Archive for Category: "I was there"

Heroes and goats

Heroes and goats

I immediately reduced the throttle to idle, thinking that I’d had a compressor stall; this action was followed shortly by a thought process of: “Now, let me see: I’m forty-five degrees nose up with sixty degrees of bank and I’ve just pulled off any power which might be remaining and the speed is starting to fall. ” Even without the benefit of higher education, I knew this was not good.

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Some things are better done without an audience

Some things are better done without an audience

The little Cessna heaved a surrendering sigh as if air were being forced out of a Tupperware bowl. The stall-warning horn began its reedy squall as the nose went up higher and higher. The world went sideways in a multi-colored blur. Then it became deathly quiet; all sound curiously vanished.

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A family affair… finally

A family affair… finally

It is Sunday afternoon, I have the two kids strapped into the Mooney and I am about to push the throttle forward… but WAIT, before we go there, we need to take a quick jump back in time, to 2001.

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Recollections of EAA Founder Paul Poberezny

Recollections of EAA Founder Paul Poberezny

I knew Paul Poberezny well from the early 1980s, having been introduced to him by a non-pilot colleague at Mayo Clinic, where I was on the medical staff. Paul became a friend whom I could call at any time, including nights and weekends, and expect a warm response. I think he had similar relationships with countless others.

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60 seconds airborne: the end of Sabre 26710

60 seconds airborne: the end of Sabre 26710

As we passed over the end of the runway at about two hundred feet above ground level, a massive explosion (accompanied by a transitory smell of smoke) was heard and felt aft of the cockpit coupled with a complete loss of acceleration. The sudden cessation of over seven thousand pounds of thrust was noticeable.

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Thrills awaiting a flight instructor

Thrills awaiting a flight instructor

By now we had lost several thousands of feet as expected, after starting off at 8000 feet. There was no answer from the front seat so I attempted to take control, only to find the controls jammed in the pro-spin positions.

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The flight of a lifetime

The flight of a lifetime

Flying in a light aircraft has its risks and rewards just like any other endeavor. We all know that the risks can be considerable, but what about the rewards? Are they worth the risks? This flight, complete with pictures and video suggests they are.

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Going solo: a eureka moment

Going solo: a eureka moment

My first trip in the air force trainer of the period, the Chipmunk, was a revelation. As I subsequently wrote home to my mother that evening, “I had my first trip today. It was easy. I think I am a natural pilot.” It wasn’t until later that I found out that following through on the controls whilst listening to an explanation of their effects can’t really be called flying.

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Like son, like father?

Like son, like father?

Flying has become much more than just operating an airplane; it is something that my son and I share together. It is our uninterrupted time together and well worth the expense.

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Lost pilot on frequency

Lost pilot on frequency

It was July 2, 1974, and my wife Mary Ann and I were flying home from Salilsaw, Oklahoma where we had dropped off an employee’s children. I was just north of Guthrie, Oklahoma; it was early evening and near sundown. We had our Beech Debonair cruising in smooth air at 7500 feet when a call came over 122.8. “This is Cessna NN; can anybody hear me?”

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How hard is it to fly an airplane? It’s simple…

How hard is it to fly an airplane? It’s simple…

“So how hard is it to fly an airplane?” my good friend Mike asked as he settled into the right seat. It was the first time he had been in a plane smaller than a regional jet and I sensed he was apprehensive. “It’s simple, like riding a bike.”

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Over the river and the wood

Over the river and the wood

We often think of airplanes as a way to make long trips shorter, or make them possible at all, but sometimes we forget that the trip doesn’t have to be very far at all to make it worthwhile to fly, or that it can conquer more than one kind of distance. Here’s the story of one case in point.

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A flight to remember – Angel Flight for Sarah

A flight to remember – Angel Flight for Sarah

Several years ago I started volunteering for the Angel Flight organization, which transports low income patients for distant specialized medical treatments. Such flights are a fine opportunity to share my good fortune in owning a relatively fast and comfortable cross-country airplane.

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A Big Apple adventure

A Big Apple adventure

After parking at the FBO and shutting the engine down, we looked at each other and laughed like a couple of kids that just got off their first roller coaster ride. Scary, exciting and fun all at the same time.

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Devil Canyon Christmas

Devil Canyon Christmas

After landing at Anchorage, I tied my faithful little ship down and silently thanked the guys at the Cessna plant for their stable and dependable Stationair. And, yes—it had been a lousy way to spend Christmas Eve…

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