Snow-and-FogToday I was supposed to be on the west side of the mountains at a Swift formation practice day. It had been planned for a week or so but the entity in charge of the weather up here in the mountains apparently didn’t get the memo.

Things didn’t look so bad when I got up this morning – other than the temperature of 22 Deg (F). Ninety minutes of preheating with my home-made preheating rig could have taken care of the engine start. But the forecast for the local area just didn’t look that firm. There were too many little things that could make a flight to California for a few hours turn into a 3-day ‘vacation.’ So, I sent my regrets and stayed home to do some computer work.

Now at 2 pm the Stead AWOS reads KRTS 122215Z AUTO 33008KT 5SM -SN CLR 00/M02 A3004 RMK AO2

In English that translates to clear below 12,000′ light snow and 32 Deg (F). Humidity is 86%. Until that report there had been a FEW cloud layer at 1600′.  Oh, now a half hour later it is saying 4800′ few, 600′ Broken, Light Rain and 32 Deg F.  Might pick up some ice in those conditions (if the plane is out of the hangar).

The winds tomorrow are forecast to be gusting to 50-60 MPH on the valley floor with heavy snow in the mountains.

We seem to be getting a steady stream of storms this year. Maybe some of the lakes and reservoirs will fill up again – I’m sure the folks in western Oregon would appreciate it if we took some of the storm load away from them.

The closest I got to flying this week was an FAA Safety Meeting on Tuesday night. They covered winter operations and survival. Pretty good timing.

I have a couple of magazines to read (AOPA and Flying) so I guess that will be my ‘fix’ for this weekend. Only two more weekends left in the year. Are you planning on flying in 3 weeks – the right way to start the year off? Weather-permitting I will be…

Still Flying Around Reno

by on December 7, 2015

Swift-Flight-Nov-2015Yes, it has been a LOONG time since my last post. It has not been due to not flying, just a lot going on that took up the time I usually set aside for personal writing.

The last post was about a pancake breakfast back in August. My next major flight event after that was the West Coast Swift Fly-in at Amador County/Jackson, CA (KJAQ) in the end of September. It is traditionally held the weekend after the Reno Air Races.

The Swift event had a fairly light turnout this year. Only about 18 planes as I remember. On the plus side, that gave us more time to spend with the folks who did attend who we hadn’t seen for a year or so. It was a fun time.

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$100 Pancakes

by on August 1, 2015

I haven’t flown yet this week but last week I got some cross-country practice. I had arranged with another pilot based at Reno-Stead to fly a formation flight to the lowlands of Northern California.

The Legends of Flight and Jimmy Doolittle Center host a pancake breakfast at the Nut Tree Airport (KVCB) on the last Saturday of the month. We decided to take advantage of forecast good weather and fly down for breakfast.

As usual, things don’t always go according to plan. My friend logged another aviation first for him by forgetting to turn off his master switch at the completion of his last flight. There wasn’t enough power left in the battery to even light up an instrument panel light. So, I had a passenger…

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Sitting in Cockpits a Long Time

by on August 1, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I listened to a podcast that happened to be the 100th episode of that particular aviation podcast. The speakers on the podcast related some of their 100th aviation events – their 100th flight, 100th hour of cross-country flying, etc.

That got me thinking about those events in my flight career. Most of them happened a while ago, so I dug out my logbooks and looked them up. Believe it or not, I still have the original logbook that recorded my first training flight in August of 1968 – while I was still a cadet at the USAF Academy. My how time flies…

Here are the ones I could think of and then find in my logbooks:

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Back in the air again

July 13, 2015

I finally found enough time over the July 4th weekend to finish my part of the annual inspection and arranged to have the Inspector come out to the hangar and pass judgement on the condition of the plane. All went well and the paperwork was completed, making it legal for me to use the airplane […]

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