Thursday, December 16, 2010

Back in the Saddle (RI Flights)

So now I’m back in the helo. Two blocks of RI flights to complete until I am an instrument rated pilot. RI’s are about as much fun as a prostate exam. Hopefully the next few weeks will go by quickly. I have completed the first block already without too much trouble. The next 5 flights are where you make your money though… they culminate with your instrument check ride. Only 5 more flights under the hood and then on to the fun stuff. After RI’s I get to do some ship landings, search and rescue, and low level flights. I’m excited. Shooting multiple approaches and being stressed out from a lack of sleep and studying for the briefs everyday gets old real quick. I’m just going to stop complaining and finish this thing up, I’ll post soon with the status of my check ride (should be in the next couple weeks). Wish me luck!

JR… out.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CCX Hot ‘Lanta

One of the best parts of flight school is getting out on the “road” with an instructor for a Cross Country flight. Zach Moorer and I asked LT Osterhaus to take us on a CCX to Atlanta for the weekend. It just happened that Zach’s father has season tickets for USC, so they had tickets to the SEC Championship game that weekend. The flights were fun and not stressful at all. LT Osterhaus is a great instructor and made the flights fun, but we learned a lot. On the way to Atlanta one of our stops was Montgomery, Alabama. The pics above are from a small memorial to John Long, Jr… holder of the Guinness Book of World Record for the most flight hours as pilot-in-command. 64,000 something hours is ridunculous. Yes, ridunculous. In Atlanta we stayed at a hotel in mid-town and had a night out on the town Friday night. My mission was to get to a strip club. Mission Accomplished. Saturday night I spent at my buddy Brian’s house with his family and our friend Richard and his wife. By the way Brian… thank you (and your beautiful wife) for the great dinner! It was a good time; I hadn’t seen those guys in probably 5 years. The ride back to Pensacola was long and cold. Zach broke the back window in the helo, so I had to make a fort out of flight bags to stay warm for the last 2 hour leg of our trip home. I wish I had more pics of the trip, but I lost my camera the weekend before.

JR… out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

RI Sims

Here comes the hurt. RI’s are going to be painful. Long days of staring at the instrument panel, and even longer days due to the studying required in order to be prepared for the flights and the preceeding briefs. This is the hardest part of flight school. They say (instructors) that you will do more instrument flying here in Advanced than you will do in the fleet. I am glad. I can’t stand RI’s. They are the reason I picked helicopters in the first place. Having your face in the cockpit with no outside reference isn’t a lot of fun, who would want to fly like that? (Airline pilots). Something about being able to see where you are going, you know? Back in BI sims you flew with an instructor in the left seat (co-pilot). Here in RI’s they pick a student for you to fly with, and you take turns “playing” pilot and co-pilot. I was fortunate enough to get a partner of my choosing, so my buddy Zach Moorer and I got to fly together. We are both strong personalities, so sometimes we would clash in the cockpit. Nothing outlandish, but sometimes funny… and we always left it in the trainer. We had a beer bet going on who would crash the most autos (autorotative landing). He is like an idiot savant when it comes to landing those things… and I’m a sore loser. In RI sims you fly multiple approaches and practice making radio calls to the instructor who is orchestrating the simulator environment from his console in the back. RI sims were actually fun. Enjoy the pics, more to come.

JR… out.