Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mountain Flying

I’ve been doing some mountain flight training in an area southwest of Carson City, NV.  Mountain flying in helicopters requires good performance planning as well as an understanding of the effects of wind, weather, and the of course the lack of O²!  I currently use the ForeFlight™ app on my iPad retina mini for flight planning, en route navigation, and situational awareness.  I’m a big fan of ForeFlight™; check out this screen shot.  foreflight

When you are in flight the symbol ForeFlight™ provides for your aircraft is an airplane, helicopter, or some other symbol (the symbol is user selectable).  I usually use a helicopter but in this case my position is just a blue dot.  This is because I’m not moving.  Yep, just landed at about 11,500′.  Depending on the source the highest airport in the world is in Tibet at about 14,219′ with a runway over 14,000 feet long.   But 11,500′ is still pretty high.  I have landed at higher elevations but this 11.5K spot is about the highest we can use in this area.

DSC00661Here is a photo of one of my passengers at 11,500′.  It was about -7 degrees at the time.  I like to use a mountain flying technique of approaching the landing site on the windward side.  This puts the helicopter in smoother up flowing air.  The up flow (updraft) requires less power.  I then make passes at 40 knots to discover which direction provides a headwind.  I let the aircraft crab into the wind and continue into the landing site all the while keeping power applied.  This technique allows the pilot to approach with power in a controlled manner while providing an escape route into the wind and up flow.  Great training and great fun!

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Memories

I happened upon this airplane in Yuma, AZ this week.  It is the the same make, model, and year as the first airplane I soloed many years ago.  This is a 1959 Cessna 150 that has been converted to a taildragger but in many ways it is identical to the one I soloed when I was 16, good old N5964E.  This is even the original paint scheme used for 1959 Cessna 150s, just like the one we had, and note that the tail numbers are closeIMG_0713 (this one is N5789E).  My Mom owned N5964E but unfortunately some folks managed to total it (no one was seriously hurt).  Ours was a tricycle gear as were all the C-150s unless converted like this one.  I didn’t meet the owner but this airplane looks to be in great shape.  N5964E was a great airplane and I wish we still had her around.

Brand new web site

So this is my brand new web site.  The old one was designed with the help of some person I never saw in some land far, far away.  It wasn’t bad but I couldn’t edit the site.  I’m not a tech guy – well I’m not a real good tech guy,  (I love gadgets) but I’ve gradually learned to use WordPress and so here it is.  Nothing too fancy however my intent is to get some information out about my company, On Course Aviation LLC, and WV77, our little airport in West Virginia.  My blogs may be sporatic but I hope to get some comments about WV77 from those that fly there and enjoy the airport.  If you have questions about flight training or other business opportunities please use the contracts page and either email or call.

MIRight now I’m in Dallas for the Vintage and Experimental Aircraft Examiners annual get together with the FAA.  I’m an experimental examiner for the Russian Mi-8 series of helicopters.  It’s a big ugly brute but I love to fly it.  Lot of good information put out today by the ladies from AFS 760.  They are the paperwork folks from the FAA and it all comes down to the paperwork.  I’ll be adding blog posts on all things aviation such as techniques, regulation updates, and gear I like and how I use it.  Check back in when you have the time.