Sunday, July 03, 2016

About This Blog

(This post is future dated to appear near the top of my posts - today's actual date is 12/15/14.)

This blog is a journal (of sorts) about learning to fly. It started as a retro-journal (writing years after the fact of my original 1997-2001 lessons, from notes I had kept for myself, which are not yet completely converted to this blog - there are gaps). I did a little flying in 2004 (only one post here so far). Then in summer 2011, I started flying again (tail wheel lessons), and it became a current flight lesson journal for a while.

Flying seems to be such a sporadic thing for me (except as an airline passenger, which is pretty regular). I flew a lot in July and August 2011, flying with Ed Urbanowski in his wonderful Citabria, finally learning to land a tail dragger. Then I stopped. Why? Business travel, general work-load at work, family stuff. The usual suspects. I really wanted to get the tail wheel endorsement this year but I just didn't make it, and here it is winter already.

As of this writing, my recent non-airline flights have been "warbird" flights with the Collings Foundation. One was on September 26, 2011. It was in a B-24 Liberator bomber, and I was not at the controls (but it was a VERY cool flight). I was briefly at the Norden bombsite (shown above). No stick time in this beast! The other was in an AT-6 Texan aerobatics flight at the Collings Headquarters in Stow, MA, during one of their historic airshows in August 2012. It was short, but lots of fun (see below). I got some stick time, and Rob Collings showed me some simple aerobatics, loops and barrel rolls. I would love to do more of that! That was the original reason I was interested in tailwheel training, since most common aerobatic planes are tail draggers.

I hope to get back to real flying one of these days.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Posting has resumed (somewhat)...

(This post is future dated to appear near the top of my blog entries - actual date 12/15/14.)

After an initial burst of enthusiasm , I've slowed down in moving my notes from Word to this blog. I have notes on many lessons and solo flights between first solo in late July 2000 and passing the check ride in May 2001. To be continued...

UPDATE IN 2007: Apparently to be very slowly continued. My apologies to the handful of people who noticed this blog and commented or asked questions back in November or December 2006. I've been busy with other things and haven't even looked at this blog for ages! If you still have a question or anything, please email me (bruceirvingmusic at

One general comment: If you're thinking about taking flying lessons, DO IT.

In the meantime, it's a snowy Saint Patrick's Day, and I was thinking about flying for some reason. I do miss flying and I hope I'll be able to get back to it this summer. Today I've added a few of my post-solo flight notes, from August to early September 2000, including my first (dual) cross country flight.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Now it's a rather nice day in May 2008 in Brussels where I am teaching a class this week. I added a post on my May 2001 check ride and may try to fill in a few more lesson notes in the weeks to come. The more regular writing is all in Music of the Spheres. Although even those are not especially regular.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Now it's a rainy night in Tokyo in November 2009 and for some reason I decided to add a couple of posts to this sadly neglected historical blog. I added posts on a couple of interesting lessons in fall 2000 (and one non-lesson that would have been cool if it had happened, a P-51 flight).  It's also sad that I'm not flying any more these days (except for many hours on international commercial flights), but that's life. Maybe someday.

UPDATED UPDATE (July 5, 2011): I've finally started to fly again, so there are actually NEW entries in this blog - check for posts from June 2011 and forward. Since I'm actually trying to get current again, this is also motivating me to review some of my old flight lesson notes, and as I do so, I will add them here. I already added a few entries from winter-spring 2001, the final months before my May 2001 check ride. So this is now a RETRO and CURRENT flying blog.

STILL GROUNDED (December 15, 2014); Winter again. Thinking about flying again, but not flying, except in big airliners over big oceans, far from any flight controls. Sigh. But I found a fabulous blog by someone who really does fly, regularly, and writes very well about his adventures. His photographs are great too. Check out Photographic Logbook.