Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The B F R, the BasicMed, Let's Go Flying!

Well, actually, the BasicMed thing came first. I'd been debating about whether or not I might use the additional privileges over those of a Sport Pilot and decided the option I'd be gaining would be speed and load carrying capability. Certainly worth the expected expense. My regular doctor took a look at the AOPA information for doctors and pilots and I was in and out in no time. Cost? A regular office visit coupled with my wellness visit (Medicare). Net 10 bucks. And now I can go faster and take Ma and the poodles to visit the grandkids (fat chance ... the dogs don't like to fly and, come to think of it, neither does Ma). Net, Net: I can dream faster. So be it.

By the way, I looked myself up on the FAA pilot database and my BasicMed month and year is listed there in place of my medical.

Now for the Biennial Flight Review. Up until 2009, I hadn't had a BFR in years. That was because I had regular simulator training at FlightSafety on the jets and that qualified as a BFR. In 2009, I trotted over to Jack Brown's seaplane base for a training session and a check ride for a seaplane rating and that qualified as well. Come 2011 and I began a regular series of Biennial Flight Reviews, first in my Beechcraft Bonanza, then the CallAir Cadet pre-restoration, then the Woody's Pusher, and today, again, in the Cadet, post-restoration. It was interesting in that I haven't had anyone else in the airplane with me for 4 years and I haven't flown it from the back seat in that amount of time, either. My instructor is a well-known aerobatics instructor and an airplane builder. He flew over in his very nifty RV-4 and after a reasonably reasonable flight check went home again with a few spots on his trousers, thankfully just from the latest oil leak (fittings for the oil pressure gauge). I hope Mrs. Jones has a sense of humor. I'm glad he does.

So we - the Cadet and I - are once again in the full flush of vim, vigor, and vitality (that oil leak was fixed this weekend), ready to ply the skies of America in search of hot dogs, barbecue and fine aviation people.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The CallAir Goes A-Flying !

When the weather is right and there's food in the offing, there is only one thing to do ... go flying!
There's no better place to call a destination than Pat Hartness' Triple Tree Airport at Woodruff SC ... last Saturday he and the Triple Tree volunteers threw a Fabric and Taildragger Fly-In Lunch (of course no one would be turned away) and I'd guess some 110-120 airplanes showed up with just as many people flying them and another couple of hundred passengers and drive-in enthusiasts. What a great spread and what nice people! I'm already looking forward to next month's  South Carolina Breakfast Club breakfast there...

The long range view across the runway of some of the airplanes. Click on the pic to make it bigger.
The CallAir Cadet is a great flying airplane - controls are beautifully coordinated and it flies straight and true after its restoration at Southern Aircraft Support in Zellwood, Fla. The factory information was a mimeographed sheet (maybe a carbon copy written up by Carl Petersen, CallAir's sales manager - I only have a scan of the original so I can't tell) that touted the virtues of the airplane. Among the selling points was the statement that the pilot could fly it with his feet on the floor - a rare attribute in a taildragger, but the actual airplane is very stable and seems to bear this out.
Birds of a feather ... thanx to Darwin for the picture
It's too bad the airplane didn't make it into production with CallAir. Only one example exists under the CallAir name and that is this airplane. I've gone over the history of the design in prior posts for your reading pleasure.

One drawback. The airplane was designed and built at a time when the average height and weight of a pilot was in the 5'8"/160 pound range. My longer legs and larger frame (I have "big bones") make for some entertaining contortions when I enter and leave the cockpit. It's sort of like watching the 16th clown get into and out of a little car, if you get my drift. Once in, all's well.

More comings and goings as we come and go. There's a gathering scheduled for August 5th for the prior owners - I hope they'll enjoy seeing their airplane again and will approve of the re-do.