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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Year End Review

Thanks to Gary, who gave me the idea for this post.  My 2011 in review:

January: Only 1 flight, some touch and goes in the pattern to keep my hand in

February: No flying AT ALL.  But I did take Sally with me on my annual trip to Spain for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which made it much more fun.

March: Started looking for a bigger, faster airplane, a Bonanza, and almost instantly found one (on BeechTalk) at Addison, a 1968 model V35A.  Went for a test flight and loved it,  dropped my original plan to buy an A36 and sell a 50% partnership in favor of a less expensive, but almost as capable airplane that I can own outright.

April: Took delivery of "Bo", and started training to remove the insurance restriction requiring 10 hours of dual and 5 hours of solo before carrying passengers.  Also started a 4 week CFI course at American Flyers, flying their simulators and a C172RG.  Decided to use my Sundowner instead, which I posted for sale on the BAC site and BeechTalk.

May: Took (and passed) the CFI Instrument written and practical tests (in the Sundowner), as well as the Ground Instructor (Instrument) test.  Took a 4 week break in the middle of the American Flyers CFI course to get some regular work accomplished.  Also knocked out about half of the Bonanza time needed.

June: Finished the required hours in the Bonanza, and the American Flyers course.  Took (and passed) the CFI Airplane written and practical tests using both the Sundowner and the Bonanza, as well as the Advanced Ground Instructor license.  Started my first Student, another Sundowner pilot who wants to get his instrument rating.

July: Moved the Bonanza from TKI to T31, renting a private hangar there.  Gave a student transitioning his first high power retract instruction (he later bought his own A36 Bonanza).

August: Got laid off from work, and sold the Sundowner after completing a fresh annual inspection.  Did my first Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) in a Mooney.

September: Flew Sally and Thing 2 to Longview TX to watch a high school football game, where Thing 1 was playing in the band.  Everyone else suffered a 3 or 4 hour drive - we enjoyed a short 45 minute VFR flight in the Bonanza and a free crew car from the FBO there.

October: Planned to fly the Bonanza to Chicago to attend 4G World and network, but instead flew commercial using miles for reliability and predicatbility.  Met the guy who became my new boss in -

November: Started my new job, and flew to Florida and the UK for on-boarding.  Over Thanksgiving, flew with Sally and both Things to Phoenix to visit relatives. getting my first experiences of mountain flying and real world icing.

December: Got settled into my new job, and hardly flew at all due to bad weather and Christmas preparations.

So, quite a year!  120 hours in the air, sold one plane and bought another.  Got 4 new ratings (CFI-A, CFI-I, AGI, IGI), and did one long cross country under new conditions.  Did my first paid-for commercial flying (as an instructor), lost one paying job and started another.  I'm hoping 2012 will be a little less "interesting"...........

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Picture

Saturday was a great, typical Central TX kind of day - Sunny and cool at 55 degrees.  On landing back at T31, I saw 3 guys taking photos from the side of the runway.  One of them sent me this......