Monday, April 27, 2009

Airplane Maintenance Shop in Hillsboro Oregon

Need some maintenance done on your airplane?  Twin Oaks Airpark (7S3) has a maintenance facility located on the airport that regularly services all Cessna 100 series airplanes, Cessna 206's, 205's, and 210's.  We also work on Piper and Beechcraft airplanes.  If you have a piston powered single or light multi-engine airplane that you need some maintenance work on, check out the maintenance shop at Twin Oaks Airpark located in Hillsboro Oregon!  
By Joe Echo-Hawk CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, A&P Mechanic Airplane Ferrying | Flight Instruction | Airplane Maintenance

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Flight Training Resources

Learning to fly can involve a decent amount of "homework" and studying.  Here are a few things that I have come up with that I give to the people I work with to help them with their studying.  For flight training resources and flight planning aids click here.
By Joe Echo-Hawk CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, A&P Mechanic Learn to fly airplanes in Oregon!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Planning Your 50 hrs Cross Country PIC Time!

One of the major expenses when conducting your flight training to obtain an Instrument Rating and a Commercial Pilot license is the block of 50 hrs of PIC cross-country time that you must obtain.  For tips on planning out your cross-country time while training for you Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot license, click here!  Refers you to an article on my website...
By Joe Echo-Hawk CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, A&P Mechanic TNG Aviation | Portland-Hillsboro Oregon Flight School

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ferry Flight to Florida! - Part 1

I had the chance a few weeks ago to take some time off from my normal job of working as a flight instructor at Twin Oaks here in Hillsboro to ferry a Cessna 182 from Hillsboro to Florida.  I received a call from a man named Dudley Thomas who was in the process of buying this CE-182.  He was here in Hillsboro, Oregon and needed to fly it back to Pensacola, Florida.  Sounds great to me!
Our plan was to leave on a Monday morning, and take a few days on the trip.  Monday fell through due to paperwork issues and Tuesday we were weathered out.  It was too cold to fly in the clouds!  Wednesday morning showed favorable signs and by 11 am we were well on our way to Aspen, Colorado in a nicely equipped Cessna 182.  The winds aloft forecast were showing favorable winds the higher we climbed, so we turned on the oxygen bottle and clawed our way up to 17,500.  We asked Portland Approach for VFR flight following and had to repeat "Yes, that is ASE - Aspen Colorado."  Apparently you don't get a huge amount of 182's traveling non-stop to Aspen from Hillsboro.  
The climb was uneventful but smooth and clear as we made our way over a solid layer of clouds.  Dudley, I came to find out was a seasoned traveler, and among many other skills, he possessed the skill to beat his bladder into submission at will.  I however, had done my best to drink absolutely nothing 2 hours before we left in hopes of making life easy on the non-stop flight.  This scheme did nothing for me.  I soon crawl to the back of the plane and find a waterbottle that would substitute for our lavatory.  I couldn't help myself from thinking that I would never again talk poorly about airliner bathrooms.  They are better than the alternative.
Dudley turned out to be the great part of my flight.  We were both taking the time to become familiar with the avionics and layout of the plane and came to find the plane very well equipped.  Dudley's plan is to use this 182 in some form of missionary work in South America after he has received some additional training.  He is just beginning to work on his instrument rating and plans to carry on with his training until he is ready for flight in South America.
Our weather planning had show Aspen Colorado to be a good stop both for weather and for fun.  As we approached the last leg of our flight, the cloud layer we had been easily flying over the top of was look as if it was rising to meet our altitude.  The weather reports at Aspen were showing high scattered clouds so we were not concerned about needing to use an IFR plan until we saw the build up of clouds between us and Aspen.  With the daylight quickly fading, and the Rocky Mountains all around us, we decided our safest option was to pick up a pop-up IFR clearance and descend through the layer as quickly as possible.  ATC granted us our pop-up clearance quickly and had us fill in the details with FSS soon after we were cleared IFR.  After about 15-20 minutes of punching in and out of clouds, we had lost our daylight, emptied a fuel tank and switched to our remaining hour and a half of fuel.  At this point we were just a few minutes from being on the approach into Aspen, and found out that at night, all ATC can grant you is the visual approach.  They gave us a vector and cleared us down to 13,000 ft.  After a few minutes of bumping around in the clouds, I shine my flashlight outside and see a fair amount of ice beginning to form along the struts and leading edges.  Flashlight goes off.
ATC calls right after this discovery and asks if we have Aspen in sight yet.  "Negative, and we are starting to run out of options here.  Any chance for lower?"  
They reply, "13 is the lowest I can grant you, it is our minimum vectoring altitude." 
We fly along for a few more short moments straining to see lights below us.  No joy.  
"N21PV.  If you do not have Aspen in sight, climb to 150 and turn to heading 290."
"N21PV, negative.  We won't be able to do that."
"N21PV.  Are you declaring an emergency."
Just as I was thinking it was time to declare an emergency and fly the published approach that we were already lined up on, I saw the rotating beacon and runway lights appear through the darkness.  
"N21PV has Aspen in sight!"  I'm sure the controller could hear my relief.  They quickly handed us off to Aspen Tower and we landed without further drama.  
Our plane was iced up considerably but we were safe on the ground.  What turned into a routine descent through a layer became a very tense few moments.  As we got our luggage out of the plane, I took a moment to look around and saw clear skies overhead at Aspen.  The sky was clear to the east with stars shining everywhere.  Back towards the west, there looked to be a solid cloud formation that had been what we were flying through.  It was never our intention to get ourselves in that type of situation at night, but we both learned a few good lessons on that portion of the flight.  A humbling moment is good now-and-again to remind me never to lose my respect for the profession I am in and the fact that I don't know everything there is to know.
By Joe Echo-Hawk CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, A&P Mechanic

Monday, February 16, 2009

Portland-Hillsboro Flight Training

Learn to fly at Twin Oaks Airpark located on the south side of Hillsboro, Oregon just outside Portland, Oregon.  Airplane rentals, flight instruction, aviation gasoline, all available.  
By Joe Echo-Hawk CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, A&P Mechanic