As is obvious from the sparsity of entries in this blog over the past year or so, I have not done much flying in 2009. In November 2008, I parlayed my recently-earned instrument rating into a really fun trip down to Santa Barbara, which yielded some sweet pictures and a great story. Since then, my memorable flights consist of an IFR currency flight in May, a trip to Petaluma somewhere in the middle there, a couple of bay tours in August, and a trip to Burbank in September to audition for the reality TV show "Wipe Out!" That's it.
Why the groundedness? Finances had certainly become an issue. I had other things going on, including an incredibly busy job, a marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and a new (and thankfully very understanding) girlfriend. It's an equation that I imagine most pilots learn pretty early on in their careers: No Time + No Money = No Flying.
Well, while my earthboundedness may have made me a rusty and potentially dangerous pilot, it also allowed my bank account to recover, so I no longer feel so bad about assaulting it once more. I'm going for my commercial license.
A few weeks ago I had a training flight in a 172RG, where we did some slow flight, stalls, steep spirals and chandelles. I still need to learn eights-on-pylons and lazy eights, and then it's just practice, practice, practice. Oh, and I really need to learn how to do a short field landing. At the moment, I kind of suck at it.
Last week, I got a second training flight in the RG, where we combined the long daytime cross country requirement with a mountain checkout, and added the time to my total complex training time (now up to 7 hours!). That was awesome; we flew from PAO to BLU (that's Blue Canyon, a tiny single strip airport without even a bathroom) to TRK to TVL and back to PAO. Just to add to the fun, PAO was IMC when we left!
Now, I just need one more training flight for maneuvers in the RG, and a night cross country (plus the long solo cross country...where should I go that's 250NM from here?) and then it's just practice, and studying! Nothing to it.
After that, it's CFI time. Who wants to be my first student? :-D