Saturday, December 16, 2017

Reflection 2017: Goal Oriented

The Objectives

2017 was the kind of year that makes me thankful for the exhilarating -- and often humbling -- adventure found in flight. I began this memorable year of flying with two objectives that I deferred for far too long:
  • Fly to Canada
  • Earn a tailwheel endorsement, preferably in a J-3 Cub
There were also the usual standing secondary objectives for 2017: visit new airports, visit new states, fly more than 100 hours, and exercise the instrument rating.

Piece of cake, right?

The Highlights

Highlights for 2017 include:
Along the way, there were some challenges (both real and tongue-in-cheek):

137.3: Hours of total time in 2017, my highest accumulated in a single year.

10.6: Hours flown in IMC this year (total: 35.3), my highest to date even after failure of the Warrior's attitude indicator in September brought an end to IFR flying for the remainder of 2017. This is the first year that I have flown more time in actual IMC than simulated (by a fraction of an hour - I logged 10.1 hours of simulated instrument time in 2017).

10: States/provinces visited: Michigan; New Jersey; New York; Ontario, Canada; Pennsylvania; Quebec, Canada; Rhode Island; Tennessee; Vermont; and West Virginia.

3: New states/provinces (Ontario, Quebec, and Rhode Island).

36: Total number of airports visited in 2017.

12: New airports visited for a total count of 184:
3: New grass runways sampled, two in the Cub (12N and 13N), one in the Warrior (6B9).

7.0: Hours flown as PIC in a J-3 Cub!

53.5: Hours flown with The Bear in 2017 (not including the hot air balloon time). She now has a total of 400.3 hours of General Aviation flight experience since birth!

17: People who flew in Warrior 481 with me in 2017. Thanks to Kristy, The Bear, Mom, Dad, Penny B, Terry B, Jamie O, Scott L, Leia L, Ed C (Jr), Ed C (Sr), Tom C, Joe E, Dave P, Matt P, Jack S, and Sandra S for joining in! Particular thanks go to Jamie O, Dave P, Matt P, Joe E, and Tom C for serving as safety pilots during practice under simulated instrument conditions.

The Photographs

These are my favorite photographs from 2017.

Warrior N21481 parked on the ramp at Lake Placid, KLP
("Mountain Fellowship")

Letchworth State Park, Middle Falls, photographed from a hot air balloon
("The Flying Bear Flies Lighter Than Air")

Aeroflex-Andover Airport (12N) in New Jersey where I did my tailwheel training
("Dragging Tail")

Morning clouds reflected in clear ice on Sodus Bay.
("Seven Degrees")

Wind turbine in Ontario, Canada

Bear is my copilot
("Over the River(s) and Through the Sky To Grandmother's House We Go")

Owasco Lake
("Ode to the Hundred Dollar Hamburger")

Warrior N21481 parked in Bromont, Quebec and photographed from inside Le Bisto M
("Le Vol Vers Le Quebec: Language Barrier")

1946 Piper J-3 Cub in which I received my tailwheel training at Andover Flight Academy
("Dragging Tail")

Interchange of I-81 and NY-12 near Alexandria Bay, NY
("From Whence Came the Dressing")

Morning at the Williamson-Sodus Airport
("Partial Panel")

Selfie captured in the spinner of a Beech Model 17 Staggerwing at the Beechcraft Heritage Museum
("A New York Piper in Beechcraft's Tennessee Court")

Ice on Sodus Bay near Sodus, NY

A portion of the former Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Station on the Rhode Island coast
("Expedition To the Outer Lands")

View of Middle Falls at Letchworth State Park from a hot air balloon
("The Flying Bear Flies Lighter Than Air")

First flight with Dad
("A New York Piper in Beechcraft's Tennessee Court")

Low clouds over autumn fields north of Cayuga Lake
("Grass Fix")

Binghamton, NY
("The Blues")

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) viewed through a hole in the ceiling

Sunbeams scattered every which way over New York's southern tier
("The Blues")

Wall of clouds over Lake Erie
("Frontal Passage")

1946 Piper J-3 Cub at Aeroflex-Andover Airport (12N)
("Dragging Tail")

High definition undercast
("Expedition to the Outer Lands")

Boldt Castle on one of the Thousand Islands near Alexandria Bay, NY
("From Whence Came the Dressing") 

Mike Wiskus performs in his Pitts at the New York Air Show
("The Blues")

Sodus Pierhead Lighthouse, Sodus, NY
("Down by the Bay")

The Catskill Mountains in autumn
("Expedition To the Outer Lands")

Downtown Rochester, NY

Wind turbines in fog, Ontario, Canada

Between layers near Buffalo, NY
("Frontal Passage")

The first example ever built of one of my all-time favorite aircraft, the Beech Model 17 Staggerwing
("A New York Piper in Beechcraft's Tennessee Court")

Clouds over western Connecticut
("Expedition To the Outer Lands")

The Toronto waterfront, photographed on approach to Billy Bishop Airport by Kristy
("Billy Bishop's Alternative Universe: Part 1")


  1. CONGRATS! Some amazing shots from this year, thanks for sharing. I'd say you had a pretty darn good year based on total time but the real feather in your cap is the IMC time. A new rating and grass strips're rockin' it my friend.

    1. Thanks Gary! This means a lot coming from you. As I assembled this review, part of me couldn't believe I'd done all of these things in one year. And, yes, I'm really proud of the IMC time. That was something that completely snuck up on me. Most of the other highlights were planned, but all that IMC time was not. Thanks for commenting, Gary!