News and Comment
Laurie Anne Smith who began in the private ground school last winter and started flying with Ronen Raz, soloed today under the new tutelage of instructor Kristian Kismarczi ..... a hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Laurie Anne!
During the year there are many opportunities to get into the private ground school class and enjoy the magic of flight. Presently there are 26 private ground school students under the excellent care of instructor Morgan Ross... give dispatch a call today to see when the next class begins... 613 523 2142 press 0 for Dispatch
Alexey Dudkin, our friendly neighbourhood Ukrainian-Canadian student in the Algonquin Aviation Management Program flew his first solo flight this afternoon. Congratulations Alexey!
Now onward and upward to get the private pilot under your belt...
Roshan Rajapaski, a student in the Algonquin Aviation Management Program flew his first solo flight this morning. Congratulations Roshan!
The next step in the solo flight is learning how to log the time and fill out the logbook properly as well as how to sign out an aircraft on your own. Exciting stuff.
Hannah Ferguson soloed today! Hannah is a private student who joined the Ottawa Flying Club in the spring and has developed a passion for flying. Today was her first solo flight. Congratulations!
Not only a pilot, Hannah also writes a very entertaining blog called Always Looking Above. Read more about her flight training adventures there.
Its not often we get a crowd of people out to celebrate a students first solo but visitors and guests are welcome. It is a big day in a pilot's life.
Congratulations to Joe McTaggart who flew his first solo today. Joe is a private student and aviation enthusiast who only started flying on the 22 June 2010.
Congratulations to Joe and his instructor Cory Raby.
We were hit with some rather severe thunderstorms this afternoon. Thankfully, all our aircraft were tied down. Everything is wet but safe. Can't say the same about some other structures.
Storms like this can come as a surprise. We have had a number of days in the past few weeks where we watched the Radar as menacing lines of storms swept across Ontario but without much effect. Low dark clouds making for dramatic skies but little wind or rain.
Today, it was low cloud most of the day so the approaching storm was not as visible. It hit quickly and lasted for about 15 minutes before the winds dies down. The initial gust was quite strong and we saw aircraft bouncing on their tethers. The entire fleet in the field has weather-cocked into the wind by about 30 degrees. Our new hangar withstood the blast but not the small private hangar behind it which was completely destroyed and blown over the adjacent parking lot.
This is the second time in six months that we have been surprised by the ferocity of winds that can come from storms. Last winter, we were hit by a snow squall and today, this storm. The ferocity of the winds will move anything that is not tied down. An C-150 aircraft will carry a useful load of 500lbs at a stall speed of 42kts. It will fly on its own without pilots and fuel at about 37 kts. The wind in the storm is much stronger than that so if the aircraft are not tied down, they would be somewhere else by now. Kind of like the hangar.
As I was driving home today, I heard this story about a teenager, 15, who survived the crash of a float plane and managed to pull his father and uncle out of the wreckage. The other three in the plane, including the teenager's brother, uncle and pilot perished in the resulting fire. The boy tended to his injured father and uncle. His father passed away but the uncle survived.
The plane was a Dehaviland Beaver and the pilot was flying in foggy weather. He had made a precautionary landing and had just taken off again when he radioed that he would be making another precautionary landing. That was the last thing heard from the plane.
The aircraft struck the side of a mountain in level flight, ripping the wings, float and engine off the plane.
Apart from the courage of the boy, a very sad tale.
In aviation, accidents happen. When they do, things go very wrong. Its why we are so safety conscious and why we prepare for the worst.
A large part of avoiding accidents is developing a solid sense of judgment that isn't macho, respects authority, knows that accidents happen and that action can avoid them. What could possibly be so important that it is worth the risk of taking off into marginal weather? What was the pilot thinking? In a similar circumstance, what would you be thinking?
Our ground school program with Algonquin College includes courses on wilderness survival and first aid so that pilots, if they survive the accident, will have the skills and knowledge to survive until help arrives.
If any good comes from a tragedy like this, it is to impress on the rest of us, the need to be prepared and to hone our judgment all the time.
Four planes and nine pilots flew from Ottawa Flying Club at the Ottawa International Airport to the Kilarney Municipal Airport this weekend, spending the night at a local motel before making the return trip. By all accounts, it was a great time.
See some of the photos of the flight here.
Many thanks to Marc Desjardins who organized the trip and to all the members who participated.
The Ottawa Flying Club regularly challenges our members to undertake trips with the guidance of experienced pilots in a see one - do one - teach one approach. It is a great way for low-time pilots to spread their wings, increase their confidence and prepare for some real adventure.
Taif Alamar and Kris Lloyd both flew their first solos today on the hotest day of the year. Congratulations! Both Taif and Kris are members of the May 2010 class.
July 7th was one of the hottest days of the year, if not the hottest - so the celebratory soaking was refreshingly welcome. It was also well attended and many of the staff and students were also soaked accidentally on purpose.
I've been looking for interesting ways of challenging club members with tasks and challenges. Bryce Hanna sent me this link to a story of the Henniker Flying Club's First Annual Great Race. Basically, a number of teams would compete to see if they could fly to "all" 24 publicly accessible airports in New Hampshire in one day. The winning team would be judged on speed, flight planning and having the best story.
This is similar to a post race in gliding where there is a "cloud" of turn points and the winner of the competition is the one who hits the most points, covers the most distance and returns back to the home base by a set time. It is an interesting problem when you don't have an engine but even with one, the route planning is a challenge of optimization. In math, its called the traveling salesman problem. What is the shortest route that will allow you to visit all your clients?
For OFC, perhaps we could run one of these events to all the airports in a 100 mile circle around Ottawa. The main task would be to land (touch and go) at the most airports with the final landing back at YOW, all within four hours. GPS trackers would allow us to track progress and we could all get together afterwords to tell our stories, share pictures and review the "maggot races" (replays of the flight tracks) on the big screen.
Seems like a fun way to spend a day to me. What do you think?