flight time. There was a decent head/crosswind of 15 gusting to 20 knots the first couple landings but by the time I was done it seemed to have faded to nothing. The runway at SDM is very long having been a base for F-4's and other Navy aircraft in the distant past. With the strong headwind I could land on the numbers and then be off again in very little space. After the first time down that long runway I started making early turn-outs into the pattern to speed things up.
Today I wanted to regain my night currency so around 8pm I went back to the airport and fired up 8TB once again to do some night stop and go's and then flew west to Mt Soledad and up the coast at 4,500' as far as CRQ checking out the city lights. Then back for an uneventful landing. When I departed the tower at MYF was open but at 9pm they close so I returned to an uncontrolled airport. It's always fun to click the mic and make the runway lights come on. MYF has a nice and fancy approach lighting setup (there's a specific name for this setup which I don't recall) which automatically turns off after so many minutes but can be re-activated by keying the radio. So I can roll out on final and tell the pax "Watch this...*click* *click* *click* *click* *click" and hear their "Ooohh!"
So now I'm day current and night current again. But still not instrument current. The way the regulations are written I can fly "under the hood" (which is a way to simulate instrument flight in a real aircraft in visual flight conditions) with a safety pilot whose job is to look out for traffic while I'm under the hood and we can both log the time. The two pilots usually split the flight expense.
You would think it would be easy to get people to go along for half-price flying. But it isn't. It's hard. And I don't understand why. I have contacted every person who advertised on the bulletin board down at the airport looking for a safety pilot and so far not a one of them has resulted in a flight. I have put my own ad on the board and as a result I have a tentative flight with someone on the 20th so hopefully that will pan out. Otherwise I'll have to pay an instructor and the full price of the aircraft which makes the endeavor more than twice as expensive. I need a flight review by the end of the year anyway so if I'm not instrument current by then I'll get it with the flight review although I sure hope it doesn't take that long.