Flying Milestones

I am an instrument-rated private pilot with over 400 hours of flight experience.

  • 11/2/2014: First Introductory Flight. Chicago, Illinois. Cessna 172N. My first time sitting in the pilot seat in a Cessna 172.
  • 3/19/2018: First Flying Lesson. Cessna 152. Palo Alto, California.
  • 6/23/2018: First Solo. Cessna 152. Three traffic patterns.
  • 9/30/2018: First Solo Cross Country. Cessna 152. Palo Alto -> Modesto, California. Was a bit rattled by some mountain turbulence and confusing ATC vectors over the Livermore hills.
  • 2/19/2019: Private Pilot Check Ride. Cessna 152. Sacramento Mather, California. Saw a Coast Guard F-18 in the pattern. Officially a licensed pilot!
  • 2/23/2019: First Flight Taking a Passenger. Cessna 152. Palo Alto -> Half Moon Bay, California.
  • 3/17/2019: Checkout in a Cessna 172. So that I could take more than one passengers.
  • 3/23/2019: Checkout in Chicago. Cessna 172N. Lansing, Illinois. First Chicago Skyline Tour Flight.
  • 4/10/2019: First San Francisco Class B Airspace Transition. First Bay Tour. (Did several dozens more in the next few months.)
  • 5/19/2019: First Flight in Marginal Weather. Dodged some clouds and some light-moderate precipitation cells.
  • 6/9/2019: Checkout in a Diamond Star DA-40. The most beautiful sunset in bay tours.
  • 7/28/2019: First Trip to Southern California. DA-40. 151nm to San Luis Obispo, California (KSBP). Went into reserve fuel on the return trip.
  • 9/6/2019: First Overnight Cross Country Trip. DA-40. 179nm to Shelter Cove, California (0Q5). Approach to Rwy 12 with very low overcast on top of the runway (but clear on the approach path).
  • 10/13/2019: First Night Cross Country Trip. DA-40. 133nm to Little River, California (KLLR). Full moon flight.
  • 11/7/2019: Mountain checkout in a Cessna 182. KTVL, KTRK, KBLU.
  • 8/2/2020: First Crossing of the Sierra Nevada. Cessna 182. Crossed Tioga Pass at 11500ft (1500ft AGL) to Lee Vining, California (O24).
  • 3/13/2021: First Cross-Country Ski Trip. Cessna 182. 156nm to Mammoth Lakes, California (KMMH). First runway excursion incident due to brake overheating.
  • 4/15/2021: First Ocean Crossing. Cessna 182. 22nm to Catalina Island, California (KAVX).
  • 6/12/2021: First State-Crossing Flight. Cessna 182. 350nm to North Las Vegas, Nevada (KVGT).
  • 10/9/2021: First Fly-in Camping Trip. Cessna 182. Catalina Island, California.
  • 3/25/2022: Checkout in Hawaii. Diamond Star DA-40. Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • 7/14/2022: Closing of N727SL. Co-purchased my first airplane, a G2 Cirrus SR-22.
  • 8/16/2022: Instrument Check Ride. Cirrus SR-22. Lincoln, California (KLHM). Became instrument-rated.
  • 9/18/2022: First Instrument Approach in IMC. O69 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, circle-to-land RWY 11. 1–2 miles visibility in rain. Petaluma, California.
  • 12/25/2022: First Flight to Arizona. Cirrus SR-22. Grand Canyon Bar Ten Airstrip, Arizona (1Z1). Approached into the Grand Canyon and landed on a narrow, crooked and bumpy runway.
  • 7/24/2023: First Time in Oshkosh!!! Arrived by car.
  • 7/27/2023: First Flight through Canadian Airspace. Cirrus SR-22. Chicago Executive, Illinois (KPWK) to Buffalo, NY (KBUF). Night flight over Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.
  • 7/31/2023: First In-flight Emergency. Cirrus SR-22. Cylinder 1 Exhaust Header broke off in cruise flight. Diverted to Allentown, PA (KABE) and was stranded for two days. Retrospective.
  • 8/5/2023: First Coast-to-coast Flight. Cirrus SR-22. From Montauk, NY (KMTP) to San Carlos, CA (KSQL). 18.1 flying hours in 6 days.
Frank Sifei Luan
Frank Sifei Luan
栾思飞 | PhD Student

PhD at UC Berkeley focused on AI systems and cloud computing.