Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review

2012 turned out to be a reasonably good year for my aviation adventures.  First, the numbers:

  • Time for 2012: 78.0 hours
  • Pilot in Command Time: 67.3 hours
  • Cross-Country: 57.8 hours (55.8 PIC)
  • Simulated instrument time: 1.4 hours.  
  • Zero real instrument time (thank goodness)
  • Night flying: 0.4 hours (3 laps around the patch at KPWK to be night current/legal for a fly out that never happened. 
  • Total time as of 12/31/12: 131.0 hours

Accomplishments major and otherwise:

  • Passed Private Pilot SEL checkride on March 25, 2012
  • Transitioned from DA-20-C1 to C-172. 
  • First trip "going somewhere," which included a landing at the now closed Blue Ash Airport (KISZ).  
  • Longest Cross-Country to date: Chicago Dupage (KDPA) -  Burke Lakefront (KBKL) in Cleveland (295.9 nm straight line, although it obviously took a bit longer to avoid nasty airspace problems and flying over open water).  This was a trip I did not write about, but I basically flew a Cessna 172P N62681 to Cleveland to visit my sister and her boyfriend.  Being an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I had to resist the temptation to toss something into Browns' stadium while on approach to 6R.  I also learned some fun facts about how some Cessna's don't exactly drink evenly from both tanks.  This plane also had the least sexy avionics I'd ever flown - no GPS, radios did not allow for swapping frequencies, and it was the first carburated aircraft I'd flown.  
  • Gave 3 first flights (Ms. Dr. Flying Shrink, the Banana, and the Boy) and 1 second flight to a person who had not flown with me before.  My children have learned the joys of the $100 ice cream run.  
  • Joined Fox Flying Club out at KDPA.  I have to say that I have mixed feelings about this because I really love the folks out at Skill.  However, Fox lets me fly for at least 1/3 less than I was paying there and the planes are very well maintained (as they are at Skill).  I am maintaining currency at both locations for now because sometimes I need another option.  
  • My two downsides are that day in September I won't rehash, and December 2012 has been a TERRIBLE month for flying.  I've logged all of 1.7 hours in December, with six (!) weathered-out flights.  Five of these were training/transition flights to our club's Archer, and one was a club fly out to KEYE for dinner.  I was really looking forward to this latter adventure as both a community-building time as well as a chance to do a nice night cross country with a more experienced pilot. 

Goals for 2013

  • Fly at least 100 hours (do all GA pilots say this?)
  • Fly at least 15 hours at night
  • Fly at least 70 cross-country hours
  • Complete my instrument rating.  
    • On this score, I have already procured the King's ground school offering and Rod Machado's IFR Survival Book for the iPad.  I also met with an instructor for a little ground school to talk about my scan and compass errors.  I'd have already started the training if I could have gotten at least one solid VFR day for that Archer transition so that my instructor would know that I can "follow directions."  Scheduled for a flight tomorrow at 09:00 local, so we'll see.  If we can get this going, it's reasonable to be done by April since the lovely and gracious Ms. Dr. Flying Shrink has agreed to a twice-a-week flying schedule.  Ok, it was more like "negotiated" but still... 
  • Complete Complex Endorsement and required transition training in our club's Arrow.  I intend to accomplish this while completing the instrument rating to save [quite] a few bucks.  Beyond the required training for the endorsement, there seems to be no specific requirements other than really being sure you don't land gear up.  Might as well use it to complete my instrument ticket.  
So, that's my year in review and looking toward the future.  I do hope to have more time to post about my adventure.  I have certainly had some fun that I didn't write about, like flying with my son to Watertown, Wisconsin for a Culver's run (like I don't have one five minutes away...).  But it's a lot more fun.  

Happy flying!  

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