I finally purchased an aircraft - a 1979 Bellanca Citabria. One trusted agent looked at it, one trusted agent flew it back, and I finally flew it on 31 January 20. She flew exactly like I thought she would. The mission of this airplane is to get people upset training, spin training, and tailwheel training. I call her Belle (she was from Memphis). Here she is:
"This year, I was blessed to fly the line with United for three months. It was short, but full of awesome people and great experiences. The rest of the year saw a lot of general aviation.
It reminded me that people enter your life at just the right time - which continues to amaze me. They can nudge you, inspire you, and help you move along your journey.
As this open-air flying machine approaches the foothills on a beautiful winter day, the sight of his hangar assures him he's on the right path. God helps me do this each and every day."
After the sky, clouds and hills were painted, I had the big unanswered question of what to add. Originally, I thought a close-up of a crow flying towards the hangar but also wanted to add an airplane. This is the view of the crow I was going to add...
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One thing about aviation that always holds a surprise is what you'll fly next. And the cool thing is, the more you fly, the more you get to fly. Sometimes by chance, sometimes by the people God puts in your path.
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Ferried the same Commander 112 that I ferried less than a week earlier - apparently a hot market for selling airplanes. The flight was from near Cleveland to Springfield, MO (one of the possible choices for the Simpsons' town). When I arrived via Uber, I really thought it might be a no-go, but in the end it worked out very swimmingly.
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Why do I love airfields? Actually countless reasons, but I have a few reasons for not loving them. Leadville (or Lake County Airport) is a classic example. Love it and don't. First, what's up with "Lake County"? Everyone knows it as Leadville. Second, super nice people, highest North American airport, gives you a free certificate, but NOT on the weekends (not loving them).
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Blessed again to conduct a ferry flight. This time it was a Rockwell Commander 112. It was a good plane and the landing gear is super forgiving. It's basically and Arrow but with much more room/comfort in the cabin. The aircraft started like a dream and flew like a dream (minus one). It's very stable but the autopilot didn't work so hand flying from state to state is a bit of a deterrent.
The folks at KTVK (Centerville) were incredibly accommodating. They drove several hours just so I could depart earlier in the morning. Very nice of them! An amazing thing about general aviation (GA) is the level of trust you can develop with someone in just a few minutes. It rivals anything you've every seen or experienced.
- Flying IS Great. Improve every flight -
A friend of mine suggested I enter a contest (of sorts) for a new patch for the tow pilots at the US Air Force Academy. It was more of a submission to be voted on than a contest. Regardless, I am always up for competing against other artists and I like to think I know what makes a better patch. It's simplicity. People tend to want to add a lot of stuff to patches, but in the end they look cluttered and 'impact' is lost.
Spoiler alert...none of these versions showed the struts. I was waiting for people to call that out, but they never did. However, I had the versions ready. Both a single and dual strut...
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Flying is great, but the people really make the difference. Just look how happy these pilots are! Every time you leave the earth, you can't help but smile.
Flying is great!
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