2020-11-17

Ferry Flight: 1G1 to 1H8 to KSGF

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.

I totally missed an epic photo op when this mission started.  It was snowing like crazy with huge snow flakes...and I didn't take a picture.  The aircraft above is not the aircraft flown, but the snow was pretty close so I use it as a reference.  Sometimes I'm amazed at the pictures I DON'T take when it could be so easy (and is).  Amazingly, the skies broke and I had a window of opportunity.  After sweeping all the snow off the wings, I pressed.  I knew the weather to the west (direction of destination) was better so I launched.

Here's the Commander 112 at Casey Municipal (1H8).  This is why FBO's are cool...you never know what to expect.  There was a gas pump but clearly no ability to use a credit card.  As I was wondering how this would work, a woman walked up to the plane and asked "top it off?".  Essentially, it was like a gas station from the Sixties - full service with a smile!  Awesome.  The pic above shows the Commander with an Air Tractor in the background.  And Air Tractor that is worse for wear.

Another shot of Casey Municipal.

The final destination was KSGF (significant girl friend) or Springfield-Branson National Airport (I use all the memory aids I can).  I didn't take any pictures because the new buyer wants to me you and talk about the airplane and photos can get in the way.  Here are some stock photos...

The airfield from the air.

The General Aviation Complex

Very nice FBO - actually labeled "General Aviation Complex" which is one of the cooler things I've seen.   GA brings lots of business if you're ready for it and KSGF was clearly ready for it.  A super nice thing about this ferry flight was I could connect back to Denver from the destination. We took a seven minute ride around the airport and I was in-place.  Super stress-reliever.  Overall, it was a great ferry operation.  Well-compensated and easy connections.

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2020-11-11

Why I Love Airfields 19 : 2020-11

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).

Here's an unrelated picture (aside from the day) of a beautiful sky and the tail of Queen Vic.

This is the certificate Leadville will give you just for showing up - awesome!
But not on the weekends...not awesome. 

And the most epic pic ever.  Two birds from Springs Aviation which will likely never been seen again at Leadville.  Orange Blaze and Queen Vic.  It was a totally random rendezvous and lent itself to a fantastic pic.  It's a photo op that will likely never happen again.

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2020-11-09

Ferry Flight: KTVK to KRZL to 1G1

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.

Point of departure - Centerville Municipal Airport (Iowa).
Not the best weather but beautiful in its own way.

The bird...735M, a Rockwell Commander 112.  Very nice.

Just to show the tail number.

I failed to take a pic at Jasper County airport but the above pic conveys its sense of space and calm.  Great FBO but the only thing that is free is water.  And in reality, it was far from calm. The winds were about 20 kts.  I don't mind because you stop in about 20 feet.  And fuel was cheap - also to their benefit.

- Flying IS Great. Improve every flight -

2020-10-20

Why I Love Aviation 4 : 2020-10

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.


Clockwise from top left, student pilot in the nursing world, pilot who just loves to fly, student pilot from the world-famous Southwest Airlines (attendant wanting to fly instead) and a formation flight picking up an aircraft from another airfield.  I'm the wingman and suggested the formation (because I didn't want to talk on the radio).


Flying is great!

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2020-09-17

Why I Love Airfields 18 : 2020-09

I love airfields for many reasons, but one really big reason is they have prepared surfaces.  Here's a shot of an airplane after its engine quite.  I have to say, one great thing of this event is it got the 'monkey' off my back.  Which monkey?  The engine quitting of a single-engine airplane.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be.  In fact, gravel is a pretty good landing surface.  Very forgiving and helps you slow down.  You can't see it here, but there was a sign for a 90 degree turn after the hill.  I was thinking, "how close is this turn?" but it was no factor.  There was plenty of room to stop.   I'm not suggesting an off-field landing, but I kind of am.  It's a great experience.  What you can't control is people calling 911 (because they care) and that might make your experiment more involved than you intended.

The airplane after I pulled it off the road.


The aerial view of a landing strip vs an airfield.

A great reminder that aviation and it's media are simply incredible.

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2020-08-01

Ferry Flight : 1G1 to KFLY : 2020-07

Operation BUCKEYE MINER. 10.9 hours, 1049 nautical miles. I ferried a HAWK XP from 1G1 to KFLY with stops at C56 (Bult Field) and I75 (Osceola Municipal Airport). This was a very straightforward ferry flight with no significant weather or issues on the route. The biggest issue was daylight. I departed at 15:40 due to delays in the purchase process. I would say that was that's almost eight hours later than I planned. It bought an overnight delay because of logistics. If I arrived too late at KFLY, I would be without a vehicle. Normally, that's not an issue with Uber/Lift, but with corona, that landscape has changed. Furthermore, KFLY isn't exactly in the mainstream of traffic.

The XP had autopilot (track a route but not hold altitude) so if you trimmed it out, it would almost fly itself. That was pretty nice. The airplane was N1025V.  People will tell you XPs have 210 HP. They don't. They have 195 HP Continental and a controllable propeller. In a C172, that's a pretty sweet combination. The nose is heavy but you'll cruise faster than any other C172. The XP is the "in-between" as it's more capable than a C172 but not quite a C182. Cessna made 1450 Hawk XPs.

This is the aircraft, N1025V.  I picked it up from Aero-Pro Avionics and got a lot of help from Ohio Air Craftsman. They were next door. They sold me oil and, in the end, got the airplane to start. The airplane wouldn't start (standard GA stuff) and it was likely due to insufficient voltage. In other words, the starter tried to turn, but couldn't. I learned a good lesson on this trip. The power jack (if the airplane has one) doesn't necessarily provide power to the starter. The starter solenoid kept clicking but the starter was essentially dead. After reopening the battery compartment (it's in the back on a Hawk XP) and charging the battery directly, the airplane started just fine. Ohio Air was nice enough to close the battery compartment while I ran at idle.

The mighty C172 HAWK XP II (aka R172K), N1025V

This is the routing 1G1 to KEAR, but it doesn't show the two stops. I learned that about Flight Aware. People love to track you (even if you don't know it) and Flight Aware is the go-to. What I learned is if your stop is (apparently) relatively short Flight Aware seems to connect the flight as if it were continous. Fair enough, but don't rely on it always showing the stops.

Again, another thing I love about GA. Check out this FBO (fixed base operator). It's a castle! People don't have homes like this. But it's an endearing thing about the flying world. You can compare it to the 'house' at my next stop (below) and it's clear that every stop you make is a surprise in its own way.

This was my next stop - Osceola Municipal. Small and quaint. More of what I expect from a small FBO (as opposed to Bult Field). The airport manager (whom I assume was the manager) was working on a kayak at the back of the FBO. I asked if there were restrooms and he said "yep, just inside". Then I asked if I was in Iowa and he said, "you're in Iowa". Love that. The 'house' had great bathrooms, water, pretzels, and cookies! Just another quintessential example of general aviation. 

Random enroute shot. Flying Is Great! And it always makes me smile.

I stopped at Kearney NE. because my parents were close and it save the price of a hotel. The FBO I use at Kearney is Big Air, and they always treat me well. They did surprise me with one thing - the after-hours 'call out'. That'll cost you $100. Even if you call ahead it's $75. Lesson learned (re-learned) always call ahead. Remember, I only stopped because of logistics and time of day. So, the next leg was relatively short and about as simple as you can get. Funny enough, the last 100 miles were like a rodeo even though there were zero clouds.  I don't mind rough rides - smooth air is nice but 'boring' in regards to required skill. To its credit, the autopilot never let go and held on throughout.

The biggest reason to use KFLY.

Landed about 30 minutes before I projected.  Mission complete.  Great adventure!

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2020-07-28

Why I Love Airfields 17 : 2020-07

It's pretty obvious why I love airfields, but in this case it's primarily because it was the first flight in an airplane that took forever to get its new engine. But beyond that, the day/weather were epic.

This is Sweet Pea (N62740). I name all the planes I fly with. Several people hate it but interestingly enough, they all start adopting the names. Every plan should be named. I call her Sweet Pea because she has green stripes and green interior. She's also sweet because she's carrying a 180 hp engine. Which, in my opinion all 172s should have. What a perfect ending the the first flight of an airplane...a rainbow!

Here's Sweet Pea on final. If you could just remove the houses in the distance, it would be even more ideal. But who can argue...this is beautiful. As an aside, this is runway 33 which is NOT the normal runway at Meadow Lake.

Airfields are great!

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Why I Love Aviation 3 : 2020-07

Why do I love aviation?  Lots of reasons, but here are three examples of a very tangible 'why'. 

Simply put, look how happy these people are!

Trying to get this guy to smile or laugh is like pulling teeth.
But check out this smile!  He's been debriefed on the two hand technique.

It's easy to get her to smile and she's eating flying up. Green hair?
Yes, but she still flies very well. Also debriefed on the two-hand approach.

This guy gets it.  His right arm is on the throttle.
Even on a rough air day, look how happy he is.

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2020-07-22

Distant Shade : 2020-07

The skies in Colorado can be quite amazing. I tried to capture the cloud formations that blow my mind. I titled it "Distant Shade" because I love flying under clouds.  If I can do it, I will.  People think that's weird until I tell them you don't need sunglasses and it's cooler.  This woman is earthbound, but deep inside she knows she should be aloft - airborne and sharing the sky with those clouds.
Distant Shade, 2020, 16" x 20", acrylic on canvas

This is the first application of clouds (left) and adding more definition (R)
On the left is after I darkened the base of the clouds.  On the right is the first woman I painted.  She was way too broad.  I liked the hair, but not how wide she was.

This is the sketch of the woman.  Only sketch for the painting.

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