Saturday, May 16, 2015

My baby's first "outdoor" adventure

It's been awhile since I posted but I haven't actually been in a position to post; I've been in Montana visiting my dad.  Last Friday I flew out to KCOE in northern Idaho (Coeur d'Alene) enroute to my dad's place in western Montana.  I spent the night at my brother's house (after the obligatory airplane ride).  As I probably mentioned in the past Jim (my brother) is also a pilot and is also somewhat responsible for getting me back into aviation.

Saturday morning I loaded up and flew on in to Superior Montana where my dad met me.  Of course we had to go for a ride around the mountains and there are a few pictures below for your viewing pleasure.  Sunday I flew on in to Missoula to visit some family and the poor controller was probably getting tired of me landing, loading a new passenger and then heading out again.  All in all I gave three rides that day and so far everybody has enjoyed to trip.

Besides all the rides, the significance of this trip is that it was my baby's first night hangar to sleep in.  I guess she didn't mind because she flew great the whole time, including on my trip home.

As usual once I got her home I had to make some changes so the entire instrument panel has been removed for a couple of new additions;  an audio panel and an autopilot controller.  The Audio panel will allow me to use both radios in the airplane which is important when I start flying IFR.  The autopilot controller is just a physical controller that will allow me to control the autopilot without having to shift to a different screen on my PFD (Primary Flight Display).  Again this will be helpful while flying IFR.

This is the VOR at Lookout Pass on the Idaho Montana border where I-90 crosses.

This is my dad with his first turn at flying the airplane.  Dad has never flown an airplane before and I didn't give him much of a tutorial so it was kind of amusing when his snowmobile riding habits kicked in and he was trying to lean with the turns.  

Nice valley picture.  This is near Plains Montana.

Another picture of the river but this time you can see where two rivers merge and the color difference.

Look, there is an airport down there in the haze.  This is the Ellensburg airport...I think.

This should be Fairchild air force base in Spokane Washington.

This is Spokane International airport.  Interesting thing about this airport is that it seems to share class C airspace with Fairchild.  They are only about a mile apart.

Felts Field in the Spokane area.

Nice view of the mountains as I start my adventure into Idaho and Montana.

Its hard to see in this picture but there is an airport down there.  This is one of two options I have for landing near my dad's place and its still 40 minutes away by car.  This is Shoshone County airport in Idaho.

Getting close!  This is a picture of DeBorgia Montana. 

See that little valley just aft of my wing where the aileron and the flap split?  Thats the valley I grew up in.

Another picture of the mountains as I start my descent into Superior Montana.

St. Regis Montana, where I went to school.
And here she was as I started to pull stuff out of the panel for the upgrade. Stay tuned for more updates on this project!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Short hop to Yakima

Been busy flying these past couple of weeks.  I find it hard to take good pictures with my iPhone in the cockpit so I am going to start carrying my Canon SLR and see if that helps at all.  I have flown with both Travis and Mariah now and got some interesting responses.  Both loved the airplane and how it flew.  Travis flew us around the Seattle area for a while including buzzing his mom in Issaquah, and Mariah flew us back from Yakima (we flew over for lunch) on Saturday.  I think Travis's new call sign will be "Ice" since I don't think his pulse moved off of 40 beats per minute the whole time!  Mariah on the other hand has another "call sign" but I can't decided between "Giggles" and "Nelly" for nervous Nelly.  During our trip to Yakima whenever we hit a small bump she would get excited (nervous excitement) and then giggle.

I have also had a couple other passenger firsts this past couple of weeks, most notably Harry.  Harry finally had enough time off to join me for a short flight Saturday evening.

Finally, I started my IFR training last week with Howard Wolvington.  I am going to like training with him for a couple of reasons.  He was awarded CFI of the year for AOPA last year which is a big deal and I can see why.  He has a good training manner and he obviously knows flying inside and out.  For those that don't know what IFR is, its just an additional rating (certification) that will allow me to fly through clouds on strict flight plans that are monitored and routed using Air Traffic Control.

Here is "Ice" flying the airplane.  I think thats a smile but I'm not 100% sure.  :-)

Mariah taking "selfies" while I do the run-up checks.

Can we call this one "Cyclops"?

Hmmm,  yep, thats correct.

Ok, this is one of Mariah doing the flying while I took the pictures.

I don't know why I keep taking these pictures but this type of view is just stunning to me.  This was on our way back from Yakima.
A view of our neighborhood.  Big change from last year.

I finally got a picture of Jeff flying next to me today!

Jeff doing his startup checklist as we prepared to leave Scappoose Oregon this afternoon for the 30 minute flight home.