Other than announcing that I was invited to speak at the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum it has been another month since my last post; I really am trying to be better about consistency and would rather post several smaller entries to the blog verses a longer one; however, life just seems to get busy and I can’t seem to get my mind into the writing mode. So here it goes to cover what’s happened since my last regular blog post April 13th.
We haven’t done another rescue flight but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! In fact we have been so busy paying attention to the details and funding the creation of HoundPilot as LLC/Charity nonprofit that it has kept too busy!
Getting organized! HoundPilot seeks to introduce young people to aviation through volunteerism by getting youth involved in work with rescuing hounds, working with rescue groups volunteering, and in the process experiencing aviation and providing a path to flight experience and training. We see not to duplicate what other groups are doing but instead to assist them and get youth involved with hound rescue and aviation in the process. So we have pushed forward slowly but carefully. We have our Articles of Incorporation accepted by the state of Md and have filed our 1023 with the IRS. Once we get the letter of determination we will complete the Maryland State Filings and complete the process. We are working with Maryland Nonprofits to make sure we do everything correctly and follow best practices. Its a long slow process but a necessary and important one. We will keep you posted.
I spoke May 7th at the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum Speakers Series held at the Lockheed Martin Auditorium on Martin State Airport. I shared information about our goals and what we have done and seek to do with HoundPilot in the future. The talk was a little over an hour long with over 50 people in attendance. In spite of all the audio visual equipment being rendered inoperative the day before we were able to get a good sized TV to hook into my laptop and the fine people at Lockheed Martin were helpful and supportive.
The FAA requires that in order to carry passengers at night I must have completed 3 takeoffs/landings to a full stop in the last 90 days between an hour after sunset and an hour prior to sunrise. Since insurance companies also require that you fly each make/model of aircraft at lease once every 90 days I decided to take care of my night currency requirements in the old trainer, a Cessna 172. While doing so I experience my 1s blown tire upon landing. Night flying presents several optical illusions that must be overcome that affect depth perception and sink rate, making landings at night more challenging thus requiring practice. On this night after touching down on my third landing I touched the brakes while slowing down and the right wheel locked. It only takes a second and the tire will blow as it did on this night. When a tire blows on touchdown the aircraft is very difficult to control and you have to react quickly. I thought through my actions, analyzed my data, and ran it though debriefing software. Conclusion: I did a good job reacting to the situation and controlled the aircraft keeping it on the runway until stopped. I wouldn’t have done anything differently, sometimes it just happens.
[2 min video]
Though not HoupPilot related, it is indirectly aviation related. I have dedicated every day off in the past two summers to obtaining my pilot certificate, instrument rating, hound rescue flights, and gaining experience and training to become a safe confident pilot. As with any such endeavor, other areas of life suffer when one takes on such a challenge. In my case yard work, household chores, and general maintenance definitely topped the list, just ask the other half of HoundPilot; Laura Beck! I hadn’t participated in lawn mowing or maintenance nor snow removal since beginning flight training and my backyard Oasis project had deteriorated into a mess of overgrown weeds and half completed mini projects all over the yard. So the last half of April into May was dedicated to making this up to my number one supporter and giving Laura the oasis she deserves. Lots of very hard labor and a few $$$$ and it is mostly complete with a few items here and there to complete.
[3 min video]
As part of the process for organizing HoundPilot Laura and I are flying the Cirrus SR22 down to Raleigh Durham International Airport RDU to meet with some fine people who have graciously volunteered to spend the day with us sharing their experiences in organizing and running a nonprofit charity. We feel it will be an informative and beneficial weekend. Raleigh Durham is a busy Class C airport, busier than Atlantic City and others that I have flown into. Being new to the SR22 I needed to gain experience with the avionics and work flow to complete instrument flights and instrument approaches. To gain this experience I had a hound rescue flight organized in conjunction with another pilot who was goin to fly the initial leg; unfortunately at the last moment he was unable to complete the flight and I couldn’t do the whole mission, out and back, in the one day I had available. My flight instructor had never done the Hudson River flight and so we decided to help each other out. I would show him the procedures for the Hudson River and on the return leg he would help me with the avionics and complete a few instrument approaches.
[21 second video]
Thank You for reading and supporting what we hope to do with HoundPilot and I’ll make a renewed effort to make smaller more frequent blog posts.