Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Presidential TFR in Pittsburgh - June 24th, 2011

Just a heads up for the flying bretheren in Pittsburgh area. Obama's coming to town...----------------------

Starting at 11.45 PM on Thursday June 23 through Friday June 24 at
1.15 PM there will be a Presidential TFR in Pittsburgh, PA:

This TFR is larger than normal – 40 miles radius vs the usual 30
miles radius.

As always check with FSS before flight.

Fly safe!

Henrik Vejlstrup

Monday, June 6, 2011

Matt's 1st Flight Lesson

Congratulations to Matt Bieber on his taking his intro flight! Matt experienced his first time at the controls of an airplane a few weeks ago and is working with Ace Pilot Training at Lehigh Valley Airport on obtaining his private pilot certificate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

View of the New

Emel and I recently had the opportunity to get away for the day, no kiddos, and head down to visit a friend who resides part time on the rim of the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, WV. Being that this would be about a 3 hour 50 min drive one way, during Memorial Day traffic, and that there was a little backcountry strip a mile from our friends house, we decided that flying might not be a bad option.

We got to the Zeli Airport around 9:30AM and, after a very thorough preflight (it is the Arrow after all), we loaded up, and headed out. We picked up our IFR clearance and were soon heading south motoring through PIT's class bravo. We were lucky enough to have a massive high pressure system just to the south, winds were calm at the surface and in the 10s-15 kts at around 8,000ft, our cruising altitude. The only downside to the weather was that all of the stability was creating a nice haze layer, so the photo ops were diminished. On the flight we had no real issues on the way down other than Clarksburg and Charleston approaches has trouble receiving our mode C (PIT had no trouble in that regard).

As we approached the New and got down to minimum altitudes for IFR, we cancel about 5 miles out from our destination, a private strip called, appropriately enough, the New River Gorge airport (WV32). We entered upwind for 22 (there were no runway numbers, but pretty much a 220 heading...), and circled to get a better look at the 24 foot wide "roadway" we were going to land on (yes, my wife is an extremely patient and understanding person). Happily, it was plenty long enough at nearly 2,900'. Turning down wind, we could see our friend waiting for us to land. I dropped the gear, added flaps, did a couple of GUMPS and turned final. Short final require a bit of weaving to avoid the tree on the left and the power line nearly above the threshold, but the mains were planted (a bit firmly) and we made the turn off in the middle of the strip.

The New River Gorge "Airfield"

Our friend Carl was there with a local airport hanger-outer (Ferrel I believe), and he shepherded us onto the grass to park. We had a fantastic afternoon with Carl sightseeing, hiking, and exploring the Gorge and Fayetteville. I'd highly recommend the area if anyone is into hiking, mtn biking, and of course all whitewater activities. Fayetteville is a cool, bohemian-esqe town that appeals to the climbers, adventure seekers and guides that inhabit it. Too soon, it was time for us to head back out to the airport to get home in time to pick up the kids. Carl let us take his "airport car" back and we left it there as he often flys in in his 182.

So we were preflighted, and ready to go: brakes held firm, 25 degrees of flaps, and full throttle at the end of the runway. It was 90 degrees and my performance calculations showed that even though we had more than enough room, with the mountains looming ahead and the high density altitude, a short field technique would provide some additional margin regardless. The climb out was, really pretty cool, required a bit of navigating through the valley but we were never in a position where we didn't have options. Upon reaching 4,000 ft we contact Charleston again. Unfortunately this time they were unable to see our transponder at all, and after several attempts at recycling, we decided to continue ahead, but VFR.

Upon reaching about 15miles south of the edge of PIT's bravo I call PIT approach and received flight following and clearance though their airspace. Again PIT has no issues with receiving our transponder and seeing the mode C readout. As the entire day was picture perfect flying weather (aside from the heat) we made good time over the ground back home and before we knew it were entering the pattern at our home airport. After landing, and securing the plane, we were picking up the kids a mere 2.3 hours after leaving our friend Carl in southern West Virginia. Another feather for GA!

Mountaintop mining in West Virginia

The New River Gorge Bridge

Human patterns

Over Pittsburgh International at 5,500' on the way back

Bush-Plane Competition Spurs Innovation | Autopia |

Cool photos from Wired magazine

Bush-Plane Competition Spurs Innovation | Autopia |