The weather in Maryland and the Northeast has been shall we say less than cooperative. With my full time job and travel schedule I can only fly on my days offs when I’m in town and lately they have been blanketed with heavy rain or fog. The kind of fog and low clouds that only the big airlines can fly in; especially in freezing temperatures.
I did however get some shorter flights in here and there, one of which was to Reading, PA to take the kids out to lunch. While these flights are not directly HoundPilot rescue flights they are important to building my experience and proficiency so that I can rise to the mission on short notice and provide rescue flights and gain a level of proficiency where I feel good about taking groups of young people on there 1st flights through EAA Young Eagles. I am building hours towards my Commercial Certificate for which I passed the required written exam and which is another step in the larger plan to make HoundPilot sustainable in the long run. I know that once I buy a airplane, my ability to finance further required ratings will be severely hampered. Therefore, putting off aircraft purchase for a couple years while I training and gaining the required certificates makes sense and will allow me to get the overall mission accomplished quicker as apposed to buying an airplane then having to spread my training out over 5 to 7 more years due to finances.
I have also been working on an idea to add a component to the HoundPilot mission that would involve young people volunteering at animal shelters and then being able to trade those volunteer hours towards flight training hours. This will of course require me to have my CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) certificate. The natural progression is to obtain the commercial certificate and then the CFI certificate thus the reason I completed my commercial ground school and knowledge exam in January and will begin the flight portion in late March or April. In an effort to move things along in the long run I’m combining some steps and doing the commercial multi-engine together. While it will be more expensive in the near term, it will save money and time in the long run.
As far as flight lessons I have had a weekly training flight (3 flights) in an Cirrus SR22 high performance aircraft. Meaning its over 200 hp (315 hp) and so everything happens so much quicker inflight that you really have to be on your top game. Its the difference between driving a Prius or a Corvette! Sorry, not a Prius hater just telling it as it is. I’ll write a post on that when I get some pictures, video, and once I get my high performance logbook endorsement.
So in the short term I’m hoping to do a long final Cirrus flight this week and then schedule my checkout flight with the CSIP (Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot). If all works out I will be combining this long training flight with a rescue flight for a beautiful Black & Tan Coonhound for ABTCR (American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue). I promise I’ll take some pictures and maybe a video from that flight and make that a separate post.
Laura and I are also continuing to work on the incorporation documents and IRS paperwork to make HoundPilot an official LLC and 501 (c)(3) charity and really hope to have it filed by the end of March.
Finally, I’ve been speaking with a friend of mine that works with a Boy Scout troop to organize an aviation day so that each Boy Scout can get their EAA Young Eagles first flight, logbook, and free private pilot ground school. That will be yet another good post.
I”ll put together the pictures from the Reading PA flight with the kids tonight and get it posted in a couple days. My in cockpit camera went bad on me and I just got a replacement that I need to test out this week so I don’t have any video.
I want to thank you all for reading this and supporting me in my efforts.