I fly airplanes and write code sometimes.

  1. Trans-Pac flight

    Arrived in Taipei. Slowly getting used to dodging the traffic madness, hearing Mandarin and seeing Chinese signs…

    This city has advanced at warp speed while the other side of the Pacific stood still.

    It was quite amazing watching the front-view camera as the plane makes final approach. Seeing a row of approach lights leading up to the runway after breaking out of the clouds was just breathtaking. It was quite odd that the camera angle and zoom made the approach appear more unstable than it actually was…

    I complain a lot about Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the international gateway to Taipei. Lackluster architecture, confusing layout, poor signage and occasionally awful smell. On the other hand, I saw an airport staff gladly helping a passenger on his break. It may not have the glamour, the elegance, the sophistication that many others offer, but Taipei is without a doubt one of the most welcoming, hospitable city in the whole known universe.

  2. Packing. Moving across the Pacific… again.

    I don’t want to leave, but it’s for the better I’m sure.

  3. Actual IMC training

    Flew with a student on a short cross-country flight with the majority of the time being in the cloud. The student confessed that, throughout his instrument training, he never got any experience in actual IMC.

    Now he finally understands why I emphasize staying ahead of the airplane and maintaining situational awareness at all times. There’s no room for error. The consequence of a premature descent or missing an ATC instruction can very well be flying into terrain.

    Great training experience for both of us.

  4. IFR language

    While holding short of the active runway for some night takeoffs and landings, a call came in on CTAF:

    Anytown Traffic, Cessna 123, inbound on the localizer over ZZYZX.

    My private pilot student questioned, “How would I know where he’s at? I don’t understand IFR language!”

    Indeed, I would make a position report based on range/direction rather than approach fixes. Not all pilots are familiar with the local instrument approach procedures.

    Anytown Traffic, Cessna 123, 3 miles east of the field, inbound on localizer.

  5. First day flight instructing

    Why did I join this field again?

    Long hours, little pay, gnarly work environment, and worst of all, low morale among fellow instructors. If we aren’t proud of what we do, what is there in the job to keep us here?

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