Aviation, Trips, and Projects

A Little About Myself

A proud husband and father of two beautiful kids who is transitioning from a successful career in the automotive finance industry. I am a perpetual seeker of challenges: I earned my MBA in 2015 from the University of Florida (Go Gators!), earned advanced pilot certificates (Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilots License) in pursuit of my aviation interests, and am currently working on completing the LaunchCode course to learn JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Java because I love technology. Generally, I don’t like to sit still!

Here's a video of an approach into Colorado Springs, CO. You can see Pikes Peak in the background. Views like this are what makes aviation so cool!

My History in Aviation

Interest in aviation struck me at a very young age. When I was only 2 years old my parents asked the pilot if I could sit in the cockpit. According to them, I refused to leave. Fast forward to high school in the early 2000’s and my friends and I discovered you could play multiplayer on our PCs. We hooked up a few computers with LAN cables to play Flight Simulator. Those simulated flights often took hours to complete!

Then during my freshman year of high school I went to Fantasy of Flight near Lakeland, FL. It would be my first time slipping the surly bonds of Earth. The flight took place in an ultralight with a triangle kite-looking wing. What a rush, I was hooked!

Unfortunately, flight training is expensive and I would need to defer my dreams of flying until I had saved up some cash. It wasn’t until 2012, during my senior year of college, that I would have sufficient funds. I began with a few discovery flights at local airports before ultimately deciding to train at a small airport called Tampa North (X39). From start to finish it took me roughly 3 months to earn my PPL. To this day it is one of my proudest accomplishments.

Ten-Hi Flyers

In 2015 I joined a wonderful group of pilots as part owner of Ten-Hi Flyers in Broomfield, CO. Having access to my own plane was a game changer. No longer was I restricted with short rental periods or high (relatively speaking) rental costs. Overnight trips to far away destinations were now a possibility.

dakota 8303q

Cool Trips

Mt. Rushmore

Driving from Colorado to South Dakota was projected to take around 7 hours. The flight was just under 2 hours with favorable winds. While in South Dakota, we stopped into Hot Springs and visited the Mammouth dig site.

Mount Rushmore Hot Springs Dig Site Hot Springs Dig Site

Jackson Hole

This trip was made in November which meant carefully watching the forecast in the weeks leading up to flight. Luckily, the weather was fantastic without a cloud in the sky and we caught sight of the winding Snake River. Unfortunately, the winds were not so kind and a fuel stop was needed on the way there. On the way back the winds were strong enough to make the flight without any stops.

Grand Tetons YellowStoneSign SnakeRiverWY

Santa Fe

One of my absolutely favorite cities! The culture and cuisine of Santa Fe make it a great destination. Before joining Ten-Hi Flyers I made the drive many times with an average travel time of around 6 hours. The plane made the trip in under 2 hours and the views are some of the most impressive anywhere. On a very special trip we visited the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

balloon fiesta santa fe mountains sante fe mountains sand dunes balloon fiesta mountains snow capped

Las Vegas

The Commercial Pilot Certificate requires a long cross-country flight of greater than 300 nautical miles. What better way to satisfy an FAA requirement than by going to Vegas?! The flight was over Moab and near the Grand Canyon. The Western U.S. is stunning. While in Vegas I even got a chance to see Ed Sheeran in concert. It was a pretty great trip.

vegas EdSheeranConcert

Alliance (Solar Eclipse)

August 21, 2017 was a very special day across much of North America. A total solar eclipse would be visible from Oregon to the Carolinas. When some research revealed that a small airport in Alliance, NE would be entirely within the zone of totality (sun is fully blocked by the moon), I planned to make the trip that instant. The experience was surreal. People from all backgrounds came together to witness the once in a lifetime event. All kinds of airplanes from small propeller planes to business jets converged on the small Nebraska town for the event.

solareclipse solareclipse solareclipse solareclipse

Future Plans

A work promotion brought me and my wife back to Florida in 2017. I decided it was time to pursue the dream and began working on earning my Instrument and Commercial ratings.

  • Obtain CFI
  • Learn programming (I love technology!)
  • Work in the tech industry

CFI Work

I'm currently preparing for the CFI checkride and plan to add additional resources to this page as I progress forward.

Other Interests / Projects

  • LaunchCode
    • JavaScript
    • HTML/CSS
    • Java
  • NextcloudPi
  • Until recently, I was using Dropbox for my document storage but was running out of space in my free account. To make matters worse, I attempted to install Dropbox on an extra laptop I had lying around and found out that I'd reached the maximum number of devices you can have in a free account.

    Enter the Raspberry Pi! I discovered the open source cloud server Nextcloud could be installed on a Raspberry Pi. I was able to connect an extra 1TB hard drive to the Raspberry Pi and sync up my files without worrying about client or storage restrictions.

  • Pi-hole
  • Pi-hole is another Raspberry Pi project I am glad I found. It provides whole network ad-blocking which has been a total game changer for the house. It blocks ads in websites and in apps. The setup was actually very straight forward and the whole system was up and running in about 30 minutes. The amount of ads Pi-hole blocks is staggering. Since install, it has blocked nearly 50% of the traffic on my network - all ads!

  • Aviation METAR map
  • I came across a tutorial to make a METAR map on Reddit and thought it would be a fun project to try. A METAR is essentially a weather report that contains information relevant to pilots (think wind, visibility, temperature, pressure, etc.). Using a Raspberry Pi Zero and a Python script (see link above) that pulls information from Aviation Weather servers, I was able to make a custom map of the area to show different weather conditions.