Review – Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck

Once I passed my checkride I was looking forward to reading for fun rather than studying. I went on and found a few great books about flying adventures. One of the books I picked up was Flight of Passage: A Memoir by Rinker Buck. It is about two boys from N.J. who fly a Piper Cub across the U.S. in 1966. The books is actually written by one of the boys. It chronicles their great adventure all the way from refurbishing the airplane to their landing in California.

In July 1966, Rinker and Kernahan Buck flew a Piper Cub from New Jersey to California, becoming?at ages 15 and 18, respectively, the youngest pilots then to cross the country. This abridged version of Rinker’s memoirs discusses the flight in the context of the complex relationships between the two brothers and their father, Tom Buck. (Amazon)

I really enjoyed the book and read it almost non-stop. Buck has the great ability to put you there along for the ride inside the cockpit. I felt like I could relate to it a bit because I would like to get my tailwheel endorsement and am also from New Jersey. If there is one lesson you should take away from this book it is “Don’t forget the waterbag”! If slow and low is your thing or if you are just looking for a great adventure pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed.

While I was reading news I came across an article about a teenager from Maryland who was so inspired by this book he is going to fly solo coast to coast. I wish Nate Foster the best of luck and I am sure it will be quite the adventure. Check out the article here.

Kobelt Airport N45 & Nu-Cavu Restaurant

Last week I was searching for some $100 hamburger joints. I came across Kobelt in Wallkill NY, they have a restaurant on the field called Nu-Cavu. After some quick researching online I discovered that every Friday night during the summer they host a skydiving competition at 7:30pm. That right there is enough to get my attention so I quickly rounded up a friend to go check it out. One minor problem is that fact that I am not night current so sadly we had to drive. We also made a reservation since I read that it tends to get crowded later in the evening.

The area is pretty rural and quiet. Upon entering the parking lot I was surprised to see how many cars were there. The restaurant is very nice inside and out. We sat outside of course as close to the runway as possible. No more then 20ft away the skydivers were preparing their equipment for the jump. Whats really cool is that you get to put your name in a raffle and you can win a tandem skydive that very night. I forgot my real camera so these pictures were from my camera phone.

The company that runs the skydiving is actually from a private airport right next to Kobelt called The Ranch. As we were waiting for our order the skydiving started so we walked over right near the target and got a great close up show. The jump plane for this evening was a Cessna 208B N9339B. They had 4 passes of 4 jumpers at 5,000 and then went up to 14,000 for the tandem jump. The competition was to land in the circle as close to the center target as possible. Two jumpers did hit the target dead on. The winning jumper receives $100 and a free dinner.

Our food arrived right after the skydiving competition. I had the Chicken Parmesan and my friend had the Chicken Saltimbocca. I am far from an official food critic but I thought it was quite good. It was definitely a huge portion, I couldn’t even finish the last few bites. As we ate our food we noticed a new jump plane land and more skydivers preparing for a jump. I found out that since the night was so calm and clear they were going to do several night jumps. We decided to get a few more beers and hang out. The jumpers put on glow sticks and battery powered strobe lights to help their visibility. The night jumps were very cool because it was quite hard to see them until they were swooping over you to hit the target. One thing to note for night landings are the pilot controlled runway lights. Like so many small strips they did not seem to want to come on and even when they were they were quite dim.

Overall it thought it was a great evening and not your typical $100 hamburger joint. Our total bill with an appetizer, two entrees, and several beers was about $80. Not to bad for a nice dinner with a cool show. Check it out sometime and let me know what you think.

Review – David Clark H10-13.4

The green headset has arrived. After passing my checkride I decided to get myself a present. I went with a brand new headset the  David Clark H10-13.4. I needed another set anyway so I could use my existing Lightspeed Solo SSc’s for passengers. The headset arrived in a simple box with the headset and the green shirt clip.

At first glance the construction of the headset is superb. In comparison to the Lightspeed’s it feels much stronger and better built (keep in mind it is twice the price). The head pad is large and comfortable. The ear cushions are large and make a great seal around the ears. They are made of a glossy type of rubber which I think might become a tad annoying with sweat in the summer. Fortunately, DC addresses this problem with the purchase of fabric ear pad covers. I picked mine up from Sporty’s for $8.

Incredibly light-weight and comfortable, the H10-13.4 is David Clark’s lightest headset, weighing in at just 16.5 oz. Super-soft, double-foam head pad, gel-filled ear seals and reduced headband force combine to create one of the most comfortable headsets available. Other features include volume control knob with detents, flexible boom, M-7A amplified electret microphone. All this in a TSO’d headset with an NRR of 23dB. Made in USA. from Sporty’s

In conclusion after 4+ hours of flight I love the headset. While I actually like the Lightspeed’s for their slightly lighter weight and tad better sound proofing, I prefer the David Clark’s. The design of the Lightspeed’s wire continually poked me in the shoulder. Overall the H10-13.4’s are durable, sound great, and fit great. And they should last me quite a while.