Moving to Florida

Week 3


My First Florida Home

IMG_E2690In the summer of 2017, I moved to the Spruce Creek Fly-In community in Port Orange, FL to continue my training. As you can see, Sci and Tech had already become a part of my life.

The houses in the community are built around an airstrip once used by Navy pilots to practice touch-and-go landings. Many of the homes include hangars where owners can keep their own planes.

Some of its roads are named for famous:

  • Flyers such as Rickenbacker. Earhart, Borman, Roscoe Turner, Wiley Post, Cochran, Dolittle, Lindberg, Mitchell
  • Aircraft such as Baron, Malibu, Grumman, Sky Hawk, Avanti, King Air
  • Flying maneuvers such as chandelle, slow flight, lazy eight, tail spin, snap roll

Sci & Tech say:  Learn more about . . .

Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

Do a web search to discover the stories behind the famous pilots, planes and maneuvers mentioned above.

The Man Behind  the Bridge

IMG_E2694Because most commercial airlines use jet aircraft, I knew that learning to fly the big guys would mean learning to fly personal or business jets first. Sci and I found it interesting that right in our community was a bridge dedicated to William Lear, a pioneer in the field.

Lear was an American inventor and businessman best known for founding the Learjet Corporation which has manufactured some of the first business jets. He also developed the 8-track cartridge audio tape system and many other useful products. Throughout his career of 46 years, he received over 120 patents.

Sci and Tech say:  Learn more about. . .

Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

In 2018, the Tampa Bay Times reported that of the 612,677 bridges in the U.S., 12,355 were in Florida.  What percentage of U.S. bridges were in Florida?


In the Pattern at St. Pete, FL

22 st peteOne of the best things about flying in Florida is that there are many days that have good weather. Once while practicing cross-county skills, I flew to St. Petersburg on the state’s west coast. This photo was taken on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern as we were about to land at Albert Whitted Airport.

Among other things, this city is recognized as the birthplace of scheduled commercial airline flights. On January 1, 1914, a Benoist XIV flying boat took off from the central yacht basin of the downtown waterfront on the first scheduled commercial aircraft flight in history. In 1929 a land-based airport was opened. During WWII it served as a base for planes searching for German submarines in the Gulf of Mexico, but today it is used mostly for general aviation. It attracts many visitors because it is within walking distance of several parks, shopping areas and a museum dedicated to the famous–sometimes controversial–artist Salvador Dali.

Dalí is best known for the striking and unusual images in his work. One memorable painting called “The Persistence of Memory” includes what looks like a melting clock. I plan to visit The Dali on my next trip to the area.

Sci & Tech say:  Learn more about  . . .

Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

Do a web search to find what museums are located in Volusia County. With family and/or friends make plans to visit some. Take photos of your trip and share them by emailing a copy to


Flying on Instruments

23 instrumentsI flew a Cessna 172 like this one as I was working toward my Single-engine Instrument rating in Florida. This is an important step in advanced pilot training. It is also useful for general aviation pilots because it prepares them for flying in fast-changing weather conditions like summer storms in Florida.

Flying IFR:

  • Allows an aircraft to be flown in weather conditions that do not meet the minimum requirements for (VFR) Visual Flight Rules.
  • Requires the pilot to control the attitude, altitude, and course of the aircraft by watching the the cockpit flight instruments.
  • Requires that the plane must be equipped and certified for instrument flight.
  • Where Air Traffic Control (ATC) services are available, requires that an IFR flight plan must be filed, and the pilot must maintain voice radio communication with ATC.
  • Usually means that the pilot navigates by using electronic navigation equipment, compass headings assigned by ATC, or in some cases compass bearings corrected for forecast winds.

Sci & Tech say:  Learn more about . . .

Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

The U.S. Government maintains a website that lists and compares many different occupations. According to it, the median annual wage for U.S. workers in 2018 was $38,640. Check out the online Occupational Outlook Handbook to find the median pay for Air Traffic Controllers.


Mother Nature Calls

24 natureAs I worked on my flying skills, I spent a lot of my time sitting behind the controls of an airplane practicing or sitting at my desk studying. So, whenever possible I’d take to the outdoors and do something active to clear my brain and work my body.

Often I would go for runs or bike rides around the neighborhood. Other times I would paddle a kayak on Spruce Creek. You can’t see it in this photo but the alligators, turtles, birds and fish were all around. This area is also home to some interesting vegetation such as mangrove, cypress and pine trees; ferns and air plants (bromeliads). It’s a great place to spend some time on another of my special interests – photography.

Sci & Tech say:  Learn more about . . .

Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

Using a website like this one, parks and trails, make a plan with your family to try more outdoor activities.