Just some stuff I want to share with you

Check outs finalized

Today we finalized all the check outs; now we need to get the paperwork in place. However, tomorrow is a public holiday and as a result the FAA is closed. So, at this point only Tom and myself are allowed to fly (and Lex of course, since he’s here with his own plane).
Have a look at the individual tracks of today of the C182-team: Kees Schoorl (red track), Jeroen van Rossom (blue track) and myself (green track).

Paperwork, ground school and check out

You may have noticed that I like to fly planes. And when you really want to enjoy flying, you need to do so in the USA. This beautiful country has no borders, a large number of airports, excellent service on the airports and good weather.

The downside of flying abroad is all the paperwork, ground school and checkouts you will have to do in order to being able to rent a plane.

This year we have a group of 7 and we are going to fly 3 different types of planes; one Cessna 172, one Cessna 182 and a Cirrus SR22. The Cirrus comes with a story. Normally we just travel to the US and rent planes there. But one of the participants (Lex Versteeg) thought it would be good fun to bring his private plane.

So, here it is: a Dutch call sign in the US. That’s something the US air controllers are not used to; a call sign with just letters in it and starting with “PH”.

Well, today was about ground school and paperwork, tomorrow we are going to fly and do the check outs.

Linking to facebook

I have started to integrate my website with my facebook account. The idea here is that anything I post on my blog should also appear on my facebook wall. When somebody leaves a comment on my website, it should appear on facebook; the same thing the other way around. Not sure if this is going to work, since there are a million options I can set in the plugin.

Flying USA: The Big Apple Edition

It’s that time of the year again: holiday planning season!

The plan of this year: flying in the USA (again…). Once you have flown an airplane in the USA, you want to go back. This country is so big, divers and so friendly for private pilots, it’s almost unbelievable. And the trip that is planned for this year is going to confirm these statements again. The plan? Well have a look at the map:

The initial idea was to start close to New York, but it was impossible to either hire enough planes, the right planes or get instructors to organize the required check outs. As a result, we start at Kissimmee and are going to use the services and planes of Sunstate Aviation again. We were here in 2008 and the service and planes were just perfect.

When looking at the route, you will notice that we pass New York. But is that enough to call the trip the Big Apple Edition? Well, there are 2 interesting topics here: first of all, we will be in New York on the 10th of September and have a stay over on 11 September 2011… 10 Years after the planes flew into the towers…

The next big thing: the day we leave New York, we will follow the Hudson river to fly right through this massive city. Have a look at these guys that did the same some time ago:

Krangoo.com launched!

When you look at my website, you must have noticed that I use a lot of photos. I think that a single photo tells a better story then a lot of words. But using photos on your blog like I do is very time consuming especially when you also want to keep track of the locations where you created your photos. So how does it work? Well in general it looks like this:

  • When I travel I take my camera and a GPS logger with me.
  • At the end of the day I connect both devices to my computer to extract their data.
  • I first cleanup my GPS track; remove any strange sparks and convert it into a gpx or kml file.
  • Then I cleanup my photos. Remove the bad ones; change orientation, tag them and add the GPS info to them.
  • The next step is to upload the GPS track and my photos to the webserver.
  • Once the photos are on the server I create a NextGEN Gallery and add the photos to it.
  • Then I create my blog post and include the GPS track and the photos that I think support the text.

I noticed that I use a lot of software and steps to do all this and set myself a goal: reduce the amount of handling. The first improvement I came up with was the uploading of the photos.

I use Windows Live Photo Gallery to do the cleanup and tagging of my photos. But this application does not have options to interface with my NextGEN photo gallery. To be more precise: it didn’t!

This week I launched a new website: www.krangoo.com and on this site you will find the WordPress and More plugin for Windows Live Photo Gallery. It allows you to upload your photos to a NextGEN photo gallery and allows you to create a new gallery before uploading the photos.
So, the first optimization is in place. On to the next one.