Friday, August 8, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Kick-ass

Three things have happened to me recently in relation to flying, and while none of them are actual flights I still thought I'd share them in a brief update:

The Good

In an attempt to help both myself and other student pilots to plan flights more easily, I have created three Flight Plan templates. Here's the info, and download link, for each of them:

Flight Plan Print-out Template
This is a simple single-slide Powerpoint. Print it out and it's got a pretty complete listing of all the information used in a flight plan.

Basic Flight Plan Digital Template
This is a single-page Excel document used to fill out on your computer, then print your plan before taking off. A few minor calculations are built-in, but it's minimal. Modeled off the PPT file in the first link.

Automatic Simple Flight Plan
By far my proudest of these. All you have to do is fill out the blue parts (as needed) and any calculations that can be done for you are completed automatically; no flight calculator needed! This is only useful for straight VFR flight, but since that's all most student pilots (including myself) need, it's pretty useful. Otherwise nearly identical to the other XLS file.

If anyone has feedback on these, let me know and I may be making more templates in the future. Also, if hosting gets expensive I may move them to a free server instead.

The Bad

This is the really sucky part: I haven't flown. Yesterday the weather was bad -- rain, thunderstorms and low clouds. Obviously I was stuck on the ground. I was hoping to go today instead, but looking out the window right now I can only see for 2-3 miles, and visibility only gets worse as you get higher. My flight tonight will probably be cancelled, meaning I don't get to go again until after my vacation. While I'm really looking forward to my vacation (Sandbridge Beach, Virginia -- amazing), I always love flying.

I did speak to Chris about it yesterday, and apparently this is how the rest of my flying is going to go: solo cross-country to Groton, then solo long cross-country the very next day (weather pending), then one-two weeks of test prep before taking my check ride. (For those who don't know, a "long cross-country" is one in excess of 150 miles, whereas my Groton trip will be just 50 each way.) I'm a littler nervous about doing a solo long cross-country to airports I've never been to with Chris before, but that makes it pretty exciting, since I don't want to need Chris anytime I want to fly somewhere new. All-in-all it looks like I may only have a few weeks left of lessons once I get the Groton trip done.

Now if only I could get some good weather...

The Kick-ass

Yesterday when I got back from work I was a little disappointed about the weather (no surprise). Luckily, my brother informed me that "a large package arrived" for me. It took me a minute to realize what it was, since I hadn't expected it until tonight, but once I figured it out I was very excited.

You see, after I passed my written exam, my grandparents (and Grandma, I know you're reading this) decided to buy me a pilot's jacket as a "learning to fly" gift. It took me a while to agree, then a bit longer to find a good one, but I picked it out and it arrived last night. Here's the website, which includes a picture:

The jacket is AWESOME! The leather is pretty stiff still in some areas, but it will wear very nicely. I will be taking some pictures and putting them online, though it may not be until after my vacation. Either way, I'll be updating THIS post with the link to the photos, so keep an eye out for the change. UPDATE: The photos can finally be found online here!

Well, that's it for now. Expect the next post in a little over a week. Hopefully Sunday the 17th will bring clear skies -- and a trip to Groton.

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