Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

I enter 2016 slightly disappointed with last year's total hours once again. The past 12 months have been quite hectic for me, to say the least. But I also find myself rather satisfied by the fact that I somehow (barely) exceeded 2014's total time in the sky despite the craziness.

Prior Recaps: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

While I didn't fly much myself, I did do more than my fair share of flying - 220 hours commercially. I set foot in 9 different countries (Australia, China, French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Switzerland were new additions) and 16 states. I flew 86,330 miles (3 1/2 times around the planet, with 4 crossings each of the Atlantic and Pacific) on 72 individual flights on 11 different airlines. Add to that the trips by car and I spent a total of 114 nights away from home. So I suppose my relative lack of stick time doesn't seem so bad.

On the somewhat rare occasions I did get to fly, we still had some fun. I was able to take quite a few people for their first flights and that's always a special treat. We flew up to Kalamazoo for a WMU football weekend with friends. I still dedicated flights solely to practice - just over 25% of my hours were spent solo working on basic maneuvers to try and keep the rust at bay. As usual, there was also a bit of sightseeing and simply enjoying the view from above.

Total Hours: 24.1 | Solo: 5.8 | XC: 6.3 | Dual: 1.0 | Night: 0.6 | Landings: 55

Aircraft Flown: C150, C172, Cub

New Airports: None (again! egads!)

New States: None

First Flights: 7 (Chad, Lorraine + Joe, Jeff + Cassie, Tyler, and Austin)

People Flown: 13 (above, plus Abby, Rob, Lauren, Gary, Mike, and Gina)

$100 Burgers: 2 (New Year's Day breakfast in Middletown and breakfast at Hangar 5 in September)

Fly-Ins: None

What I'll Remember: Getting to fly in the Wright B Flyer. Logging my 100th tailwheel hour in the Cub. Hang gliding over some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever encountered in New Zealand. Taking an aerial tour over our beloved college campus for the first time in three years. Continuing on my never-ending quest to gain experience and improve my ADM. Completing a non-WINGS BFR for the first time.

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.

^ Nobody held me to it! ;-) Also, I didn't technically fly any Young Eagles but an old coworker contacted me in December about taking his grandkids flying; we're still coordinating schedules.

2016 Goals: I'm still out of excuses on the glider front. Pilot friend Tommy even offered me a free glider ride for my birthday - I need to set that up ASAP! A few of us pilot bloggers have discussed a meet-up and I hope we can coordinate that later this year.

After a complete false start three years ago, I again hope to start and finish my Instrument rating this year. That plan ran into a couple walls, financial and otherwise, but Gina graduated with her Master's in December (which we're done paying for!) so it seems doable this time around. Of course, that may change if I fall back into last year's travel patterns - time will tell.

Happy New Year!