Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Silver Wings - New Zealand Women in Aviation

A little while ago, I got my hands on a copy of Silver Wings - New Zealand Women in Aviation.  I managed to get it for a bargain price but would fully recommend it at the full retail price as well.  It's a beautiful little soft cover book, with 288 pages and as many photographs.

The book chronicles the women flying in New Zealand from Gladys Sanford receiving her pilots license in Dec 1925 up to modern women flying any and every type of aircraft you can imagine at all levels.

My favourite photos were those of the women in the 1960's and 1970's - many of them recreational pilots - dressed in some of the most fashionable items of the times with hair to match and ready to fly!  As I said in in my post Flying in Style, the best clothes for flying aren't necessarily the most fashionable or stylish, so these women are yet another source of Aviator Chic inspiration.

The easiest way to get your hands on a copy of this great book is to order it from NZAWA via this order form.  Alternately, you can borrow it from your local library (if they have it) or scour Trademe and used book stores to find a more modestly priced copy if you really want to own it but can't afford the $50 price tag.

Here's a little sneak peek of photos found in the book.  (Please note, I took these from the NZAWA order form as I didn't think it fair of me to scan and redistribute the images from the book without permission.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Aviation Law Exam

I couldn't think of a witty or exciting title for this blog...possibly because there's nothing witty or exciting about studying aviation law.

Tomorrow I have to sit my Law exam.  The reading for this exam has been particularly brutal - even less interesting than Aircraft Tech.  All I can do is read it through and hope to memorise enough information (there really is no comprehension needed to pass this exam) to pass the exam.

It's been a short turn around since the last exam, only two weeks.  That's good though, it means I've had less time to agonize about getting through the book and that I've just had to push myself (and my husband) to read the chapters and do the reviews.

My next exams will be Meteorology and Navigation - both of which will require a concerted effort in studying, and perhaps some tuition from one of the instructors to help get me through.  Hopefully I'll catch on quickly and actually enjoy the subjects!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday morning was sunny and relatively calm.  Not an exceptionally warm day,  but warm enough that I went for my flying lesson in a tshirt dress, no jacket.  By last evening, the temperature had dropped and the wind started to pick up.  During the night, I woke up to the sounds of screaming wind and driving rain - had the thought that the planes had all better be tied down well.  This morning, just 24 hours from yesterday's lesson, the wind continues to howl and little bursts of rain come and go - it's amazing how much the weather can change in just one day.

Yesterday's lesson was definite preparation for me going solo.  We revisited engine failure after take off and glide approaches.  We went around and around.  And around.  For 1.2 hours.  The last landing I did was mint, but there were a number of marginal ones before it.  I'm finding it really hard to judge my own progress at this stage...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

On The Verge

After a flight today with our female senior instructor, we were discussing my progress.  "You are on the verge, lady" she said to me.  I replied, "So, best get that medical then?"  "Oh, yes," she replied, "we don't want you stuck going round and round much longer."

So, a glimmer of hope for solo before 15 hours.  I have flown 13 hours including today's 1.1.  The weather today was almost perfect...just could have used a bit of head wind to slow our progress on final. 

Once we hopped out of the plane, we had fish and chips lunch with the boys at the field and I crossed the car park for home.  On my facebook, I found some wonderful photos my husband took of my "on the verge" of being 1 year old daughter watching me fly the plane...

Love it!  Hope everyone else is loving something as well :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A mint day for flying...

Today was one of those days that everyone thinks is mint for flying.  Warm and sunny with great visibility and almost nil wind.  Truth is, it's actually not that mint because when the air is warmer, it's less dense and the aircraft can't make as much power and when there's no headwind, you need more runway to take off and land.

In any event, I went flying today.  And I did it in a dress (I am wearing a dress everyday in October to help raise ovarian cancer awareness in conjunction with Frocktober). 

The lesson was just plain circuits and was much needed after 3 weeks out of the left seat.  Before we got off the ground, I had already made two blunders...starting the aircraft with the mixture lean instead of full rich and doing a dead-cut check instead of a plain magnetos check...nothing terrible but "d'oh" moments to say the least. 

The other thing that challenged me today was flying the opposite circuit to what I'm used to.  I was taking off and landing on 07 today instead of 25...I only muddled the radio calls once.  The good thing about 07 is that you're coming into land over a nice flat stretch and you have a lot more time to line up with the centre of the runway.  My first approach was a go-around, but after that I did several decent landings.  I was conscious of flying the plane to the ground rather than flaring and waiting for it to land itself (it never does so gracefully).  None of the landings today were coincidences, they were all me - my husband, who was watching, asked if I had done the landings because they looked really good.  Excellent.

Well, best get back outside and finish soaking up another beautiful day...