Sunday, November 25, 2012

Long Island Perimeter / NYC Skyline

Hope everyone had a gr8 Thanksgiving... (I certainly did!)

I spent this Thanksgiving on Long Island and managed to squeeze in a couple of awesome flights.  


The first flight was a low altitude perimeter flight around Long Island. You can see the route from the cloud ahoy track below:


Despite the traffic and congestion on the ground, the island looked quite peaceful from 700 -1500 FT AGL just offshore.   You can see Block Island and the famous Montauk lighthouse below:

The next day, I took an even more amazing flight with my buddy Mike B from 110knots.com.  We took off from Morristown, NJ, did a flyover of Newark airport, a 360 around the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson River, across Central Park and down the East River!  All of this was done at low altitude (~ 1500 FT), which led to some incredible pix!!
Statue of Liberty (while we were doing an overhead 360)
Flew just ~ 300 FT below the top of the Freedom tower

After that, we continued southbound to see the post Sandy version of the NJ shoreline.  You can see the complete route in the Cloud Ahoy track below:

The damage along the NJ shoreline appeared even more intense than anything I saw on the news!  We took a bunch of video and I hope to post a YouTube video of it later this week.

So after a great holiday weekend, it's getting cold here and time to head back south to Florida...

Cheers,
== T.J.==



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Home Just in Time for Maintenance

After the return trip from Palm Springs, I realized I had reached home "just in time" for some critical maintenance. 

My final round trip journey was in excess of 4000 nm, as you can see below:
Before the trip I made sure all the maintenance was current and even had my mechanic go over the plane in detail.

Until the very last leg of the journey, everything was working flawlessly.  However, the last hour wasn't so pleasant.  For starters, the A/C stopped working.  I know... I know ... hardly a crisis ... But it was Florida and rather warm out.  No worries, I pressed on.  Then a funny engine indicator popped up on the R9.  The Turbo Inlet Temperature spiked to 2000 degrees!

Yikes... I had never seen this before!  But surprisingly, everything else was looking, sounding and feeling normal.  Since I was less than 100 miles from home, I reduced power to about 50% and stared at the engine indicators the rest of the way.  I suspected a minor sensor problem because the turbo temp was fluctuating ~ 500 degrees up and down in a matter of seconds.  But I wouldn't know for sure till I was on the ground and the cowling was off.

Later on the ground, my regular crew @ Leading Edge confirmed that the Turbo Inlet Temperate issue was indeed just a minor sensor issue.  However, with the cowling off, they found something else that was not apparent to me, yet quite serious:
There was not just a crack, but rather a serious separation in one of the exhaust pipes.  This could have been quite unpleasant for me at some point really soon. So I was glad that the sensor problem uncovered this!  I am even more pleased about how lucky I was that this didn't cause a more serious issue during my long journey.

Now after a week, everything is fixed and the plane is back in the air... Time to plan the next journey!!

Cheers,
== T.J.==

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

AOPA Summit Journey (Part 3-Arrived!)

After an overnight in El Paso and a full regular day of work, it was time for the final leg of the journey.  El Paso turned out out to be a great place for an overnight stop.  Thanks to both NASA and the military there was no shortage of noteworthy aircraft on the ramp.  The coolest plane on the ramp had to be the NASA plane that the FBO staff refers to as " Shamu".  You can see why in the pic below:

The flight from KELP to KPSP was totally uneventful.

But the landing into Palm Springs was a bit exciting.  I was surprised to find that Palm Springs has no usable precision approaches. This is probably because it is in the desert and doesn't really need them.  They did have 3 RNAV RNP approaches, which I was not authorized to fly and a VOR GPS-B approach to runway 31L.  I had never seen a VOR GPS-B before.  So naturally, like any curious kid,  I asked ATC for it specifically.  For some reason, ATC didn't want to grant my repeated descent requests until I was rather close to the Thermal VOR.  This meant I had to descend @ ~ 1000-1200 FT/min all the way to the runway!

I used the Cloud Ahoy app again.  Unfortunately, I didn't remember to turn it on until I was climbing out of 12K ft. As such, only the partial flight recap  is available on their server :-(

I need to add it to my checklist for the trip home....

But for now, after the 2217 nautical mile trip, it's time to enjoy Palm Springs and the AOPA Summit (registration and the parade of planes starts tomorrow)!

Cheers, 
==T.J.==

Saturday, October 6, 2012

AOPA Summit Journey (Part 1)

My trek to AOPA is now well underway!

The first leg of this trip was quite memorable. Since I was flying direct over the Gulf,  I squeezed as much fuel as I could into the tanks (92 gals). Other than the eAPIS filing, the departure was just like any routine IFR trip anywhere in the US.

However, things started getting interesting as I was enroute.  When I was ~ 200 miles off the coast of FL, Miami center told me that I would "probably lose radio and/or radar contact" soon and gave me lost comm instructions for Houston Center and Merida Center.  Not exactly what I wanted to hear over open water!  

For about almost an hour, I did lose radio and radar contact with everyone and the only thing I saw was blue sky, blue water and a couple of stray cargo ships. 

When I reached my reporting point, I still couldn't reach anyone @ ATC.  However, I was able to reach a United pilot (flight UA792), who was in the same vicinity and about 20K FT above me.  The friendly United pilot relayed a message for me to ATC and I felt like I was back in civilization!

This was also around my point of no return.  I had figured out the point at which I would need to make a hard decision about whether I would make it to Mexico or need to turn around and go back to Florida due to fuel concerns.  I think every pilot thinks about this (or should think about this) when flying over open water. 

Luckily the weather was good, the headwinds were tame and the R9 was projecting more than enough fuel.  So now I was committed to landing on the Yucatan peninsula!

The arrival was a simple visual approach that was quite scenic and may make a good YouTube video soon. 

After landing, the beuracratic fun began.  I parked right next to a beautiful Phenom 100 and was greeted by an FBO Marshall, named Juan Manuel. 

He was very friendly and helpful.  However about 20 feet behind Juan Manuel, were 2 very serious Mexican military officers, who seemed to take pride on how thoroughly they searched my plane ;-)  Here is one of them scrutinizing my passport with the Phenom in the background:

They didn't smile once during the entire process! But it was no problem... With my really bad Spanish, and a little translation help from Juan Manuel, I managed to escape the plane inspection in ~ 10 mins.

With passport and bags in hand, I walked about 200 FT to the customs building, where I found the traffic light that Guillaume had mentioned in the briefing pack. You can see the airport staff showing me below:

I crossed my fingers as I pressed the magic button below the traffic light.

Apparently, it is a random light that shows red or green when you press the button.  If it is green, they do NOT check your bags.  But if it is red, they do a thorough search of ALL of your bags.

As luck would have it, it was red for me:-( As a result, they opened and thoroughly inspected my backpack, my roll bag and my camera bag.  They were quite friendly and efficient and the whole search took less than 5 minutes. 

Now I was getting excited... Almost done... Or so I thought...

Apparently, I had to meet the commandante,who is sort of the head honcho in charge.  He had to sign off on all the inspections done so far and "recheck" my airplane paperwork.  I waited for ~ 15 mins in total comfort in the FBO lobby, which was quite comparable to the US FBO lounges that Banyan/Signature/ or TAC Air would have. 

Eventually, the commandante arrived and informed me that my paperwork "appears to be in order" and told me to sign the 4 copies of my Mexican entry permit. 

Actually, all the paperwork was in Spanish... So who knows what I signed ;-)

Overall, it was rather quick and painless and now this makes country #6 that I have personally landed in! 

Time to take a break from flying and go see some Mayan ruins...

Stay tuned for the next leg of the journey.

Cheers,
== T.J.==

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Preparing to Cross the Next Border (Mexico)!

After my European excursion, I was looking forward to the next challenge, which will be crossing another border on the way to AOPA Summit in Palm Springs.

Once again, I enlisted the help of Thierry and Guillaume at Air Journey to help with the route planning and logistics.

Here is the routing, we came up with:

The first leg will be a 610 nm journey directly across the Gulf of Mexico to Merida, Mexico.  This will be my longest overwater leg to date!

In advance of this trip, I got everything prepared I could think of:

On the Plane: A fresh oil change and a quick trip to Lopresti in Sebastian for some long overdue adjustments on the Ice Skates made the plane ready... But to be sure I performed perhaps the most time consuming and thorough pre-flight ever! 

In the cockpit: I got my emergency gear ready, including PLB, life jacket.  If I can get one in time, I also hope to have a raft with me. In addition, the usual cadre of camera equipment and miscellaneous gadgets.

Paperwork: Thanks to Guillaume, I received an outstanding briefing pack with all the paperwork required by both US and Mexican governments. But more important than the bureaucratic paperwork, was Guillaume's detailed instructions, which included photos of what to expect as well as some unofficial commentary ;-)




Hopefully, the preparation will have been sufficient and I will be able to post a progress report on the trip sometime this weekend.


Stay Tuned...

== T.J.==

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spotting Castles and Crossing New Borders

After a couple of weeks of preparation, I was totally ready for my flight in Germany. 

While I had read up on the many nuances of flying here, I didn't really look carefully enough at the map.  I didn't realize how close Baden-Baden was to France.  In fact, my hotel was walking distance to the French border!

This also meant that it would be easily possible to squeeze in quick trip to France as part of the training flight.  My instructor (Trip) suggested a great little airport on the French side near the border that had an unusual point of interest that most americans seem to like ( more on that later).

With Trip in the right seat, pre-flight complete and the fuel tanks topped off, I was finally ready for takeoff for my first European flight!

The weather was beautiful.  But since we would be crossing a border, we had to file a VFR flight plan.  The ATC communications were quite simple (and in English).  So I handled all of the radios and awkwardly tried to remember to say "November" before my call sign each time.  But interestingly, when you are flying VFR, the ATC communications can also be in local language.  It was wild to hear radio chatter from other airplanes in German, French and English all on the same short flight!

I flew the ILS approach  into Colmar, France, which was tough because of the distracting scenery!  The castle below was just a few degrees right of the localizer:
After landing, I was instructed to park on a grass apron (another first for me)
Just a few minute walk from the airport, we saw the statue of liberty!  Apparently, the original designer of the statue was from Colmar.  So in his honor, the town built a scale replica that is 12 meters tall, and perhaps on better condition than the original!
After a quick visit, we were back in the air doing air work at low altitude flying northbound along the Rhine river.

It was an incredibly scenic ride and we seemed to "find" castles everywhere.  My favorite one was near Heidelberg, which you can see below.
After all the training/sightseeing, I got a little bit of excitement on the final landing.

As we were on mid-field right downwind to the 10,000 FT runway in Baden-Baden, there was a Ryan Air jet on 7 mile final and the tower asked me if I could do an "expedited landing".  I immediately said "affirmative". 

At this point, Trip decided to throw one last surprise at me.  He pulled the power to idle and announced "I think we have an engine failure."  So I had to do a power off 180 to a full stop landing!  

I think he really just wanted to remind me that this was a training flight and not just sightseeing!

Cheers,
== T.J.==

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things Falling Into Place

Sometimes things just have a way of falling into place...  

For me, this has recently been the case as I prepared for my annual recurrent training.



Usually, I accomplish my recurrent training by attending a CPPP.  But this year I decided to do it with a twist.  Instead of attending the course in Lakeland or Atlanta, I decided to attend the European version of the course in Germany.

This may sound a bit crazy... But since finishing the 50 states, I have been striving to become proficient at international flying and I could think of no better way than combining my usual training with some real world flying in Germany.

Since I started planning this adventure, I have been amazed at  how things have just fallen into place at every step! Here is what I mean:

1. I was concerned if I was would legally be allowed to fly in Germany with my FAA US pilot certificate. It turns out that US pilot credentials are honored worldwide IF you fly a US registered plane ( meaning tail # starting with "N").  That didn't seem so hard... So I started planning for flight training @ Baden-Baden Airpark (EDSB), which is just outside of Stuttgart.

2. With the help of a couple of friends from COPA, I located an "N" registered Cirrus in Germany.  As you can see in the pic below, I found one that is quite similar to my own . 
Obviously, I will be flying the little plane in the foreground !
3. The next step was insurance.  With a little help from my friendly US based CSIP, this was nothing more than shuffling a little paper.

4. Now I needed to find a way to get there.  Thanks to my day job, I had a ton of air miles waiting to be redeemed and surprisingly it was even available for the dates I wanted!

So now it looks like the trip is really going to happen and I need to study!  European flying definitely has a few nuances and complexities.  But overall, it seems totally doable!

For example, here is the airspace map that I need to learn.  


Stay tuned for the pirep to find out how it goes...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Angel Flight to Stuart


It has been a while since my last Angel Flight mission.  In fact, I don't remember exactly when the last one was.  So today after work, I decided to fix that by transporting a Moffitt patient (Mendis) and her daughter (Carmen) from Tampa to Stuart, which is on the east coast of FL.  

The weather in Tampa wasn't looking very cooperative and I was seriously thinking of scrubbing the mission.  You can see why in the picture below:
But mother nature smiled on us.  The weather cleared about 30 minutes prior to our scheduled departure time and we didn't even get wet as we boarded.

Approximately half of the flight was in rain and solid IMC.
But Carmen's preflight prayer really seemed to work.  Despite the rain, we had a totally smooth ride and listened to music the whole way.

As we got closer to Stuart we had some good news and some bad news.  

The good news- Stuart was dry so we would be able disembark in comfort.

The bad news-Stuart was surrounded by nasty weather, which made for a windy, bumpy approach.

We flew the RNAV 12 approach with a circle to land on runway 30.  I felt like I was wrestling  with the a 23 knot gusty winds the whole way down!

But as you can we were dry when we landed!
Mendis, Me and Carmen



Friday, July 20, 2012

M11 Scouting Trip

The  planning for the Cirrus Migration 11 is already in full swing!During the planning for M10, as a first time member of the organizing committee, I got a glimpse "behind the curtain" and was amazed how much effort goes into planning such an event.   Believe it or not, it takes a full year to plan the event due to all of the logistics that need to be sorted out!  Everything from location, lodging, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, etc.

For M11 planning purposes,  this week I did a fun "scouting" trip to one of the potential sites (Mobile, AL).

Mobile is a beautiful and historic city right on the water on Mobile Bay along the gulf coast.

I flew up from Tampa on what was supposed to be a short, simple flight.  But due to the weather you see below, it started out as a grueling IFR takeoff in heavy rain. 
Thankfully, the Tampa approach ATC controllers were very helpful.  In fact, they seemed to offer me my deviations even before I asked for them! By the time I got out over the gulf, I was comfortably at 16000 FT, which turned out to be the "perfect" altitude, allowing me to skim along the cloud tops, which you can see below:
As I got closer to Mobile, the weather just kept improving and I had a visual clearance  into the Mobile Downtown airport that took me over the water of mobile bay and right over the shipping port.

When I arrived, Jerrry from the  Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau gave me a fantastic VIP tour of the city and several of the properties that we are considering.

I was surprised to learn some of the history of the area. For example, I never knew that the Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile are rather intense (and second only to New Orleans).  I also didn't realize what a "walkable" place the Mobile downtown was.  

After finishing the tour, the weather started to deteriorate, as you can see below:

Oh well, another rainy takeoff :-(

Other than the dreary takeoffs, the majority of both flights looked like this:

But most importantly, another M11 planning task completed!

Cheers,
== T.J.==




Saturday, July 14, 2012

First Four Legged Passenger

Until today, all of my passengers were people.  But today was a long overdue flight... I loaded up my first four legged passenger (Tristan) in preparation for takeoff.

The route was rather simple (Ft Lauderdale to Tampa).  However, there were a bunch of clouds surrounding Ft Lauderdale around departure time. 

I filed a quick IFR flight plan with the full intention of canceling it as soon as I was above the clouds.

I was a little nervous about how Tristan would react to the noise of the engine powering up on takeoff.  But he did totally fine.  In fact, shortly after takeoff, he and his little purple bunny were fascinated by the clouds:

Tristan was a very helpful co-pilot and even pointed out a very photo worthy cloud formation that looked like a heart.
Heart shaped cloud formation
After all the excitement of the flight, both Tristan and his purple bunny were exhausted and fell right asleep!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dodging Weather On the Way Home to Florida

After having an awesome time @ the Cirrus Migration, it was time to make the journey back to FL.  Since there were over 150 planes all planning to leave on Sunday morning, I tried to get an early start to avoid the rush.  I left the hotel ~ 06:30 and even then there were a about a dozen other pilots with the same thought.

Since the weather was beautiful, I departed Duluth VFR to simplify the departure procedure.  Soon after departure we turned to make one last pass over the downtown and canal park area. The aerial bridge looks just as cool from the air as on the ground:
The Duluth Aerial Bridge from the ground 
The Duluth Canal Park area from the air
But the weather didn't stay perfect :-(
I couldn't figure out how to "maintain VFR" as the ATC advised.  When I was just south of Chicago,  I gave up, called Flight Service on the radio, and filed an IFR flight plan while at 11,500 FT.  I activated the flight plan with Chicago Center ATC and dodged/weaved through the weather.  After clearing the weather and all of the military airspace, I promptly cancelled the IFR flight plan and resumed my VFR trek southbound.

The flightaware log of the flight shows the odd track I flew:
After clearing all of the weather, I made a fuel stop in a tiny airport in Jeffersonville, Indiana and was very impressed with the Honaker FBO.  The line guy seemed so happy to see us and the whole staff was very accommodating (especially Kellye)!  After the quick break for food and fuel, it was time for the longest leg of the journey, which was KJVY > KFXE.  This segment was 782NM, which is my personal longest flight!

In fact, the R9 had "low fuel" indicators for the last 30 minutes and upon landing the analog fuel gauges looked like this:
~ 20 Gals remaining @ FXE ... Maybe could have kept going to Key West ;-)
Now with M10 complete, I can hardly wait for M11!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Finally the storm has passed

Tropical Storm Debby finally passed most of the state of Florida yesterday!

I was very disappointed that I couldn't continue the seaplane training this past weekend.  Worse yet, the seaplane base is closed next weekend due to the Brown family vacation!  So that will need to wait till sometime in July.

After 3 days of not even seeing the sun, I decided to do a "normal" IFR flight to Ft Lauderdale.  The weather at both the departure and the destination looked reasonable .   But there were a couple of pesky lines of weather in the middle.  
Luckily, TS Debby was further north and weakening.  As such, winds aloft were only between 20 and 30 knots.

But I definitely had to work with Miami  ATC on several deviations along the way.  Usually my weather deviations tend to be laterally 10-20 degrees.  But today my track felt like a zig zag laterally and also had to change altitudes multiple times due to the military airspace in the area.

Most of the flight was totally smooth.  But I did have to bounce and weave through the one line, which you can see below:  
The weather on screen, was about 6 minutes old.  So the route on the screen looks crazy.  But the real clouds out the window had a nice break at ~ 6000 Ft and looked MUCH nicer!

After getting to the "other side" of the line, it was totally smooth sailing the rest of the way!


Dealing with the weather, and a very busy Miami Center on this trip, turned out to be a good practice flight in advance of next week's big IFR journey to the Cirrus Migration event!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Seaplane Training

After almost a month in Colombia for work, I was back in the country and eager to get back in the air!

After 4 weeks on the ground, I was a feeling a little rusty.

But I needed to get over it quickly because this weekend I had some serious new training planned.  For the longest time, I was curious about flying a seaplane and more importantly about landing on water.  I looked into it last year, but didn't get around to it till now.  Life is short... and I am trying to "get around to everything"!

From my somewhat unscientific research, I determined that there are 2 places in the US that I felt were the "best places to learn".   One was in Talkeetna, Alaska and the other was in Winter Haven, FL. I know there are many other places to learn.  But these two locations had awesome, long established schools with rave reviews from many fellow pilots.

Since Winter Haven is very close to me, I enrolled in Jack Brown's Weekend Seaplane Course. 

The idea is simple.... 2 days of intensive ground and air training, after which you should be ready for an an FAA check ride.

I started early Saturday morning by "commuting" in the Cirrus from Tampa to Winter Haven.  Since seaplane flying is all about good, manual stick and rudder flying, I decided to use the short 20 minute flight for a little practice and flew entirely with NO automation!  No flight plan, no approaches, no GPS and even minimal radio! Without GPS, I just looked out the window and followed Interstate 4 until I saw "the right lake" and "the right airport". 

When I arrived, I saw my aircraft for the weekend, which was a Maule M-7-235:

But before jumping in, I had to go through ground school and learn all of the basics, especially how to taxi, maneuver and land.  After a couple of hours in the classroom, it was time to go flying with my instructor, John.  He was a seasoned pilot, who really drilled me on "feeling" if the plane was responding correctly to my inputs.  The first flight was NOT that graceful.  (It was a definitely harder than I expected).  

After that flight, we took a lunch break and had a rather intense debrief, where John reviewed the many, many, things I did wrong :-(

But I was determined to "get it"!  So after some more time in the class, we went for a second flight, where I redeemed myself.  In the afternoon, I things really started to make sense and everything just "clicked"

I did some more studying on Saturday night and was back early on Sunday for more training and test prep.  This flight was rather smooth and my confidence was building.

In the afternoon, I met the FAA examiner and he administered the oral exam, which I passed (but only after sweating through the weight and balance interrogation).   I did the basic calculation and showed that we were legal.  However, the examiner was not satisfied with just "legal".  He emphasized how critical W&B was in a seaplane and made sure I understood the implications of being outside the envelope in EVERY direction!

Then it was time for the flight test.  It started out OK ... I did a rather graceful taxi and takeoff.  But the skies were quite crowded, I had to dodge a helicopter, a Mooney and a Piper Cub!  Not exactly the drama I was looking for during a checkride...

Then it was time for the first landing in a nearby lake.  I did a reasonable job with traffic pattern and the touchdown was pretty good... But it went downhill from there! 

Just an hour before, I performed every required maneuver perfectly (including glassy water, rough water and emergencies).  But on the checkride, I was totally behind the airplane and trying to catch up the whole time.  The instructor gave me a little latitude to repeat a maneuver.. But I was definitely NOT on my game.

I just wasn't feeling it and he certainly sensed it.  We made our way back to base, where ironically, I made a pretty nice landing, and did a more detailed debrief.

Unfortunately, I did NOT pass this checkride :-(

But the weekend was not a total bust... I still had a lot of fun and got some great training.

Now I am now even more determined than ever to get this rating.  So I plan to go back in the next couple of weeks and try again.  Hopefully, part 2 of this story will culminate in the ASES (Airplane Single Engine Sea) rating!

Cheers,
== T.J.==

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Aerobatics Training in a Zlin

As you have probably noticed, I have not been posting much lately.  It is NOT because I am flying less.  In fact, I have been flying quite a bit lately.  However, most of my flights were routine with nothing that I hadnt posted about before.  But this week, things really started to change!

After finishing the 50 states, I wanted to set a few more (new) goals, which you can see here.

This weekend, I decided was the first step!

I didn't have all of my international paperwork in order.  So a trip to a new island was out of the question (for now).  But a new aircraft type was totally possible.   With the help of Kathy Hirtz of WingOver Aerobatics, I got to log some VERY interesting time in a ZLIN 242L, which you can see below:



Notice the required parachute I was wearing!

This plane is a 200 hp, aerobatic plane that is capable of pulling +6 Gs and/or -3Gs!

But more importantly, I learned "how to fly" (again)! 

Aerobatic training was absolutely intense.  I started with a bunch of ground school and learned the intricacies of "hardcore" stick and rudder flying.  You are probably wondering what "hardcore" means in this context...

In "regular" training, which I did years ago, I learned all the basic of flight (pitch, roll, yaw etc) and all of the flight controls that the pilot had at his disposal (power, rudder, aileron, etc).  But with aerobatic training, you MUST learn all of the same material in greater detail and more by "feel" than by numbers on a gauge.

The Zlin was a great plane to learn aerobatics in.  Many aerobatics planes are tailwheels.  But the Zlin is a standard tricycle gear, which makes it a little more comfortable for most pilots to taxi and land.  The Zlin is also the polar opposite of the Cirrus I am accustomed to flying.  Kathy was  repeatedly reminding me to so stop looking at gauges inside the cockpit and focus my attention on "feeling" what the plane was doing outside the cockpit.

I am still not sure I totally understand it, but after a couple of hours, I am starting to get the hang of it! 

Kathy was really an amazing instructor!  Despite the numerous mistakes I made in the cockpit, she was totally calm and patient.  So far I know how to do Falling Leafs, Spins, Dutch Rolls, Wing Overs, and (my favorite) the Aileron Rolls.  You can see for yourself how my first lesson in the video below:

Can't wait for the next lesson, where I will learn how to more advanced maneuvers, such as a Hammerhead or a Cuban 8

I recorded everything from this lesson on video.  Hopefully, over the next couple of days, I will get a chance chance to edit the video and post it on Youtube.  Stay tuned for that...

Cheers,
== T.J.==