Fly - Verb; fly, flew, flown, flying 
Noun; a flight.

  1. to move through the air using wings.
  2. to make (something) float or move through the air.
  3. to transport or convey by air, or to be carried through the air by the wind.
  4. to float or flutter in the air. 
  5. to operate or travel in an aircraft or spacecraft.
  6. to operate an aircraft or spacecraft over something or an area.

Aviation - Verb; aviate, aviated, aviating 
Noun; aviation.

  1. to fly or fly in an aircraft.
  2. the operation, and use of aircraft.

Why do I fly?

I just love a good view, and often it's little more motivation than that. And of course the freedom of flying.

But really there's so much more...

It's the exhilaration and sheer freedom of flying. Because only there, with complete autonomy of banking left or right, climbing to heights where you dare not look down, or even better, the souring down with negative G's, like a rollercoaster, your stomach in your throat, can you truly feel on top of the world, and appreciate the wind that magically keeps you aloft, the cool temperatures, the awesome power in the changing weather, rain showers you pass thru, the tranquility of cruising over the clouds, the almost spiritual view to the distant sunrise seen like no where else on the ground level, or the liberating view and vast space with a never-ending horizon stretched out before you. (And at night all this is even more enchanting.)

Leonardo da Vinci is quoted to say:

“Once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward;
for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

And he's right, you know?

I felt compelled to share in my Pilot BLogbook, the exhilaration and sheer freedom of flying. Because only there, with complete autonomy of banking left or right, climbing to heights where you dare not look down, souring down with negative G's like a rollercoaster, your stomach in your throat, can you truly feel on top of the world, and appreciate the wind that magically keeps you aloft, the cool temperatures, the awesome power in the changing weather, rain showers you carefully pass thru, the tranquility of cruising over the clouds, the almost spiritual view to the distant sunrise seen like nowhere else on the ground level, or the liberating view and vast space with a never-ending horizon stretched out before you. And at night all this is even more enchanting.

Wanna go for a ride?

Enjoy my Pilot BLogbook...

As the main Pilot Blogbook is very long, over a hundred entries filled with articles reaching hundreds if not thousands of words each, and a feature image to go along with each entry, making it quite a download every time the page is called up (on cellphone that's a bear), I created a text-only summary of the just the Titles and mini-blurb of each blog entry.

This page is grouped by year, and thus makes it easy to see which years I was able to press forward with my flight training, and which years I wasn't.

Visit my Pilot BLogbook Summary...

X-Plane 11 

4000+ hours and counting

Why?
Simming really comes in handy for knowing what you're doing with instruments, navigation, procedures, and many other facets of aviation---and without the cost. For me it's not only learning instruments, navigation, and theory, but also practical drilling, adventures, missions, sharing multi-player flights, "what-if" scenarios, fun and lots more. I fly anytime of day or night, and in any weather, I can depart from anywhere, arrive anywhere, see places I would never be able to go in real-world, do anything I want enroute getting there, even aerobatics, fly hundreds of different aircraft, and practice any maneuver I'm interested in regardless of my training level. And all the while I am completely beyond any consequences, and not pay a dime more than the cost of the program and the electric bill to turn on the computer. Now that's freedom. 

On the flip-side, my philosophy, is that simming can be as real as you make it; What would you do given a certain situation set of circumstances? What if this were real? What would you do?

Morpheus said to Neo:

Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

I lose myself in it. Look up at the clock and realize 4 hours have gone by, and it's way past bed time.

But it's an essential tool in learning to fly real-world, I feel. Prepare3D and even X-Plane are all about Simulation on a very real basis for the training pilot of all levels.

Many recognize that value, others don't. I tell instructors I have over 4000 hours on Simulation over the years (which I take pretty seriously really), and most of the time I get a little 1-ply expression of distant indirect appreciation and condescending approval, like they think I'm more of a gamer than a real student pilot. But when I demonstrate competence they shut up, and know I've done some homework.

In a later blog for real-world Under the Hood Training, I detail that there I am blindfolded for 3 solid hours; tracking VORs, VOR Intersections, Unusual Attitudes, multiple ILS approaches, and all with completely BROKEN Attitude Indicator, and damn if I ain't DOING IT!!

So thanks MS FlightSim and X-Plane, and in your instructor's face with "Simming is merely a game..." because it REALLY pays off, all those hours where the real-world physical plane and looking out the window is far less important, and the instruments are there for the learning and practicing.

Truth be told, on Sim, I practice Stalls at 300ft AGL too. ;)

 

While I can't speak for other students and licensed pilots, I have heard again and again that in the business of flying, talking on the radio with ATC and even other pilots, is the most common fear, difficulty, and even avoided on flights when airborne. Go the long way around, just to stay off the radio.

Yeah, not that bad, but me too. 

Online flying helps, and PilotEdge is by far the most outstanding! Pilotedge is online flying ATC at it's best! Pilotedge is just fantastic, and I can't thank them enough for the amazing and wonderful facility and services they provide.

If you want to guarantee that high quality controllers will be online along with functioning voice CTAF, Pilotedge is for you too.

Read this Review I found helpful, accurate and compelling... PilotEdge Review...

Visit: www.PilotEdge.com

 

VATSIM is the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation network, connecting people from around the world flying online or acting as virtual Air Traffic Controllers.

This is a FREE network allowing flight sim'ers great quality Air Traffic Control from the volunteer communities throughout the world. Real-life procedures, real-life weather, real-life airport and route data. 

But..... IT'S GLOBAL!!!  On VATSIM you can join people on the other side of the planet to fly and control! 

Funny, because it kinda opened up the whole world to me that I didn't utilize before. 

In comparison, I came from PilotEdge originally, having read mixed reviews on VATSIM. But they were mistaken. True, VATSIM is a much different experience than PilotEdge. PilotEdge came from VATSIM in its creator, and is normally awesome and truly top of the food chain if you want a VERY true-to-life experience. (Uptight as real-life as well---good practice.) But it also has its limitations both in coverage areas and personnel. The Controllers are on the clock, and that means better quality, but economic limitations... Can't cover the whole world. Obviously. 

In contrast, VATSIM does take a little getting used to. It's a community and not always available in your chosen area. But the major hubs are manned up the vast majority of the time that I have observes. If you remain a little flexible, and perhaps wait till your chosen area is manned with ATC, it's still a great experience. 

I personally love it because those area that are NOT manned with ATC at that time, means you can fly online with freedom and NOT have to answer to ATC. Thus converting a Class D, C or B into a Class G. And that's cool for the flipside of the hours.

I thank the VATSIM community for their contributions and making GLOBAL online flying a reality for us all. 

Visit:
www.vatsim.net

Other VATSIM resources include:

https://www.vatsim.net/events

http://www.vattastic.com/

https://map.vatsim.net/

http://vatview.com/vatview.php (old but useful)

Have a question (or two)? Post it!

Answers to questions for one student, for the benefit of all students (and other CFI's for that matter).

No one CFI can answer every question, if only for time alone. But if your CFI can't answer your question(s) for whatever reason, this is a good site to help find you an answer, or direct you to a source that can get your flight training or aviation related questions answered.

Visit: www.AskaCFI.com

Coolness!!; An entire section devoted to Mountain Flying!

If you're like me, there's flying... then flying at night... then flying in the MOUNTAINS!

Personally the mountains have always fascinated me, brought inner peace, and endless awe of the majestic and breath-taking sights. I have always wanted to learn to fly in the mountains, and this section is devoted to information to do just that.

It is my wish that fellow pilots learn and in turn teach others how to safely fly big mountains.

See you up there!

Here are but a few articles devoted to Mountain Flying...

 

Thanks to AOPA for all you do!

About AOPA: AOPA is the largest, most influential general aviation association in the world. Effective advocacy, safety education and training, enlightened leadership, technical competence, and hard work. Providing member services that range from representation at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, advice, and other assistance.

Visit AOPA...

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