Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Surgery on the Trinidad

Last year on the birthday, Mrs. IFR Pilot bestowed a long-sought iPad 2 on the IFR Pilot.  It's been used for a few flights, but the lack of a proper mount has meant resting it on the lap, glareshield, or the co-pilot's seat when that was unoccupied.  Time to rectify that.

Using a Christmas gift card and prowling the depths of Amazon.com, the IFR Pilot located this little gem:

That's an Arkon IPM2-FSM 18.5-Inch Flexible Floor Mount for iPad 2.  Price?  A whopping $34.99.  Note that the actual pad holder that was supplied looks a little bit different than what was pictured, but remains completely workable.

Here's what it looks like installed, using an existing bolt in the co-pilot's seat rail:

Close up:

Here's how it was secured to the aircraft:

A preliminary check shows that full reward deflection of the elevators and leftward deflection of the ailerons is still possible without any interference.  The arm is flexible, so it can be promptly repositioned in-flight if necessary.  Also, the iPad holder can be detached from the arm in the event that the front seat area becomes too crowded.

You can also see in the cigarette lighter a dual 12volt charger that was also secured from Amazon.com, which can be used for simultaneous charging of the iPhone and iPad.  Haven't checked yet to see if that will trip a breaker, so that needs to be done before any in-flight usage.

All told, with free Super Saver shipping, the cost for bringing 2TB's cockpit into the iDevice age was $50.42.  Can't hardly beat that!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

We've Got Momentum

A peek at the logbook reveals: 
  • January 2011:  .8 hours for the month
  • January 2012:  2.4 hours by January 7!
The first week of January has seen unusually warm temperatures to Northeast Ohio.  As a result, 2TB has been pulled from her hangar twice already for flying adventures.

On Friday, SL and I took our first flight together.  He's one of two prospective partners in the aircraft, and so we did a demo flight.  I flew for a bit, he flew for a bit.  Flying an unfamiliar airplane from the right seat by a non-CFI probably isn't the easiest of tasks, but SL did just fine, particularly so on the ILS 19 at CAK with winds that were something like 15G20.  There are certain to be some adventures together in the near future.  Stay tuned.

On Saturday, Momma Nature continued her benevolent ways and so the IFR Pilot dragged nephew JK for his first ride in a light aircraft.  The plan was for a quick flight to PHD for some chicken wings.  The winds made it a choppy experience, but I think he still enjoyed every second of it.  The only hiccup was that Perfect Landing restaurant is no more.  Apparently, it closed some time ago and was converted to a pizza parlor.  Apparently, there was some controversy about it all.  However, no one had reported the closure AirNav.com, so it was quite a surprise when we arrived -- because the restaurant doesn't open until 4:00, and we were ready for lunch at 1:00.

Fortunately, the owner was there, invited us in, and offered to make us the pizza of our choosing.  Turned out, it was quite good.  Thin crust, and made with a yellow cheese (later disclosed to be Colby Longhorn) instead of the more traditional mozzarella.  JK and I each polished off a 10" pie.  With one drink, the total tab was a reasonable $20.  And the owner didn't want to take our tip!  It gets the IFR Pilot's official rating of two thumbs up!  Check it out for yourself!!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Looking Back and Going Forward

Looking Back

Unfortunately, 2011 was another valley in the peaks and valleys of the IFR Pilot's aviation career.  Here's a look at the cold, hard numbers and other matters of interest:
  • Total flights:  18
    • 17 in N62TB
    • 1 in N2447E, a G-1000 equipped Cessna 182T during a trip to Phoenix/Sedona.
  • Total flight hours:  32.0
    • 30.2 in TB20; 1.8 in C-182T.
    • 29.3 daytime; 2.7 night
    • 1.5 actual instrument; 3.2 simulated instrument
    • 23.0 hours cross-country
  • 31 day landings, 11 night landings
  • 12 approaches
  • New airports visited:  3 (KDVT, Phoenix, AZ; KAOO, Altoona, PA; KPKB, Parkersburg, WV)
  • Longest leg:  3.9 hours from KWST to the Home Base
  • 1 Angel Flight (boo, hiss, unacceptable give-back)
Here's the long-term picture of how 2011 stacks up against prior years:

There was a brief glimmer of hope that one more decent flight in 2011 would reverse the 4 year decline, but Momma Nature slammed the door on that idea with some crummy weather during the last week of December.

Going Forward

Here are a variety of things that ideally will be accomplished in 2012, in no particular order:
  • Sell 2TB, or better yet, find one or two partners to share the costs.  (Active discussions occurring as we speak.  Keep yer fingers crossed.)
  • Obtain single-engine commercial pilot certificate.
  • Obtain sea-plane rating.
  • Write more for the blog.
  • Get an nFlight Cam and post more videos to the blog.
  • Attend the Socata.org Fly-In in Florida in April (if 2TB doesn't sell).
  • Find another outlet for publishing law-related aviation articles.
  • Fly five Angel Flights.
  • Master flying GPS approaches with the Garmin GNS480, both with and without the autopilot.
  • Fly at least once with a local TV personality.