Thursday, December 29, 2011


Received an email this morning from the FAA stating that I have been cleared for flight training. Hopefully I will be back in the air within 7 days.

2012 is going to be a great year......................

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cockpit Audio

Thanks to the internet, I have been able to research different audio set-ups. Check out @rfelty and his YouTube setup

I have selected a digital audio recorder from Sony. The Sony icd ux512 retails at $99.99 but is available from Amazon for $75. 

The cabling set-up is so simple and discrete. I can plug in my headset to a patch lead from Barnstormer Audio. It comes with three connections. One end connects to my David Clark headset. The other end connects to the regular audio socket in a C172. I then connect spliced end of the patch lead directly into my audio recorder. It's that simple!

Next I need to focus on the video. I have an idea to use a small HD camera, but I am first going to get the audio nailed. There is no point having video with no audio. Also, I don't want the audio and video to distract from the task at hand. Let's take our time.

All going well, I will be recording my first cockpit audio in about two weeks time. In the mean time, I will continue to watch and admire Rick's YouTube channel.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alien committing a crime?

Being a non permanent US citizen working in the United States , I am classified as an Alien. If that wasn't bad enough, I have to visit the Chandler Police Department next week to give my fingerprints. Don't worry, I am in the country legally and I have not committed a crime. This is all part of getting clearance to commence flight training since this that terrible September day back in 2002.

This should be the final step in getting TSA clearance. I am on track to commence my flight training in January out of KCHD in Chandler, Arizona.

I need to start thinking about my training schedule. After talking with the family, we feel that flying two evenings after work and once on a weekend should be manageable. I am targeting finishing my training by March which will allow me time to build my confidence for the remainder of the year before tackling that elusive IFR ticket in early 2013.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In-flight audio

This evening, I am researching how to record cockpit audio. If I can get this working I may make a small weekly podcast with my training highlights.

I am using a blog entry from the popular StudentPilotCast podcast to research which equipment is needed.

One of the questions I have is whether instructors approve of audio being recorded. Need to do some research on this once I start my training.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pima Air & Space Museum

This was our third weekend in Phoenix. I was keen to continue the aviation theme as with previous weekends. I took the family down to Tucson for the day. The ladies went shopping. The boys went aircraft hunting. Everyone was happy!

As far as museums go, Pima Air and Space Museum has to be the best I have ever visited. Such a wide range of Cold War and Military Aircraft. I only had four hours there. I really have to go back next year. Very impressed with the restored B-36 that last flew in 1959.

PhotobucketIn addition to over 250 static objects, there are two busy airports near by. Tucson International Airport and Davis Monthan AFB. The Arizona National Guard are based at Tucson International. Was pretty cool to see several F16's lined up on west apron.

When I do go back, I have to visit one of the aircraft boneyards in the area.

All in all, just another great aviation experience in Arizona.

Overall, this has be be one of my fav. photo's from the day.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Page 1 of 1315

Purchased Jeppesen's FAR.AIM 2012 manual yesterday. Essential reading for any pilot.

The problem is, it's over 1300 pages long. Where do I start?

Need to get a head start on FAA regulations before my flight training starts in January.

Monday, December 5, 2011

And the winner is.........

Chandler Air Service.

Today I visited CAS based out of Chandler Municipal Airport (KCHD) to discuss my flight training options.

I spent an hour with one of the Chief Instructors talking about the the road to getting the FAA Private Pilot Ticket. UK and Irish Flying Schools have nothing on this crowd in terms of introducing people to aviation. So impressed with that today.

Basically I will work on my medical and TSA clearance over the next two to three weeks. Training will commence early in the New Year.  I am going to stick with the C172, however the PA28-Warrior remains an option.

The most exciting part is the thought of the Cross Country exercises. I will discuss them in a later posting.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So much to talk about.......

I have only been in the US for a couple of weeks, but this place is just happening for General Aviation and #AvGeek interests in general. 

I could talk about the contrailing fighter jets that I saw dog fighting in the SELLS MOA this weekend or the number of small GA airports around the Phoenix area. But instead I am going to about the my son's first flight in a GA aircraft.

Last Wednesday I logged onto Stella Airpark's (SLJ) website for no real reason. Turns out there was to be a EAA Young Eagles morning at the weekend. I spoke to my 9 year old and he said "sign me up".

On Saturday morning, we headed the 1/2 mile to Stella. We were greeted by a business jet and a L-39.

I filled out the disclaimer paperwork before my son was released  to the flight line. There were some pretty cool looking aircraft flying around. I was not disappointed to hear that he would be flying a Mooney M20C (retractable gear!).

Marvin and my son taxied towards the active right in front of me allowing me to take some photo's. They departed runway 17 at Stella and headed west towards the mountains. They flew right over my work which added to my son's excitement. They then appeared approx. 20 minutes later on left traffic for 17.

24 hours after the flight, my son is still buzzing. He has the aviation bug. Where we come from, experiences like this don't happen to kids of 9!

After 2 weeks, I am clearly in love with General Aviation in the US.

Thanks to Marvin for taking his time and money to share this experience with my son. Thanks to EAA for running the Young Eagles program.