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Today's flight in the year 2020

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This is why we have the Mooney. Worked half a day on Friday and then flew to Salt Lake to surprise my sister for her 50th birthday. Then we got up Saturday morning, picked some raspberries for my dad

I flew to West Yellowstone and back this weekend. There's a great camp ground in the trees just off the ramp and inside the airport fence, that is for fly-in camping only. Two other Mooneys and a Coma

There are two types of people, those who look up every time they hear a plane and look to try and find it, and those that don’t even notice. My granddaughter Hazel, every time she hears a plane, is lo

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This is why we have the Mooney. Worked half a day on Friday and then flew to Salt Lake to surprise my sister for her 50th birthday. Then we got up Saturday morning, picked some raspberries for my dad from her garden and flew from Salt Lake to Phoenix to see my parents whom I haven't seen since Thanksgiving. On the way we flew over the tiny mountain town where my dad was born and the farm that was in the family for 100 years and took pictures and video for him. We also flew over Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell. We visited my parents and then had dinner at my sisters and stayed at one of my other sisters for the night. (Normally we stay at my parents but don't want to be in their home that much right now.) We had breakfast on the back patio with my parents this morning before flying home mid-day.

A little over 1300 nm flown and memories to last a lifetime. Full post and more pictures coming soon.


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We flew Saturday from Tuscaloosa to near Grand Rapids, Michigan, to visit our son and family.  On the way up, we flew around the rainy area associated with decaying tropical storm Delta.  Returned this morning.  The instrument rating made this flight possible, and our C is running great.  Covered about 1300 nm and shot three instrument approaches, two to minimums.   This photo was taken this morning as the sun rose over southern Michigan.  Gorgeous day!  Almost nobody flying between 6000-10000 ft along our route.



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My old CFII has a 140 and 3 hangars down is its big brother 170. The 140 is from Washington state and the 170 came from S Carolina, you’d swear they were redone by the same guy, paint and interior are damn near identical 

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Smoky flight in Northern Colorado front range due to Cameron Peak fire. Flew away from the smoke but couldn’t avoid it returning to KLMO. 3SM visibility 2500 overcast smoke layer. Shiny plane covered in ash. 




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So as most may know, my engine is scattered all over the country.

My boss asked me to fly my plane out to buy off this motion system we are buying for a government project. Because he didn’t want to expose his employees to the COVID on an airliner.

So @ragedracer1977 was gracious enough to offer me the use of his new  ride.

What an awesome airplane! Everything about it is awesome (till you get to the gas pumps)

Here are some pictures from my trip from KDVT to KAGC.

( you locals can check it out, it is at Corporate Air for the next couple of days )










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I installed the newest GTN Software Download and now have the very capable VNAV (tied to A/P) feature.  Works great for vertical guidance on crossing restrictions going into Class B Airspace and I look forward to using it on STARs.

I recently blocked my plane for Flight Aware tracking, after numerous requests (and complaints) why they were arbitrarily (and randomly) reducing my "FILED AIRSPEED" significantly in their reports.  It appeared they were using "block to block" time and averaging and, with STAR's and flying IFR approaches frequently, this reduced the average speed.  Filed speed is supposed to be CRUISE SPEED, not some averaged number based on other factors at your destination.   I'm only mentioning this because a lot of friends have been watching me on Flight Aware for years.  As you can see, my filed TAS of 300 knots is conservative.


10-15-20 IVPT Flight.jpg

10-16-20 IVPT Flight.jpg

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Not many chances to fly IMC in a piston single around here (Colorado).  But coming home from Texas yesterday afternoon, I cruised over an undercast for more than an hour.  And with the sun at just the right angle for it, I saw for the first time ever in my Mooney, glory.



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Wife wanted to go North to visit friends in Minnesota.  Then this happened... 



There is a deer in this photo...



The flight back was a great experience builder dealing with icing and convective activity.  I called the briefer on both ends of this trip (probably the first time since 2005) just to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

Departing Flying Cloud (KFCM)



Looking a little sporty out here for this Southerner...




Snow is gone..


Put on the big boy pants to go IFR and get around the crap building up East of KMCI.  Picture overload but it is probably the prettiest flight we've had.









Little man happy we're home.






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I know you have all had the same excitement as I do today, but it was finally my day.  Multiple instructors after my first one decided flying a Falcon was more fun than flying with me, COVID, and managing to fly while taking care of my family, I soloed today. The setbacks of starting with new instructors was frustrating, but SO worth it.  I hope to join the ranks of Mooney owners one day, but I’m happy to just be plane crazy about them until then.  



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Congrats on the big step, Nick!

Two things to look forward to...

1) Fly as many of the same plane as possible... some of the differences you will pick up are the differences in the weather, as much as they are small differences in every plane...

2) Fly with as many different instructors as possible... you will pick up differences in their style, experience, and personality...

3) Did you ruin a good shirt?

Each of these differences may cost you an hour here and there... but the experience gained helps to understand your plane and your self better...

Look forwards to those Mooney days... and IR training! :)

Lots of fun to come..!

Best regards,


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1) I have been flying a bunch of different 172s at the school but I’ve taken a liking to 8398L(even when comm2 let out the magic smoke on me one day right after takeoff). She’s just a bit older but in good shape, and since she’s orange not nearly as booked!  
2) I have flown with 5 different instructors and my first spoiled me.  He and I got along great as he was my age and doing this as a second career, we understand and communicated well.  My current one, it was an adjustment. She’s 16 years younger than me, and her teaching method is different.  But after I explained my way way of learning and my thought processes, we started clicking well.  
3) The definition of a perfectly good shirt depends on the person you ask.  I felt it was a perfectly fine, not thin, no rips, holes, or loose stitching.  But my wife was happy to see it’s remains relegated to the rag bin.  

As an aside, I am not stopping, I’ll be moving right into my IR once I get my PPL, and will keep going.  My friend with the Mustang has hinted he might want a SIC that can handle themselves in the future.  :)

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I had a favorite C152 I used for primary training...

It let me know I was on speed, on altitude, Right attitude, on final...

The chair gently slid forward on one side... (probably missing hardware...) only when everything was just right in the pattern... :)

PP thoughts only, definitely not CFI ideas...

Go Mooney!

Best regards,


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I have had the great fortune of having quite a few memorable trips, so much so that I am struggling to decide which story to tell! I think the one that stands out the most was a trip in late May to see my college best friend up in Boise, Idaho. The 201 was certainly up for the three-hour flight from Novato, CA (DVO) to Caldwell, ID (KEUL). It was great to catch up with Dylan and he fired up his Traeger almost immediately upon my arrival, always a welcome treat. I did quite a bit of research both on MS and the Idaho Backcountry website to see if/where we could fly for some light backcountry. Garden Valley, Idaho (U88) fit the bill almost perfectly. It sits at 3,177', is 3,800' long and is very well maintained. Dylan and I packed our lunches and headed out for a long day of exploring Idaho. I did quite a few T/O and landings to get a feel for her soft-field performance. After spending a few hours exploring along the river, we took off for Cascade, ID (U70), overflew Johnson Creek (3U2), and landed McCall, ID (MYL) for a little picnic on the wing break. After a few more days of flying around, I decided to head east to meet up with an old high school buddy in Darby, Montana (6S5). I fell so in love with Idaho on that trip, that it called my girlfriend and I back up for a trip a bit later in the year, which will be another post! Little did I know, I would fly my last trip on the beloved 757 a few days later, off to a new Boeing!






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