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71
Current Strip / VFR On Top
« Last post by Baradium on November 13, 2015, 03:39:03 PM »
Years ago now, I was coming into Fairbanks International (Fairbanks, Alaska PAFA) one afternoon.   The skies were crystal clear and we had the airport in sight from nearly 100 miles out.  We start talking to approach and call the field in sight and they respond "Understand you have the airport, however the field is now IFR showing visibility of 1/4 mile, Runway 1L RVR variable 1200 to 1800, tower visibility is greater than 10 miles." 

We're sitting there looking at the airport and ATC just told us that they down right to bare minimums for us to even shoot an ILS approach in the best case (1800 is minimums so if they didn't stabilize there by time we were on the approach we would have to divert).       We start getting vectored for an ILS.  Meanwhile Everts Air Cargo is coming in with a DC-6, they hear the conversation and promptly request and are given a contact approach, which lets them fly a normal traffic pattern and land.   As a side note, this is the only time I have ever heard a contact approach requested or given in person.  As far as I know all Part 121 and probably Part 135 fixed wing passenger operations are prohibited in their ops specs from contact approaches.   

We get vectored in a wide traffic pattern for an ILS coming the opposite direction.  As we are on our downwind leg, flying alongside the runway with the runway to our right, we can't even see anything affecting visibility.  We inquire again on the weather and now it is up to 1800 RVR, but still showing 1/4 mile.   We shake our heads, figuring the weather station is busted, and continue to an ILS approach for our landing.   

All the way down the approach the entire airport is in sight, as we get lower I can see what looks like a very light haze layer, but that is all and it looks incredibly light.  I go through the landing and the moment my main landing gear touch down everything just vanishes.   I had better than 10 miles visibility until I was already on the ground and then I can barely see a couple centerline stripes down the runway.  That landing remains one of the most disorienting experiences I've ever had in an airplane.  I've never seen another fog layer like that where you could seemingly see completely through it from just above it but inside it and probably only up to an altitude of maybe 8-10' you could hardly see anything.   
72
There I was... / Re: POST A PIC OF YOUR RIDE !!
« Last post by spudster on November 13, 2015, 07:21:37 AM »
So, its not actually my personal ride, but I decided that I'll give the world of spinny-wings a shot. Needless to say, I had to try very hard to remind myself that its okay to hold the stick forward to go faster. :P

In case anyone is wondering, I did have fun, but I think I need to try another lesson or two before I decide whether or not I'm going to change routes. ;)
73
The Classroom / Re: The scary part begins.
« Last post by Baradium on October 26, 2015, 11:03:29 PM »
Still living in Alaska, running a 140 acre hay farm as well as doing the fire fighting/rescue/medical on the side.   For paid work I'm still based in Detroit and flying all around.  Typing this from Greensboro, NC and I'll be in Manchester, NH tomorrow.   

We didn't have any major forestry calls in our district this summer, but I seem to keep missing the big ones anyway.   I did buy a brush truck from the army that I transferred to the fire dept (they did reimburse me for that!)     It's a much needed boost to our capabilities.

Did you spend any time in AK this year?   I know we called out some of the forestry helicopter assets for a SAR operation around Father's Day.   I was out at work and fortunately the subjects were located before I got back to town.
74
The Classroom / Re: Is it too late to switch rotor wing?
« Last post by spudster on October 18, 2015, 08:55:33 PM »
But the counter question I would like to ask is:
Do you wanna be 30 and have followed your dream of being a pilot even though you started late with a few flight hours under your belt flying tours with 26 year olds (24 still isn't late btw) , or do you wanna be just 30 regretting not getting started at all because you thought you were too old?

That is a very good point. Also, glad to hear that age won't be an issue!
75
The Classroom / Re: Is it too late to switch rotor wing?
« Last post by Mike on October 18, 2015, 07:18:10 PM »
There is no limit in civilian aviation on when you get into the business. I have had students in their fifties....

It may take you until you turn 30 or more before you get it all done, that's is true.
But the counter question I would like to ask is:
Do you wanna be 30 and have followed your dream of being a pilot even though you started late with a few flight hours under your belt flying tours with 26 year olds (24 still isn't late btw) , or do you wanna be just 30 regretting not getting started at all because you thought you were too old?
76
The Classroom / Re: Is it too late to switch rotor wing?
« Last post by spudster on October 18, 2015, 07:08:21 AM »
Well, I think you may have flown over us when we were being boated in! I definitely remember watching you guys from the dock (main landing and the weaver point dock) while eating lunch. :P

I now have a followup question in regards to potentially making a career out of flying: I'm going to be 24 in November, and just have this feeling that I may be starting up on taking flight lessons too late, especially with seasonal work forcing me to take extended breaks. Is there any issue with starting up late in the game?
77
General Discussion / Re: Life Through Your Camera
« Last post by Mike on October 18, 2015, 02:38:24 AM »
Ok, here we go!

Chelan 2015:
78
The Classroom / Re: The scary part begins.
« Last post by Mike on October 18, 2015, 02:33:07 AM »
Hey Baradium!

Where are you at these days??
79
The Classroom / Re: Is it too late to switch rotor wing?
« Last post by Mike on October 18, 2015, 02:07:58 AM »
HA! Small world!
The Crane wouldn't happen to be orange and have big numbers painted on the side "743" by any chance, would it?!?!
We've been working up there almost all summer and got within one canyon of Stehekin (Castle Creek)...

Do what G-Man says. If you wanna do helicopters, then stuck-wing time won't be of much benefit....

I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy your helicopter intro-flight  ;)
But keep in mind it will be a long road and a lot of work before they give you a Skycrane to fly  ;D
80
The Classroom / Re: Is it too late to switch rotor wing?
« Last post by spudster on October 12, 2015, 10:56:07 PM »
Thanks for the tip!
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