Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Springtime is for flying (or ditching made easy)!

I don't know what's better - flying in springtime or just hanging around the airport watching other people fly ...

Son John (on the left) spends a fair amount of his spring getting ready for the Joe Nall giant scale RC meet at Pat Hartness' place near Woodruff SC ... it's the Oshkosh of giant scale flying. The meet started on a Wednesday this year and the field began filling up on the Sunday before. By Tuesday afternoon, there were over 600 RC pilots registered and a LOT of airplanes.

The rare air John breathes when he's flying a Citation X corporate jet must get to his imagination ... he has an airbrush artist friend who creates some far-out cowling cartoons:

As for dear old Dad, I finally dragged Champ out of the Hendersonville hangar and flew a few takeoffs and landings to get back into the swing of things. There were appreciative scores from the hangar rats as landings equalled takeoffs in reasonably short order. Back in Florida the Bonanza had some work done on it so I gave it a good wash and dried it off in the accepted fashion .....

After so many years flying corporate jets and going to regular recurrent training, I realized with a start that I would be due for a Biennial Flight Review this summer! The recurrent training sessions and new type ratings took care of the requirement for many years and I also realized that I had never taken a stand-alone BFR since the rule was created! I've conducted reviews many times but never took one of my own! Being of healthy attitude and all that, I decided that a good review would be a good thing and also decided it might help if I added a seaplane rating to my ticket ... so it was off to Jack Brown's Seaplane Base at Winter Haven FL for some training, some learning and a dash of positive reinforcement from the great people there.....

Note the birds perched on the wings and tail of my assigned J3C-65S (the 'S' is for Seaplane). I think they took a look at me and decided to add some supplemental lift.

A flip of the prop (performed gracefully from the deck of the float) and we're off and floating.

The course is given at Winter Haven FL year-round. Jon Brown carries on his father's work with well-maintained Cubs - every few years they are hauled out and completely refurbished.

The old guy got some great instruction from Lauren. I haven't had that many takeoffs and landings in a short period of time in many years! The Seaplane Rating is mine at last!

Fly safe, Y'all!