330h CPL – Cessna Turbo 210

I flew a few hours in a Cessna Turbo 210. This plane asked for all my skills. To be honest, it felt as if I flew the first time all over again. The learning curve was steep and the airplane a thrill to fly. At first sight, the aeroplane looks like the usual Cessna. But look…

344.5h – Routine and Night Flying

Flying every day this month really got me in the routine of making decisions, and decisions is all flying is about. Especially interesting were the flights during night time. Night flying is so smooth – much smoother than driving a car – that it gives me a very comforting feeling in an environment that seems…

Commercial Pilot Certificate

Compared to the instrument rating, the commercial was simple. It is basically the proof that you can put your airplane where you want it and you understand its systems in depth. You also need to master a few legal terms – surprisingly no more than a few. The first question of an oral usually is:…

Headsetinc ANR Kit In-Flight Test

I had two flight lessons today for my commercial pilot license and took my upgraded headset along, a David Clark H10-13.4 with ANR set from Headsetinc. Honestly, despite the successful tests yesterday. I still had doubts if it would actually work in the cockpit. After all, the last time I soldered it was my guitar’s pickups…

Headsetinc ANR Retrofit

With up to five hours flight time per day and my first pilot job starting within the next months, I thought, I should take care of my ears. Every evening I have a light headache – I hope I can change that. I purchased an active noise reduction (ANR) set from Headsetinc for my David…

2.5h CPL – Maneuvers

Can you point out design maneuvering speed (Va) on this airspeed indicator? This airspeed is important to know if you are flying maneuvers or flying into turbulence; it is the airspeed at which the airplane stalls at its G-limit. In other words, it is the speed at which the stall protects your airplane from structural…

1.2h CPL – Complex Airplane

The past three weeks I had been studying intensively for the commercial written exam. It turned out that nearly all knowledge was already covered by previous courses for the private pilot license and instrument rating. Still, I wanted to work through the entire online class and immerse myself in my new goal: the commercial pilot…

224.9h – Advanced Decision-Making

Runways, weather, terrain, wake turbulence and many factors more affect a pilot’s decisions. Some decisions significantly effect the outcome of a flight, but other in-flight decisions go even beyond that. Let’s talk through the insignificant stuff first. Last week I had a wonderful navigation flight which went so well that I was finally confident enough…

222.5h – Confident Flying

Yesterday I did my first solo flight in the United States since 2011 and it all went great. Back then, just after my checkride, I did only one flight as a private pilot in this country. The flight to Ocean Shores, WA, was quite eventful. I had direct crosswind on landing, deer on the taxiway,…

Looking Back and Ahead (Video)

Next Monday I am going to fly the first time at Centennial (KAPA) and I am happy to get back in the air. First I need to do a flight review because I am not current on my FAA license anymore. Gosh, it is already three years ago when I was training for my private…

Steep Turns and Slow Flight

On my last solo flight I spent an hour in the air practicing steep turns and slow flight. I had not flown for a while so it has been a great opportunity to get a feel for the aircraft again. The day was forecast to be sunny but I had to wait several hours until…

Back in the Air

Finally, finally my father’s Cessna 175 is back in the air! The airplane was in maintenance for 3 months due to an issue with the avionics. It is now equipped with a new Garmin radio and GPS. The weather was at VFR minimums so we decided to remain in the pattern. We both had to…

PIREPs for Europe

PIREP Pro could improve your weather briefing. Download this app on your phone and you will be able to issue PIREPs simply by a few clicks. In America pilot reports are an important source for general aviation pilots for studying the actual weather – because it might not behave as forecast. Here in Europe you…

NOTAM: Airspace not Classified

The flyout from Switzerland to Greece taught me a lot, and not only flying-wise. I have seen Europe from a different point of view. Astonishing, how unique every country on our continent is. In this context I remember the flight from Croatia to Greece the most. We were cruising above the most beautiful islands of…

What’s that burning smell?

My father and I were returning from an interesting day of flying. We flew into small grass strips with mountainous obstacle approaches. We had a lot of fun until, on downwind to our homebase, my father asked: “What’s that burning smell? Is it from the outside or inside?” In this instant I realized there was…

163.8h – Aviation Sunday

This was no lazy sunday! 🙂 After an incredible Muse concert on saturday…my father had the brilliant idea to go flying! We flew to a small grass field, called Sitterdorf (LSZV). It had a short runway of just 1570 feet and both threshold were to be overflown at 60 feet. I looked up the take…

156.7h – Alps Crossing

The Franklin engine roared to live and accompanied us with its distinctive galloping sound, while taxiing to runway two five. I gave the girls a quick passenger briefing and took off into the blue skies. Crossing the alps will always amaze me. 🙂 The first time without my dad – but with a superb crew…

NDB 531 kHz

Yesterday my car had a flat battery. My girlfriend’s dad helped to get it running again. Later, on the way to work, I found out the cooler fan and radio didn’t work anymore. Oh I love this Ford Fiesta…. after work the radio came back to life (who needs a cooler fan, anyway?) and for…

50nm Cross-Country

One of the easy-to-accomplish tasks toward my commercial pilot licence is the cross-country flight time as pilot in command. I need 50hrs and I think I almost got it. Since I work toward a licence the flights have to cover at least 50 nautical miles in a straight line. Funny thing though – Switzerland is…

Blue Skies

During the grey fall days it is hard to believe that there’s blue skies – anywhere above. One lucky Saturday the clouds opened up a bit to let us catch a bit of sunlight. Knowing there weren’t any clouds in the alps, we headed toward them for a $100 fondue. The alps holding back the…