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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Spin on Spin Training

Nathan Richards more than survived spin training over the course of a couple weeks, he relished it. On lesson number two of three, he managed to nauseate the instructor. No, not with sub-par jokes, but with spins ad nauseum. He hung in there for just shy of 1.5 hours of one, two, and three turn spins until I tapped him on the shoulder with, "lets go home, you're making me sick." Nathan, a private pilot, is a PhD researcher with Barron Associates in Charlottesville who contributes to the aeronautic brain trust of that company.

Today, lesson three of three, saw us reviewing two turn spins, then some loops in preparation for entry into inverted spins. Inverted spins were an an eye-opener (more like an eye-popper) as we pulled (or pushed) about -2.5 g's before recovering. He did excellent. After this we worked on some aileron rolls and slow rolls. We managed to carve an interesting pattern over Orange County this morning (below) as recorded by my SPOT personal locator beacon. Thanks, Nathan, it was a blast!

Give a call or drop an email, and we'll carve our own patterns during acro, spin training, unusual attitude recovery, or that tailwheel training.

See you at the airport!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Get Set Free

It's been piping hot over the past few weeks, but the hot weather hasn't kept the pilots from flying. We've been spinning, looping, recovering from unusual attitudes, and just plan dialing in those wheel landings over the first week of August. If you haven't seen the sky and earth swapping places in a while, or ever, lets set up some time to do just that. I can't stress enough how important it is to have seen and experienced the "out-of-the-box" sensations and views of the not-so-normal flight attitudes encountered during acro, spin, and unusual attitude training. Other than the plain fun of it, its utility is quickly realized if the event is ever unintentionally encountered during "normal" flight. Plus, as Sean D. Tucker says, "it sets you free" from fears and gives you a new confidence in your skills.

Ralph Boyd, finishing up his tailwheel endorsement in this most excellent landing at GVE. Ralph is moving on to some acro to become a safer pilot (and to have a wee bit of fun, too). Photo by Mike Colburn.

See you at the airport!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oshkosh: There and Back

My first trip to Oshkosh was well worth the effort and expense. OSH is aviation Mecca the last week in July. We saw more warbirds, antiques, electric, and of course, aerobatic than you could shake a stick at. Fifi (B-29) was there, as well as Boeing's new 787 offering to mass transit.

Saw a new Light Sport, the Dallair Snap (left), in front of the IAC's pavillion. Looks like a whole heap of fun.

And ran into a very nifty little Mooney Mite (with yours truly looking like a kid in the candy store), like the one my father owned in the '50's. It's got 65 screamin' horspower, retractable gear, and fun written all over it.

If you haven't been, consider flying out and attending AirVenture. Flying out with your own airplane is very fun. However this time of year, almost plan on diversions and delays (we lost a day due to weather on the way up; however it was smooth sailing back to GVE, yesterday, 7/31).

Stay cool and see you at the airport.