2017 Aviation Update

I’m over a month behind in putting out my annual summary of all my prior year’s flights.   As with the past couple of years I did not fly as much as I would have liked to have flown.  The past 3 years in a row have only been about half as much as I would consider a sufficient amount of flying to maintain proficiency and also get a decent amount of utilization out of the airplane.  Putting this list of excuses together makes me hopeful that I will have a better year in 2018 as I’ve already flown a couple of times in January.  Winter weather in Michigan makes flying very challenging.  Between November and February there are very few opportunities to fly as there seems to be a constant lake effect overcast layer.  This year there has been a lot of snow as well.  On the “nice” days it is likely quite cold and windy which doesn’t make for fun flying.  Again, lots of excuses not to fly.  I have been keeping the preheater on N111RW at all times so that the plane is ready to go when I am.  Maintenance also has continued to be a factor in the amount of flying I’ve been doing.  I work diligently to stay on top of any maintenance issues with the airplane.  In January I had a relatively expensive issue related to the turbocharger on my airplane.  I also had to replace the air conditioner compressor at the end of the summer after a family trip to the east coast which cost a few bucks.  The annual inspection in December went relatively well with only minor squawks to address.  I’ve owned N111RW for almost 4 years now and this plane has definitely cost a lot more to operate and maintain than N2893Z (1979 Piper Archer II) was to maintain.

Here is a summary of 2017:

2017 Hours: 60.1

Total Hours: 947.2

2017 Approximate Mileage: 7,043 miles.


Map of all the flights made in 2017:





















Here’s a quick summary of my flights in 2017.  In January I only flew once with my brother-in-law David to Coldwater for breakfast.  When we got back is when I determined that I wasn’t getting any manifold pressure boost and thus the airplane went into the shop for the repair.  In February I flew a couple of times.  Once was with another local pilot named Jeff as my safety pilot for approaches and currency.  The next day the family and I flew up to Manistee on a beautiful day to see her Aunt Tina & Uncle Bill.  In March I flew a few times which included flights to and from Grand Rapids for my IFR Certification.  I took one night flight which was my only one of the year.  At the end of the month the family flew to Gulf Shores, Alabama for our Spring Break.  In April I also was able to fly a few times as while we were on Spring Break the family flew to New Orleans for a quick day trip.  Bryan and I also flew with Nate, one of my college roommates, and his son for a quick flight around Gulf Shores.  In May another brother-in-law and I flew to Chicago and went to Pilot Pete’s at Shaumberg Airport (06C).  On the return flight we flew down the Chicago Skyline and got some great pictures and videos.  In June Lori, Bryan and I did our only Pilots N Paws mission of the year where we flew Roody the Deaf Australian Shepherd across lake Michigan to Madison, WI.  July was a busy month of flying with multiple currency flights and a great trip with Bryan and I to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2017!  August was probably the busiest month of the year with two family trips.  The first was to Rhode Island and Pennsylvania to see all of my grandmothers.  The second trip was to St. Louis to spend the weekend with the Gaddy’s.  At the end of September I flew on a work trip to Wisconsin for a few days which was a great time savings.  Unfortunately in October, November & December I only flew once as I became very busy with work & school and the weather wasn’t as good for flying.  Looking back to 2016 it was a similar story for me.  I need to make sure that this year I make an effort to find good days to fly in the fall.

2018 is here and already a month has gone by but I’ve already flown a couple of times, got some good proficiency flights in and I’m ready to take every advantage of good weather days in the spring.  My family and I need to plan our trips this year but we currently don’t have anything planned for Spring Break or Summer Vacation.  This will definitely be a priority over the next few weeks.

New States:  Rhode Island was the only new state added in 2017.  This map shows all the states I’ve landed a GA airplane to date.








Here is more data for my pilot friends (2017/Total):

Cross-country: 51.1/659.5

Night: 1.0/64.9 (I’m not even trying to maintain this now)

IMC: 10.2/70

Approaches: 15/243

Landings: 42/1132

Click here to review prior years updates:  2016, 201520142013201220112010

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


We can always look forward to the next year to increase hours. I only had fifty last year but I plan on getting back to my typical 110 or so for 2018.

I hope we can all catch up this year. Mary and I want to do Makinac so maybe we can finally visit. If your out east we’ll look forward to catching up too.

Leave a comment