Monday, March 24, 2008

It's been snowy!

Having had my pre Easter flight cancelled due to the late arrival of the previous passengers (don't get me started!) and having spent a very snowy weekend away in a cabin on the southern tip of Norway. I was hoping to avoid any snow for my post Easter flight today. It didn't look good when last night a few heavy snow storms rolled in and deposited a fair amount of the white stuff!However this morning the sun was peeping through the clouds and the forecast was for just a few showers in the area. I was determined to get up and so myself, Eirin and the kids hit the clubhouse at 2pm sharp.

Thankfully JAL was ontime, and after checking her out, getting the kids settled in and taxiing away, we were soon sky bound. The intention had been to go over to the local skiing area and see the masses bombing down the slopes, but it soon became apparent that the cloud was a little too low and that there was some nasty looking snow showers in the area. So we settled for a local jolly and me enjoying scarying my passenegrs with some sharp manoeveures.
It was very busy on the GA front, not so much on the commercial and I had to circle Sandnes 5 times before getting further instructions to proceed to finals. A nice touch and go and then a full stop completed a very pleasant flight all round.

I really must get going more to get those hours in this summer to renew my license without having another flight test! Only 9 more to go!
Also was up flying on Monday night with Kirsten (mother in law to be), Siv heidi (step-neice to be) and Sander (step-nephew to be). Another perfect night for a flight and some more minutes logged.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Getting current again!

Well, as you can tell its been bloomin` ages since i was up flying. I kinda had lost a bit of interest over the Xmas period to be honest and with the poor weather and dark nights, any flying would have been restricted to just the odd weekend.

But since New Year i have been determined to get back in the air again. After all this year I have to get enough hours under my belt to retain my license. So for the last few weekends i have been trying to get skyward, but have been consistently thwarted. Now i no my limits and 4 months out of the saddle is far too long a time to simple jump in, start her up and off we go. So i decided to re-unite myself with my old instructor Leif.

Today the weather was nasty. Low cloud at 2000ft, 13Knt crosswind and rain and snow showers in the area. I would have stayed in bed to be honest, but Leif was determined to get us up and sure enough at 9am i was back at the flying club prepping JAL for her flight.

The flight itself was good fun, i made all the radio calls without fault, remembered most of the checklists and performed the manoeveures pretty well. We did some stalls which i was well pleased with and also some engine out procedures, skud running over peoples houses at no more the 250ft!!

Back to Sola we went, and I was aware that I wanted to get my 3 landings in to get me current again to take passengers. This wasnt gonna be too easy, as it was very blowy, a 90 degree crosswind and bumpy. We did a normal landing, 2 engine off glide approaches and a full flaps with power landing. I pretty much nailed them all single handedly and without a hint of a bounce. Boy, does JAL land well, or is it just the pilot!

Next up is to get more regular with going up (cost depending), and Leif was also talking about heading upto Voss via Bergen, for a joint trip, sharing the P1 hours.....that sounded great, as Voss is stuck inbetween mountains on all sides and needs some serious side slipping to land on their short runway!

Watch this space, hopefully for not as long as last time!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A family day out

Now the winters drawing in and the clocks have changed, the chance of getting any flying in after work is pretty much non-existent (that being said I am planning on re-newing my night flying certificate in the next few months). So that leaves you taking a chance on the weekend weather, normally not too good at this time of year. Today though was an exception. A cracking winters day with a nice overnight frost.
We decided to take the boys up for a flight. Its the second time I have taken them with me, and I have to say they are very well behaved. They loved the zero g moves and the 2G turns and wanted more and more! Its also good in JAL as you can change the mic settings so you only hear ATC if you want, very handy with two small boys in the back when coming into land!!
We just buzzed about a bit and went into the fjords, it was surprisingly busy for a Sunday, lots of heli and GA activity about. A nice landing in front of the waiting 737 completed a very enjoyable flight for all of us.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Hat-Trick!

Business is booming!

We had a visitor from the Calgary office this week who wanted to go flying, so I obliged last night with the usual sight seeing tour. I think she liked it. I've also had some more interest to my adverts and maybe have a flight lined up next week too.

So that's 3 flights in not so many days, as well as time to revalidating my license, which i need to do in the next year.

Glad its co-incided with a nice High pressure sitting over Norway!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

What......2 Flights in a week ??

Yep....last night i was up again in trusty old JAL. This time thanks to some advertising on the company Intranet for scenic flying tours. It paid off with an enquiry from Roger a drilling supervisor from Cornwall (of all places). He was very keen for a sight seeing tour whilst back onshore and of course i was more then happy to take him for a spin.

It was the usual affair taking in Pulpit rock and stavanger before heading back and he seemed to really enjoy it. The weather was great, a little hazy but good enough visibility to see everything he wanted to see.

Flight wise it was uneventful, although did have to make a couple of delay turns on approach - one on finals which is never nice to do, but the landing was good and i feel like i`m getting to grips with that now.

Oh and a year ago yesterday I passed my Skills Test in San Diego - so that`s me a pilot for exactly one year now........time really does "fly" !!

Sunday, September 30, 2007


50 days since my last flight. Not really what i was hoping out of flying this year but finally JAL was back in working order from her engine rust problems in Denmark and I managed to secure a late booking of just an hour on Friday night. And it was a cracking night, clear blue skies and not too much wind. With only an hour to get up and down, plus all the pre-flight it wasn't going to be too complex a flight, just a short bimble and a touch and go was the plan.

Now it's not too often that you are taxiing alongside the active runway when a KLM 747 jumbo is heading for you on route for a touch and go, but thats what happened. Seemingly some pilot training was going on and they were using Sola as their strip to practice some landings. It was an awesome sight, it touched down only very briefly and was up like a shot. I have to confess I'm not too envious of the microlight pilot in front of it.....he must have been under pressure to get down and off the runway asap! This was some event here and it even made the local rag!

My flight was really good. A nice confidence boost and I now know i can leave it a long time and i'm still comfortble enough to get up there! It was a long taxi though, I had to hold 3 times and the last when i was waiting for an outgoing 737, I had victoria flying parachutists facing the other way on the runway to me! Anyway when i did finally manage to get up there, i just did a short flight into the fjords and came back for a touch and go. Landings were spot on. JAL is such a nice plane to fly!

At one point Victoria said hello and started a conversation over the radio. I was a little sheepish, afterall it was the main radio frequency for Sola Tower we were using to have our chat! All good fun though.

Now i know i've said this before. But i really must fly more often. Whether the TB10 is an option or something else comes along who knows. All i know is that i'm pleased just to have got back up skyward again!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Share!

Well still no flying. JAL is in Denmark getting some extensive maintainence after some rust was found in the engine during its 200 hours check. I also haven't flown a Cessna for a while, so will really need to go up with an instructor the next time I fly that type.

But on a brighter note, it looks like i'll be getting a share in a Socata TB10. Its housed at Sola and the owner is moving abroad for a few years and is looking for some people to take it on during that time. Hopefully that would ensure some cheapr flying (if i manage 3 hours or more a month) and more availability.
I checked her out a few weeks back. Its a 4 seater that cruises at 115kts or so and has a variable pitch prop, so i'll need to organise a checkout on her. She is in really good knick and unlike the Piper and Cessnas it has all the knobs and whistles in the right place....just like the Grob i flew in the US. S0 thats the plan for the winter. I'm off stateside tomorrow for 10 days, but unlikely to have time for any flying there. Ironically i'm flying again from San Fran to Vegas, only this time i won't be P1!!