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Archive for November, 2009

20
Nov

First Solo!

Posted by Jeff Dalton Comments Off

Mike Blando First Solo

Mike Blando First Solo

I wrapped up the work week watching Mike Blando take his first solo flight.  When he got out of the Jabiru Light Sport he was overflowing with enthusiasm about the flight.

After the flight, I asked Mike what words he could use to describe what he was feeling. He told me, “I have done a lot of things in my life but I think that was the most amazing experience I have ever had.”

Congratulations Mike on your first solo.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog
19
Nov

Adventures of a pilot in training in his own words.

Camilo Pineda On Approach

Camilo Pineda On Approach

Its amazing how even after 20 hours in the air my perceptions of flying are changing after every lesson.  I have had some amazing moments in my training that I thought was topped with the feeling of accomplishing a solo flight around the pattern.  My last lesson showed me I still have so much to discover and so much fun can be had in the training process.  Jeff and I got a chance to go “somewhere” after the longer then expected landing practice I finally got to go to Air Lake in Lakeville for some short field take off and landings.  Eager to leave the pattern again Jeff and I went on an adventure to Air Lake, Northfield, and then some hood time to Belle Plaine.  I didn’t know what to expect when Jeff said that he sometimes couldn’t find the landing strip.

View from left wing of Jabiru

View from left wing of Jabiru

It was easy to see why.  The field is tucked above a short bluff and some houses by the Minnesota River. We came upon the field with less then a half mile noted in the GPS and I couldn’t find the strip.  Jeff stated plainly “look down.”  I could then see this strip carved out of the corn – the only green part of the land.   It looked more to me like a good Par 4 instead of something to land the Jabiru on.  I’ve been so used to operating in the concrete and corporate land of Flying Cloud that when I realized that airstrips smaller then Stanton exist.  Flying Cloud is a welcoming airport but it’s easy to be in awe of the variety of traffic.

Long Final

Long Final

I got to follow a standard left traffic pattern and come in for a soft field landing.  The strip seemed very short and not that wide.  It also didn’t have a center line something that I was used to for lining up the nose of the plane.  We dropped in just like a standard landing and Jeff showed me the small amount of throttle to add after clearing the threshold.   When we touched down I was amazed at how soft the ground felt and how quickly the plane slowed down.

Short Final

Short Final

Keeping the back pressure on the stick to protect the nose wheel seemed very natural- almost like walking on pebbles with bare-feet.  We kept the power high to back taxi up the field and I realized another one of those Aviation Truism’s hold through.  Landing on the small grass strip makes all of the green surfaces in the world more friendly and approachable.  Landing in a field doesn’t seem that bad. It’s also so amazing to drop beneath the corn and use someone’s back of their house as a judge on how far off the ground you are.

My Sport Pilot Training has been amazing and everyone at Hummingbird is so welcoming to the novice.  I continue to look forward to each lesson and can’t wait until Jeff shows me something new.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog
18
Nov

Steve Goebel completed his Sport Pilot Certificate in a Jabiru Light Sport Aircraft.

Sport Pilot Steve Goebel

Sport Pilot Steve Goebel

Steve has been training with CFI David Klemenhagen since August. He took his check ride today with Designated Pilot Examiner Barb Mack. I got a chance to talk with Steve after his flight and he told me that it was very uneventful. There were no surprises and he was well prepared. He is excited to take some family members for rides over the next few weeks and enjoy his new flying privileges. Sometime in the next year he will work on completing his Private Pilot Certificate.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog
17
Nov

Register now for Helicopter or Airplane Private Pilot Ground School.

Helicopter Ground School: Start date 11/23 and will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00PM-10:00PM. Class runs for 8 weeks and will prepare you for the Helicopter Written Exam.

Airplane Ground School: Start date 11/24 and will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00PM-10:00PM. On December 14th class will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays. Class runs for 8 weeks and will prepare you for the Airplane Private or Sport Written Exam.

Category : Activities | Blog
4
Nov

Check Ride Advice

Posted by Jeff Dalton Comments Off

Preparing For Check Rides

I recently took a 141 Chief Instructor check ride with the FAA. I have taken numerous check rides in my career, but was again reminded about the apprehension in being tested. My check ride brought back the vivid memories of how nervous I was for my first few check rides and also how it has gotten easier over the years. Being nervous and intimidated for an upcoming check ride is normal because by the time a check ride approaches, a substantial amount of time and money has been invested into training. In addition to the investment, I am passionate about my goals and being within reach of those goals. The emotional investment in such an achievement is high. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help reduce the stress of being tested and having a successful check ride.

1. Know as much as you can about what the practical test will be like. A thorough reading of the Practical Test Standards is essential. The PTS will tell you exactly what the examiner will go over with you in the oral and flight portion of the test. It tells you the limitations and standards on how well you are expected to fly each maneuver. This will help prevent any surprises on test day.

2. In the PTS, use the applicant Practical Test Checklist. There are numerous items that you must have prepared for the day of the check ride. Have all of the items on the provided list completed and in an organized folder days before your check ride is scheduled to take place. Your instructor can help you with this and also give you additional items to have completed, like weight and balance, flight planning, and takeoff and landing performance. The PTS also contains a section called Special Emphasis Areas. The examiner is required to go over this list of safety critical topics so review this ahead of time.

3. Go on a mock check ride with an instructor that you have not flown with before. Treat this session like it is the real thing. Go through the paperwork that you are required to bring. Do a full oral exam prior to completing a full flight exam. This will help give you the confidence that you can handle the situations that will come up during your actual practical test.

4. Treat the flight like any other lesson. The examiners are experienced CFI’s and want to make the flight a learning experience. They have to follow the PTS but they are also looking to make sure that the applicant is a safe and capable pilot.

5. Keep in mind that the worse case scenario is that you will be unsuccessful in your first attempt. This is usually caused by an error during a flight maneuver. It doesn’t mean that you are not a capable pilot. Your flight instructor would not send you for a check ride if you weren’t fully qualified. You can generally retake the portion of the test that didn’t go as planned after very little retraining.

Following these simple steps will help prepare you for the day of your check ride. Combine this with the training and experience that you have received will make for an uneventful and positive check ride.

Category : Training Articles | Blog
3
Nov

The great weather that we have been having the last few days has brought about some quick accomplishments for Hummingbird Aviation clients. With a dry weather trend over the long range forecast everyone around the Hummingbird office is looking forward to getting some more stick time. Here are the last few days’ accomplishments. Congratulations to the students and instructors!

Tail Wheel Trainer

Tail Wheel Trainer

This last weekend Kyle Johnson completed an accelerated tail wheel endorsement. Kyle drove up from southwestern Iowa to experience the performance and thrill of the Husky. He was able to receive his tail wheel endorsement in just 2 days with less than 7 hours of flying. His instructor Dave Klemenhagen told me that Kyle picked up on the training very efficiently due to the accelerated tail wheel course.

Dave Scalora completed his Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check in the Bonanza A36. Dave took a break from flying but decided to get back into the air. After our flight Dave said it was great to get behind the controls again and was surprised how fast the skills came back to him. Dave plans to continue flying the Bonanza to finish up his check out and then start renting the six passenger aircraft to continue improving his skills and to have fun.  

Steven Goebel just returned from his first solo cross country. He flew from Flying

Jabiru Light Sport

Jabiru Light Sport

Cloud to St. Cloud to Litchfield and then back to Flying Cloud. His next few flights will be in preparation for the Sport Pilot Practical Test.

On Sunday, November 1st Jeff Parker completed his First Solo Flight. He took the Jabiru around the traffic pattern at Flying Cloud airport for a few very successful landings. Congratulations Jeff on your First Solo and I wish you many more great landings.

Jeff Parker 1st Solo Flight

Jeff Parker 1st Solo

Category : First solo | Uncategorized | Blog