Sunday, November 27, 2011

Factory Visit

I am just finishing a visit to the Phoenix Air factory in Usti nad Orlici, CZ. These are some of the photos showing the Phoenix production underway.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flying with Frank

I worked as a flight instructor and tow pilot last week at Seminole Lake Gliderport. SLG cranks out new glider pilots like you've never seen. Frank and I worked together for the week, culminating in a glider rating added to his power certificate. He is interested in buying a motorglider, so he came to Melbourne afterwards to get his self launch endorsement and check out the Phoenix. He was not disappointed.

We saw the Goodyear blimp out over the ocean as we cruised the beach.

Frank's portrait in the curveaceous canopy of the Phoenix.

The baggage compartment behind one of the seats. Both seats remove in seconds to access the 8 cu ft compartment which holds 100lbs.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The People of Kitty Hawk


Ed's Baby Bowlus - Beautiful!!!!

Ed and Don

Don over Cape Hatteras



Susan's Pilatus

Susan and I

Kitty Hawk, NC

Tim Ettridge pilots the Phoenix over the barrier island.

Jockey's Ridge sand dunes where the Wright Brothers learned to fly, and now, where hangglider pilots learn to fly.

Jockey's Ridge State Park. The Wright Memorial is inside the circular drive, and the long straight line is were they made the first powered flights.

Chief Jim with the feather in his cap (actually it is the prop) with the Wright Memorial in the background. We were here as part of the Soaring 100 Celebration. This is the 100 year anniversary of the 10 minute soaring flight by the Wrights.

Denver, Witchita, Monroeville, Panama City, and Home

After the flights in Denver, I headed to Witchita, to fly with several pilots there. Motorglider guru Dave McConeghey put the Phoenix through it's paces, ending with a nice meal at Stearman Field. We stayed past dark, and then flew back to AAO in the dark. Next morning, I was off to Monroeville, after passing a cold front. The 496 and XM Weather again showed me the only way through. The shot above was taken after crossing the front, on final descent to Monroeville.

The next day brought me to Panama City and another great get together with Mom and Dad. After a couple of days visit, I was finally off for home. Here is a shot over the inlet from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Andrews Bay in Panama City.

This dark spot off my wing is a pod (?) of sting rays. There are more than 500 of them in this small group. Some days you can see over 2000 in several different pods.

Orlando approach took me straight over the airport, and into Melbourne. As the jets go past I get a kick out of the controllers telling them "The aircraft ahead is a motorglider, he is talking to us, and will remain at 9,500' as you pass by". Were the pilots worried that I would suddenly start thermalling?

It was great to return to my family after being gone for a month, and having flown 5000nm.