Tag Archives: Aviation Links

Recording Training Flights

FlyBoyJon150x150-newWhen I first began my flight training I, being a media dork, decided to record my training flights. I made audio recordings from engine start to shut down. Now it’s been a few years and I wish I had continued the practice.

In the aircraft I was flying at the time, recording in-flight audio required me to go and buy a portable comm system because the aircraft were not equipped with audio in/out jacks on the panel other than for headsets. I picked up a modular four position comm that had the in/out jacks I needed and began using it with a small digital recorder. The quality was not great but it worked surprisingly well. I have seven or so hours of me and my instructor at the time, bouncing in, out, and around Oakland International Airport (KOAK) in September and October of 2003.

I started listening to the recordings this last week while I added ID3 and IPTC tags to the files. While listening to the recordings I had several revelations about my training and about that instructor. I am not going to go into the details of the revelations just yet, but I decided to post about in-flight recording in general. It is a simple process and does not require a whole lot of technical knowledge to do, and depending on your aircraft’s capabilities (in/out jacks in the panel and such) it could be darn near effortless.

Why do in-flight recording?

The most obvious is reason is to have a record of your training flights that you can show off to your friends (impressive to non-pilot folk). Beyond that though, I becomes an effective tool for post-flight debriefing. An instructor can go over a segment of the flight with a student with perfect recall. Demonstrating bad habits, from the left and right seat, like maintaining a sterile cockpit at critical phases of flight, positive exchange of controls, missed radio calls, all kinds of things. It can be an invaluable tool for education.

In-flight recordings are also a good tool for instructor evaluation, how you as a student interact with an instructor. This gives the student pilot a tremendous tool to use at a time when the new pilot does not have the experience to recognise lapses in the instructors skills. Had I thought about it, I could have presented information to the chief instructor at the academy that could have helped my instructor improve his skills and enhanced my training.

Lastly, it is a permanent record for you to review years later, maybe on a stormy day when couch flying is the only good option for the day. Listen to one of those old flight recordings and see just how much has changed. What you can do better, what areas needed work. Use it not only for enjoyment but for providing reference points for your current skills. A record you can pass down to the next generation of pilots.

What did I learn?

On first listening I felt awkward, not wanting to share any of the recordings because I look back at what a dufus I sounded like, then I started to analyze what was going on, in my head and in the cockpit, I began to see things, nuances in my training that I had not recognised before.

I had looked back at my early training while I was in a CFI/I academy later and had several revelations about my instructor and the training program I was in at the time, I think It would have been beneficial for me and the rest of my academy class to hear some of the recordings to demonstrate several points.

Now that I am older and wiser I look back again at those first few flights. I now know that It is a good idea to use in-flight recording on training flights as a student or an instructor. I can use those recordings as tools to improve my skills and those of my students. Don’t be frightened of by the thought of sounding like a dufus, the recordings can only help you improve your flying experience as a student or an instructor.

Spend a few bucks on a comm and a digital recorder if you have too. It is a wise investment that will pay rewards throughout your aviation carrier.

Blue skys and tail winds,
~FlyBoyJon

Aviation Adventures

Hey all, I just wanted to let everyone know that a new welcome page is up. Things are moving forward slowly but surely. And now for the gacked page…

Aviation AdventuresFBJ-AA-logo-02-b

Aviation adventures is about having fun. It’s about getting off your butt and just doing it. There are so many flights every pilot wants to do, we often just don’t get around to doing them; FlyBoyJon.com is all about getting out there, planing and flying those adventures.

Our first adventure will take us to every public use airport in the state of California, That’s 253 airports in 16 weeks!. While flying to each airport we will be taking pictures, video and  interviewing people at many airports. Along the way we may find ourselves doing some other interesting and fun things on and off airport. Each airport will be the subject of a blog entry and will include information about the airport and links to people and places at the field. It will be a lot of fun meeting new people and hearing about all of the airports in California.

Details of the planning will be posted and updated regularly to let everyone know where we plan on being and when we will be there. Post flight blogging and special feature podcasts are posted frequently as we move from one destination to the next. We look forward to seeing you in the air and on the ramp you.

Don’t live in California? That’s Okay, we will be all over the country at fly-in’s and airshows too. One of FlyBoyJon’s goals is to visit every public use airport in the 48 contiguous states! That’s over 5000 airports! We are always looking for great adventures as well as the dozen we have on the planning table now, so drop us a note with your suggestions. We just may add it to the list, maybe even drop by to say hey.

FlyBoyJon.com is starting out as a grassroots, zero budget start-up.  We can only do this with the support of sponsor members and corporate sponsors. This is your chance to be a part of the adventure we are working on special sponsor member thank you gifts and benefits that we hope to have available soon.  Please help support aviation adventure by becoming a sponsor member at FlyBoyJon.com.

“Blue skies and smooth air”
~FBJ

At the drawing board

FBJ-AA-logo-02-bBack at the drawing board this weekend. Many hours have been put into the the adventure program, things like business plan, cost sheets, program expensing, and biz structure, you know the boring paperwork stuff. Actually I enjoy some of this stuff, it is like flight planning for the whole she-bang, and I do like flight planning.

More to come soon on the adventures, for now I am working on revamping the pages on the site and sprucing things up around here. I think I may find some time to spruce up me self a bit too. 😉 At some point I need to get a decent portrait on the site.

During this coming week I will be off doing non aviation or site stuff but I will be back in the evenings to keep plugging at it.

~FBJ

Adventure

FBJ-AA-logo-02-bIn April of 2004 I had an idea.

I was having a lot of fun flying and working on my instrument rating and commercial pilot certificate, spending a lot of time in the air and with fellow pilots at the Hayward Executive Airport. With a fresh new red Miquelrius notebook I began journaling some of my aviation adventures in training. One of the pages in the notebook contain a series of adventures I have yet to do. A list of flights that would be wonderful accents to my journal, logbook and life.

Among the list of adventures are two trips around the world, one by the latitudinal route and one by the longitudinal. Of course there would need to be some less ambitious trips first like a transcontinental, trans Atlantic and trans Pacific flights to get the ball rolling. I have been mulling this around for some time now, I just haven’t gotten to it. If I am going to get any of these adventures under my belt I had better get to it.

Being a pilot is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have in life. It can also be a terrible curse. When you don’t fly for long periods a longing builds inside. You can spot a pilot over due for some time in the blue, when ever a plane or helicopter flies over head the look up almost gleefully, as it passes by their  head slowly lowers and the glee turns to longing. You find yourself looking for excuses to run errands near an airport, any reason will do.

It’s not just the longing to fly that pains me, it is the longing to share flying with others. The posting about the days flight, recorded bits of cockpit audio, photos of the coast and the Golden gate bridge that I took while crossing over it at 1,500 feet. I miss that very much. I miss flight planning.

I was asked by a friend what I wanted to do in life and it took a while to think about it. I finally to him I wanted to be an adventurer; I knew it sounded like a response from a young child, but that was what I thought. Since that exchange I have been thinking about it a lot. It is not that I want to be and adventurer, I am one. I just have not been on any adventures lately. I have been getting caught up in the grind and lost sight of where I was going, what I had set out to do on the 22nd of April, 2003; my first flight. I forgot what I had accomplished on October 23, 2003, my first solo. I had misplaced my drive that got me through my Private Pilot, Instrument Rating and my Commercial Pilot check rides. I had lost touch with the joys of teaching ground school, the anticipation of teaching flight in the airplane.

I have had some wonderful adventures in my life, I am an adventurer. I am due for some more.

~FBJ

AreNavis Project Moving Forward

TakingNoteI have been putting a lot of work into the AerNavis proposal documentation. Things are coming along nicely. I started out with a 7 page plan that quickly turned to 10. All of a sudden I realized it had expanded to 22 pages.

When I have some “for public consumption” paperwork prepared I will get it posted. For now, I  will be posting stuff piece by piece.

The folks are in from Mass. and are staying with us all month so posts may be a little sporadic, but stuff is still getting done. I am very excited about the direction things are going.  I am off to a family BBQ, so I guess that’s it for now.

~FBJ

The Great HD Crash of 08

There has been a lack of posts on the blog since the “Great HD Crash of 08”.

I have been under a great deal of stress, as of late, and a lack of sleep doesn’t help. The club gig has come to an end. Less than the stellar ending I had hoped for, but this is good in the long run, it doesn’t help with the stress right now, but “it will all work out“. I must admit, I didn’t expect it to go longer than a year, so thirteen months is not far off. After the issues surrounding the big awards show, things deteriorated nuke-backgroundwith some interpersonal relationships that where not expected to recover. I stuck it out because I wanted it to end gracefully. With all of the software and hardware problems poking there ugly heads at me regularly, basically telling me its time to hang it up, I gave it the old college try, but in the end, there was little to salvage.

On the positive side; I took the time to review a couple of other projects I had in the wings, so to speak. The Steam Faire project is moving along, slowly but steadily. The website now has 50 members, there was a good turnout for the first organizational meeting, the second meet-up looks like it will be successful, and I have leads on a couple of sponsorships. The over all plan is maturing quickly. There are several scheduling things that need tending this coming week, a few appointments need to be set, venue, sponsors, promo items, and the like. I have a very good feeling about the project and the support received thus far. Response has been positive, and with a little promotional push this began rolling beyond the initial buzz.

Galeatus AerNavis

AirshipPilotThe second big project is on a slower development track. There are several tie-ins with Steam Faire, mainly in the promotional arena. If I can garner some financial interest in the basic project concepts and development track, the public “roll-out” could be as early as January. I am hesitant to push for public support as a “grass roots” movement until getting some feed back from a potential interested party.

A number of successful companies have used a similar structure and tactics by opening up to public contribution and support, providing full scale development funding with only subsistence funding from the investment sector. The advantage of this approach is a lower initial investment, typically from an “angel” type investor, low dollar, high return potential. This kind of venture is seat-of-the-pants boot-strapping, and pure risk capital. With smaller investments, and funding commitments at key developmental benchmarks it spreads out the cash flow, and risk for the investor.

~FBJ

Frackin computers!

computer-stressI have been working with them for a while now, (20+ years) and I don’t think I like them much.

I spent way too much time trying to get a network drive back on line tonight. I don’t have the one cable I need to connect a laptop directly to the drive. I have literally thousands of cables in various configurations. Just not the one I need.

I guess I am off to Fry’s in the early AM to pick up that pesky cable and give this another shot. I also need ink for the printer so it’s not like the trip wasn’t going to happen any way. I just wasn’t expecting the tech-fest in the morning. I have a meeting for the SteamFaire project in the afternoon, and things to do to prepare for that.

I have another project that is taking form that ties into SteamFaire and the Daedalus project as well. It is the Galeatus AerNavis project. I will be posting more on this project as it fleshes out, which should be soon. I have been doing the web development on it for a couple of days now and the project details are coming together.

TTFN,
~FBJ

At least once a week

PosterBoyI committed to keeping up with posts at least once a week. What I didn’t consider was that I was going to have three different regular blogs and one, BETA/blog/something-else-not-entirely-describable. Oh, and lets not forget all of the feeds I am subscribed to as well as other friends blogs I read that are not included in my feed list. It has become almost a full time thing to just keep up. 😉

The SteamFaire.com project is doing well. in less than a month I secured over 45 subscribing login members and almost 200 casual subscribers. Not bad. I have been meeting with other event coordinators, and I am getting ready to start seeking out sponsors for the event.

I had a meeting with the organizers of the “California Steampunk Convention” in San Francisco today. The meeting went well and I think there are some cross promotion possibilities there. They offered a special promo code for early reg for there event to my member base. I know this is to drive more subscribers to there site, but I am hoping they will reciprocate with a link. I know they are monitoring my site and can see that I have followed through. Lets see if they follow through.

Getting used to WordPress, this blogging software, as a business website platform and foundation for a commercial/retail site is going well. SteamFaire.com is a decent example of a business site without retail. I installed a forums plugin that seems to work. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it works well enough, is easy to set up and it got used in the first twelve hours it was live. I also found a good shopping cart program that is working well in BETA. I am hoping to use it to full advantage soon.

It is remarkable how much things have progressed in the last fifteen years. When the wife and I first got together I was managing a two line BBS and had a shell login account for internet access on a 9.6kbps modem (I upgraded from a 300bps). Oh how the wheels are turning. In coding news, I guess I have been picking up PHP well enough, I ran into a problem with a plugin and found the problem in the code and created a workaround. I know its not a “real” programing language, but I still consider it coding.

I have been kicking around the Idea of buying/building a balloon or airship, before you say it, I know, don’t start another project. Actually it ties in to several things. I need to look into this a little more. You can expect to be reading about lighter-than-air craft soon.

Until next time,
~FBJ

G1000 Goes Synthetic!

The Future Has Arrived

Garmin-SVT-0408eEver since the G1000 hit the streets, I knew this was only a couple of steps away. About this time last year I was telling a friend that they would see this before summer 2008. The big deal is that it is an STC’d software update, not a hardware one.

I have always been a big fan of Garmin, but this shows why. Way to go big G!

This doesn’t mean we, as pilots, can get lazy, it does mean we can be more efficient. My hope is that advances like this make us safer in the skies. My fear, is that pilots will become complacent. This is an amazing tool. But it is only that, a tool, not a replacement for common sense, training and skill.

If you go out and by an aircraft with a G1000, LEARN the equipment, learn it well, and use it as a tool for safety and skill.

The following is copied from Flying Magazine’s e-newsletter.

Garmin’s Shocker: Synthetic Vision Has Arrived

The FAA has granted supplemental type certification for Garmin’s three-dimensional Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT). The system displays high-resolution, 3D graphic depictions of terrain, runways, obstacles and even traffic on the primary flight display (PFD). The graphics replace Garmin’s previous blue-over-brown PFD depiction. The user-customizable system also incorporates highway-in-the-sky guidance with rectangular boxes depicted on the PFD, and a flight path marker-which clearly indicates where the aircraft’s flight path is taking it. Garmin said SVT should be available in July for aircraft equipped with its G1000 and G900X (experimental only) systems, and G1000-retrofitted King Air C90s some time next year. No hardware changes are needed for the SVT upgrade, but the software changeover will have to be made at a Garmin dealer.

~FBJ