Jan. 7th, 1999: First entry into the flight log. This is not a flight, just the start of the page. I am currently a private pilot with about 200hrs total time. I earned my license on August 03, 1995.
1345 Jan. 11th, 1999: I Just scheduled a night cross country flight. I am going to fly from GXY (Greeley, CO) to APA (Centennial Airport, Denver, CO). I have been waiting a couple of weeks to do this flight. I have been trying to schedule it around my work schedule, but it has not worked out so far. I decided to do the flight after work tonight...which is at 12AM. I should be back by 2:30AM or so. I need to get the flight out of the way. I slept in really late today to make sure I will not be tired. I'll keep and eye on the weather while I am at work.....using my webpage.
0040 Jan. 12th, 1999: The weather held up for the flight. I went to the airport after work, but the aircraft was not left out of the hangar as planned. At this point I am not sure if it went down for maintenance, or if the dispatcher simply forgot to pull the aircraft out of the hangar and tie it down. I will call in the morning to find out.
0900 Jan. 12th, 1999: I Just called the flight center. It turns out that the dispatcher forgot to put the aircraft outside the hangar and tie it down. I will try to do the flight Thursday night.
0110 Jan. 15th, 1999: I rescheduled the flight for tonight. I was concerned about the winds picking up in the area. I monitored them all night while at work and also got a pre-flight weather briefing from Denver Flight Service. All the winds were okay for the trip, so I headed to the airport after work. This time the airplane was left outside the hangar. BUT....they locked the doors, and the spare key that they gave me was for the ignition ONLY....the door locks use a round key and the ignition uses a standard type key. I had to laugh at this one. It seems like I will never get this flight done. I'll try again Saturday.
0400 Jan. 19th, 1999: I finally got to do my night flight. I went down to APA and did 10 landings. I had a bit of light chop when I departed GXY, but it smoothed out as I reached 7,500'. I used VFR flight following from Denver Approach. The flight went great. My first two landings at APA were on 17L. 17L is the longest runway, and it also has a VASI. The remaining 8 landings were on 17R which does not have a VASI or PAPI. I could have logged my second landing(s) as four or five landings because of my bounce. I think I was carrier qualified after that landing. I'm exaggerating a bit, but it was a terrible landing. I was also dealing with a 12kt cross wind (no excuses). The flight back to GXY was great. Flying over downtown Denver at night is awesome. I got to look down into Mile High Stadium and Coors Field. I also got to look into the new Pepsi Center that is being built...the roof is not complete yet. It's good to have this flight done.
1100 Feb. 15th, 1999: My instructor Phil got a job with Great Lakes, so I have had to wait until they hired some new instructors. Besides Phil, three other instructors were hired by Great Lakes. The schedule got pretty crowded to say the least. Anyway, I flew for the first time in a long time with my new instructor Jeremy. A flight like today would make anybody question their ability as a pilot. I don't think I have ever flown as poorly as I flew today. I totally blew past the lead radial coming off of the 14 DME Arc, and the NDB approach was not much better. I was way behind the plane today, as a result items were missed on the checklist. Not a good first impression on a new instructor. I am scheduled for Thursday this week, I hope to redeem myself and also gain the confidence back that I lost today. But, even on a bad flight I learned a few things.
1230 Feb. 18th, 1999: What the hell happened to me!!? I flew better, but not as well as I know I can fly. Actually, I didn't do too bad today. The only major mistake I made was entering a holding pattern. I went brain dead and turned the wrong way on a parallel entry. I turned toward the non-holding side. I then did the VOR-A approach, then into the 14 DME Arc. The arc went very well this time even with partial panel. I did the ILS Rwy. 9, circle to land on 35...muffed the MDA though. Winds were gusting to 30kts today...makes for good training.
0800 Mar. 3rd, 1999: I went out to fly this morning at 0700. The Warrior was left out of the hangar all night after a night flight. The battery didn't have enough juice to crank the cold engine over. We pulled it back to the hangar to warm up. Unfortunately it was so the NEXT person that was going to fly it would have a warm plane. We could have gave it a boost, but the maintenance shop did not open until 8:00. That would have not left enough time for our lesson. I am scheduled for Saturday at 1300. It should be a little warmer then.
1300 Mar. 6th, 1999:Today's flight went really well. I felt a lot better today with the whole operation. The procedures,checklists, and general feeling of the whole fight today was better. I need to get more flights scheduled though. I am suppose to fly again Friday the 19th...that is a two week spread between flights...that is too much...I would like to fly 2 or 3 times a week minimum.
1700 Mar. 19th, 1999: Pretty good flight today. Just polishing up before the two stage checks coming up. Shouldn't be too much longer before the instrument checkride. Today we did some NDB holding that went well. A localizer, NDB, and a VOR approach. Did a VOR hold to start off with...made a small mistake there, but did fine. Weather was good and winds were light. Good flight all together.
1400 Mar. 25th, 1999: Another flight to tighten things up. The flight went well, but I had to fly a Piper Warrior...this particular Warrior is a gutless airplane. 100-200 FPM climb is all she could get. I feel better about all the procedures, and I feel like I am ahead of the plane.
1500 Mar. 26th, 1999: Today was even better. My instructor said that if today would have been the stage check he would have passed me. It was a little bumpy today, but I held the altitudes and heading within the limitations. We were also on the 14DME ARC...well established on the 14DME ARC. A Bonanza then reported that they were established on the 14DME ARC. Both my instructor and I knew that the Bonanza would catch up to us if they were behind us. I then reported my exact position over the CTAF. About the same time, my instructor looked up and the Bonanza was on top of us...about 300' up. Not a good situation. The Bonanza then bugged out and broke off the ARC...maybe he was a little embarrassed. We were at the correct altitude, obviously and thankfully the Bonanza was not.
1100 Apr. 8th, 1999:Too windy to fly today.
1100 Apr. 19th, 1999:Flew dual today with Jeremy. Just getting ready for the stage checks.
1100 Apr. 20th, 1999:Today was suppose to be the Stage II check. Because of time considerations, we only did the oral portion today. It went really well. Time to station problems are worthless.
1400 Apr. 27th, 1999: Okay...FINALLY got the stage II check done today. I ended up doing it with a check airman named Adam. Adam really got into the nitty gritty on this stage check. The VOR that is close to the airport had the DME out. Adam decided to throw me for a loop and planned the stage check to a different airport. I had been doing all my review flights local. Now during a stage check I had to do the VOR and NDB portion at an unfamiliar airport. I did the VOR just fine, but the NDB could have been a little bit "tighter". We then headed back to GXY and Adam vectored me onto the ILS. Inside the outer marker he shut off my #1 NAV which turned the ILS approach into a localizer approach. I did not have my #2 NAV tuned to the ILS. I know now that I should have just in case this happens in the real world. I told him that I would go missed approach if this situation happened. He agreed, and then turned back on the #1 NAV and told me to do a localizer approach. I adjusted the minimums and landed safely. PASSED!
1000 May, 10th, 1999: I did the second half of the oral portion of the stage IV check today. Again I am doing this stage check with Adam. With the first half and second half of the oral portion over with, I am ready for the flight portion. The oral portion ended up being over 3 hours. I thought Adam was going to make me take apart a 172 and put it back together...blindfolded!!
1300 May 13th, 1999: Today was the stage IV flight. Because I had to also do a dual VFR flight to an airport at least 100NM away, we did both at the same time. Killed two birds with one stone. I planned a flight to Pueblo (PUB), CO. This flight would take us through the whole deal...Class B, C, and D. Greeley (GXY) is in class G. We took off out of GXY and opened our flight plan with Denver flight service. I then contacted Denver Approach and got flight following. All went well on the flight over Denver...of course Adam was quizzing me all the way down. We got down to Colorado Springs when they started vectoring us all over the place and dumped me off way east of town(and off my planned route). All of a sudden (thanks to Adam turning it off.) I lost my VOR. He asked me what heading I would take to PUB now. I pulled out what was left of the plotter I broke earlier in the flight and did some quick estimations. I told him I would take a heading of 170. He then dialed in the PUB VOR and it centered right on 170. Adam gave a look as if saying, "good guess." The flight back was a lot more relaxed. Got back to Greeley in one piece...total flight time: 3.8 hrs. Makes for a long stage check. PASSED! On to stage V, the instrument X/C (cross-country for those of you scratching your head.) portion.
1400 May 21st, 1999: Just did my first instrument X/C. You gotta love this stuff. From GXY is it really hard to plan an instrument flight. Well, not hard to plan, but you never get what you plan. We planned a flight to Akron (AKO), CO. It's about 67NM East of GXY. We ended up getting the PLAINS 2 Departure (which is a SID out of DEN) via the AKO transition. We were basically vectored southeast onto course then cruised into AKO. The controller was VERY busy and things were happening fast. My radio work was good, but by VOR approach into AKO sucked!! brutal honesty is the best policy. I am not blaming the wind, but it was howling. We had to do a circle to land on runway 11. I was definitely "working" on that landing. We did a slam and go and headed back towards GXY. We picked up ATC again and they told us to climb to 10,000ft....yeah right!! It was just a little too hot and the 172 was having a hard time getting to 8,000ft. On the way out to AKO we were assigned 9,000ft. We were getting about 200FPM. The controller came back and said, "you are going to 9,000...right?". I'm sure all the big boys got a kick out of that. We told ATC we could only get 200FPM. He just said to do the best we can. On the way back we got to 8,000 and asked if we could stay there instead of going up to 10,000. The flight went great. Can't wait to do it again.
1200 May 25th, 1999: We were suppose to do another IFR X/C today. Thunderstorm were hanging in the area. We watched the weather for an hour and decided not to go. We were going to go to APA, but they were getting rocked pretty hard. We then figured we could get to Sidney (SNY), NE with no problem. We were afraid the storms would move over GXY by the time we got back. We used our best judgement and called it off. After further review...about 4 hours later, I know we could have made it back with no problem. The storms stayed just to the south of GXY. Oh well.
1400 May 29th, 1999: Just did the long instrument X/C. We went to PUB again. This flight was awesome. We took a different 172 this time. We got vectored to the east of DEN. Then we got on V-389 to PUB. It was a very busy day for flying. As soon as we got south of GXY and closer to DEN a HUGE 747 passed over head. He was actually about 5,000 feet above us, but it looked cool. The controllers today were very cool. The folks at flight service were NOT. Our school actually had a problem with one of the guys at flight service and ended up talking to the manager down there. I probably talked to the same guy they were talking about. Very rude and not very helpful on the phone. When we got down towards Colorado Springs, it was time to make a heading change on V-389. I noticed that my #1 and #2 NAV radios were set to the same frquency, but giving opposite indications. One was reading TO and the other was reading FROM. We were able to tune in a different VOR and got the same results. We figured which was the bad one (obviously it had to be the #1 NAV which has the glideslope.) We let ATC know that we lost the #1 NAV and were still okay with the #2. We then decided to do a RADAR approach at PUB. Anyway, we got to PUB and did a RADAR approach...that was very interesting. I never had the chance to do one before. I would rather get vectors for an ILS myself. On the way back we had to do another approach at a different airport to meet the requirements. We did the NDB in Ft. Collins (FNL), CO. Jeremy had to go to the bathroom really bad, so we ended up doing a full stop in Ft. Collins before heading back to GXY. We got to check out a nice Pilatus PC-12 though. We got back to GXY and did the localizer approach. It was the only good landing I had all day. Great flight though.
1130 Jun. 3rd, 1999: Just got back from another IFR flight. This time we went down to Centennial Airport (APA) Denver, CO. For those that are not familiar with APA, it is the second busiest general aviation airport in the country. After today, I can see why. We took off out of GXY and got vectors south. We asked for the ILS 35R into APA. We were getting vectored around for the final approach course. Then approach told us that Centennial would not allow any more instrument approaches into 35R. So we got vectored back around for a visual approach into 17L. On final approach we were told to switch to 17R for a touch and go. After the landing we entered right downwind as instructed. Tower then told us to do one more touch and go while they got our clearance back to GXY. On short final tower then told us to climb to 8,000 and fly a heading of 280. Saved us a little time. On the way back the ride was smooth. We got vectors for the ILS 9 at GXY. We had to circle to land 17 because 9 was closed. My landing really sucked today. I came in a little hot and floated a bit. All together, the flight went great. I fly again this Saturday.
1000 Jun. 5th, 1999: I just got back from the last instrument X/C flight. The flight went really well. We went to Fort Collins/Loveland (FNL), CO. I shot the ILS 33 then got vectors for the ILS 9 at GXY. My landing today was a lot better than they have been. I now have to do a local flight to brush up on all the approaches before the stage check. I take the checkride after that.
1000 Jun. 8th, 1999: I flew a review flight this morning. We did some holding at an intersection. That went really well. We then intercepted the 301 degree transition to the 14DME ARC for the ILS 9 into GXY. The approach went really well. I have to practice transitioning from the approach phase into the landing phase. I need to get the speed down so I can touchdown on the 1000' markers. We then did a partial panel VOR-A approach. That went well. I have another flight Thursday to do some NDB work before the stage check.
1000 Jun. 10th, 1999: Another local review flight. We did some NDB holding and a NDB approach. The damn DG precesses really bad on this particular airplane. I knew it and should have reset it before we crossed the outer marker. The approach went well...there were thunderstorms and lightning is the distance making the NDB needle a little erratic. We then did a VOR-A approach. On the final approach fix inbound the earphone portion of my headset came unplugged. Jeremy usually tells me when I "break out". I didn't hear him this time and just thought we were flying it all the way to the missed approach point of 5.8 DME. We ended up entering downwind behind another aircraft and then did a full stop landing. I feel pretty good about the whole operation and think I'll do fine on the stage check.
1200 Jun. 15th, 1999: Today was suppose to be the stage III check. We were able to do the oral portion. The oral went really well. The weather did not hold up for the flight though. I have the flight scheduled for this Friday at 1200.
1400 Jun. 18th, 1999: Today was the stage III flight check. We filed an IFR flight plan to FNL. The flight went well. We did the ILS 33 into FNL. We then got vectors back for the NDB at GXY. We then did the missed approach and flew the VOR-A approach. We did a circle to land with a simulated engine failure as we entered the pattern. All in all the flight went great.
1200 Jul. 5th, 1999: After way too long of a break I went and did a review flight before the end of course check on Wednesday. Just a little update on the flight I had on Jun. 18th. 2 hours after I flew the airplane it was crashed. Apparently a hard landing caused the nosewheel gear to break. That resulted in the right wing hitting the ground. I heard the aircraft was totaled. Thankfully the pilot was unhurt. Today's flight was interesting. The winds were gusting to 22kts. We did some stalls under the hood. We did some partial panel NDB holding, and then an NDB approach...circle to land. We started off with a VOR-A approach. The only thing I can say negative about the lesson is the overall safety at GXY. GXY is in uncontrolled airspace that I feel needs a control tower. Today was a big mess. The wind direction had everyone using rwy 35. There are no taxi ways on rwy 35. With all the back taxiing going on, it created a huge mess. Another thing that irritates me is when an aircraft is coming into GXY and makes their initial call 10-15 miles out asking for an airport advisory. The part that irritates me is that GXY has an awos frequency. Why don't these pilots use the awos to get their weather information? I don't understand it. The CTAF/UNICOM freq. is congested enough. I remember when I was doing my first solo, and someone decided to make a call 10 miles out to order a breakfast burrito from the on field restaurant. I couldn't believe it...I was already nervous enough...and now I can't make my radio calls because some pilot decides that having his burrito waiting for him is more important than the safety of the local traffic in the pattern. What a dick!! I'll will now get down off my soap box.
1300 Jul. 7th, 1999: Today was the end-of-course check. The oral went really went, but the flying did not. The only thing that could have made the flight worse is if the wings fell off. The flight actually started off bad. I had to use an "old school" hood that was more like a welding helmet. The problems started because my headset would not go over the top of the hood. My headset kept sliding off the back of my head. When I would push them back up, it would push my hood down over my eyes. The distraction just sent things into a spiral. During the steep turns my headset fell off my head. The check airman actually tried to hold my headset on my head, but that was even worse. I ended up having to take my headset off and leave them off during the steep turns. My steep turns were not that good though...I will admit that. The headset the check airman was wearing would not transmit very well. He had to yell, and even then his headset would breakup and I would not be able to hear him. I got behind on the ILS approach...I was able to get back on track, but it should have been a lot tighter. The NDB approach was not as tight as it should be either. I think with all the distractions and frustration I didn't fly as well as I should be. I did not fail this ride, but we are getting different gear and going back up tomorrow to do the steep turns againa and 2 approaches. I'll redeem myself tomorrow morning.
0800 Jul. 8th, 1999: Okay...that was more like it. Everything went really well today. I had to get up at 0500 this morning to get this done. We did the steep turns again and did an ILS, VOR-A, and NDB approach. We had a bit of a temperature inversion this morning. At 0630 this morning at 7000' it was 80 degrees. It made for smooth flying though. It's amazing how much easier it is to fly when your hood and headset is not falling off.
1100 Jul. 13th, 1999: I just did another flight to stay "sharp". There has been a lot of discussion and confusion as to whether I get covered by the school's examining authority. The first decision was "no...we can not cover you." I didn't understand, so I looked through the Part 141 regs and found nothing that would disqualify me. The thing I should point out is that due to financial reasons it has taken me 4 years ( 1 full year off from flying.) to complete my instrument rating. After further discussion with the school it was determined today that they meant to say "no....we WILL not cover you." Their reasoning being that it has taken 4 years and the syllabus has changed too much. I can agree with them to a certain point and I can understand them wanting to cover their behinds due to the recent accidents. So...I am taking my instrument checkride with a DE, and then my commercial license will be all under their examining authority. In the long run I will save some money. That seems to satisfy both parties concerned...without ruffling any feathers. I have my checkride scheduled for the 22nd now. This is starting to get aggravating.
1100 Jul. 22nd, 1999: Flew again today to try to stay fresh for the checkride. I was suppose to take my checkride today, but the airplane had to go in for a 100hr inspection yesterday. During the inspection they found a crack in the exhaust manifold. They were not sure if it would be fixed in time for the ride. We recheduled it for Monday morning.
1400 Jul. 26th, 1999: Today was my instrument checkride. After FOUR years of chipping away at it I passed my checkride. I feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted off of my shoulders. I can now move on to the Commercial license. The oral portion was short and sweet. We hit all the points that needed to be hit and then preflighted the aircraft. We departed GXY and headed toward Ft. Collins/Loveland (FNL). Before I even cleared the runway, I had the hood on. On climb out my vacuum system failed and we went partial panel. The DE (who is a very good guy that made me feel at ease from the beginning.) gave me vectors for the VOR-A approach into FNL. On the way there he gave me holding instructions to hold at NEFFS intersection. I was then cleared for the VOR-A into FNL (partial panel). After the missed approach we went to a full panel ILS 33 into FNL...down to circling minimums. After the ILS 33 I received an amended clearance back to GREEY NDB. At 7000' I was instructed to intercept the final approach course for the NDB RWY 9 into Greeley (GXY). The NDB approach went well...we broke off in time to do a straight in landing on RWY 9. The landing even went well. It was a great flight. I am glad I finally got to do it. Most importantly I want to thank certain folks who never gave up on me, and have done anything they could to help me along the way. These folks know who they are, and if they don't...I certainly do. THANK YOU!!
Jan. 7th, 1999: First entry into the flight log. This is not a flight, just the start of the page. I am currently a private pilot with about 200hrs total time. I earned my license on August 03, 1995.