OSH23 – The REAL Kneeboard Notes


When I put my occasional musings on the web for KITPLANES, I refer to them as “Kneeboard Notes,” jottings that come to mind as I am flying, riveting, or riding my bicycle. So what’s really on my kneeboard during a long cross-country? Let’s have a look before I toss my scribblings after returning from the show yesterday.

I keep track of block in and block out times and fuel for each leg—you can see eight total legs for this round trip. The circled item is the tail number of the airplane – in this case, it was my RV-8, N188PD, all the way. With six planes under my care and available to fly, I need to keep track for the logbook. After landing, I write down the elapsed time for the flight, and the aircraft Hobbs time (from the EFIS actually) – the Valkyrie now has close to 2150 hours on her in 18+ years. Keeping track of fuel in and out reminds me how much to ask for on the pump after putting in my credit card.

Across the top, I write down the traffic pattern altitude and runway I plan to use for the upcoming stop – I pull that out of ForeFlight about twenty minutes before Top of Descent so that I know where to set the altitude bug to take us down. In the white space at the bottom were the frequencies I needed from the AirVenture Notice for the arrival—yes, they are on the back of the booklet, but these are the ones I actually NEED out of the many that are listed.

Then the scribbles; in this case, the names of the visual waypoints for Endeavour Bridge, Puckaway Lake, and Green Lake so I can put them in the ForeFlight plan to give me a magenta line, and some time calculations over on the right. You can also see that I changed my destination for the sixth leg from KHSG to KECS when a big old thunderstorm got in my way. Always stay flexible!

This gets transferred to the aircraft activity log at the end of each leg (second picture), and to my pilot logbook when I get home, preferably siting on the patio with a nice little glass of Pinot Noir to remember the beauty of the western United States!

Being an engineer, I keep an aircraft activity log in each plane to record fuel and oil usage. They sometimes help in sorting out flights when memory fades.

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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