Saturday, January 29, 2011


The HINCH VOR is out of service and the FAA doesn't want to repair it. It's a major navigation aid in central Tennessee. The FAA is taking a poll to see how much it's used before they decide whether or not they are going to repair it. The FFA is leaning toward a GPS takeover if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, GPS is great but VOR's are a great backup and also still a good form of primary navigation. Pilots are still trained to use the VOR so I guess eventually GPS instead of VOR will be on all pilot exams.

Friday, January 28, 2011


The Apple Ipad and the Ipod Touch have become very popular with the aviation community. With thousands of apps and moving map capability, every pilot shouldn't do without one of these. I currently use WINGX for the Ipod Touch. It does everything I need and more. Weather, moving map, flight planning, terrain, radar, and lots more. Later in the year WINGX is going to be coming out with a new version that also has Sectionals and many more updates. Anyone looking for something different than Foreflight that does everything, this is a must have app. If anyone is looking for an Apple Ipad for a very reasonable price, I found this one on Amazon. The price on this would be hard to beat.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am a new pilot and I was wondering if anyone knows how much typical maintenance costs are on a Cessna 172 for example. I hope to someday have a plane and I really don't know very much as far as how much on average these costs are. I know that the 172 is one of the less expensive planes to own and operate but it still isn't cheap I'm sure. I know the annual inspection is a large part of the cost but are there any other major costs I need to know about besides engine and/or propeller overhaul. I have asked other pilots about this but I'm wanting more information from other people. Thanks

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The most nervous I have ever been was when I took my private pilot check ride. It had practiced and practiced  and studied like I was on a mission. Then the day arrived. Nervous is not the word to describe it. It was a very cloudy day but still VFR and I had to meet the DPE at 10:00. I went to the airport and did a preflight check on the Cessna 172 I was renting from the local FBO. I got in the plane and took off for a 40 minute flight to meet the DPE. It was a smooth fight there on a very calm day. I landed and got out of the plane, grabbed my stuff and went in to meet the examiner. It was 10:00 right on the dot, no exaggeration. He was nothing like I thought he was going to be. He was a very laid back person who made you feel very relaxed the whole time. This was a relief. We went in the conference room and filled out the paperwork in the Internet and did the oral exam which went fine. I messed up a couple of times but that wasn't a problem. After about an hour or so he said lets go fly. I was still not too nervous so we went to the plane and he said do a soft field takeoff and I did and then I started flying my flight planned route for about 10 minutes and he said were low on fuel divert. I diverted to a small private airport with trees all around it. It was hard to see for me and the DPE. He said do you see it, I said no sir I don't, he said I don't either. Well I finally saw it but it wasn't easy. After that I did slow flight, stalls, steep turns and an emergency landing. The steep turn was done facing at a water tower then started the turn then rolled out facing the tower again. This made it very easy. I was relieved after I did it with no problem. I then put on the foggles and he said put my head down. He took the plane and put it in a near stall and said recover and I did that very sloppy. After that he put it in a dive and said recover and I did that with no problems. He then said to do a couple turns and a constant airspeed descent and I finally got to take off the foggles. He then said to turn right 080 and I did and immediately was lined up with the runway on an extended final. He said straight in approach short field landing. I told him that I usually fly the pattern and he said straight ins are just fine with traffic in the area. Well I landed fairly well and then he said make this one a full stop. I pulled over to the building and stopped and he turned to me and said congratulations, you're a private pilot. I tried to act normal and not too excited but I it was hard. I was relieved. We went in and finished up the paperwork and he said, are you hungry?, I said I'm starving. He then drove us to a small restaurant and we ate a hamburger. After the burger we went back to the airport and I flew back home. I have to admit that it was a lot less stressfull than I ever imagined. I'm sure some DPE's are different than others, but it was a very thorough exam. I didn't do everything perfect but it was good enough to prove to him I was a safe pilot. I think to any examiner, this is the primary concern. If anyone has a private pilot check ride story to tell please leave a post. 


I am a new private pilot and was wondering if anyone knew what would be a good first plane. I have a wife and three kids and was wanting some thing affordable and that doesn't use too much fuel. If anyone has any suggestions, please make a post. Thanks