To Fly or Not? That Was the Question

As a flight instructor, I've always pushed the idea of establishing personal weather minimums. Crosswind limits, ceiling/visibility limits, etc. And as a "regular" pilot out doing my own thing, I try to live by those rules just the same. So it should come as no surprise that when the world started stacking the deck against me on our last attempt to fly, it was an easy decision: not today!

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We’re Skipping Oshkosh 2015!

I know, I know... what kind of aviators are we? No Oshkosh/AirVenture? Well, as you know (if you're a regular reader), we have a new addition to the family. He's doing great, but introduces some new logistical items to the list for attending a large event like Oshkosh. That said, those can be overcome and we likely will in the future. But this year, we're interested in keeping things simple. Let me also say that Oshkosh is very much worth attending. This post has nothing to do with the quality of the event or our desire to attend. EAA does a great job and it's always on our radar as a "to-do" item for the year. But, this year we wanted a more simple experience. Low-key, easy-access and somewhat local. So, we're going to attend the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in!

The AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in (Blakesburg)

Oshkosh certainly has the reputation, but this smaller (but not small!) fly-in has its own following. Focused on the antique aircraft niche, this fly-in is billed as a quiet, friendly fly-in with all the ingredients for a great time. Awesome classic/antique aircraft, new friendships, good food and plenty of activities for families/aviation geeks make up the list of items the Antique Aircraft Association claims to provide. For us, this fits the bill perfectly. Antique Airfield (a beautiful grass airport) is about a two-hour drive from our home. We could fly, but we'd have to drive out of our way to get the airplane, only to fly back the opposite direction. Driving will give us the flexibility of travel in this scenario, but who knows... maybe we'll get the itch, anyway.

Learn More

If you'd like more information about this fly-in or the Antique Aircraft Association in general, check out their website at The association is built to support and celebrate classic/vintage aircraft, something we're obviously pretty fond of with our 1950 Piper Pacer. It should be fun to visit this airfield and get to know more about the event that so many call the "alternative to Oshkosh". Bonus? It's nearly right here in our backyard! To get a taste of the Blakesburg Fly-In, check out this video:

Finding the Best Flying Weather

One of the questions we get frequently is, "What type of weather will you fly in?" Great question! The truth is, we're kind of chickens when it comes to weather. We're in this aviation thing for fun and fighting bad weather simply isn't a good time. We've learned how to time our flights just right so things are enjoyable and without concern for weather moving in.

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Tailwheel Flying: Pros and Cons

When we were initially looking at buying an airplane, there was one thing we knew: It had to be a tailwheel. Why, you ask? Ever since I had the opportunity to fly a tailwheel airplane, I knew that was the way to go. Sure, they introduce a fair amount of anxiety in certain flight situations and, yes, they all have their own little quirks that must be kept in mind, but the challenge is often worth it.

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