Monday, April 21, 2014

Flying Friday & Flying Sunday...kind of.

Neat turn around contrail
This is just a quick obligatory post on our flight this weekend. It was Easter holiday and time to visit my family in MI. I left work early after a very long and tiring week and met up with Bob and Turbo who were all packed up and waiting at the airport. 

We quickly departed into a smooth and very hazy sky for Michigan. That's pretty much all I remember. Because I nodded off! And nod it was, because I tried to pay attention and enjoy the view and then...nod. My head was down. I jerked it back up, looked around and nod! Back down. After that I just gave up and slept for a good portion of the flight. 

What I was awake for was to see what the new Class B airspace around Detroit was like. It had expanded to at least twice its original size and now would be along the entire path of our flight through MI and the new airspace actually hovered over my old stomping grounds at PTK. My attitude was pretty negative towards that, however, we encountered no problems and super carefree clearance through the Bravo. Yay!

Previously, Turbo had started not appreciating flying with and being a bit more antsy. All was well on this flight, luckily. He slept like the good boy he is and promptly sat up when he felt us throttle back to land. He immediately popped over the seat and onto my lap upon touch down.

The weekend was a whirlwind of activities, a movie with the family, meeting up with friends, Bob helping clear the driveway of fallen trees from a storm, cocktails and dinner (I tried frog legs!) and Easter festivities. Before we knew it, we were saying it was time to head back to the airport and head home.

Turbo curled up with the luggage
The flight home was lovely, when you looked behind the plane. The sun set behind us leaving a nice reddish tinge to the calm sky. I had wanted to do the flying since I hadn't much the past few trips and I especially wanted to do the landing. But...I hurt my shoulder. Something about sleeping is very dangerous. So dangerous that you wake up one morning and cannot lift your arm without extreme pain. Maybe it's called "getting old". Whatever you call it, I flew for a bit but found it very hard to reach out with my left arm and as I descended, I gave over the controls to Bob. I couldn't even reach the throttle without letting out a squeal.

So, I really should have had Bob write this blog post as it would have been much more interesting. I slept and took pictures. Don't worry, all will be back in order soon, I have a couple future flights in mind :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SMAC070 – Live From Sun N Fun 2014, What We Learned, Third Class Medical Changes

Live from Sun ’n Fun 2014! It’s Carl’s first time as PIC of the Stuck Mic AvCast. This episode was recorded live from the deck at Sun ’n Fun radio. Instead of the usual gang, Carl is joined by Eric Crump, Thomas Frick, Robert Cigliano, and Larry Overstreet.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New wings!

Sorry to get you excited, no new airplane...yet. But we now are the proud parents of six baby chickens. Everybody say "aw"!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Announcing Collaborative Aircraft Rental Insurance

Announcing Collaborative Aircraft Rental Insurance

This week at Sun N’ Fun, OpenAirplane announced their newest program: Collaborative Aircraft Rental. With the tagline “put your aircraft to work” OpenAirplane is offering just that-putting your aircraft to use when you are not using it. OpenAirplane is making it easy to make some extra cash by offering your airplane as a rental aircraft to qualified OpenAirplane users. 

Operated completely through an easy to navigate website, the aircraft owner sets the wet rental rate and OpenAirplane connects users to the rental. Owners will be able to breathe easy knowing all pilots must complete the required Universal Pilot Checkout before they rent. Detailed information on that pilot will be available online for the owner to approve prior to approving the rental and following the flight, both pilots and aircraft owners are invited to rate the experience. All payments will be handled through the OpenAirplane system making for less paperwork and no processing fees for the aircraft owner. 

The Open Airplane Network and Proper Coverage from Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR)
With a revolutionary new way to make an aircraft available to renters, this new use must also be properly insured. Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) and Starr Aviation have been steadfast supporters of OpenAirplane since its creation, assisting OpenAirplane on the insurance side of their program. AIR works with Starr Aviation on renters insurance, pleasure and business policies and on commercial insurance. We are premier partners with Starr Aviation and have been able to create insurance options for those using the OpenAirplane network, making insurance coverage readily available and competitive. Because of this unique partnership, our two companies are the most familiar with OpenAirplane requirements in the aviation insurance market.

Premier Partnerships Offers Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance Discounts
All pilots renting aircraft through the OpenAirplane program must obtain a minimum amount of non-owned aircraft coverage. Due to a premier partnership with Starr Aviation, Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) now offers members of the OpenAirplane Network up to 10% in savings on their renters insurance!  A 5% discount is available for pilots who have completed the OpenAirplane Universal Pilot Checkout. Simply provide your insurance agent with a copy of the OpenAirplane Universal Pilot Checkout prior to binding coverage to receive your discount. Pilots that are claim free will receive an additional 5% discount resulting in a total of 10% in savings!

When looking to rent aircraft around the country, there is only one website you need to visit: OpenAirplane. Likewise, when obtaining insurance coverage before flying with or making your aircraft available for rental with OpenAirplane, there is only one place you need to call: Aviation Insurance Resources.
AIR offers a wide range of aircraft insurance options for aircraft of all makes and models, from experimental aircraft to standard aircraft, such as Cessna Aircraft, Beechcraft, and Cirrus Aircraft to Robinson Helicopters, builders risk insurance, and Corporate Aircraft.

Click Here for a FREE Aircraft Insurance Quote!

To find out more about Aircraft Insurance Discounts, the OpenAirplane Network and Aviation Insurance, please contact Aviation Insurance Resources by calling 877-247-7767 or visit today to receive your free Aircraft insurance quote!
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SMAC069 – Goodbye Len Costa and Three Places To Land In Your Lifetime

We’re wishing Len blue skies this episode. He’s hanging up his captain’s hat and setting off on a worldwide adventure. Help us say farewell. Also, do you have an aviation dream destination? The SMAC gang shares their favorites.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Turbo the Flying Dog's Flight Suit!

I had mentioned in my previous post that Turbo got a new flight suit. I bet you were all wondering how cute he looked in it? Adorable (and miserable) for course :) Since I forgot to put a photo up on that post, here it is now for your viewing pleasure. If you haven't already, be sure to follow him on Facebook!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tennessee Museum of Aviation

In my previous post, I talked about a trip to the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee with Bob and Turbo. Little did we know that our destination airport, KGKT, had an aviation museum! After a fun weekend in the Smokys, we spent some time at the museum waiting for the weather to clear a bit more before heading home.

Upon entering, we asked if it was OK for Turbo to come in. They said it was fine as long as he stayed leashed and was carried if there were children around. There is even a resident 6 year old Jack Russell who stays by the front desk.

While Bob paid, Turbo and I explored the gift shop. There was lots of fun stuff, but most importantly, there was doggie flight suits! Yes, Turbo had to have one and not only did we buy it, we made him wear it throughout the museum! Poor pup. He puts up with so much.

You can go throughout the museum unguided, or have someone guide you for free. A super friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, Ron, walked around with us and gave us the insider scoop on many things within the museum.

The first section of the museum is full of history, museum visitors will be guided through a history of aviation military uniforms, see local mementos from wartime aviators and view a wall with a complete guide to aviation history. They are even in the process of starting a women in the military section. One another end is a layout of a B-17 panel and it window gives you a peek into the airplane hangar section of the museum. 

Notable planes in the hangar section are two P-47 Thunderbolts (in flying condition), a P-47 wreckage recovered from the ocean, an Albatross, a Gulfstream IV wing and a UH34 helicopter. Amazingly, all aircraft are owned by one gentleman (excluding his friend's Albatross) and his and his wife's vintage Corvette's were in the hangar.

We spent about 45 minutes in the museum checking everything out before having to depart. If you want to read all the history and have a full guided tour, I'd recommend allotting an hour and a half. All in all, it added another gem to our list of aviation museums to visit.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Fly-to Cabin Weekend

This winter was a hard one, with weather, business and personal life. It had been awhile since Bob and I took a mini-vacation, discovering new and fun places by air. It was time to fly away, to celebrate our love of flight, my last year with Women Of Aviation Week and to get some desperately needed R&R. My mother's cousin rents out two beautiful cabins in the Smokey's, so it was time to take advantage of that!

I left work early this past Friday and met Bob and Turbo at the airport to depart to KGTK, Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Tennessee. I was excited to fly, but not excited enough apparently as I kept nodding off the whole way. It was just further evidence of how much I needed that cabin getaway. So, for safety's sake, Bob flew. Turbo wasn't so excited either. For the first time in his 40+ hours logged flying, he did not appreciate take off and wanted to get in the smallest corner of the airplane that he could find-but he couldn't find one. So he was on my lap until we were at altitude and he calmed enough to go back to his doggie shelf.

With the headwind, we arrive two hours and forty-five minutes later on the smooth runways of Gatlinburg, TN. High mountains surrounded us in flight and created a beautiful backdrop for the airport as well. Then we picked up our rental from Rent-a-Ride which was suggested on Air Nav over the Enterprise based at the airport and were on our way.

If you ever are in the area, you definitely need to look into renting one of my cousin Kevin's cabins: Ambleside of the Smokys (where we stayed) and Windermere at Douglas Lake Resort. Ambleside has a hot tub on the deck (as does Windermere) and two lovely soak tubs in the two bedroom cabin. It was clean, cozy and just what we needed! We spent our weekend relaxing in the hot tub, reading by the fire and exploring the area. 

The area definitely has a lot to offer, much more than we had time for, and is very family friendly. Pigeon Forge offers plenty of dinner shows, some carnival rides and buildings full of activities to include laser tag, bumper cars and rock climbing. My favorite place that we stopped at was Goats on the Roof. Yes. It is exactly what it sounds like. There were real live goats on the roof and that place could not have made me any happier. Gatlinburg offers a large shopping strip, a crafters shopping loop, and Dollywood nearby. As you head towards the Smoky's there are a lot of cute little stores to stop at and I made sure I enjoyed some shopping time. It was interesting packing up all our purchases into our small plane when it was time to head home!

Ah, heading home. The worst part of a trip. I always say to Bob, "I wish we just had one more day!" on these short little jaunts. We delayed our departure until late afternoon due to rain and freezing levels. So, we found ourselves spending some time at the Tennessee Aviation Museum before leaving. I'll save that post for another day.

Our flight home was pretty smooth, we started at 7,500 then found ourselves climbing to 9,500 then eventually to 11,000 for cloud clearance. Two hours later, we neared Frederick, the broken to overcast layers became scattered and we descended into a bumpy and windy Frederick. We had left 70 degree weather in Tennessee and were welcomed by freezing temperatures in Maryland. I was not amused.

I look forward to renting a cabin again and seeing more of what the area has to offer. It made for a great getaway weekend and I think hiking and nature lovers, or those with families and young kids could easily spend a week there. Future blog posts to look out for: 1. The Tennessee Aviation Museum 2. How I made my QT Halo Headset fit better. Talk to you then!

Monday, March 17, 2014

SMAC068 – Women Can Fly Too, Fish Strikes, GPS Turbulence Detection

We've got lots of aviation news to share in this edition of the Stuck Mic AvCast! Victoria’s back with us this week to let us know how Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2014 is going. Join the (unusually named) SMAC gang for this episode! 

Suppose we should get to it, eh?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Women Of Aviation Week in the Record Books

So it's over! There's my fourth Women Of Aviation Week crossed out on my calendar! This year, I worked as U.S Team Leader and the event coordinator for the WOAW Opening Ceremony. I had passed on the reigns of my "baby" the Frederick, MD Women Fly it Forward event to the capable hands of the Sugarloaf Chapter of the 99s so I could better focus my efforts as U.S Team Leader. This year, I had three great ladies help as regional Team Leaders, Suzanne, Jen and Jenn. Due to that, we increased the number of events offered throughout the United States!

As you may have read here, the day before the Opening Ceremony started out with a lot of worry and rushing to make alternate plans. A large snowstorm would be entering the area and threatening the closure of our event venue. Quickly, plan B fell into place as we learned that night that the museum would be closing. Unfortunately, with closures came airline cancellations as well and we lost our event host, Nadia Marcinko, and another aerobatic guest, Anna Serbinenko, who would not make it to plan B. The remaining aviatrices (including a surprisingly calm event coordinator aka me) enjoyed dinner and drinks out before the first flakes began to fall.

The following morning, I dug us out of half a foot of snow and awaited our 4 wheel drive taxis to take us to plan B: the AOPA Live Studio. A huge thanks to Paul and Warren at AOPA Live for being so accommodating and helping us film a one of a kind panel of aerobatic women. Special guests were Melissa Pemberton of Pemberton Aerosports, Jacquie Warda of Jacquie B Airshows and wingwalker Jana McWhorter of the Flying Circus. What fun it was to spend the day (and weekend!) with these remarkable women! You can watch the live feed of the panel here.

Tuesday, day two of Women Of Aviation Week, I joined the founder of WOAW, Mireille, to meet and greet ladies that AOPA President Mark Baker would fly. Each girl received a pink WOAW wristband, much like you would get at Oshkosh from Mireille and me after the flight. You can read more about the day here.

Wednesday, day three, we premiered on the WOAW Livestream account, a one of a kind interview of three time around the world flyer CarolAnn Garrett with Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock, the first woman to fly around the world. This is such an amazing interview, you can just hear the love and passion for her flight in Jerrie's voice. Listen to it here.

The week went by quickly and it was soon time for Women Fly it Forward in Frederick. The theme was "Passport to Adventure" and each kid who attended received a passport to have filled with stamps at different stations throughout the airport. Once they received ten stamps, they earned a prize. Stations included airplane flights, flight simulators, learning the phonetic alphabet and (my station) a pretend runway. At the pretend runway that was laid out in painters tape on a hangar floor, myself and Jill Tallman from AOPA acted as ground control and tower directing kids along the taxi way and for takeoff. The best part of this is that I brought our pup, Turbo, with me dressed as an airplane. The kids loved guiding him through the "airport" and running on "takeoff" with him.

After three years of running Women Fly it Forward, I was pretty burned out. So, I insisted on only staying for a morning volunteer shift. However, I ended up enjoying myself and socializing until the end of the event. It was very enjoyable talking to new and old pilot friends as well as participants attending the event. I ended up staying five hours past the point I said I would leave! It makes quite a difference not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. The event concluded with a plane pull by the Frederick Roller Derby, a new and fun activity for this year's event.

Alas, another Women Of Aviation Week is over. Devoted organizers are tallying their flight totals and submitting photos to WOAW HQ. Soon, a new Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport award will be announced. Who will it be? Regardless, I know I smiled a lot throughout the week and witnessed many more. These smiles are dreams forming...all a part of Women Of Aviation Week!