Flying in Iceland

Shanna and I recently took a week-long trip to Iceland, where I was lucky enough to get some flying in. When we’d stopped over in Reykjavik for a couple days during a previous trip to Europe, I noticed how many light aircraft were in the air. The landscape is so weird and compelling that getting up in the air became a mandatory part of our return to Iceland.

Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of information about flying in Iceland on an FAA certificate. I found a 2004 thread on the PPRuNe forum that didn’t offer much, and another article that had some useful info on where to fly, but prices & recommendations from 1998. Eventually, I just scraped around the English-language version of the ICAA website (the Icelandic Civil Aviation Authority) and emailed them directly, asking what I needed to do to fly there.

Reinventing Email at Redfin

This was originally published on the Redfin developer blog.

Old, unresponsive Redfin email on iPhoneDepending on what you read, around a third of the time spent on mobile devices is taken up by email. Redfin is being increasingly accessed from mobile devices. It’s the 21st century, and we’ve all got computers in our pockets.

Why, then, are we sending out emails that are formatted exclusively for desktop email clients? Not even necessarily all that well, honestly. If you’re reading them on something like a MacBook Air or an ultrabook/netbook sort of machine, our font size choices are probably making that whole situation pretty tough. That said, we have some good looking templates that heavily favor desktop reading, thanks to font sizes, header elements, and (most important) multi-column layouts.

Onward & Upward

Over the last year, a lot has changed. I got married, flew our newly-restored & upgraded Grumman, spent three weeks in Europe & Iceland, started looking into Masters programs, stopped instructing full time, and got a Real Job™. Oh, and now redirects to, so update your shit. It’s been a fun year, I’ve enjoyed the changes so far, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. The only downside to leaving instruction is that I spend a lot of time wishing I was flying, but – and this is key – all of my flying I now enjoy.

Anyway, this last fall was a lot of fun. The two of us went to the Reno Air Races, then visited Germany & Austria, via Iceland. Flying Icelandair was an interesting look at how small airlines can serve smaller markets with narrow routes and the appropriate aircraft. Not to mention, their branding (and cabin crew) was fantastic.

As far as the future goes, I’m looking heavily into masters programs in the field of Human Factors, with the goal of taking that degree into the aviation industry. I’ve spent so much time working with technology & usability, both in aviation and in web design, that I can’t see any other path but this. If you’ve got advice or thoughts on human factors & aviation, I would welcome your input!