Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I begin 2014 feeling quite thankful for a wonderful 2013. Throughout the year - truly, there were great moments nearly every month - I added things to a nice list of accomplishments, both in the air and on the ground. On the personal front, I lost about 35 lbs and completed an extremely challenging programming course in Python. We also did a lot of work around the house including a full bathroom remodel and a ton of new landscaping.

Prior Recaps: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

My flying life managed to involve a really nice variety of experiences. I crossed the 300-hour mark just this week, a bit over five years since passing my checkride. My hours reached their highest annual total since 2009. I was even night current for almost half the year!

Perhaps the only serious negative was the fact that I didn't start - let alone complete - my Instrument or Commercial ratings. That was a major goal of mine for 2013. Unfortunately, I just don't have enough money in the budget to afford it right now. As with my Private, I don't want to start until all the money's there. A significant pause in the middle of training is quite inefficient; it costs more in the end, too. So, although I really want to get the ratings (and, ultimately, my CFI) I can't help but keep things on hiatus for the time being.

Total Hours: 49.9 | Solo: 12.8 | XC: 18.8 | Dual: 5.7 | Night: 2.6 | Landings: 112

Aircraft Flown: C150, C172, C182 (Safety Pilot), Cub, Taylorcraft

New Airports: EVV, IMS, I17, BAK, VTA, CMH, DAY

New States: None

First Flights: 7 (Abby, Aunt Angela, GaryDawson + Chaston, Linda, and Dave)

People Flown: 15 (above, plus Rob, Lauren, Scott, RosaLia, Gerry, Jamie, John, and Gina)

$100 Burgers: 5 (Pizza in Evansville in February, Marty's BBQ in May with Rob + Abby and then again with Gina, breakfast at Hangar 5 in July, and Urbana in October)

Fly-Ins: 1 (MERFI in August)

Pilots N Paws Flights: 1 (April)

What I'll Remember: Another round of Cubbin' on skis at the gliderport. A bunch of great solo flights, practicing basic maneuvers and working myself hard, particularly in the Cub. Flying out to Evansville to visit one of Gina's friends for the day. Enjoying the best view of Chicago again. A fun little adventure involving a hitchhiker. Getting some stick time and a checkout in the Taylorcraft. Having the honor of being part of a formation flyover for a funeral and, later, more formation fun with the Stearman. Making my first solo night flight and solo night cross-country, plus night landings my first two Class C airports.

2013 Goals: Start and complete my Instrument and Commercial ratings. Yup, you read that right. Woo boy, I'm gonna be busy, eh? Here's the thing - I know I want to get them, I've put both off for far too long, and I sure as heck want them done before we have kids if at all possible. The ultimate goal is getting my CFI/II, but doing all of that this year would be extremely hard, if not impossible. Maybe in 2014. I'd also still like to log some Stearman time, get checked out in the Taylorcraft, and maybe finally take that elusive glider flight.

^ As I said earlier, some of that simply wasn't possible. Ratings aside, I actually did knock out most of the rest. Not too bad, all things considered.

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.


  1. Congrats on a great 2013 and here is to an even better 2014. Enjoy the glider lesson!

    1. Thanks - here's to blue skies in 2014 for you, too!