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…

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…

A Wind Called Joran

“At times Joran south of Jura Mountains”, do you know what this means? I did not and that’s why I made a note on my weather briefing to find out after the flight. On descent into the aerodrome of Neuchâtel nature answered my question – by simply turning my stomach upside down. Flight Planning For…

Flying Like a Skylark

A letter from the Swiss aviation administration stated that I, a young pilot with 110h total time and 444 landings, indeed am a pilot. I told them before but they would not listen. What they were looking for were four solo circuits – done in Switzerland – and a bill in excess of 200$. The…

Let’s Go Flying

Yesterday my girlfriend asked if we would go to the airport’s restaurant on the weekend. I wasn’t sure if I heard right but I agreed without asking why. Anyhow, I really need to give her a bouquet of lilies for this one. 🙂 My father called today and told me that the airplane’s wings needed…

Short Runway at the Lake

Neither have I, nevertheless the airport at Lake Zurich felt as if it was one. After a nice and stable approach over the water – which reminded me of flying floats at 500′ and below – I touched down pretty much on the numbers and I didn’t even need to apply braking on the short…

EASA Changes are in the air

Every pilot is part of the voice of General Aviation. The least I can do today is to re-blog a very good read from AOPA UK; click the link for the original article. There is also a commentary about this issue written by the president of Europe Air Sports (EAS). AOPA reports EASA Changes are…

Swiss Mountain Flying

At the mountainous airport of Saanen you find all kind of people. There is the Glacier pilot with his Maule, working on his engine in the hangar. There is the unknown blonde celebrity on the co-pilot’s seat of a PC-12, desperately waiting for her limousine. And there is the family with their Cessna that borrows…