Thursday, April 26, 2007

Travels Abound

The IFR Pilot leaves tomorrow for Palm Springs for, ahem, "work." No, really, one must hob-nob with potential clients on the golf course and during the convention. I'll be there through Tuesday morning. Anyone want to go fly in the desert? I'm free on Saturday afternoon...

Then, I'm back in the office on Wednesday before blasting off on Thursday for -- hold on now -- New Orleans. Haven't been there in, what, a couple of weeks? This time, the plan is to take in JazzFest. For your viewing pleasure, here's a sample of what I'll be reveling in during three days of glory at the Fairgrounds:

Steely Dan

The Radiators

George Benson

John Mayer

Here's hoping I don't get too bad of a sunburn!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Quick Update

Not much time to blog, dear readers. Here's a quick update from the trenches:

Commercial lesson #1 on Saturday. Chandelles, steep spirals, emergency descents. Wow, the ground comes at you fast at 120 knots!

Commercial lesson #2 on Tuesday. Lazy eights, eights on pylons. Not altogether bad, but nowhere near PTS standards, obviously. Much work to be done.

MS and I signed papers and purchased the hangar we've been renting for the last year. Building equity always better than paying rent.

More commerical lessons scheduled for Friday and Sunday. Stay tuned for further details! Now, back to work.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Stag Flight 2007 - In Pictures

Two weeks late, but better late than never. Proud to present: The 2007 Stag Flight.


We blasted off into the clag, MS handling the aviating and IFR Pilot managing the communicating, including the air-to-air with our colleagues in the 182RG.

Approaching the Ohio River, things cleared up and we were treated to some spectacular views:

We landed at JWN, and headed to downtown Nashville for some grub for our hungry bellies.


Our colleagues in the 182RG. Smile, boys, you're on the blog!

Space Camp, here we come:

MS and the IFR Pilot put down in Alabama for some 100LL. The airport was rather quaint, and the fuel was attractively priced!

Look, Ma - Mike Hotel grew an extra engine. OK, just kidding, but this paint job was vaguely deja vu all over again.

Three miles base to final at Panama City. You don't want to be low on the glideslope here if you're inbound on the ILS:

Working off the intersecting runway was a banner tow operator. Wonder if this qualifies as an acrobatic move:

An old friend arrived before we did:

Views from the motel room:


Here's the "beach" that was out the back of our room. Hidden from view was the oil storage facility that abutted us.

Hmm, gonna be a long time before we get to the parking lot at the airshow...

OK, we're outta here. Let's hit New Orleans. Aerial tour of the Panhandle Beaches of Florida along the way:

Short final for Runway 18R at BKL. This makes the third time the IFR Pilot has handled the duties of landing at Lakefront, yet another airport that you want to be just a bit above the glideslope!

Another plane vaguely reminiscent of Mike Hotel. This one seats 6, however, and appears to have been well designed for this family's needs:

Nearly two years after Katrina, Lakefront is still struggling to mount a comeback.

And so are many homes in the city, although most have had the door signatures of the urban search and rescue teams painted over. Not this home, however:

While the streetcars haven't returned to St. Charles Avenue yet, they are plying their trade in the French Quarter:

Shipping along the River remains as vigorous as ever:

Strangers hamming for the IFR Pilot's camera:

Muffalata anyone?

How about a close up of that fine sandwich? (Hand modeling complements of MS.)

Jackson Square was partially occupied by a film crew, shooting a pilot of "K-Ville," a new series supposedly being developed for Fox.

Sights and sounds of the Quarter:

Recruiting standards for the NOPD appear dubious.

Not quite the Rebirth Brass Band, but they were still banging out quite the tunes.

Only in NOLA, baby!

For those in the know...

That's how we roll, drinks in the Quarter on a Saturday afternoon, BlackBerries close by:

With live jazz to boot!

The NOPD's French Quarter vehicles:


IFR takeoff:

Breaking up as we approach the North Shore of the Lake:

Downwind to the Tennessee fuel stop:

A little high on final:

That's more like it:

On the ground, safe and sound.

The crew car. MS did his best impersonation of Boss Hogg throughout the trek to Applebee's, the hottest Sunday afternoon luncheon joint in all of McMinnville, Tennessee!

Well, that's about it for the pictures.

2007 Stag Flight turned out not too bad, although MS and I deviated "slightly" from the advanced agenda.

Stay tuned for more adventures. The IFR Pilot returns to NOLA in early May for JazzFest! (Yes, K, I do have a day job...)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Upgrades Complete

We picked Mike Hotel up on Tuesday, before Winter returned to Cleveland. (Currently, there are 5+ inches of snow outside my townhouse. When we picked the plane up, it was 75+ and the ASOS was reporting density altitude.)

As you may have read, we recently overhauled the panel. There really wasn't anything wrong with it, but MS and I won the MegaMillions and we decided to blow a few thousand each on some new goodies. OK, part of that statement is a lie, I imagine you know which part. Hint: the "few thousand" may, in fact, be an understatement.

Currently, the panel now consists of:
  • Garmin 430 GPS/NAV/COM with GI-106A indicator
  • Garmin MX-20 (sporting a brand new display and other upgrades after an service call)
  • Garmin GMA 340 audio selector panel
  • MAC 1700 digital NAV/COM with VOR/LOC/GS and KI-209 indicator
  • Garmin 327 digital transponder
  • Garmin 396 portable GPS with XM WX Satellite Weather, hardwired for power and slaved to 430 for automatic input of flightplan data
In addition, we had a bypass installed on the #2 COM antenna. In the event of electrical failure, we can disconnect the #2 COM radio from the antenna and patch in our handheld transceiver. That should give us much better range than the antenna on the transceiver itself.

I know, I know, you want pictures. Sure 'nuf, Igots 'em right here:

(Note: "GPS for VFR" placard will be removed when FAA sends in approval paperwork.)

See it for yourself in Toronto!!!