In 1922, Amelia Earhart set the feminine altitude record of 4,267 meters (14,000 feet). A courageous and capable aviator, and inspiration to many. Go women in aviation.
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, –
And done a hundred things You have not dreamed of —
Wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along,
And flung my eager craft through footless halls of air . . . Continue reading “High Flight 2017”→
We pause and reflect – In honor and recognition to the brave men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. We respect your courage, commitment and sacrifice. Thank you for protecting us and our freedom.
In July 2017, we flew our plane to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh Wisconsin. Many years had past since I had last attended. It was good to be back and EAA AirVenture did not disappoint. The weather was just perfect. Here are my brief highlights:
Warbirds were in full array. The quality and quantity of restored military aircraft was impressive. I’ve never seen so many. I believe Baby Boomers are spending their retirement dollars on warbirds and enjoying every minute of doing so.
The world famous Blue Angels provided a spectacular physics defying aerial presentation every day we were there. And, each afternoon special aviators took to the sky to display their airplanes and flying skills.
The EAA Aviation Museum was an impressive pause from the activities outside. I had not previously been to the museum. They have a collection of more than 200 historic airplanes and many world-class galleries. I found the documentation of EAA members that have been leaders in innovation a compelling story. We need that passion in the next generation of pilots. Continue reading “We attended EAA AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh Wisconsin”→
Surviving an off-airport landing is one of five introductory mountain flying topics discussed by Loren French, with Alpine
Flight Training. His instruction begins with strategy planning to reduce risk and put as many conditions in your favor as possible. Don’t plan your route across terrain where you’d find it hard to survive one night waiting on rescue.
One situation Loren shared was a mountain rescue that took more than a day. The survivors could see the rescue aircraft overhead and made the mistake thinking the rescuers could see them. They turned the Emergency Locator Transmitter off – believing rescue was imminent. With no signal the aircraft left the area. Unfortunately, this occurred several times, as the aircraft would appear the survivors would turn the ELT off which ultimately delayed their recovery until the next day. It became an infamous game of cat and mouse. Let the ELT do its job and rescue personnel will turn it off when they’re on site.
Loren French, with Alpine Flight Training, teaches an introductory mountain flying course aimed at piston-engine pilots navigating below 12,000 feet in VFR conditions. Here’s his guidance on weather minimums for pilots new to mountain flying:
What are Your Mountain Flying Wx Minimums?
Visibility: Minimum 10 miles along your route
Wind Aloft: Maximum 25 knots forecast between 9,000 and 12,000
Cloud bases: 2,000 feet above all ridges and passes along your route
Weather minimums are part of Loren’s guidance to develop a strategy that puts conditions in your favor. If your weather minimums cannot be met look for a suitable alternate route, delay the flight or cancel and rent a car.
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What’s your airplane’s performance at mountain altitudes? Airplane performance is one of five primary topics discussed in the Alpine Flight Training course.
The Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), Section 5 contains performance data for takeoff, climb gradients and landing distances, which you’ll want to study. Your airplane’s performance will vary based on weight, altitude and air temperature. And, keep in mind the POH numbers listed are for a new aircraft. Your plane’s age and condition can be a factor in actual performance.
Alpine Flight Training, suggests creating a blank table template and entering the actual performance for your individual airplane. Training with a local expert can help you gain a better understanding of your airplane’s true performance in the mountains at high altitude. It’s said, a normally aspirated airplane will lose about 3% in engine performance for every 1,000 feet. At an altitude of 10,000 feet that’s a 30% loss in engine power. Continue reading “What’s the mountain performance of your airplane?”→