Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Building a Plane. Yes, I did just say that.

 Well friends I pulled the trigger on building my own plane using the Sonex, LLC aircraft complete airframe kit. We (my husband is helping too) are still waiting for our pallet of stuff to arrive. I really look forward to working on this together. I don't know if we are going to kill each other or be in perfect zen. Time will tell. 

We'll be building the Sonex B-Model. It has gone through some redesign since the legacy Sonex model. Has more cockpit room, extended range, larger space for avionics, and a few other things you can find out about on their website. You can see this in the 20 sec Ad video below. 

Mark Schaible, former GM, as of the 2022 new year is now the new owner of Sonex. Hence the name change from Sonex Aircraft to Sonex, LLC. He had been with the company for the last 2 decades, so it will be great to see what he does moving forward. You can watch the following YouTube video to learn more about this new switch of hands.

The owner community is like one large family. People with different experience levels all with the same goal, build an affordable aircraft. There is a forum and Facebook group filled with builders, enthusiasts looking to build, and those that have built. 

I'm super excited to see how the process works. Planning on keeping track of it all using KitLog Pro. I'll post that information once I get that account going. Some folks have kept track of their builds using Blogger and I guess I could as well, but I really liked the way Kit Log was set up. 

Anyhow, did I say I was super excited? Ha! Well, I really, really am. I look forward to receiving our shipment. It's going to be a huge pallet of parts! 

Cheers for now! 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Night Flying

It's been a long time since I posted anything. I actually was reviewing my account and came across this last draft from 6/12/18. I've since completed my private pilot license. This was a great flashback memory worth sharing. Not sure why I never did. - RL

Completed some take-offs and landings last night, as well as my dual night cross country. I don't have the luxury of city lights in rural upstate New York. It was an interesting flight.

    We flew to KSYR (Syracuse). One of their Notams was the airport beacon light is out of service. I don't know about you, but that seems like a light that should never be out of service. Especially at a class C airport. You couldn't tell where the airport was among all the city lights when we finally got up there. It was the brightest area on my whole route. Mall lights looked like runway lights. ATC was a great help though. Seriously, don't be intimidated by it being a Class C. They turned up the lights and led us into runway 28 for my stop and go. It was something I'll never forget.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Nothing Like Flying

Many of you have been following my blog for some time now and understand how much I love motorcycling. However, this past year and a half motorcycling has taken a bit of a backseat. I have been learning to fly and it has been a life-changing experience. Let me explain. 

The art of learning to fly is like a child learning the basic fundamentals of how to do things on your own and how to be a good human being. Flying teaches us how to be aware of our surroundings, what the difference is between good and bad decision making, how to manage risk, how to plan and prepare, how to understand your overall health and well being, and most of all how to have fun. On top of that, flying has made me a meteorologist minus the degree to prove it.  However, I was lucky enough to be accepted in the Skywarn program under the National Weather Service umbrella. Meaning, I have a certificate to prove it!    

Back in March, the wind and weather were calm. It was a cool and perfect spring morning. My instructor surprised me with, "I'm hoping to solo you today". I felt like someone punched me in my stomach. Riding a motorcycle was one thing, but flying a plane all by myself just made me nervous thinking about it. At least if I drop a motorcycle, the ground is right there and believe me I've done it a bunch of times. Especially when I first started learning how to ride. Now I had to fly an airplane alone! My instructor went up with me a couple times and then finally said, "drop me off, it's your turn". 

As I taxied off the runway to drop him off, I begin sweating like a running back who just ran 90 yards. I shut down the engine, he hops out. I take my jacket off because the heat was just building up. I go through my checklist to start the plane up again. I taxi over to do my engine runup and checks.

Then I radio to ground control for a taxi clearance:

Me: "Binghamton Ground Sportstar N29EV"
ATC: "Binghamton Ground, go ahead Sportstar N29EV"
Me: "I'm on the west ramp requesting to stay in the pattern I'm ready to taxi with information Bravo" ATC: "Sportstar N29EV, proceed to runway 10 via Lima Kilo"
Me: runway 10 via lima kilo 29EV

Taxing to runway 10.

Hold Short line at runway 10
When I get to the hold short line at runway 10
Me: "Binghamton Tower Sportstar 29EV is ready for take-off runway 10"
ATC: "Sportstar 29EV cleared for take-off runway 10, winds blah blah, cleared for right traffic"
Me: "Cleared for take-off runway 10 right traffic"
My take-off solo flight in an Evektor Sportstar Max, LSA.
Landing #2.

Taxing back to the west ramp after a successful solo flight of 3 take-offs and 3 landings.
Just like that, I had flown a plane all by myself. By the time I had my third take-off and landing, I was confident in my skill to fly the aircraft. I was still sweating, but I believed in myself. I was thinking the whole time "Wow, I just flew an airplane". It was scary, it was fun and it was hard. There was nothing easy about it. Out of my three solo landings, the second one was the best landing to date. I wish that wasn't so, but you only get good at something by doing it often and learning from mistakes. I guess flying has also taught me to never give up. It's a new passion that I have found, that I have felt empty without. 

You can follow my progress and flying adventures on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/mytube24ever

Well, folks, I would love to write some more, but I have a flight lesson in an hour.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Poem: The Warmth of the Sun

Beauty is not only seen but it is felt
An emotion that really hits you under the belt
Your body and mind become one
Your soul has been begging you for this type of fun
Time has been the enemy
Routine has been the cause of bad chemistry

Photo Taken on Stock Island at Boyd's Campground and RV Resort

The sun will be the cure
Today you are free to explore
Free your mind, body and soul
For tomorrow has yet to take its toll.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Theory of Time, Is It An Off and On Switch?

It's a new year and we are all taught to make resolutions. But, what does the term "it's a new year" really mean?

Do we just struggle so much that we have to create an artificial time switch? For a bad year, we switch it off? For a good year, we switch it on? Do you believe that yesterday's actions affect today, and actions today will affect tomorrow? See, even that has a switch! Forget the past, focus on today and hope for tomorrow. We are always hitting the switch to start over! Why?? Why can't things remain constant no matter the struggle or time?

Albert Einstein proposed that "time is a relative concept and the higher you live above sea level the faster you should age." Well thanks, Einstein you just complicated this even more. So not only do we have a time switch, it's where we live that affects how we use that switch or if we use it at all. Einstein's theory has been proved true by experts. I haven't read their findings. I'm not a physicist so I probably would only understand half of what they wrote. Nonetheless, this makes you think. I feel that most scientists are great at what they do, but they are so far out of touch with the world around them. You know, common sense, feelings, relationships and such. Would Einstein have been a different man had he meditated or did yoga every day? What would that Einstein have looked like? Would his theory of time still have meant the same to him, no matter what the math revealed?

I don't have the answers to all these questions. Maybe you do? Maybe you don't either. Perhaps you have never even thought about any of this. All I know is that my new life goal is to forget about the time switch or the resetting of time. My mind has been such a cluster f*@k as of late and it's making me exhausted mentally and physically. I feel I'm overdue on focusing time on myself.

With a strong focus on my inner chi, I feel that I will finally be able to achieve self-actualization I need to find the energy from within that moves me in harmony with the present. I feel that is truly the way one should live or at least how I would like to try to live. 

How about you? What is your take on new years and starting new plans? Do you contemplate some of the very questions I asked myself? I'd love to hear what you have to say. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Edwin A. Link - Inventor of the "Link Trainer"

You are probably scratching your head trying to figure out who Edwin A. Link is. You can think all you want, but if you don't follow aviation then you will probably never figure it out. Unless of course, you are a historian or enthusiast of history from that era. 

As for me, I happened to move to Binghamton, NY where the airport is actually named after Mr. Link. I have been learning to fly with Aero-Techniques, a flight school located at the Greater Binghamton Airpot-Edwin A. Link Field. I had never heard of this guy before. His pictures are posted all over the FBO (Fixed-Based Operator, aka business taking care of the general aviation flights coming in).

One of the posters found around the FBO that explains what instruments are found on the panel.

1936 -Edwin A. Link with Amelia Earhart. Amelia trained in the Link Trainer prior to her flight around the world.

I saw an early model of the Link Trainer on display at the Glenn Curtiss Museum in NY.

Here is a great video found on YouTube by user okrajoe . It describes the experience the pilot goes through to obtain instrument training.

Mr. Link was born in Indiana but had moved to Binghamton NY, so his story goes. In Binghamton is where he designed the first simulator which changed the aviation industry forever. I have yet to experience flight training in a simulator. They have come a long way since the Link trainer.

I hope one to get the opportunity. Have you ever done flight training in a simulator? If so, it would be great to hear how your experience went.
Thanks for reading this brief history lesson on Edwin Albert Link.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

To the Atmosphere and Beyond

A quote from Socrates,

"Man must rise above the Earth — to the top of the atmosphere and beyond — for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives." 

The photo was taken above the Chesapeake Bay.

I am not a man, nor have I made it to the atmosphere and beyond. I have however gone up far enough in a plane to fully understand the world in which I live in.

We are mere droplets of color on a charted map that does not judge us by who we are. Towns, cities, lakes, streams, and railroad tracks may separate us but they do not confine us. At 3,000 feet in the sky, the world below me shines with beauty. My charts used for navigation guide me along a path of wonders. A bit lower and I can see women hanging clothes out to dry in their yard. A boy riding his bicycle down a rural road. A farmer tending to his fields. A kayaker taking on one of the finger lakes. Factories with smoke billowing out of the tall exhaust pipes. Solar farms larger than life out in the middle of nowhere.

When I see this world through my eyes as a pilot, the world does not speak back to me. It does not tell me, that farmer was a Republican or that lady was a Jew or this town is filled with racists, or that river is polluted by that factory, or that college has sexual assault cases pending against it or that town is an LBGT community. My navigation charts do not label the world we live in, in such a way that we as humans label ourselves and the things around us. We judge we persecute, we hate, we disrespect, we show no discipline, and we allow for the violation of our own space to occur.

Why have we lost sight of the beauty around us? Is it an attempt to just lash out at everything that has ever undermined our well-being. For every time you never got to go to the movies, or spend the night at a friends house, or missed out on a party or lost a job to perhaps a better candidate. or heartbroken by those we thought we loved the most.

While many do not have an opportunity to sit as a pilot in a cockpit and view the world below them. Many do have the capacity to open their eyes and hearts to see and feel what is right there in front of them and surrounding them daily. We become blinded by the mundane human daily rituals of life itself. We no longer take the time to appreciate the beautiful, the ugly, the delicious or the distasteful. We have almost stopped learning.

I think Socrates had it right. We need to seek a path so far beyond our reach in order to truly understand what is going on around us. How will you make that happen in your life? Let's start a conversation.