Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review of 2010

2010 had its ups and downs. I completed my Silver badge, but we saw our training fleet grounded and our club struggled to find a new operating model. Here are some highlights.

I had a total of 28 flights, 5 fewer than in 2009, but 17 hours, 4 more than in 2009:
  • Nine flights with instructors
  • Seven flights with other Private pilots
  • No flights with student pilots
  • Two passenger flights
  • That leaves 10 solo flights
  • No cross-country flights
  • Four winch launches
I got around some:
  • Four flights at 29 Palms
  • Ten flights at Crystalaire
  • Six flights at Lake Elsinore
  • Eight flights at Tehachapi
I worked toward my Commercial and Instructor ratings early and late in the year:
  • Two flights at Lake Elsinore in the Blanik L13
  • Seven flights at Crystalaire in the Grob 103
Along the way, I did have a major accomplishment and some fun flights:
  • I had my longest flight ever, 5 hours and 11 minutes, to complete my Silver badge. First time in my life I've had someone douse me with champagne!
  • First really successful flights exploiting shear line lift at Tehachapi
  • First flights at Crystalaire.
  • Learned a bit about flying in wave over the mountains near Crystal. Lots more to learn!
  • A really successful passenger flight in which we were able to thermal with gentle turns
And some bad news:
  • All Blanik L13's worldwide were grounded after an accident in Europe. They're grounded until a testing plan is developed and approved. (I did get to learn some interesting things about aircraft safety and documentation procedure as I helped prepare paperwork related to our club Blaniks.)
  • The FAA never ruled on our complaint about Hemet-Ryan airport, so we lost a whole year in that battle. The ruling is due "any day now".
  • My plans to take my Commercial and Instructor Practical Tests did not progress much. I was not satisfied with the prospects of taking the tests at Lake Elsinore, and we lost the use of the Blaniks. Late in the year we placed our Grob at Crystal, and I resumed training late in December.
So... another mixed year. I continued to fly as much as possible, but there were three months I did not fly at all, the most I've ever sat out. We'll see what happens in 2011 - I'm hoping to do some cross-country out of Crystal, and I'm hoping to fly at some other gliderports as I take a family trip to Kansas in the summertime. And I have several friends and relatives who say they want to fly this year.

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