Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

So yeah... I didn't exactly close 2016 out strong, despite somewhat miraculously logging more total hours than I did in 2015. The little bit of flying I did do last year was quite enjoyable, though. I am hopeful this coming year calms down enough to give me more cockpit time.

However, we've got a baby on the way! While I'm obviously very excited about our growing family, something tells me that won't exactly leave me with more free time in 2017. :)

Prior Recaps: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

Sadly I haven't flown myself since our awesome trip to Boston to meet our new nephew over Labor Day weekend. In the four months just since that trip, I've been to Michigan (six times), San Francisco, South Dakota, Boston (again), Chicago, Minneapolis (twice), Wisconsin (thrice), Kentucky, Charlotte, South Carolina, Indianapolis, Dallas, Germany, and the Dominican Republic. In total, I visited 18 states, nine countries, and flew over 115,000 miles on 118 commercial flights that had me aloft for 323 hours in 2016. So while I hate to continue making excuses for my lack of personal flying and blog updates, I think the travel statistics speak for themselves.

Probably 75% of my travel is work-related and I do expect that will be somewhat reduced this year, which leaves me hopeful that I'll be able to do more flying on my own terms. I am also considering joining a flying club of some sort for access to better - and faster - planes, especially as we anticipate more frequent visits to Boston for the cousins (and their parents!) to hang out.

Total Hours: 24.5 | Solo: 2.4 | XC: 17.5 | Dual: 1.0 | Night: None | Landings: 39

Aircraft Flown: C172, Cub

New Airports: S24, UNV, IPT, OWD, ALB, TSO

New States: Massachusetts

First Flights: 4 (Garrett and Anthony + Joseph + Isabella)

People Flown: 6 (above, plus Tommy and Gina)

$100 Burgers: 1 (we met the in-laws to the deliver the incoming baby news in August)

Fly-Ins: None

What I'll Remember: Gina and I having the awesome opportunity to go flying in a coworker's Mooney in Germany in July. Finally taking to the sky with pilot friend and blogger, fellow former Kalamazoo resident, and awesome photographer Chris. Cubbin' with another former Kalamazoo resident and pilot friend Garrett. Avoiding storms with my first taste of ADS-B in August. Stretching my wings and flying the furthest I've been yet, from Ohio to Boston, to meet our new nephew; it was full of great experience including a diversion for extra fuel and an extra overnight on the way home.

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.

^ Well, as mentioned earlier, I fell back into said travel patterns... and then upped them by 50% for good measure. So that put a damper on most of the planned activities.

2017 Goals: Given my lack of goal achievement these past couple years, part of me feels like I should change them up. That said, I still really would love to experience a glider flight sooner than later. In a similar vein, although it's probably pretty unlikely with a newborn coming in May, it would be nice to start work on the IR. I think the most realistic goal is my complex checkout, especially if I am able to join the local club some friends of mine are in.