Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

A few pictures to catch up on recent events.  Not much flying in the RV, but I am able to sneak in one airplane related item.

Most recently, we drove to Colorado for skiing and generally getting out of Texas.   Lynne and I drove, and we met my brother-in-law, sister, and nephew in Pagosa Springs, and then Durango.

The drive up takes us past vast areas of wind turbines.  We took this route when we drove up two years earlier, and I think there were about 3 times as many turbines now.

We stopped in Lubbock for lunch and also visited the McPherson wine retail shop.  We had a great lunch at the Funky Door. We were sitting enjoying a fabulous brunch when I thought they put on a Harry Connick CD. It turned out to be a live band, very cool.  Who knew Lubbock had civilization?

The skiing at Wolf Creek and Purgatory was awesome. Here you can see that the crowds were thin and we had lots of snow.

A couple of times I fell into some deep snow at Wolf Creek and had trouble getting back up. I tried to plant a pole to push myself up, but the pole never found the bottom. And I lost a ski in the snow for about 10 minutes, the first time that's ever happened to me.

Max and John after skiing at Purgatory.

Pagosa looked like a post card.

And my car saw it's first snow!

There's no need to get ice when there's snow everywhere!

Then we drove to Durango to stay at the Strater. Lynne calls it Grandma's House.

At the Strater you can be an adult and a kid at the same time!

A fabulous dinner at the Ore House.

Finally we drove back home on Christmas Eve, a 14 hour trip. We got back at midnight.

Next day was Christmas dinner at Mimi's house. Here's Max, clowning around as always!

In older news (I promised an airplane related item), we attended a cool Rise Air party, and got to take a short ride in a King Air 250. We also took a test ride in a Tesla. It was an awesome party!

Lynne and John.

Did I mention that my grand daughter likes to take pictures?

Oh yes, I did sneak in one more solo formation flight before we left. Scoot flew lead. I'm getting better at rejoins, but still lot's more practice needed. I'm up to 5.6 hours of formation time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

First Formation Solo

Flew my first solo formation sortie.  And I didn't kill anyone!  Cookie flew lead, departing 40XS.  We have to make 1 ship takeoffs because the runway is too narrow.  It was a typical training flight for a newbie.  Taxi in formation to the runway, take off as lead is just leaving the ground.  Join up (took 720 degrees), lead puts me out to route for setup time.  I goofed up the radio check in because my audio panel doesn't like it when both radios are tuned to very similar frequencies.  Back in to left fingertip, then lazy 8 wing-work.  She sent me to close trail for more lazy 8's, and then back to strong left.  Then a cross under, and strong right wing work.    Then a break to extended trail. 

Next was a rejoin to the left, which was my first decent rejoin.  A turn for separation and a rejoin to the right.  I messed this one up, but safely undershot to the outside and recovered back to the inside on the right.   We did one more turn for separation and a left rejoin.  A bit more wing work, and then back in to 40XS, with a left pattern overhead break, which of course means a cross under to put me on the right.

Lots of maneuvering that doesn't mean much to most people, but it really is mostly just what it sounds like.

Many thanks to Tanya and Scott for turning this newbie into a better pilot!

No pictures.  You don't have time to look at anything inside the airplane most of the time.  And when we're in route, we're still working.  No time for sightseeing.  One day I'll feel confident enough to take a passenger, they can take pictures.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Let's see, a busy last couple of weeks.  Changed the oil, had the very first indication of morning sickness - which is usually a sticky valve.  Hasn't reoccurred since I changed the oil.  Got in two more days of formation practice, this time in close succession.

Oh yeah, and I got cleared for two ship solo!  Maybe I won't wash out!