The past year was quite chaotic on nearly every front - work, personal, and flying. I spent 40-45 nights away from home for work and another 35-40 nights away on personal trips. You can probably imagine how that cut into my available hours for aviating. Still, I think I crammed a decent amount of fun and experience into my time aloft.
I certainly wish I could have filled more pages in the logbook (and posted more on here) over the past year. At the same time, it never really felt like I was flying so infrequently. But the logbook don't lie - I logged fewer hours in 2014 than in any year since I passed my checkride in 2008.
One way I remained reasonably current was focusing on the fundamentals. Despite the limited hours, I count 9 of 21 flights (9 of 15 if you exclude the cross-country trips) where the primary purpose was practice. Pattern work, stalls, steep turns, power-off 180s, you name it... I really do enjoy basic stick and rudder work. Especially in a Cub!
Gina and I still enjoyed plenty of great sights from the air; our annual birthday and fall foliage flights are always special. While I can't predict whether things will calm down in 2015, I do hope to fly more this year. We have a big trip planned this summer during which I won't be flying but it would be nice to push the hours north of 30 again over the remaining months.
Total Hours: 23.2 | Solo: 8.8 | XC: 10.8 | Dual: 1.9 | Night: 2.9 | Landings: 54
Aircraft Flown: C150, C172, C182 (Safety Pilot), Cub
New Airports: None (yikes!)
New States: None
First Flights: 4 (two kids in May, Stephanie and Stuart)
People Flown: 8 (above, plus Mike, Lauren, Dave, and Gina)
$100 Burgers: 2 (New Year's Day breakfast in Middletown and Marty's BBQ send-off in May)
What I'll Remember: My sister tagged along in the Cub for a memorable formation flight with Tommy in the Fly Baby on the Fourth of July. Being able to clear my mind and avoid the traffic by flying up to Michigan to visit my dad in the hospital, then returning with Gina at night. Crossing 100 hours in a single airframe (N2814L) for the first time. Maintaining my night currency for nearly the entire year - the best I've done in the 6+ years I've had my license.
2014 Goals: Glider lesson, glider lesson, glider lesson. Seriously, it's been on my to-do list since at least 2010! Meet up with fellow pilot bloggers somewhere this summer. Make more $100 hamburger flights and perhaps even an overnight airplane camping trip with some pilot friends.
^ Well that didn't work out so well. I need to make a conscious effort to revisit my goals more frequently in 2015!
2015 Goals: I'm out of excuses on the glider front. Although the rating's still a ways off, I absolutely need to go for at least one ride this year. Hold me to it! I would like to travel by airplane on at least one or two overnight trips with Gina. It would be fun to take a few more friends and coworkers up for their first flights. I need to fly some Young Eagles again, too.