Saturday, June 28, 2008

Learn To Fly at Pilot Journey

If you think you might want to learn to fly, go to Pilot Journey's site at and you will find...

A $99 Coupon for your first flying lesson at an airport near you.
A 6 month subscription to AOPA Flight Training Magazine
The Pilot Journey Discovery Flight Seminar to help you with your first flight lesson.
A $5.00 off coupon for a real flight lesson at a flight school near you!
A 25 page "flight lesson plan" of what your first flight will be like
A video of someone doing their first flight lesson so you can see what to expect.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I fly because.....

French author and aviator Antoine de Saint Exupery provided this excellent quote for which we at completely agree with. Check out the new shirts with this saying on them at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Buy...or not to buy? That is the question.

My friend Ron has been looking for a bigger airplane for quite some time. He talks endlessly about it. He figures his Cherokee 140 is worth around $30,000, plus he has $30,000 in cash burning a hole in his pocket. He found a guy with a Piper Pathfinder who was willing to deal. Add in some concrete work to the deal (Ron does it for him, I mean) and it's a done deal. Ron is all excited about it and tells everyone he will be flying the airplane on Friday to see if he likes it and he is undoubtedly going to buy it. That is, until he tells his wife about it. Oopsie! Seems the missus doesn't think Ron should be spending that kind of money on an airplane. Guess we found out who wears the pants in that family!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Airline Pilot Interview Gouge and Information

Come on....

Haven't been able to fly lately because of both scheduling and the oppressive heat. Now, just when the heat wave breaks and the work schedule looks good, we see on the weather reports that fog is expected for the next 5 oar 6 days. COME ON! When are we going to get to go flying again? Hoping to get at least some local flights in after the fog burns off in the next couple of days.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Technorati Profile

Technorati Profile

Too Hot

I was going to head up the coast to Santa Barbara for lunch today but it's so friggin' hot I don't want to get into the airplane! I'm going to wait until the sun is going down and then make a run up the coast, that should be a lot more comfortable.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day Spin

After a nice BBQ at pilot buddy Ron's house, the inevitable words finally were spoken, "Wanna take a spin around the patch?" There is only one answer to that question and so we headed down to El Monte Airport at 6:15 p.m. and pulled N6794J out of hangar Tango 4. Wait, that IS a tongue-twister, isn't it? Sometimes we accidentally say Hango Tanger 4 and the other day the ATC ground guy make the same mistake. We all had a good laugh about it. We asked if in the future could we just say "taxi to Tango" and he affirmed that it would be just fine by him. Anyway, I digress. So, we fired up Juliet and headed toward the Paradise VOR at 2500 feet. Called Chino tower to transition through their airspace and they oblighed. Once out of Chino airspace and pretty much over the VOR we contacted Riverside tower and asked to transition through their airspace. With the affirmative answer we turned North/Northeast and headed for Rialto airport. Just read an article in GA news about the "Art Scholl Airport" and how it's going to be closing down so we thought we'd take a visit. It was a beautiful day to fly with the sun low on the horizon. Everything had a special glow to it and and the fact that two fathers were out flying on Father's Day made it more special. We ended each final call to the various airports with a "Happy Father's Day to all" and were acknowledged with a double click on the mic.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Special VFR

We took a short flight from El Monte to Santa Monica yesterday in hazy skies and upon listening to the ATIS information for KSMO we paused. Visibility was 6 miles, but they mentioned scattered clouds (or was it broken clouds?) with a ceiling of 800 feet. Ron and I were debating whether or not we could land there all the way up until he contacted the tower. When the controller said the field was "below VFR minimums, say intentions" we knew we had to ask for Special VFR.

Special VFR allows a certificated pilot to enter the airspace with only 1 mile visibility and the requirement for cloud clearance is simply to remain clear of clouds. That, we could do. The controller, however, is not allowed to suggest a Special VFR clearance, it must come from the pilot. This can lead to some confusion and it did when we were ready to return to El Monte.

Upon calling Santa Monica's ground controller Ron was informed that the field was less than VFR conditions and to say intentions. It didn't quite register with Ron that he hadn't asked for Special VFR and so he asked if we could take off on runway 3, the downwind runway, so as to avoid the clouds that were west of the field. The controller said the field conditions were less that VFR and to Say Intentions. Ron looked at me with a quizzical expression. I mouthed "s p e c i a l" and he caught it. "We'd like a Special VFR departure" and those were the magic word. However, after ground gave us the clearance, Ron switched to tower and announced that we were at runway 3 for straight-out departure and didn't mention Special VFR. It started all over again. Tower sent us back to ground to get a clearance (which we already had, but by this time Ron was so confused he just did what the tower told him to do...allthough if he had just mentioned "Special" we would have been done with it). We started the whole routine over again with ground and this time everything went smooth. A straight-out departure with the wind at our back turned out to be just fine, we didn't try to climb aggressively and took extra caution.

Despite our bungling of the communicaiton the tower controller was super friendly and even had a discussion with us about our lunch plans. Of course, the field was pretty quite without the usual barrage of VFR flights. It was a good learning experience as we discussed the requirements for Special VFR all the way back home and into the next day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

300 and climbing

Ok, make that 300 unique visitors!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Santa Barbara turns into Santa Paula

Ron and I headed out to Santa Barbara for lunch but when we picked up the ATIS information from about 30 miles to the east, we didn't want to attempt to land there. Broken clouds at 700 feet is not our cup of tea. So we diverted over to Santa Paula and saw all kinds of cool airplanes. Seems like we weren't the only ones with the need to find a good meal that wasn't along the coast.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Make that 250 and climbing....

No sooner did we crow about reaching a milestone of 200 unique visitors to our website but we then witnessed an exponential explosion of visitors! Just a few days after reaching 200 our Google Analytics counter shows 250+ unique visitors have come by for a look.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

200+ unique visitors!

I know that some web sites get hundreds of visitors a day, but is a very specialized web site and we are ecstatic to see that in less than 30 days we have had more than 200 unique visitors. Keep coming back, and send the link on to anyone that you think might be interested....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nope, we didn't get to fly to the Vineyard in Napa today. Weather briefer swore that it was going to be foggy there so we didn't go. Turned out to be clear all day. Oh well, better to be safe than sorry.