Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winter flying

It's been raining on and off for the past month where I live. Actually good news because we need the water and it means we've now got some sort of ski season in Tahoe. I say "sort of" because it keeps on getting warm after it snows, so getting up there to the good stuff requires careful planning and nerves of steel to brave I-80 with snow/ice/slush and nutty drivers doing x2 or x3 the speeds I'll ever do, even with AWD.

The weather has been so variable I've not flown in March, I decided to take a break from flying (for skiing!) and save my pennies for later in the spring when the weather perks back up. I have a couple of people waiting for rides and I'm supposed to be practicing for aerobatic contests at some point, too. God only knows if or when that will happen. (Work just stuck a big dent in my May/June schedule.) Oh well, back in December and January the weather was stunning. Literally, tee-shirt weather.

Here's a flight I did with a friend, her first time in a small plane and her first aerobatics. Also my first test of two new GoPro cameras, which I plan to use a lot more later this year. I didn't include the parts where my friend was flying the plane but she was a natural! It was the end of January. What, two months back? It seems so long ago already!

Monday, March 26, 2012

An amphib taildragger LSA? Hell, yeah!

Just saw the Akoya from LISA Airplanes in France, a sweet-looking machine that has pectoral fins like a shark and otherwise looks like the illegitimate love child of a Seawind and the Bell X-1 (albeit with a tail wheel):

Another (better) video on Vimeo, here.

I've always adored the design, not to mention fun potential, of the Seawind, and I've been following the development of the Icon A5 pretty closely, too, along with probably most of the pilot population of the USA. The Icon was already on my "must go test fly" list, I'm putting the Akoya on there now. And the moment the Seawind 300C gets certified it's on, too.

Memo to float plane/amphib operators in Florida: as soon as any one of these three becomes available for instruction/rent, call me! I have a dusty ASES and a whopping eleven whole hours in a Maule M-7 on floats that needs refreshing. You park an A5 or an Akoya in a Floridian lake and I'm planning my next fly-cation immediately. And yeah, I'd be seriously considering it a "test fly." I can't justify buying one of these toys, but I can't justify a lot of my hobbies.