carbon neutral since 1975

Month: August 2008

The Three Stooges

Who’s gonna turn down a still shot of the Three Stooges? It’s comical. It’s uplifting. It’s refreshing!

The Three Stooges

Lesson 2 – Basic Maneuvers

Lesson 2 was about basic maneuvers (climb, turn, cruise, and descend) and power/pitch combinations.  Pitch Attitude + Power = Desired Performance.

I arrived early to the lesson and preflighted the ship on my own.  When T arrived, he quizzed me on information from lesson 1 and my reading assignments, including the C-172S Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH).

After the pre-startup checklist, T allowed me to request clearance from the tower and then taxi to runway 27.  He pointed out that a sign of excellence is taxiing on the yellow line, and not to the side of it.  I shall have to work on that.  Talking to the tower is intimidating at first because you don’t want to misspeak, although I would bet the controllers are more forgiving with students than you would at first think.  But I don’t know.  At any rate, I rehearsed the first call thrice with T and it went just fine.  I hesitated on the acknowledgment of the takeoff clearance because there was a bunch of stuff after the clearance that I didn’t catch.  But again, it went fine.

T had me take off too.  That’s relatively easy.  “It’s like a fast taxi.”

Since I had just come from Rush Lake and a family gathering, we departed West again and headed for Rush Lake where we practiced coordinated turns, demonstrated skidding and slipping turns, and then practiced coordinated turns some more.  So we flew over Rush Lake from all four points of the compass.

We demonstrated five basic pitch and power combinations and the kinds of climbs, descents, and cruises they will produce:

  • Climb
  • Cruise
  • Cruise Descent
  • Approach to Land Flaps Up
  • Approach to Land Flaps Down

In lesson 1, T told me when to begin each step in leveling off to hit an altitude or when to begin rolling out of a turn.  This time, he just told me the steps and then which altitude to level off at or which direction to turn to and allowed me to learn by trial and error when to begin each of the steps to level off or roll out.  T has continued to suggest reading material and provide documentation about these things.   One of the documents is the aircraft checklist.  I appreciate this checklist because it is quite thorough, but it does take a novice quite a while to get through it.

Before this lesson I was ready to go flying for hours, but T was right; after an hour, I was physically tired from focusing and learning and taking in all of the stimuli.  Like any skill, though, endurance and ease will come with experience.  This is what I call fun.

Liddell a Chinese Hero?!

I had no idea about what happened to Eric Liddell after the 1924 Olympics until Saturday, when NBC showed a 15 minute segment about his life after the Olympics. This Reuters article contains exactly the same information so that’s probably where NBC got the story.  It was interesting and quite relevant to the Beijing games.  Also, it was encouraging to see God still getting the glory 84 years later.  Now I just have to watch the movie.


Lesson 1 – A Good Start

Lesson 1 was mostly learning the procedures involved in getting an aircraft ready for flight: visual preflight, startup checklist, and so forth.  Also,  we covered the physics of flight and control surfaces and what not.

My instructor, T, seems to be a thorough and conscientious airman.  That is what I want.  He allowed me to do everything except talk to the tower, takeoff, and land and informed me when I could do better.   So I was able to perform the preflight on my own (after doing it along with T), start the aircraft, taxi it, climbout, fly southwest to Rush Lake, fly East to Fond du Lac, and then fly back North to Oshkosh.  I was also allowed to handle some of the approach.

T commented a couple of times that it is an advantage for me to have a mom and grandpa that flew and took me flying.  The resulting familiarity with airplanes is a big head start.

A Flight of Swallows

Last night we were sitting outside around a little campfire and saw a queer and amazing thing.  It was almost dusk and a flock of swallows were flying overhead in a layer.  They were spread out in a swath maybe a half-mile wide, all flying east-southeast, and they just kept coming for about 10 minutes.  I would guess there were 500 of them in view at a given moment and 30,000 of them in the whole flock.  The only thing I could think of was that the mosquitoes were coming out and it was feeding time, but I could not help but wonder why they were all flying at the same altitude and why they were all going the same direction together and whence they were coming and whither they were going.  It was all rather surreal.

He Who Must Not Be Named

Do you remember when everyone was making a big deal out of Barak Obama‘s middle name (now only a few people are)?  Just recently, it dawned on me that the Barak Obama nomination is the equivalent of something like Democrats in 1948 nominating a candidate named Josef Hitler Mussolbini.

That’s not a real issue, just interesting.  Aside from that, it is also interesting that Obama handled that brouhaha all wrong.  He acted like he was ashamed of his name and said using it was playing dirty.  In a sense he is/was right, but the way one handles an invalid criticism can be telling.  Do you remember in Office Space when everyone kept saying to the Michael Bolton character, “Are you related to the singer?” and “Why don’t you change your name?”  His response every time was, “No!” and “Why should I change my name, he’s the one who sucks!”  Well, that’s what Obama should have said.

Considering the man’s attitude towards the invasion of Iraq and his failure to say “Why should I be ashamed of my name, Sadaam is the one who sucks!” I am — with all due seriousness — left wondering.

Flight Training Begins

Flight training begins August 18th!

Super Cub?

Last time we asked, “what is a supper club?” Today we ask, “what is the difference between a supper club and a Super Cub?” Answer: A Super Cub is boatloads more fun. K and I got to take a ride in a Piper Super Cub and now I should like to have one.

Super Cub

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