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This site is a collection of flight journals as well as tips and resources for general aviation pilots. We hope others will discover the joy of flight through our stories and continue to develop their piloting skills.

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Oshkosh and Beyond: Part 3

posted in Trip Journals · Aug 12, 2006

Controllers at Fisk

It was disappointing to be driving to Oshkosh instead of flying there, but we decided to make the best of it. We took a slight detour to the tiny town of Fisk, WI. Pilots who have flown to Oshkosh will recognize that name, because Fisk is part of the primary VFR arrival route into Oshkosh. Driving to Fisk would give us a great chance to see what the arrival into Oshkosh would be like.

We took pictures and a video to give a sense of what it’s like.

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Oshkosh and Beyond: Part 2

posted in Trip Journals · Aug 06, 2006

Track from S67-KSHR-KBKX-KFCM

A journey of several thousand nautical miles begins with the first take off. Our wheels left the familiar patch of runway of our home base at Nampa, Idaho (S67) at 7:00 AM MDT as we headed east towards our first refueling stop: Sheridan, Wyoming (KSHR). After that, the plan was to make another fuel stop in Brookings, South Dakota (KBKX) before reaching our overnight stop at the Flying Cloud Airport (KFCM) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If all went according to plan, we’d be landing at Flying Cloud about 8 hours after our first take off, which would be around 4:00 pm CDT. As you’ll soon find out, not everything went according to plan and for a while there, we didn’t think we’d even make it beyond Wyoming.

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Oshkosh and Beyond: Part 1

posted in Trip Journals · Aug 05, 2006 · Comments: 2

Entire route from S67 to Oshkosh, DC and New York

For several years Nancy and I have talked about making the pilgrimage to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the EAA AirVenture. We decided that 2006 would be the year we’d actually make the trip. Since we’re going that far east, we decided to head all the way to the east coast and visit Washington, DC and New York City. I’ve been to both cities before (although it has been almost 20 years since I’ve been to DC) but Nancy has never been to either one.

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Angel Flight to Driggs

posted in Trip Journals · Jun 22, 2006 · Comments: 6

Our special passengers on their way to Driggs, ID

Driggs, Idaho is nestled against the Grand Tetons right on the border with Wyoming. Our Angel Flight mission was to transport two 10-year-old girls to Camp Magical Moments — a camp just for kids with cancer.
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When I tried to increase the RPMs the engine ran extremely rough. It didn’t take long to hear the engine running rough, and Phil’s expression told me that we definitely had an issue on our hands. I don’t think we’ve ever canceled a Mooney flight because of a mechanical problem and I really didn’t want today to be our first.

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Angel Flight to Portland

posted in Trip Journals · May 13, 2006

Angel Flight logo

Nancy and I just joined an organization called Angel Flight which provides free air transportation in private aircraft for people needing medical treatment or other humanitarian needs. Our first Angel Flight mission was to take a little girl with leukemia from Baker City, Oregon to get follow-up care in Portland, Oregon.

We arranged to pick up Ali and Chloe at 9:00am in Baker City. We got a chance to use the Angel Flight call sign for the first time during this short flight. It was a little strange saying “Angel Flight 1UT” instead of “Mooney 1UT” but we both got used to it pretty quickly.

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iPod Battery Replacement

posted in Technology · May 01, 2006

iPod showing full battery charge

Happiness is a full battery meter.

My 30GB iPod is now about 2 and a half years old, and it still works great except for one thing: the battery. When new, the battery would last about 8 hours (which was about what Apple advertised for the third-generation iPod). However for the past few months the battery life has been dwindling down. This is a big deal for me, since I listen to my iPod during work, and the battery life was down to about 6 hours. I’d either need to start working part-time, or do something about my iPod’s battery.

I found out about Sonnet’s iPod Replacement Battery kit which was only $30 and the kit let me replace the battery myself. This was much better than spending $66 with Apple which would involve me shipping my iPod back to Apple. Plus I’d get a chance to see what’s inside the sleek little iPod.

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Now That Takes Guts

posted in Flying · Apr 09, 2006

Sean Tucker performs in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

Airshow pilot Sean Tucker recently had a serious in-flight emergency. At about 100 feet of the ground, he heard a snap as his control stick broke free. Without elevator or aileron control, Sean managed to use just his trim and rudder to get the airplane climbed up to a safe altitude where he could try to troubleshoot the problem.

I took the picture on the left when we watched Sean Tucker perform during the 2005 San Francisco Airshow.

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Three Ways to Can Spam

posted in Technology · Mar 15, 2006

Don’t you hate how most websites and businesses ask for your email address these days? I don’t mind at all since I just give out a disposable email address. A disposable email address forwards messages to your real email address. The real benefit is the fact that you can have the disposable address automatically self-destruct after you no longer need it, and potential spammers never get your real email address.

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An Introduction to Textpattern

posted in Technology · Feb 14, 2006

Destry Wion has started a series of articles introducing key concepts of Textpattern.

The first in the series is Understanding Textpattern Building Blocks which is quite well-written.

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San Antonio: Part 2

posted in Trip Journals · Feb 02, 2006

If you read Part 1 of this journal, you know that we didn’t actually make this flight. One of the things we generally gloss over in our other trip journals is the amount of work we do in planning a long flying trip. This is a good chance for us to share a bit more about our planning process.
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We chose several different routes during our initial flight planning process because we were covering so much ground. The weather dictates our actual route, so it’s helpful to have at least two major paths planned for a long trip. The great circle distance is 1206 nautical miles, and the routes we chose were, at most, 200 nautical miles more than the optimal straight line course. That’s pretty good considering we would need to refuel once and also had to maneuver over or around the Rocky Mountains.

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