Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Move over grad school, it's time to fly again

Just got back from presenting my case study. It's usually a pretty good thing when one of the evaluators begins his comments by saying "you took this to a whole new level." I think I can rest easy tonight. I should get the results by this evening, and will update here.

The Mooney's back in town, Tim gets home on Sunday, and we're into the homestretch. Time to get back into this flying thing!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Slight change in plans

So, the Mooney is still out. Yep. Here's what's going on. We took it in to have the starter looked at...every once in a while, it was sticking, and that's not great for the airplane's electrical system and avionics. That's fixed. We thought, "hey, while it's in the shop, let's get that gross weight increase STC done."

That's actually pretty simple---this particular model was built with the strenghened landing gear that the STC requires already installed. All we really needed was to have the airspeed indicator re-marked for the appropriate speeds (a higher weight changes some of your airspeeds at critical phases in flight) and get the paperwork done. Simple, right?

Well, the avionics shop that our airspeed indicator was sent to somehow "forgot" about the job. And, they outsource the actual re-marking of the instrument face to a screen-print shop, which also apparently either got behind or forgot about it. After a lot of he said-she said between the instrument shop and the screen print shop, the airspeed indicator should be in Don's hands by "next week" and we'll have a Mooney back.

BUT, Tim is gone for the next two weeks. So my next commercial flight will be on 4/27. I'll make good use of the time while he's gone, getting my written finished up, flying my long cross-country, etc. That, and the small matter of my graduate capstone that's still staring me in the face.

The long and short of it, though, is that I'll be doing my CFI and CFI-I in early June. Time-wise, it's really not that much of a setback. And, it allows me to focus more on finishing grad school and actually spend a little more time preparing for those three instructor writtens I'll have to take. All in all, it's going to let me slow things down, just a little bit, which is kind of nice. Everybody has setbacks in training. Hey, I finished a rating that normally takes people about 9 months in less than 60 days. A little break ain't going to hurt me :).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quick Update

Not much to report this week...the Mooney is in Longview getting a new starter and a gross weight-increase STC (modification) put on it, so I'm in ground school mode. I have next to me on my desk a signoff to take the Commercial Pilot written exam, which I'll probably do by the middle of next week.

I did get to go to Hooks airport (KDWH) last Friday and meet the guy I'll be doing my CFI/CFI-I with. Gary is legit, and he's located in a good facility. I'm pretty excited about getting that last phase underway. You can check him out online at I didn't ask him about the bad (hopefully inadvertant) pun his web address makes. Maybe after the checkrides :). There's no fool-proof, fast track to the CFI, but this guy's system is going to make it about as painless as it could be.

Finally, my case study presentation for grad school is looming. It's not really as big a deal as the thesis---they try to make it seem that way, but in reality it's a grade in one class---but everybody still stresses about it. My scenario deals with student housing, which is an area I could frankly care less about. I would have said the same thing when I was a working student affairs professional---I just never cared for housing. So, it's hard to get into "character" and deal with the scenario.

We have a meeting with our "jury chairs" on April 15, so I want to try to wrap it up by then. Presentations are April 22. Needless to say, my attentions are kind of divided right now. When I envisioned this semester being an overworking, burnout-risking slice of hell, the month of April is what I was picturing. Nevertheless, there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it looks a lot like the approach lighting system on Runway 19 in Waco.

Blue skies!