Great Planes: 2021-10

Airplanes sitting in epic settings never gets old. I grew up in the Great Plains and always considered eastern Colorado as the same. According to the map I found (below), it seems I was correct. These shots capture the beautiful sky, the fall colors and even the moon. How could you get tired of shots like this?

The Great Plains per the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Flying is Great!

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Run that Engine : 20211011

We had a Skyhawk get an engine modification and it needed 10+ hours of high-RPM operation. Normally, that's accomplished with longer cross-country flights as it keeps the RPMs high and minimizes 'slow-downs' for patterns. I finished 7548G's required hours but it was a race against the sun.  I'd rather not fly an unknown engine in the dark. In fact, my luster for flying any single-engine in the dark has waned. As I say, I like to see where I need to land. Only the last hour was in the dark, so it was okay.

This shot is in Sidney NE (KSNY). I wish I would've zoomed out because it showed the expanse of the Great Plains. Just look between the left edge of the pic and the nose and between the tail and the right edge of the picture and it just keeps going. Note to user: Sidney does not offer self serve. You're going to pay for their use of the fuel truck.  As I'm a huge fan of self-serve, I might not return.

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Time to Upgrade : 2021-10

I finally let my iPhone 7 go for an upgrade. It was painful but so far it's worked. I have to give a shoutout to those who customized my previous phone like no one else could. My "Joe Mama" is gone, but I believe my new phone can be customized just as good - if not better.

This was the case, not actually the phone.  But, I loved it.

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Fortunate to Tow : 2021-10

I'm very fortunate to tow with a local gliding club. I've wanted to do this for quite some time and am very grateful to the club. When I think about opportunities like this and then get to fly on a day like this, I'm kind of speechless. The two pics are the same plane and same day, but one at the beginning of the day (top) and at the end.

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Super Yellow Cubbie : 2021-10

I first flew this Cub (16GV) in May 2021. It was the maiden flight after the second owner purchased it. Interestingly enough, I was able to ferry it to the third owner after the second owner sold it in October. I have a feeling the third owner will have it for quite some time. It's a Cub, but not a Cub - hence the "Experimental".  The first owner/builder made it as close as possible to an actual Cub, but since Piper didn't make it, it remains experimental. It flies great and gave me no problems on the trip.

The route was KFLY > KSYF > 0V3 > KMLE. Or translated, Meadow Lake (Peyton, CO) to Cheyenne County (St Francis, KS) to Pioneer Village (Minden, NE) to Millard, NE. It took almost exactly six hours in the airplane.

This is after getting fuel in KSYF. Note - they have not bathroom facilities on the airfield. You have to take the courtesy car to a gas station and use theirs. Likely won't return to KSYF.

This is in Minden, Nebraska (0V3). The spacing worked out (broke the trip into thirds) but also had to stop here because it's called "Pioneer Village". That evoked a lot of memories. First, Pioneer Village is a museum of "Authentic Americana" which I visited as a small boy. It also reminded me of the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. This is a museum we'd visit on field trips in elementary school. I always thought it has one of the coolest buildings I've seen.

Funny enough, this was hanging in the Minden FBO.

A panoramic on Minden field. You can see the ramp is all squares of concrete. The runway was the same - very cool. I had to add the text on the second version because the pic is a good representation.

I was picked up by a friend in a Skylane 182 for the return trip. Having delivered an aircraft and returned while still in daylight, this would have been an excellent use of airpower. However, the pickup aircraft forgot all the paperwork for the Cub. That defeated the airpower a little bit.

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Catch up : 2021-09


Sweat Pea in the mountains and a 73 with a gorgeous background.

Skyscapes you cannot make up.

Belle on the prairie.

A 'see around corners' aircraft and the Wings of Blue dropping into our reunion football game.

Two shots of Coppertop at La Junta.  I love shots like this.

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Blue Jay Delivery : 2021-08

I was fortunate enough to ferry a Citabria for a friend of mine I've only met thrice. The first was by phone, the second by chance and the third was when I delivered Blue Jay.  He's a fantastic guy and was one of the best recipients of an aircraft delivery. There's nothing worse than a "ho-hum" recipient. If I just brought you your airplane, "ho-hum" is not appropriate. It separates aircraft owners from aircraft lovers. This recipient was NOT hu-hum! He's an aircraft lover.

Pre-departure shot of Blue Jay

Sellers are always interesting. This seller was rather typical. I hate to say it, but a 'typical' seller may or may not supply anything (oil, fuel dipstick, water, paper towels). This seller actually provided everything except gas. I think he prepositioned the aircraft on three gallons of gas. I did appreciate his sundries (paper towels, water, oil), but did not appreciate his 100% reluctance to add gas. I never appreciate that. They've just sold an airplane and they're kibbling about gas prices. Don't be that seller.

And to the seller's credit, he took a pretty good video of the departure...

Departing Lamar MO (KLLU) with a whopping 100 HP.

Blue Jay at her half-way point, Kennett Memorial Airport, MO (KTKX)

Blue Jay arriving Barwick Lafayette Airport, GA (9A5)
Although it was GA and August, it was a surprisingly nice arrival. A storm had just passed, there was shade (clouds) and it was significantly cooler. I couldn't've asked for nicer conditions.

I mentioned a storm had just passed. This is my track. While it looks like I fly towards cells, I don't. I do my best to avoid them. However, I will say a picture like this gets lots of attention from ATC (air traffic control). That attention can be very helpful. I was essentially hand-delivered into 9A5. I love that.

And this...great pic. It has the name of someone close and the sky was great. Flying is Great!

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Baton Rouge Out-n-Back : 2021-08

Flew an out-n-back to Baton Rouge. It was almost a 14-hour trek and super hot, but it was a great trip. We took a C182 and the mission was to get to a business meeting. It all went off without a hitch. The routing was KFLY-KPVJ-KBTR with the return trip of KBTR-KCTK-KFLY.

The FBO at Pauls Valley (KPVJ) was a cool building (above, left). I love the surprises of FBOs. You just never know what you'll see. The surreal thing about KPVJ was there was absolutely nothing there - including other airplanes.

This was a shot of the Skylane turned out cool. The weeds in the cracks were about the same size as the plane. If you imagine it's 99 degrees, you will have the correct picture.

Speaking of FBOs, the Jet Center at KBTR was very impressive. Not only was it a cool building, everything they had inside was free. Love that.

The lobby of the KBTR Jet Center.

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Alaska : 2021-08

I flew to Alaska and had enough time to do some exploring. Based on recommendations, I rented a bike and rode the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. It's an eleven-mile route around parts of the international airport. If you don't return the same way, you can continue all the way around the airport. That's the option I took because I wanted to see the Lake Hood Seaplane Base. For the rental, I used Downtown Bicycle Rental (also a recommendation). They were sufficient. They'll give you a map and a quick brief for the trail if you're willing to wait.

Part of the trail is just beyond the departure end of Anchorage's airport.
Always cool to see big jets this close.

I thought this was a pretty Alaska-esque shot.

The trail had some really pretty sections. I wish I could've filmed more of it but biking one-handed isn't the easiest thing to do. If you're in the area, I would also recommend this bike ride. For the rental, Downtown works and they're close to the beginning of the trail.

This was the bike I used. A Niner.

Finally, I was glad I stopped by Lake Hood Seaplane Base. So many cool airplanes to see - both on floats and on wheels. There is also a strip for those not on floats. Cool place.

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