Friday, December 17, 2010

Preparing for missions

I have found that trying to get time to fly is difficult. I had a chance to take my father in-law to Greenville on Halloween which was the last time I had flown. I want to fly all the time, but with weather, work and family, it doesn't seem to be happening. The other day I finally got the chance. It was a beautiful outside and I checked the weather on all internet sites. No wind, 28 degrees and abundant sunshine, perfect for 3 take-off and landings. I called the airport to reserve a tomahawk with no problem. I called my brother in to work early, which he grunted about, and off I went home to grab my flight bag then to the airport. Luckily the aircraft was out flying so it was nice and warm when I got in.
After a walk around and pre-flight I was in the air. I had forgotten how great an aircraft flies in the winter. With a 1000' per minute climb and smooth air on downwind, base and final, I was only in the air for about 15 minutes. Three take-off and landings! After the final landing I taxied back to the ramp and shut 'er down.
I realized it was the first time flying solo since I received my certificate. It was great, even if only for 15 minutes. So Mission #3 was a success. Hopefully around Christmas the weather will be nice for flying. I'm looking forward to taking my Dad up.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Piper Tomahawk - Mission #2

Mission #2 was another great flight. I took my brother up and we flew to KENL (Centralia). The ride was bumpy at times, especially in the pattern at both airports. In this video we started off with a bad angle, but fixed it later in cruise flight. The flight was an hour round trip. I have to admit, I love being a pilot. Nothing better than being your own boss.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Shafer Metro East to Pickneyville, IL

What an excellent evening to fly! Couldn't have asked for better weather. Thanks to my Mom for being my first passenger on my first flight as a private pilot. We didn't get out at Pickneyville, just taxied up to the ramp and turned around. It was getting late and I didn't want to chance flying 30 minutes past sunset. By the time we landed at Shafer and buttoned up the aircraft the sun was already behind the horizon. The flight was 1.6 hours on the Hobbs. We were crawling back from Pickneyville with a ground speed of 78-80 knots. My AV8OR GPS lasted the entire flight with only one bar of battery left. It worked perfectly throughout the flight. With Scott AFB Class D airspace nearby, I'm so glad to be able to see our position on the GPS. Mission #1 was a great success.

The Mission

I've got a list in my wallet of all the airports within 100 nm of Shafer Metro-East. My goal is to fly to all of them, land and throw a dip in. I chew Timberwolf Mint if anyone is wondering. There are some airports that I have already been to as part of my training that I will skip. These airports are Sparta, Vandalia, Effingham, Litchfield, Salem, Taylorville, Marion, Mt. Vernon, Alton, Cahokia, Greenville, Jacksonville, Springfield Illinois and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Every time I fly I will attempt to travel to a new place. Tonight is no different. I am taking my Mom up for her first flight as my first passenger and we will travel to Pickneyville, IL (PJY). It should be excellent weather, 78 degrees, clear skies and winds 3 to 6 knots from the NW. I will attempt to video the flight and use my new AV8OR GPS. Hopefully I'll get some followers for this blog once I add video. I will quit typing to no one and get back to work now.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I just passed my private pilot check ride today. What a relief, 62 flying hours in 18 months it took me. During my training I have had my son born, my appendix removed, and my grandfather pass away. What a journey, can say I'm glad to see it over. Thanks to my flight instructor, Mike Smith, for flying whenever I needed to stay current. Thanks to my wife who doesn't realize I will be buying an aircraft in the near future. Thanks to my Mom for working in the restaurant when I needed to fly. The check ride was 1.8 hours long and the examiner went over every manuever, take-off and landing that I was taught. It was real and it was fun, but I wouldn't say it was real fun.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

3K6 Shafer Metro East (The Home Base)

I fly out of Shafer Field, close to St. Jacob, IL. It's got a 2600 ft. runway that's 50 ft. wide. Numerous aircraft are kept in hangars on the field. The aircraft that I fly is a Piper Tomahawk. Shafer Flying Service has two Tomahawks that they use for flight instruction. I've never had a problem with Shafer Flying Service or any other pilot based at the airport. The FBO is nice and comfortable with sodas for $.50 cents.

New Blogger

Hello! This is my first blog. I started this to share with everyone the wonderful flying country that I live in. I'm a student pilot so close to my FAA checkride I can smell it. I've been flying for a little over a year now and I have 51.4 hours. The Flying Cook is a name I picked because I own two restaurants and spend most of my time dealing with food.
My hobbies include spending time with my wife and little boy, running 2 restaurants, flying of course, and photography. Soon I will be able to share some flying photography with you and also comment on the different FBO's at the various airports that I land at.