Bits and Pieces
From the Editor - And So the Season Starts
By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159
What’s on your agenda for the 2012 flying season? Have you been able to fly through the winter, or like me, did you button up your precious ride for the winter. Many people benefited from the mild conditions and just kept going. I was thinking the other day that as we start a fresh flying season a few resolutions might be in order. Here are some that spring to mind:
- Trying to get to a few more fly-ins this year. As well as being able to meet old friends and make new ones, visiting a new airfield takes us away from our home airports, and challenges us to sharpen up on those cross-country skills. Plus, if we’re all going to sign up to the idea that we need to collectively promote general aviation, what better way than showing up in good numbers at fly-ins.
- How about getting that extra rating, like night or over-the-top, or even float-plane if you don’t already have it. VFR over-the-top could have come in handy for me last year on a couple of occasions.
- I’m planning to pay more attention to cockpit organization. I have yet to put a decent place to hang headsets in my RV-9A, and I sorely need a decent map pocket within easy reach. Being organized seems to make flights so much better. Even something as simple as wearing a shirt with pockets seems to provide quick places to put the phone, a pen, or a pad of post-it notes. Yes, I’m going to be “Mr. Organized” this season.
- Cleaning the plane was something I didn’t really get around to until fairly late in the season. This meant that every time I went flying I was noticing specs of dirt on my walk around. The windshield was always cleaned and the bug squash on the wings got removed, but the underside stayed oily, and the wings seemed to retain a fine coating of something like soot. I resolve to do better this season. Shucks, I might even get out there with a bucket this week, when I’m installing the battery and plugs.
- Crossing the border is something that many of you have done, especially en route to AirVenture Oshkosh. Dealing with eAPIS and border security presents an additional set of challenges and I plan to bite the bullet this year, having been stopped by weather on the way to Oshkosh last season.
- Finally, I would like your help in making this newsletter the best gosh darn thing since sliced bread. Yes, I’m talking to you, dear reader. We need your input. We’re blessed to have EAA support the idea of our very own Canadian e-Newsletter, with all the logistical support that that entails. What we really need going forward is excellent, relevant, interesting content that appeals to our readership. We want articles to do with Canadian flying and aircraft, local home-building articles, Canadian regulations and aviation issues and in general anything that augments our superb Sport Aviation magazine with Canada-specific items. Don’t worry if you don’t feel up to writing a whole piece yourself. We’re looking for ideas, writers, and news-gatherers. How about you chapter presidents and secretaries sending me a report now and then if you have an event to share? Oh, and one last thing. We’re aware that you probably read the same news more than once in all the reading you receive. One of my goals is to keep your Bits and Pieces relevant, interesting and new!
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So how about you? What will be different for you this flying season? If you’re not a big fan of Facebook you can just comment at the end of this article. I promise I’ll reply.