Sunday, July 25, 2010

2010 Summer Adventure - Recap

Now that the long flying adventure is in the books, it's time to reflect briefly on what it was like and what it all meant. Did we have an absolute blast? Heck yeah! Did I gain a bunch more flying experience? Indeed, no question about that. If you've missed any of the specific posts about the trip, check out the links below. Then scroll on down when you're ready for my final thoughts.

Trip Log
A comprehensive view of our track over the ground

One thing that I found beneficial about logging this many hours was how many times I had to refuel. Why is that, you ask? I was able to keep track of Hobbs time and gallons burned over an extended period for the first time in my flying career. We don't refuel the planes when landing at Stewart so I only compiled data for the first six legs, which I've posted below. I definitely enjoyed being able to see how altitude, power settings, and leaning the mixture affected my gallons per hour. I always flight plan for 9.0 gal/hr so it's nice to see that I'm leaving myself a small extra safety margin in real-world flying conditions.

Fuel Use
  • Leg 1 - 40I to JXN - 3,500 ft cruise - 16.2 gal / 1.8 hours = 9.0 gal/hr
  • Leg 2 - JXN to TVC - 4,500 ft cruise - 13.0 gal / 1.9 hours = 6.8 gal/hr
  • Leg 3 - TVC to 83D - 3,500 ft cruise - 7.5 gal / 0.9 hours = 8.3 gal/hr
  • Leg 4 - 83D to ESC - 4,500 ft cruise - 13.3 gal / 1.7 hours = 7.8 gal/hr
  • Leg 5 - ESC to OSH - 2,500 ft cruise - 13.2 gal / 1.6 hours = 8.3 gal/hr
  • Leg 6 - OSH to AZO - 3,500 ft cruise - 21.6 gal / 2.7 hours = 8.0 gal/hr
  • Overall Average - 84.8 gal / 10.6 hours = 8.0 gal/hr
People who have known me a while know that I tend to remember statistics. I didn't earn the nickname "Stat" at college basketball games for no reason. Often what I remember are things of the rather random variety, like much of what I'm going to list below.

Random Statistics
  • Hours Flown - 12.6
  • Landings - 7 full stop, 1 touch and go
  • Go Arounds - 1
  • PIC XC hours remaining to satisfy IR requirements - 2.1
  • Days grounded due to weather - 2
  • Diversions around weather - 3
  • Rental cars rented - 2
  • Minutes spent searching for lost rental car keys - 45
  • Most expensive 100LL - $4.61/gal (TVC)
  • Least expensive 100LL - $3.99/gal (AZO)
  • Total spent on 100LL - $365.27
  • Blue Angels watched - 6
  • Hours spent checking the weather on my cell phone in backwoods Michigan - many
  • (Authorized) flights through an active TFR - 2
  • Unique ATC facilities spoken to - 17
  • VFR flight plans filed and activated (and closed!) - 2
  • Great Lakes encircled - 1
  • Saab 340 FOs saying hi to us on UNICOM because they learned to fly at Stewart - 1
  • States added to my "I've flown there" list - 2
  • Other airplanes seen flying the Chicago VFR shoreline route - 0
  • $100 burgers eaten - 1
  • Bugs smashed - our fair share
  • Rain showers (nature's bug cleaner) flown through - 2
  • Towered airports landed at in my piloting career - 8
  • Number of towered airports added to that list on this trip - 5
  • Controllers who called me 2841L after I called in as 2814L - countless
Maybe it's just how my brain works but that pretty much sums up why I gained so much experience on this trip - and way more succinctly than I could have in paragraph form. Gina and I both had a great time and words can't describe some of the sights we saw; that's why I posted so many damn photos and videos. Flying over top of the Mackinac Bridge, landing at Oshkosh, passing by downtown Chicago eyes-level with the top of the Sears Tower... I could go on, but suffice it to say we saw and did some awesome things.

There's no doubt in my mind that this trip is one of those things I'm going to remember for the rest of my life. Regardless of what awesome flying adventures lie in our future, this has been and always will be our first really big trip. I'm glad our friends who are reading this enjoyed what I have posted as much as I enjoyed flying the trip, writing the posts, and editing the photos and videos. Sometimes this blog really is a labor of love and it really means a lot to me that so many of you take time out of your day to read a bit and say hello. Thanks again for sharing in this, our 2010 Summer Adventure!


  1. awesome stats! I'm trying to catch up on the trip yet, but sounds like you had a blast and learned a lot as well. I really enjoyed the video's too.

  2. No worries, it's a lot of reading/watching and I bet only a few extremely dedicated folks will actually have time for it all. I'm just relieved to finally have all the videos edited and posts written so I can start getting caught up on some other things around here!

    Thanks as always Rob and see you guys this weekend.