Video-I Bought a Pitts S1S and Flew it Across the Country!

Discussion in 'Aerobatics' started by Ben Lomov, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Guys,

    I've already posted this on several other forums, but I just wanted to share it with anyone who hasn't seen it and might be interested. This is a 'coast to coast' flight I completed over the summer in my Pitts S1S. Apart from comfort, autopilot, and a transponder, this airplane also doesn't have an alternator. As you can imagine this is a flight I will never forget, and I hope you guys enjoy it as well.

    Thanks!
    Ben
     
  2. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I'm genuinely impressed. When I was 21 I barely had enough money to buy groceries.
     
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  3. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Fun time, quite an adventure.

    Only one critique: unless dad didn’t want to be on your vid, it sounds like you had great ground and moral support, probably a shot of him or honorable mention at the end would have been cool.

    Fly safe.
     
  4. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    :) Believe it or not, this has been my lifetime goal. I dropped out of college, started working full-time, and live with my parents all in order to save up money. But now that I finally have this airplane, I also can barely afford to buy groceries :D
     
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  5. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you! Yes I really wanted to include him in the video, but he wasn't too excited about being put up online:) Also whenever we were together on the trip, I wouldn't be filming. We were usually figuring out a place to eat, sleep...etc. So unfortunately I didn't have any footage of him even if he was ok with it. But you're right, he was definitely a huge support and I can't thank him enough.
     
  6. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I’m the same way, lol. My kids are 2 & 4 years younger than you.
     
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  7. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

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    Your video was great! Like a lot of us here on POA, you're living a life that most of us could only dream of at 21 years of age. BTW - Have you read Richard Bach's book Biplane? I think you'd enjoy it.
     
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  8. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    That was awesome. I’m seriously jealous. To have the time, money and guts to do that, all at the same time, is wonderful.

    Congratulations on the new plane and trip.
     
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  9. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Not the way I went or would have gone, but I hope it works for you. You did get a spanky airplane out of the deal.
     
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  10. fasteddie

    fasteddie Pre-Flight

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    Very cool, thanks for showing us the journey.

    A Pitts, of your own, at only 21 is pretty awesome, and I'm jealous. :)

    Can you share how you got to this point? How many hours you have, what ratings, what got you interested in flying to begin with?
     
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  11. fasteddie

    fasteddie Pre-Flight

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    Also, a couple questions/comments after watching the video, and poking through the comments on YouTube and Reddit:

    - No Clif bars or anything? Dang. More power to you if you can do it, but I wouldn't be able to go as long as you did without food. I'd want at least a Clif Bar and a Gatorade with me at all times, just in case. I'm old though.

    - At first I was like "Wow, all you had was your phone for navigation?!?!" But then, after thinking about the limited space, I guess it makes sense. If your phone completely went dead, what would you have done for backup navigation, especially with the limited gas on board (i.e. limited time to look for an airport?)

    - I think it was on YouTube where someone commented that you were talking too fast. You were definitely going fast, but I liked it. You packed a ton into ~21 minutes. Keep it up. And I'm certainly no expert, but that editing job looked awesome.
     
  12. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you! I'll look it up.
     
  13. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you! Yes I'm extremely grateful
     
  14. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Haha I hope it works out too! lol ya not shabby
     
  15. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks a bunch!

    I don't know how many people would appreciate an "autobiography" lol but here’s a quick recap...

    My family used to live by an airport, and every year that airport would host a big airshow. Seeing the airplanes fly and do awesome maneuvers was literally the coolest thing that I’ve ever seen, but it was a while until I realized that that could someday be me. However once that clicked, I didn't look at anything else. So when I was 18 I began taking flying lessons in a Cessna 172. As you know, these lessons aren’t cheap. So I dropped out of college and began working full-time while getting my PPL. Once I got it, I enjoyed the fruits of my labor for a little while before beginning my tailwheel training in a Citabria. Here I also flew my first mild aerobatics. Once I got my endorsement and had a bit of fun with it, I finally began training in a Pitts S2C. This was the most expensive kind of training, but also the most difficult. Because of the price, I simply couldn’t afford to fly very often so I tried to make the most of every lesson. Luckily I was able to get signed off on the airplane, and earn my high performance endorsement at the same time. I spent some time flying the airplane solo, but was always on the lookout to purchase my own. Finally I found an S1S that I liked for a price that I thought was fair. After running the numbers in all sorts of ways, I came to the conclusion that I can just barely afford the plane ;). Luckily it was also located completely on the other coast (believe it or not, flying one of these things across the country was on my bucket list haha) so I made the decision, and the rest of the story can be seen in the video:)
     
  16. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    I flew on the airlines to RDU to get to a small airport outside outside of Raleigh to get my airplane at 21 o_O Mine was at LHZ and is way less cool though. Congrats! The S1S is on my list of airplanes to own.

    MEI is a great airport!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  17. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the questions! It’s a great way for me to reflect on the flight, and find out what I don't know.

    - Well actually I wasn't very clear in the video. I had a few snacks stowed away in the turtle deck, but I honestly didn't ever get 'hungry enough' to eat them. Perhaps it was the excitement or the time change, but the only reason I ever ate was because I knew I should (so breakfast and dinner). However if I did get hungry mid-day, I could always stop at the FBO and buy a snack. I always had water with me and I would refill regularly.

    - Yes, I actually learned to fly using my phone so that was my go-to anyways. And I definitely agree that I should’ve had a backup GPS, but I’ve honestly never had my phone randomly quite unless it ran out of battery (I brought along a ton of extra battery packs) or got too hot/cold (I was flying in July so heat would be the only concern on the ground). However an iPad is susceptible to these very issues. I have the iPhone 7 plus and have found that it is quite powerful and resilient. I was never able to overload it, even with many apps and tabs open in the background, the phone always runs perfectly and never quits. However if that were to happen, I still had several options...
    1. I would draw a rough sketch of my route on my kneeboard. This had all of my frequencies, general headings and airports. I also marked out a few checkpoint airports along the way. This way I could always do some dead reckoning and find my way to the destination airport or to one of the checkpoint airports along the way.
    2. However what I probably would’ve done is contact the airspace controller and ask for vectors to my destination airport. This would go hand in hand with the dead reckoning, but would be much more reassuring.

    - And thanks a ton! Yes I knew that any slower, and the video would be close to 30 minuets long lol thanks again!
     
  18. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Haha thanks!
     
  19. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    I never flew it, but I know the guy you bought it from. He takes good care of his stuff and i'm sure its a nice airplane. I saw a familiar looking Swift wingtip in the preview and then in the first few seconds of the video you can see my franken ice/cooler thing I cobbled together a few years ago and never used.

    Good luck with it!

    If he's still on here I know @whifferdill put it through its paces a few times and said it was a good airplane.
     
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  20. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Haha that’s awesome, thanks for sharing! And yes I already talked to Eric over at the biplane forum. Thanks for the heads up though
     
  21. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Great video.
     
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  22. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you!
     
  23. Scott Monroe

    Scott Monroe Filing Flight Plan

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    I was watching your video and about a minute into it I realized you were the guy I met over at Rio Linda (L36) whet you and Koi were changing a tire on your Pitts I was with my daughter and had just landed in my Bonanza and was going on about how I used to work there when I was your age. Is there a private message option on this forum? I’d like to talk in person again, I might be able to help you with your aviation career if that’s a thing for you. Nice video BTW!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
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  24. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey, yes I remember you guys! I just tried to send you a private message. Looking forward to hearing from you.
     
  25. Doctor Bob

    Doctor Bob Filing Flight Plan

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    Great job. I know putting a video together, especially of that caliber, takes a ton of effort and time. Well done. Now wash of the bugs and enjoy that plane!

    Fly safe,
    Bob
     
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  26. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks Bob, really appreciate it!
     
  27. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This reminds me of an exchange I heard of between two former PoAers, one of whom had just flown his new-to-him Pitts halfway across the country and the other who was a former Pitts owner:

    new Pitts owner: "Hey, do you have any tips for making a long cross country flight more comfortable in the Pitts?"
    former Pitts owner: "You flew a Pitts halfway across the country? Are you f*cking nuts?" :rofl:
     
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  28. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    :D lol ya that’s the reaction I get from a lot of people haha
     
  29. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Looks like a great trip, but I gotta ask. Did your landings ever improve??
     
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  30. ETres

    ETres Line Up and Wait

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    Outstanding video, very inspiring!
     
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  31. 40YearDream

    40YearDream Pre-Flight

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    Doesn’t sound like ‘IMSAFE’ was completely followed ? I would guess that it’s really tiring flying a plane like that on a long cross country. Maybe being 20 instead of 60 must make up for some of that -
     
  32. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    Meh...these days you'd have to include 'Internet' to ensure nobody takes off with any lingering butthurt from reading a social media post.
     
  33. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you, and yes they did. I realized that this is something I never really went over in the video, but right around day 2 everything seemed to kind of 'click', and I felt like I could land a Pitts again:) I'm not really sure what I did right/wrong, I think I just finally got used to the airplane.
     
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  34. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you!
     
  35. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Honestly I felt completely fine. In the video everything can seem rushed and possibly come across that way, but in reality I was trying to be as safe as I could possibly be. Too much safety/planning is boring and very draggy on camera, so I didn't include most of it ;). But if I ever didn't feel up for something, I simply wouldn't do it.
     
  36. Ben Lomov

    Ben Lomov Filing Flight Plan

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    Sorry I'm trying to understand, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean here :D I'll say this... Everything in the video actually happened, but not everything that happened is in the video. Things like planning, prep, and safety are boring on camera, so most of that was left out ;)
     
  37. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Pattern Altitude

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    Not directed at you, just a joke directed at the post questioning whether you were IMSAFE, and how society is getting so weenie-like that we might as well check for recent internet butthurt as well. That sounds unsafe. ;)
     
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  38. camel

    camel Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Good job man, on getting the plane, and on the video itself. I'm curious how you made the parts with Google Earth where it has your route shown in yellow, and the runway outlined, and some areas outlined in red. For example at 4:58, and also at 9:24.


    I hope you got the free burritos at the FBO in Pecos, Texas!
     
  39. Cphili

    Cphili Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Ben! I thought your video was well done and a s1 has been a life long goal of mine as well. I currently have an airframe that is not worth anything and I'm not quite sure what I want to do with it at the moment. Also would love to know how hard the saving was, because I plan to start doing a better saving plan immediately. Thanks