Content about flying

Jake flew from BG to Akron today, which is a couple hours of flying in a Piper! I tracked him most of the way, and even pulled up the Live ATC feed from Akron-Canton Airport when he was in the area. I think I managed to catch his calls, but it was hard to tell (there was a bit of an echo on the line).

Aviation tracking is really quite incredible these days. The amount of information available – real time information – is nothing short of incredible.

tags: flying pilot bgsu kcak

postposted by matt in Thursday, September 7, 2023

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Jake had his first flight as an aviation student at BG today. It also happened to be his first time flying a Piper, his first time flying with his new instructor, and his first official flight as an instrument student. He doesn't know yet, but I went down to the airport to watch him fly. I've been driving him to his flying lessons since he was 14, so my role has changed. And that's going to take a little getting used to.

The airport was busy, too! He hasn't had to deal with much traffic in his training up to this point, so I think that's a good thing. There was plenty in the air yesterday, and on the ground, too. He was third in line for takeoff when he first taxied out.

I suspect he did sort of an orientation flight today to familiarize himself with the Piper, the glass cockpit (also new for him), the airport, etc. And his instructor.

He landed twice, and both looked pretty smooth!

I'm looking forward to talking to him about it...and telling him I was there. ;-)

tags: bgsu flying airport pilot

photo posted by matt in Saturday, August 26, 2023

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One of Jake's instructors gave him some tail wheel training time for graduation. Jake figured they'd use the tail wheel trainer they have at the airport.


He wanted to take Jake up in his open cockpit biplane.

Red Baron style.

Open air, front and back single seats. Jake said it was a blast. He let Jake takeoff, but not land. And Jake had to be the eyes—the back drops, so the pilot can't see everything. So..."watch for trees, power lines, animals...."

Jake said it was some of the most fun he's ever had flying.

Thanks Rex!

tags: flying pilot

photo posted by matt in Friday, June 30, 2023

What's that noise in the sky at night? (

People who live near the Bad Axe, Mich., area may hear and see fighter jets between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.. The jets may be in close proximity to a Civil Air Patrol aircraft, which will be taking on the role of a potential threat in the exercise.

Jake thought about joining the Civil Air Patrol. They gave a great presentation at BGSU a few months back - "we do all sorts of cool things, like help with logistics after hurricanes, floods, get flight hours on the government’s dime.”

They didn’t mention "taking on the role of a potential threat" in F-16 training exercises.

tags: pilot flying civilairpatrol 180th

posted by matt in Monday, April 24, 2023

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Six years ago I snapped this picture of eleven-year-old Jake sitting in the cockpit after a vacation flight. At the time, I was clueless as to the significance of the moment, thinking it was only about getting those coveted plastic wings.

Yesterday, while driving from Tiffin to Fremont, I looked through the sunroof in my car and watched seventeen-year-old Jake fly directly over me while he made his first flight as a fully licensed pilot. He even gave me a wing-wave.

And now I fully appreciate that moment from six years ago - Jake was in awe of the Delta pilot then, and I am in awe of Jake now.

He's officially a pilot, and that's truly awesome. Congrats Jake! All of your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we're all incredibly proud of you.

tags: pilot flying

photo posted by matt in Thursday, October 6, 2022

Big day for Jake - check flight for his private pilot license. I dropped him off at Fremont Airport and then made the twenty minute drove down to Tiffin, arriving just as Jake landed. I'll hang out here for a few hours as he flies with the FAA pilot.

tags: pilot flying

postposted by matt in Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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Jake and I are down at Tiffin Airport this morning for his written pilot license exam. I'm hanging out with the two airport dogs while Jake is cranking away in the back.

tags: pilot flying

photo posted by matt in Monday, July 18, 2022

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There's a lot to see in this photo!

Our flight path took us north of Detroit, across the Detroit River and into Canada. This photo is looking south downriver, with Canada to the left and the United States to the right. Fighting Island (Canada) is in the foreground in the river and Grosse Ile (United States) is in the background.

The twin plumes of the Fermi Nuclear Power Plant on the western shore of Lake Erie are just visible in the background.

And you can see the moon just off the winglet.

tags: flying photography

photo posted by matt in Friday, April 22, 2022

FAA revokes YouTuber's pilot license, saying he deliberately crashed his plane | Engadget (

It takes significant time and money to earn your pilot's certificate. And everyone I know that has done it will tell you that the FAA doesn't mess around when it comes to enforcing rules and regulating pilots. This idiot got exactly what he deserved.

tags: flying pilot

posted by matt in Thursday, April 21, 2022

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Jake sat in the row behind Renee and me on our flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, which gave me an opportunity for an interesting angle on my now traditional photo of him looking out the window as we fly. Here I caught him glancing at the first signs of land with the last bit of sunset still visible as we started our approach into LAX. I just love watching him watch anything to do with flying.

tags: travel hawaii flying losangeles

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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I thought the "ticket counter" might be able to help, so I headed upstairs as Jonathan headed to security. The agent was understanding, but could only offer a supposedly secret customer service number as help. I called on the way home and, after about a thirty minute wait, connected with the first of two agents that made the whole thing fairly painless, even telling me to take my time to make a decision. We called back in later in the evening and rebooked for tomorrow.

tags: travel flying delta

photo posted by matt in Saturday, March 19, 2022

‘Spirit of Innovation’ stakes claim to be the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle (

As well as a stunning technical achievement, the project and world record runs provided important data for our future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’. 

Development of electric planes seems to be moving along quite a bit faster than I though. And it seems like the technology will grow the field, enabling urban air-taxis.

tags: tech flying aviation innovation

posted by matt in Monday, November 22, 2021

Technology continues to isolate us from each other, both in ways we're fully aware of (checking our phones constantly) and in ways I don't think we appreciate yet. Case in point on the latter — after taking my seat on my flight back home today, I noticed how quickly everyone turns to the seatback monitor and the entertainment options available for the flight. Many people, include the guy sitting next to me, plugged their headphones in before the system was operational. Granted, today's flight is a brief two hours long, which means you've got to start a movie right away if you hope to finish it before landing.

It's sort of sad, though. The chance of striking up an interesting conversation with a seat mate in a plane seems to have dropped considerably lately, thanks to technology.

But, the movie selection is decent. And I did sit behind an older gentlemen that chose to watch Roger Rabbit, which is kind of cool.

tags: travel technology flying

postposted by matt in Thursday, November 11, 2021

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Some of my favorite photos I've taken over the years are of the boys doing something they love. For Jake, I think of all the photos I've taken of him flying...and these, the shots of him looking out the window, camera (app) in hand, on a commercial flight. The plane window always seems to do something amazing with the light, but his gaze out the window, which reminds me of his passion for flying, is why I love these shots so much.

I bet I've taken dozens of these over the years, and it never gets old. This one is special to me, though, because it's one of the first I've been able to capture in probably two years as COVID has kept us grounded (it's nearly the first — this is from our return flight and I did take a few on our outgoing flight).

And I suspect the mask Jake's wearing will remind me of that in the future.

I love the window seat, but, for me, it's the second best view on a plane.

This is the first.

tags: flying pilot prouddad

photo posted by matt in Sunday, October 17, 2021

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This has always been one of my favorite views of Jake — watching him take pictures of planes from a window seat. He's still a kid in a candy store every time we fly, and I love that. It's been too long since I've seen it.

tags: flying travel

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, October 13, 2021

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I've watched Jake land countless times, and it never gets old for me. But watching him land tonight was really something. I headed over the the runway once I knew he was on the final leg of his flight. I sat there, in the darkness, waiting. Then, suddenly, the runway lit up all at once as the Pilot Controlled Lighting turned on. I couldn't see the plane yet, but knew he was close. Then I noticed his lights off in the distance and he was on the ground not long after. Seeing those lights come on as I sat there alone was truly amazing!

tags: flying pilot airport

photo posted by matt in Saturday, October 9, 2021

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Heading out to take Jake to the airport for his long range solo cross country flight. He planned it last night - Fremont, to Lima, to Mansfield, and back to Fremont. He's beyond ready for this!

tags: flying pilot

photo posted by matt in Saturday, September 4, 2021

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Jake's flight instructor is taking it up a notch–he asked Jake to prepare the plan for his cross country flight today. Off to Mansfield in a few hours!

tags: pilot flying

photo posted by matt in Saturday, July 10, 2021

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Tyler had Jake make several maneuvers while wearing the goggles, teaching him how to scan the instruments and to rely on them for feedback as the maneuver was underway. It's an odd feeling, I'm sure, and seems like it would be hard to get used to. Jake seemed pretty comfortable with it, though.

tags: pilot flying

photo posted by matt in Saturday, April 17, 2021

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I finally went flying with Jake today. I'm not sure, really, why it took me so long and now I'm wishing I would have done it sooner. But, no matter. Today I flew with Jake for the first time.

Just flying in a small plane was, of course, an incredible experience. But, more so, seeing Jake pilot like a boss was nothing short of amazing. He was professional, practiced, and steady as she goes. And, to both of our surprise, his instructor Tyler had him put on the instrument goggles to start his instrument training. We flew for about an hour, and I think Jake was under the goggles for ~45 minutes of that.

Incredible experience, and now I can't wait to do it again.

tags: flying pilot

photo posted by matt in Saturday, April 17, 2021

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We can back to The Hangar restaurant at Albert Whitted airport for a second time. The plane watching and the food are always great, so Renee and I were happy to come again when Jake asked.

We watched several smaller planes take off, and this Pilatus PC-12, a single engine turboprop. Several helicopters made their way in and out, too.

tags: airport flying stpetersburg florida

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, March 30, 2021

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We had breakfast at The Hangar restaurant at Albert Whitted Airport this morning, always one of our favorite things to do while in St. Pete. Jake is always in absolute heaven while we're there. I'm sure he wishes he was flying, but I think he has almost as much fun plane-spotting.

There was quite a bit of action today, too. We watched them pre-flight this Pilatus PC-24, which Jake educated us on a bit. Pretty cool to see one of these in person–private jet rated for off-road landings, not that they needed that today.

Half way through breakfast we watched it takeoff. Looks like it was flying some couple to West Palm Beach.

tags: airport plane flying breakfast

photo posted by matt in Friday, March 26, 2021

Today was one of my proudest moments as a dad.

Jake was born on Christmas day, sixteen years ago, which means today is the first day he can legally fly a plane solo. The weather wasn't great this morning, so Renee and I thought he'd miss the chance to do it on his birthday. But the clouds eventually cleared (a bit!) and the wonderful people at Fremont Airport took time out of their Christmas morning to open things up just for Jake. So we headed over to the airport, along with Grandma and Grandpa, and eventually watched as Jake taxied away for the first time with an empty right seat...and took off on his own.


It was such an incredible feeling to watch him as he took off. To see him achieve a goal that he has worked so hard for was incredible.

And, surprisingly, we weren't that nervous. Jake asked Renee and I about this later in the afternoon. I didn't really think about it until then, but once I did it was clear - we weren't nervous because we know how hard he had worked for this. How well trained he was. How prepared he was. Sure, we were a little nervous. But our pride far outweighed the nerves.

Somehow, on his birthday, he gave us a gift.

What a great day.

tags: pilot flying solo

postposted by matt in Friday, December 25, 2020

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As tradition mandates, Jake's flight instructor, Tyler, cut his shirttails after the solo flight, symbolizing Jake's readiness to fly without someone pulling on his shirt to give instructions!

tags: pilot flying solo

photo posted by matt in Friday, December 25, 2020