Wednesday 19 June 2013 08:52 UTC
This forum is for anything to do with light aviation
Most unusually find myself sat getting admin in order and logbook up to date instead of out partying on NYE this year, as my wife is poorly. The logbook adding up has me reflecting over a quite remarkable year.
Wet yes, perhaps it may have been better had the sun shone, but lots achieved. I hope it can be some sort of inspiration for those struggling a bit, wondering whether it is all worthwhile (which it always is). If you nip enough ankles, hang around enough airfields, network as much as you can, opportunity does eventually show itself.
376 hours and 45 minutes logged this year. 90 of those in cloud and 30 at night. 130 multi engine (whilst getting paid too!) and 180 instructing. Not bad for someone holding down a full time desk job as well I am told that there are full time airline pilots who have flown less
A lovely trip to Italy, including landing for lunch at the Lido, Venice. Also added Ireland to the list with Belfast and Newtonards, as well as Ronaldsway (several times as it turned out). Exeter, Gatwick, Birmingham and Norwich also added to the list of airports landed at.
My first flight in a Boeing. OK, it was a Stearman, but one of my favourite flights. First flights in a DA42 with first experience of Garmin 1000 PFD and MFD set up. Loads more tailwheel hours and aeros, as well as formation.
Managed to fly on the 3 days I like to log (New Years Day, birthday and New Years Eve). Plus on many others in aircraft ranging from the humble but able PA38, to the Super Decathlon and Bulldog to the PA31.
Flown unpressurised (and the darned heater doesn't work that high!!) at FL250 and discovered that -40 is blasted cold! Had partial engine failure (density controller failure) 180 miles west of Jersey.
The list of experiences goes on and on. Just proves that if you try hard enough you can get to do things that you never dreamed you would.
Oh, and after >2,500 CVs sent out over the last few years, I get a full time job out of the blue. It's who you know (or make an impression on that counts it seems). Onwards and upwards
Loads of doom and gloom around at the moment. What other good news stories are out there from 2012? Let's hear them!
Happy New Year and safe flying adventures to all for 2013.
Imagine what you might try if you thought you could not fail...
391 hours 50 minutes.
All single engine... Just didn't have the money or the motivation to keep current in the DA42.
27 hours 30 minutes at night.
Big thing for 2012 was nearly doubling my hours in seaplanes to 96 hours 10 minutes with an additional 46 hours 5 minutes on floats.
A lot of aerobatic and tailwheel flying.
Trips were bringing a Jurca Scirocco back to Boundary Bay from Chino California, and a Diamond DA20-C1 back from Kitchenor-Waterloo via Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana.
I was impressed by the 1999 Diamond DA20-C1Evolution, it was better made, and better thought out than the 2006 Eclipse I've been flying.
Did the Arlington Fly-In in the Chipmunk.
Did Mae Hong Son, and Pai, Northern Thailand last week.
January and February were really bad demoralising months for me, went on a seriously bad emotional journey and today I question whether I should ever return to Vancouver.
It's an amazing paradox, with excellent flying but in a place that clearly causes me so much groundborne angst.
The weather was very bad through to the end of June, and so the majority of the hours were flown from July onwards, a very very busy time.
But you can't make up for the first six months, and here I am broke and wondering how I'm going to cope with the near future. At least the cost of living in Chiang Mai is low, you can eat well for a Quid.
Flying is very rewarding for me, it is what kept me alive when I should have been spiralling down to my doom! I owe it my life in many ways.
People I have flown with in the past have been critical of many things, but never about the flying I did with them.
Some have told me I have a 'gift'. That may be so, but it is one which has a low monetary value, I'm perhaps not even on a par with the monks wandering around here in their saffron!
I've always said that if aviation is a religion I'm a monk, and it is so!
The thing we must always preserve in our lives is our sense of humour.
Happy Flying In 2013, I hope it's a lot better than the (Lucky?) Dragon year that has nearly passed. Not sure about Snakes though....
In BC wondering wandering
Nice one Andy, glad you had fun. You really do need to get yourself back up to Mull in 2013!
tWF can't keep up with you instructor types for hours but I still managed my best year ever, with 118 hours, almost entirely in G-JONL. Some excellent trips, including a sortie around the south west picking off lovely airfields like Dunkeswell, Bodmin and Perranporth and yet another visit to Mull, Isle of Skye, et al, all in the space of ten days. My final aviation related activity of 2012 was to fit a VP prop to G-JONL, so next year will be faster!
Happy New Year to everyone.
G-JONL - Sportcruiser
Diary of a Sportcruiser kit aircraft builder and flyer
Not long did a blog post on that and came to the conclusion that the plain facts of the logbook didn't reflect how I felt about the year well at all.
Started the year without an aeroplane and logged no flying at all until May when I did the tailwheel (some of Andy's tally of instructor hours!) training with the intention of broadening my range of options for shares.
Started browsing and putting the word about that I was looking, while flying club Tommys in the meantime including a lovely camping trip to the LAA rally with my nephew
Andy's comment about networking works for share seeking as well - all the ones I considered came by word of mouth.
And of course I finished up the year by buying into a Microlight which I adore - even the running repairs and "fettling" on non-flying days.
Weather has still not cooperated to finish differences on the thing but looking forward to tons and tons more flying in the new year - even if it is at 65knots from now on!
"Let's go flying"
Scribblings of a novice PPL
My year did not go as I initially expected. I had a number of long distance VFR touring trips planed but the main one, a week round France and a visit to the Euro flying got canned due to very bad weather. I did get up to Mull and did some Scottish touring though. The unexpected bit was getting back into tail dragging, flying a friend’s DR1050 and getting checked out on a Long EZ to help out another friend who no longer has a licence. Engineering projects included Installing two glass panels and a Mode S transponder in the 1050 (3/2 done) and upgrading it from a dynamo to an alternator (done but untested). Not sure how many hours, probably around 50, taking me up to around 1125 TT sep. The MCR has performed very well all year with only one slight earthling issue which took a few hours to track down, blighting an otherwise 100% reliability record.
Now I need to finish the Jodel ASAP (probably by mid Feb), improve my handing of the Long EZ, do more touring and possibly more test flying which has been fun this year.
Happy New Year to everyone.
Great year Andy, good to see you finally made it to full time flying after our chat in Oxford the other week!
My year wasn't bad either, probably something like 130 hours in the book, a mix of Sportcruiser adventuring, Airvan jump flying, big jet sim flying for the MCC, DA42 checkout and IR revalidation, Cherokee 180 outings and starting my own first proper flying job on the Cheyenne.
It has been a long wait (11 years) to get here, but it was worth it!
Great news on the Job Andy, really shows persistence and Networking pays off, as well as taking every opportunity that is offered, it is all good experience!
My year was dire for Flying, financial woes knocked me out for the first half, and then a combination of aircraft availability, diary clashes, weather and my Daughter's operation has meant that I only logged 2:15 this year!
As soon as the rice is harvested from the Paddy fields that are the Cambridge Gliding Club and our strip we can get the aircraft back and I can do a thorough de-rust.
This year will be different, I will make sure that I finally start doing the flying that I want to do. My daughter is well on the road to recovery and is already planning her first Navex into darkest Suffolk
One of the things that I am contemplating this spring is buying an inflatable Kayak as we live near a river now...
...but at 25kgs it will comfortably fit on the back seat of the Rallye, along with the paraphenalia, which could mean seeking out some strips near rivers/lakes/beaches where One of the kids and I can do some flying/paddling adventures....
Tight for space in the cockpit? Take a look at the Aero-ist Wristboard
2012 was my first full calendar year of flying, having had my first lesson in April 2011 and having passed my PPL skills test in August 2011.
The numbers (for 1 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2012) read as follows:
73.1 hours logged
46.4 in command
26.7 under tuition
1.3 at night
17.0 on instruments
Three new types flown. One share purchased. One IMC rating acquired. One week-long flying holiday (possibly the best holiday ever). Two visits to the continent. A handful of real ILS approaches flown 'in anger'. Two trips of genuine utility, where I had somewhere to be and flying was genuinely the most efficient way of getting there.
Countless £150 hamburgers and cooked breakfasts.
One airborne 'enthusiastic debate' about the relative merits of flying into cloud vs flying into mountains.
Lots of new friends made.
A large amount of money (by my standards) spent on this still relatively-new hobby. So much that I don't want to try and count - and my wife would kill me if she knew how much I was spending that could go into the 'big house' fund.
Millions of thoughts/dreams about whether or not at my age (30) it is too late to throw some money at the CPL/IR and try to get paid for flying. Many thanks for Andy's inspirational tale - if I ever acquire the balls to make the financial decision then that'll be my route rather than buying a type rating.
But most of all, and the best thing about flying, this year I've been lucky enough to experience (around a dozen times) that awesome feeling when you take someone up who's not been in a light aircraft before and you can see them genuinely loving it.
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