I started in 1985, a few days after my 14th birthday – the minimum age for flying gliders in West Germany, where I lived at the time. It was something I had always wanted to do; the passion and the pure joy each and every time the wheels leave the ground have never left me.
What do you love about flying?
Besides being a really convenient way to get from A to B in the fraction of the time of an equivalent road trip, flying is a fun challenge and a never-ending learning opportunity. No matter how often you have flown the same route: weather, ATC, the needs of your passengers and other factors make it a unique experience every time. I also like the legitimate excuse to turn off my cell phone and quietly enjoy the view out the cockpit windows for a few hours without the constant distractions of our modern world.
What inspired you to start your own YouTube channel?
The first time I flew the Bonanza into Chicago O’Hare – that was in 2013 – I searched the Internet for any kind of information helping me anticipate what to expect and how to prepare for this flight. I found very little. My friend Rob who came along for this flight – he’s also a private pilot – had a GoPro camera which we took with us, and I had an audio recorder which I could plug into the intercom. I figured posting the video on YouTube might help other pilots who want to try do the same – so it became the first of many “xyz in a Bonanza” videos.
Most memorable flying experience.
It’s tough to choose just one, but I’ll pick my one and only (so far) trip to the west coast in the Bonanza. The views flying around the mountains of Wyoming, Idaho and California were breathtaking. And sharing this trip with my then tvelve-year-old daughter was the icing on the cake.
Why did you decide to fly Avidyne?
Three reasons: One, Avidyne embraces open standards and broad compatibility, which is important to me with future avionics changes in mind. Two, the IFDs are based on a real flight management system, which is what you want for instrument flying in this age of GPS and RNAV. Three, replacing the Garmin 530 and 430 units I previously had in my stack couldn’t be easier – reusing the racks and wiring already in my panel meant a lot of savings in install labor, compared with other products.
What are your favorite features of the IFD?
I love that I can do pretty much everything either with knobs and buttons or with the touch screen interface. The configurable data blocks make the information on the screen adjustable to any taste and preference. But my absolute favorite is that the IFD 440 – the bottom IFD unit in my stack – automatically turns into a QWERTY keyboard when I enter waypoints into the flight plan on the IFD 550, on top of the IFD 440.
If there was any aircraft you had the chance to fly, what would it be and why?
The Pilatus PC12. A nice step up in speed, range, and roominess from my Bonanza, while still easy to fly and able to get into short grass strips comfortably.
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