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13601 Pioneer Trail

Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Archive for February, 2010

12
Feb
Stephanie Burdorf

Stephanie Burdorf

If you have been around Hummingbird Aviation lately, you have likely run into Stephanie Burdorf. Stephanie is the most recent Helicopter CFI at Hummingbird but she is no stranger to us here. She began her helicopter flight training at Hummingbird as a high school junior. She then continued her flight training at the University of North Dakota and earned her Bachelor of Science of Aeronautics focusing on Helicopter Commercial Aviation. Last summer Stephanie helped us with some commercial helicopter flights , reliable pharmacy here . She is now a full time helicopter flight instructor. We are excited to have her flying for us.

Category : New Team Member | Blog
10
Feb

Steve Hacker First Solo In Lightning

Steve Hacker next to his Lightning

Steve Hacker next to his Lightning

Over the past six weeks, Steve and I have been flying in his Lightning working towards his first solo in the aircraft that he personally built. The two main obstacles that we have faced were the weather and learning how to land.

The weather has been a major challenge for Steve’s flight training, being that it is January and February in Minnesota. Steve has been doing the preflight inspection in his hangar and then taxing down to Hummingbird to pick me up for our lessons.  Because of his hard work, I have only heard the stories of what it takes him to prepare for flying when the temperature is 0 degrees, the wind is blowing and the ramp has 6 inches of snow with an underlying inch of solid ice. By the time I get in the aircraft, Steve is somehow still smiling and telling me that it took him 30 minutes to push his aircraft in the day before because of the ice or letting me know how many times he fell on the ice while getting it out of the hangar, or about a slight mishap with the preheater causing the engine not to start. Once I am in the airplane, I immediately grab the towel and start wiping frost off the canopy. When it is below 10 degrees, wiping the canopy is a full time job and Steve has given me the title of wipe man. Like most Minnesotans, we have both treated the weather as just another thing to overcome.

The second major challenge to overcome is learning how to land in a Lightning as a student pilot. I am a firm believer that this is a great aircraft and a joy to fly. The flight characteristics are predictable and stable at all speeds and configurations with the exception of a botched landing. The most common landing error that student pilots make is not holding the aircraft off the ground long enough to slow down, so that there is insufficient lift remaining to cause the aircraft to bounce. As a CFI for the last ten years, I have spent lots of time bouncing down the runway with students, in many different airplanes when a student has not held the aircraft off the ground long enough. All of these aircraft have different characteristics while bouncing. The Lightning does not have good “bouncing” characteristics. When this aircraft bounces, it bounces high and the oscillations immediately get worse requiring a go around. This landing characteristic is not a problem for a pilot who already knows how to land. For a student pilot, however, learning how to land it is undesirable. Steve has taken the correct path in his flight training by learning how to land the Jabiru 170 at Hummingbird Aviation prior to flying the Lightning. The Jabiru and Lightning have a similar engine and avionics but the Jabiru is much more forgiving and docile to train in. Without the transition from the Jabiru to the Lightning it would have been even more difficult for him to learn how to land the Lightning.

Steve Hacker After First Solo

Steve Hacker After First Solo

Steve has worked through all of these obstacles and has accomplished his first solo in the Lightning today. He was grinning ear to ear as he opened the canopy after the flight. That was a sight that made all of those frozen flights worth it for both of us.

Category : First solo | Blog
8
Feb
Josiah Ellis

Josiah Ellis

Josiah Ellis recently began flight instructing for Hummingbird Aviation. I have personally been flying and teaching beside Josiah for a few years. He is an experienced fixed wing CFI and also an airframe and power plant aircraft mechanic , best antibiotics shop http://shopantibioticsonline.com . He is a huge asset to have around with his diverse background. Welcome to the team Josiah.

Category : New Team Member | Blog
2
Feb

Register now for Helicopter or Airplane Private Pilot Ground School.

Helicopter Ground School: Start date 2/22 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 2/23 and will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00PM-10:00PM. On March 15th 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