Saturday, November 06, 2004

Current state of affairs

Probably the best thing to come after the election is the dramatic decrease in TFRs in Ohio. No matter what your political views are, I haven't met one general aviation pilot who actually supports VIP Temporary Flight Restrictions.

I haven't flown since the trip to Louisville, but there have been some interesting things that have happened recently with the flying club NFA. The warrior's owner Joe has left the club recently and moved his two planes to another brand new club on OSU called Capital City Aviation. I've traded emails with Joe and talked to the head CFI at the new club and I'm thinking about leaving NFA to join up with them (or maybe be a member of both). I've said before Joe is a great owner, and this new club wants to distinguish itself by attracting owners like Joe who really invest into their planes. As such the club is a pricier, the rules are a little more a little tighter, but the aircraft are much better. What really surprised me is they have a 2002 Diamond Star ($125 per hour), for those not in the know, the Diamonds are all composite next generation GA aircraft, and I've NEVER seen one for rent before. Usually to get an opportunity to fly one of those you either have to be in a flight training program at a university, or actually own one of the things (at nearly 200K).

Anyway the new club only has three planes so far, the Diamond, and Joe's Warrior and his Arrow. I've wanted to use the Arrow next year when I try to get my IFR rating, because then I can also a complex aircraft rating as well. A complex rating will allow me to operate aircraft with constant speed props, landing gear, and flaps (I always found the flaps part funny, since I've never flown a GA aircraft that DIDN'T have flaps :P).

NFA seems to be swinging back though; they just bought another Warrior to replace Joe's. The owner upgraded to a Garmin 430 GPS, which is the same as Joe's has (btw, all of Capital's aircraft have the 430, which means you don't have to relearn the radios when you switch planes). NFA's also upgraded a Cessna Cardinal with a new engine and a Garmin GNS 430, I guess they also needed to offer a replacement for Joe's Arrow, which was going to be the premier complex IFR aircraft.

I'm going flying tomorrow to check out NFA's new Warrior, the upside is that the rate is going to be cheaper $83 versus $89. I'll see if the money's going to be worth it. I'm also planning on taking up Capital's offer to check out their club. NFA's sent me their yearly annual records review form which I have to fill out; also I might have to arrange an annual check ride with a CFI. But I'm going to call and see if I still have to do it considering I just got my license in August.

Matt R who left Ohio to learn to fly and instruct in seaplanes in Canada emailed a bunch of us a couple of weeks ago and sent pictures. It looks like he's having a lot of fun up North here's a quote: "There's a new Commercial ASEL and ASES in town.. Me! Believe it or not, it gives me the right to teach in the seaplanes as well....scary isn't it?"

Well that's it for now, if I like what I see of the new Warrior tomorrow I'll probably post it here and what I think of Capital. Man I can't wait to go flying again, work's been a pressure cooker lately and I think a few touch and go's and steep turns are going to be just the thing to blow off some steam.

Clear skies!

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