Well, another year in the log book. I made one of my goals, which was to fly over 50 hours in 2017. I barely squeaked by that with 50.8 for the year. However, I missed the other one – that was to pass the 200 hour mark for total hours. I’m just short at 198. I didn’t fly at all for most of October and November; I medically self-grounded due to some unplanned hospital time. December went from too crappy (low clouds, rain, etc) to too cold; we finished the year with a week or two of sub-zero temps. I would have flown a few more hours if I’d been able. Still, there was some good flying in ’17. I got my BFR done in November, so I’m good to go for two more years.
2017 started with the Harlan, IA chili feed for some cold-weather flying. That was my second year for that, and I love the trip over and back. Flying over the winter landscape is always beautiful, and the heat in teh RV-12 works quite well. Next was a trip along the Missouri up to Mobridge, SD where a bunch of us enjoyed a nice lunch at a family-run restaurant up there. An extended trip along that river is still on my to-do list. I flew a couple of poker runs during the year, flew three Lorimers (well, two Lorimers and a former Lorimer) and as near as I can recall, sixteen Young Eagles. I flew into Oshkosh solo (36L arrival and departure) and camped in Homebuilt Camping for the second time. Lisa and I were able to use the plane twice during the year to do things that either we couldn’t have made it to by car, or would have been really tedious drives. The first was Hastings for Tom’s retirement party, and the second was Carroll, IA for a family gathering. I even managed to get Pete up for a couple of flights, after his amazing success in dropping nearly 100#. I can only hope to have half as much success shedding excess baggage myself this year.
I’m very much looking forward to expanding my flying activity in 2018. I haven’t decided whether to make Airventure or not this year, but I do want to take a couple of cross-country trips, log more hours, and get as many kids up in the air as possible. After the flight review experience I had in November, I’ve also got a new appreciation for what the RV-12 is capable of and what I can handle. I hope to expand my personal flying envelope this year. I want to get more practice at slow flight and stalls to get more comfortable with a view of more green than blue. I want to fly farther, fly higher, fly lower, and see more Gs than before. We’ll see what 2018 has in store.