The Poor Pilot

frugal flying for student and recreational aviators

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Airshow & 5K: Festival Of Flight

New Garden Flying Field (N57)newgarden

August 20-21st

Toughkenamon, PA

N57 will be having its annual festival flight August 20th and 21st.  There will be a 5K Sunday before the airshow, the 5K should be a great time with the majority of the race taking place on the runway.  Kids are allowed to participate in the 5K, so make sure you bring the little ones along to this airshow.  Ticket prices are reasonable and there are even package deals for family’s.  For a look at a list of events and performers head over to New Gardens website .

See more details:


FREE Air show: Queen City Wings & Wheels Day

Queen City Wings and Wheels Day     Wings-Wheels-Monitor-1920x1080

August 20, 2016
Allentown, PA

Lehigh valley international will not be having its big Airshow this year but the Lehigh valley airport authority hasn’t forgotten about us aviation nerds and gear heads.  August 20th Queen City airport will host a wings and wheel day that is a Free, family-fun day designed to support and promote its Aviation Education Program. Fly in, exotic car show, static aircraft display, helicopter tours and more! Make sure to check it out and if you see me or Tony there stop us and say Hi!

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34th Annual Ballon Festival, Readington NJ

airbaloon34th Annual Balloon Festival, Readington NJ

July 29th-31st
Readington, NJ

Although this isn’t a free event it looks to be a great time.  I will be attending on the 30th with my family and look forward to all the exciting activities they have planned. But honestly, I cant wait to see the sky full of balloons!  If you are not interested in paying the ticket price, Im sure there are plenty of places to park and see the balloons for FREE, and if you find a good spot please leave a comment and let us know where.   Below is the description from their official website along with a link to the balloon festivals website.

Held annually at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ, the festival truly has something for everyone! From twice daily mass ascensions of up to 100 special shape and sport hot air balloons, to headlining concerts, non-stop family entertainment, hundreds of crafters and vendors, great food, fireworks, a balloon glow, and more, the festival is jam-packed with stuff to do.

See more details:


Fall Semester is just around the corner – book buying time

It’s that time of year where you have to open up the wallet, purse, or pocket book and buy a bunch of books. In aviation you even have to pay for the syllabus.

Well us poor pilots are always looking to save a few bucks, and I will let you in on how I paid for all of the books I needed for my Private course work.


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Time flys when you are having fun!!!!

As you can see we haven’t posted in a few weeks, the reason?  WE HAVE BEEN FLYING!!!!! Tony is getting ready for his Checkride and I’ve been busy flying choppers! It’s been a fun summer and looks like there are loads more to come, but we need to get back to work.  Make sure to check back often as we have tons of posts in store.

FREE Air Show – Power in the Pines at McGuire AFB

PowerInThePines2016A little late to plan for, but if you are free this weekend and here in the north east, you should probably check out the free air show at Joint Base McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst.   It is located just outside of Trenton, New Jersey.

There will be a performance by the Golden Knights, a P-51 Mustang demo, a B2 fly by (only on Saturday,) and plenty more.

The show is open to the public and goes from May 14th to the 15th.   The gates open up at 9am and the performances start at 11am.

Did I mention admission and parking is free!?

Just don’t try and fly in!

For more info, check out the site

David and I will be there Sunday, hope to see you there!


We added an aviation event calendar

calendarWhat’s up poor pilots?!   It is taking a while to get as much content up on the site as I would like.  It’s the end of the semester so exams, and prep for my written exam and checkride have forced the blog to the back burner.  We have been doing some work in the background though, and setting up the new event calendar is one of those background things that we can now share.    So here you are!

You can now see upcoming events in the sidebar (click on the drop down menu and select events for mobile devices,) and a full events calendar on the events page.   I added a few events and will continue to add them as I find them.  I will add things like air shows, fly-ins, FAA and AOPA events, and anything I find interesting.

If you have anything you would like for us to add, just shoot us an email with the info at

These events are great opportunities for networking, and by participating we help to build, and strengthen the aviation community.  We will post about upcoming events, be sure to comment on the event if you plan to attend.  By commenting you might find someone to fly with and split the costs of a plane rental, and save some coin, after all that is the point of this site.

Stay tuned,  let us know what you want to hear about, and fly safe!


The poor pilot’s flight bag

flight bagNo matter what our financial situation is, us pilots are very fortunate to experience the joys of aviation. I should’ve probably mentioned that  in my first blog post.  Really  there is no such thing as a poor pilot,  but still,  flying isn’t cheap.   The flight bag is no exception.   My flight bag has close to $1,000 of stuff in it, and I pride myself in being frugal.

So what’s in my bag?

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Watch your hose!

This Hose reel was serious - got my hand good.

This hose reel was serious – got my hand good.

Saturday I booked a plane at school for my first cross country flight,  and while doing the preflight inspection realized there was only half a tank of gas . I was just about to have the line guys top it off when I remembered there was a way to make money on fuel.  I’m not talking T. Boone Pickens moola here, but if you do this on all of your cross country flights you can help to offset some of the costs of rentals.

So what’s the hustle?  Well when you rent your plane “wet” (fuel included) you get reimbursed at the rate of your home airport for any fuel you purchase elsewhere.   Find an airport where the fuel is $3.74 per gallon, and fuel is $4.41 at your school (like in my case), and you make 67 cents for every gallon you get.

So here’s how you do it:


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