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Sorry! Email Newsletter Fixed

If you just got your first email from this blog in two months this morning, my apologies.  Something was wrong with the plugin that sent out my posts to RSS readers as well as the email newsletter that gets sent out when I write.

So if you haven’t been to the blog in awhile because you got nothing from me, please come back and visit and enjoy some of the stuff I have been writing.  This is what you missed while it was broken:

Video of Homemade B-29 Bomber

Lessons Learned: Planning and Executing an 8-Ship Formation

Advanced Mountain Airlift Tactics School (Videos and Pictures)

The Germanwings Crash Makes Me Sad

March 31, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

The Germanwings Crash Makes Me Sad

It makes me sad that 150 lives were needlessly lost.

It makes me sad that someone who clearly needed help did not, or could not, get it.

It makes me sad that the actions of one person can tarnish the reputation of an entire industry.

It makes me sad that the media is more concerned with being first than being right, especially when human lives are part of the story.

It makes me sad that some people are more concerned that news networks are using Boeing images where Airbus images should be, rather than the people who lost their lives.

It makes me sad that a tragedy that should bring people together is instead dividing them.

It just makes me sad.

March 30, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Advanced Mountain Airlift Tactics School

This picture sums up most of the flying that we did at AMATS.  Tilt the screen to line up the horizon and it will blow your mind.

This picture sums up most of the flying that we did at AMATS. Tilt the screen to line up the horizon and it will blow your mind.

I had the great opportunity to go out to Reno, Nevada for a mountain flying course that really opened my eyes to the challenges of flying in a mountain environment.  I felt like I had a little perspective having spent four months flying in the mountains of Afghanistan, but this course gave me a whole new perspective on what mountain flying can be like.

The Advanced Mountain Airlift Tactics School (AMATS) is put on by the 192nd Airlift Squadron which is part of the Nevada Air National Guard based out of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.  It is designed give C-130 operators an introduction to mountain flying, which has certain inherent dangers that are not present in less topographically diverse terrain.

The course is designed to have one day of academics and three days of flying, but weather (an incredibly important aspect of mountain flying) prevented us from getting the third day in.  From an academic standpoint, topics like weather, previous accidents, and proper mission planning were covered in-depth.  This information was then applied to the actual missions that we would be flying in the coming days.

This is the mountain we climbed over during our "zoom climb".  Imagine flying right for that mountain and then initiating the climb only a couple of miles before you get there.  You can see the low-point on the ridge we aimed for.

This is the mountain we climbed over during our “zoom climb”. Imagine flying right for that mountain and then initiating the climb only a couple of miles before you get there. You can see the low-point on the ridge we aimed for.

The first day of flying focused on flying through narrow canyons where one can get easily confused by which canyon you are flying as well as navigating through less defined terrain.  After a short transit to the training area, we executed a penetration descent (essentially pitching the nose over and descending at maximum rate) then leveled off for a relatively standard landing at an out base.  The first real part of the training is what’s called a zoom climb.  Essentially you fly straight for a mountain at a high-speed and then pitch up and climb about 2000-2500′ in a matter of 20 seconds or so.  Now that is nothing for a fighter, but to see a Herc climb like that, even for a short period of time is pretty awesome.

The next phase of the mission was very reliant on proper mission planning.  One of the challenges of flying in mountain valleys is that it is really easy to fly up the wrong valley and put yourself in a terrible bind.  Through proper mission planning you analyze the terrain to find key markers that will aid you in flying up the right valleys and avoiding dangerous terrain like box canyons that you may have no way of getting out of.  My sincerest apologies that I was without GoPro for this part of day one because it was incredible to experience.

Dropping in over the lake on our way to the second airdrop of the day.

Dropping in over the lake on our way to the second airdrop of the day.  Formation flying is so much fun.

After winding our way through the mountain valleys we exited by way of our first ridge crossing, though nothing compared to what came on day two.  After dropping our heavy equipment at the drop zone we switched positions with our wingman and they led us out on the second route which was much more wide open and presented a slightly different challenge.  When terrain is really wide open there are two potential challenges.  The first is the lack of ground references to verify your position throughout the route.  This often forces you to utilize your navigation system a little more to ensure you are hitting your turnpoints and getting to where you need to be.

The other challenge is that open, gradually climbing terrain can easily sneak up on you if you aren’t careful.  We generally fly our routes between 300-500 feet AGL and as we crossed these wide open areas it was interesting to see how often our AGL altitude would drop without us even noticing.  We never got too close to the ground, but seeing us creep towards the slowly climbing terrain was eye-opening.

It's not hard to get up for work in the morning when you get to look forward to flying this beauty.

It’s not hard to get up for work in the morning when you get to look forward to flying this beauty.

This route was also a great opportunity to witness a little hidden terrain.  What this means is that smaller hills can get hidden when they have taller terrain behind them.  There are more factors involved than just size, but the real danger here comes when you think you are farther away from terrain than you actually are.  In a worst case scenario this could lead you to not climb early enough with catastrophic results.  After passing the second area of hidden terrain we then climbed up a steep valley for our second ridge crossing of the day dropping down over a lake and into the drop zone for a standard CDS drop, and a recovery back to the airport.

While not an incredibly cool shot of the plane, look at those clouds behind it.  Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and excitingly dangerous.

While not an incredibly cool shot of the plane, look at those clouds behind it. Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and excitingly dangerous.

All of the videos on this post came from day two which was equally as impressive as day one.  I should add that the grandeur of these mountains towering well above 10,000 feet was jaw-dropping beauty for our crew that is used to flying in Arkansas where our highest terrain is only around 2000 feet.  If you ever get the opportunity to fly in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains I strongly suggest it.

Day two was focused on high altitude drop zones and landing zones.  The first video above gives you a little glimpse of a formation takeoff and transiting to the training area.  There are two important reasons this was included.  The first is the weather.  Look at the clouds as we fly towards the training area.  The second reason is caused by the weather.  Flying through such tall mountains can create some seriously drafty wind conditions.  Add this to the fact that a huge storm was starting to blow in that would ultimately have 100 mph winds and drop four feet of snow and staying in position was serious work for the pilots.  If you feel like the video is a little bouncy or jostled that is why.  It can be a challenge to stay in position in calm conditions so add 30-40 knot winds and it is even more challenging.  I give all the credit in the world to my pilots who kept as where we needed to be.

The first part of this training involved a rapid descent through a gunsight valley into a high altitude drop zone followed by a rapid climb out the other side.  The real challenge of a high altitude drop zone is that it takes longer for your plane to slow down to drop speed.  On top of that we were descending into the drop zone which makes it almost impossible to slow down at all until you actually level off.  Once again, proper mission planning was necessary to ensure that our descent began on time, so that we would be leveled off in time, so that we could slow down in time, to drop our load on time.

It was really cool to see how well the numbers we had planned worked out allowing us to get our drop off on time.  It was equally awesome to see how well our climb out numbers worked on the other side of the drop taking us up and away from the rapidly rising terrain.  The views were absolutely stunning, and something that the guys in Reno take a little bit for granted.  At the top of this climb you can see us fly well above two good-sized lakes at about three minutes into the video.  Those lakes would make a more prevalent appearance later in the mission.  We then circled back around for another high-altitude drop without a hitch.

The most exciting part of the day came after the second climb out up and over the mountains.  To take us from our high altitude above the mountains down into the valleys for our next phase of training we would execute a ridge crossing.  Initially, this was probably the most uncomfortable I got during all of this training.  If you look closely in the video you can see the plane in front of us bank to the left way passed the ridge, and then we dropped over the top.  The pilot banked the plane up to almost 60 degrees and the nose dropped quickly below the horizon.  It honestly felt like we were headed right for the top of the ridge until we picked up speed and it carried us right past it.

It was exhilarating to see such a large plane drop out of the air so fast.  You can actually hear our instructor scream with excitement right as we cross the ridge.  Shortly after that you can also hear the really loud sound of rushing air.  That is the sound of the pressure release valve trying to keep up with the pressurization in the plane.  It would end up taking another minute before the system would catch up after we leveled off.

Once we got down to the valley floor we transited over to another ridge for a second ridge crossing into the valley where the landing zone was.  While not quite as exhilarating as the first crossing it was still pretty awesome.

The work at the landing zone provided many of the same challenges as the drop because the plane does not slow down as fast.  My apologies that I only got two of the landings, but the battery died.  The first landing in the video is at normal speed to give you an idea of what it looks like.  The second landing was at 2x speed which is honestly more what it feels like.  The added challenge of this landing zone is that there is rising terrain on three sides which means you have to slide in between the two ridges and then climb as quickly as possible after takeoff before turning for the next pattern.

Flying back to the airport provided maybe the best example of how powerful the weather can be in mountainous terrain.  We were flying at least a couple of thousand feet above the terrain but we still had a couple of sections of turbulence that caused us to lose at least 300 feet of altitude almost instantly.  Mountain wave turbulence is some of the most dangerous weather you can experience in a plane because it is incredibly strong and can extend up to 200 miles away from the mountains that caused it.  That means that you may not be expecting it.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from this trip is just how important it can be to get good weather forecasts, and to truly understand how it can affect your operations.  I think most of us are quick to understand the dangers of ice, thunderstorms, and the wind associated with it, but it is the clear air stuff that can really ruin your day.

As I mentioned before our third day got weathered out because of the aforementioned mountain wave turbulence which was really an incredible disappointment because we would have been executing air drops on the side of mountains and up narrow valleys.  Then we would have done dirt assault landings at high-altitude which would have been some awesome video, but what can you do?

The AMATS course was the most worthwhile training I have gotten in the C-130.  It was easy to see how everything they taught us could be applied in an operational environment.  Even for the training that we perform on a regular basis there were key aspects that were taught.  It really is a shame that this course is not more widely utilized because it will literally save the lives of the people who properly apply it into their missions.

I gained a whole new respect for people who regularly fly in the mountains and the challenges that it includes.  No matter how experienced you are the mountains can jump up and bite you, but taking advantage of training like this, either civilian or military, will go a long way to ensuring that you get to enjoy flying through the mountains and the wonder that they are.

March 16, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Lessons Learned: Planning and Executing an 8-Ship Formation

There was much anticipation for me before we took the runway.  Especially because lead had a maintenance issue.

There was much anticipation for me before we took the runway. Especially because lead had a maintenance issue.

It’s been awhile since I did one of these posts, and it certainly isn’t for a lack of learning, but quite the opposite actually.  I’ve actually been a little overwhelmed recently with how much I have learned but I finally have a minute to put some of those thoughts to paper, or keyboard I guess.

The biggest learning that I have done recently took place just after the new year and involved planning and executing an 8-ship formation flight for my squadron.  We ended up with only six planes in the formation because of some maintenance issues, but it was an awesome experience nonetheless.  The maintainers actually deserve a huge amount of credit for getting that many flying considering what they had to do to make it happen.

There is just something about having this much airpower on one runway that gets me excited.

There is just something about having this much airpower on one runway that gets me excited.

I found out about this mission about a month before it was scheduled to take place and got some preliminary planning done before we all left for Christmas.  To the surprise of no one that has served in the Air Force, when we came back from the break, the powers that be changed our plan completely which meant we had a week to put the new plan in place.  I say we because I received a ton of vital help from about a half dozen people who provided guidance and expertise for something that I had never done.  It never would have happened if it weren’t for their help.

That week of planning was probably the most learning I have done in my relatively short career and I am so grateful for it.  With that being said I can’t really describe those lessons I learned because I don’t know how without spending the week that I put into it, besides, it is the flight that is the interesting part for most of you.

Sometimes it takes a little time to get everyone in position...

Sometimes it takes a little time to get everyone in position…

Because we don’t fly with this many planes together very often anymore it took a little work for all of the pilots to get back into the groove of flying with so many planes.  It is not just a matter of putting six planes close to each other, as you have to deal with the turbulence created by the plans in front of you as well as the accordion effect that takes place when you put any large number of moving objects together.  The closer you are to the back of the formation, the more challenging it becomes.

As you can see from some of these pictures it can be really challenging to stay in position in these conditions.  I give all the credit in the world to the pilots, and mine in particular, because they were working hard to stay in formation and keep it tight.  Being in the number five aircraft we had a great view of the formation and it was awesome to watch the ordered chaos come together almost perfectly as we recovered over the airfield.

...But it's pretty sweet once everyone slides into place.

…But it’s pretty sweet once everyone slides into place.

For the second half of the flight we actually planned to split the formation in two with a rendezvous about forty minutes later to bring us back together for the second airdrop.  As the person who had spent 40+ hours planning this thing down to the minute, and reassuring everyone else that it would work, I can’t really explain how excited I was when we reached the rendezvous point and I was able to look out the pilot’s window and see four other C-130s trucking towards us.

My pilot banked the plane up to turn towards them pointing the plane right at the last aircraft in their formation.  Then about a minute later he banked it back up the other direction and we were back together as a complete formation.  With all of the work it took to get there, it was incredibly fulfilling to see it come together so smoothly.

As I said before, there were really way too many lessons that I learned in the planning stage to try and cram them into one post, and most of them would make no sense without being there to experience it.  But, there are still a handful of lessons that came from the flying that can be applied to lots of different types of flying.

It was a huge relief once the flight was over and everyone taxied safely back to parking.

It was a huge relief once the flight was over and everyone taxied safely back to parking.

First is having faith in the people you fly with.  Whether they are sitting in the seat next to you or five planes away in the back of the formation, there is an incredible amount of trust we put in people we fly with.  In the 600+ hours I have in the C-130 I have never once been at the controls, though I do get to steer the plane through the autopilot sometimes, which means that every time I step onto the flight deck I am literally placing my life in the hands of the two pilots at the controls.  On this particular flight I could not have asked for a better pilot.

Second is the saying, “if you don’t use it you lose it”.  As I mentioned previously, I regularly fly with some incredible pilots.  They have flown me into different countries, through mountain valleys, and into dirt landing zones, but even the best pilot loses a little bit when they don’t do something often.  This was apparent during the first part of the flight, but it was equally important to me to see how quickly their proficiency of flying in a larger formation came back.  So for all of you pilots out there make sure that you are challenging yourself and forcing yourself to do things you don’t do often so that you can remain proficient.

For those of you thinking that formation flying is just for military planes, you couldn’t be more wrong.  It takes a matter of seconds to find videos of civilian formation flights on YouTube.  There is even a group of Bonanzas that fly in formation to EAA Airventure at OshKosh together.  If you are looking for something that is incredibly fun, and challenging, then I highly recommend a formation flight.  Make sure that you put in the proper planning though because it is not something to be taken lightly.

To take a look at more of the pictures from the fun we had head over to my friend’s Flickr page.

February 18, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Video of Homemade B-29 Bomber

I’m working to get my stuff together from the awesome training I did last week, but while you wait for that I thought I would share this awesome video my cousin sent me on Facebook.  It is incredible to see the handiwork that some people create.  I love the touch of having the flyable Bell X-1 under the wing that they actually fly.

So take a few minutes and enjoy this wonderful video.  If the video doesn’t show up try clicking here.

February 8, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Air Force One to Find a New Home on the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

"Air Force One over Mt. Rushmore" by U.S. Air Force File Photo.

“Air Force One over Mt. Rushmore”  U.S. Air Force File Photo.

I know I am a little biased due to my preference for Boeing over Airbus, but the announcement that the latest variant of the 747 will be the new Air Force One really isn’t a surprise to anyone that followed the process at all.  It honestly would not look good to a lot of people to have the American President flying in a French plane.

Just to be clear, the callsign Air Force One applies to any Air Force aircraft that is carrying the president.  Which is why the S-3 Viking that carried President Bush onto the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln was Navy One, because he was on a Navy plane.  The presidential helicopter bears the callsign Marine One when the president is on board.

Sorry for the lesson, I will get back to the story at hand.

Almost two years ago I wrote a piece about the 787 being a potential replacement for the presidential fleet of three aircraft.  I doubt that it was ever really an option because of the requirements they have for these aircraft, but it was kind of fun to think about it.

The newest 747 variant is the perfect chariot for the American President.

The newest 747 variant is the perfect chariot for the American President. Photo: Boeing

The latest version of the queen of the skies is a fitting fixture for our President to strut around the world in.  This plane is not just a means of transportation for a powerful leader, but a symbol of his office and the power that it bears.  It was a clear decision to pick the most majestic aircraft that is manufactured in America.

The A380 would have been a perfectly acceptable choice as well, along with a few other options, but the symbolic nature of this aircraft really made this choice a no-brainer.

The new planes won’t join the 89th Airlift Wing (the presidential squadron) for about eight years, so we will have gone through at least one more president by the time it enters service.  However, I’m sure I speak for all the other avgeeks out there when I say I hope we get to see some of the development, but I’m not naive enough to think we will see much of anything.

January 30, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

There’s More to Come I Promise

If you follow this blog very closely then you have likely noticed that there hasn’t been a ton of content generated recently.  I hope this doesn’t sound like an excuse, but life has sure been busy.  Between family, work, and school there just hasn’t been as much time as I would like to write on here, which is what I really enjoy more than most other things.

I have also been doing a little writing for NYC Aviation and IFlyBlog which has been a ton of fun interacting with those amazing people.  If you are not familiar with either of those sites then I highly suggest you become familiar because they are full of great insights and information.

I would like to promise that I will be writing a lot more in the near future, but I just started my capstone project for my masters so I’m not sure how much extra time I will have.  With that being said, there are a couple of exciting things coming up that I would be completely crazy if I didn’t write about them.

The first is a mountain flying course that I will be taking part in.  I am hoping to get some good GoPro footage to share from the scenic Sierra Nevada mountains.  It will be an amazing flying experience for me and I hope to be able to share as much as I can.

The other super exciting event in February is Aviation Geek Fest 15 (#AGF15 for those of you on Twitter) put on by the wonderful people at AirlineReporter.  This will be my first time attending and I can hardly contain how excited I am.  If you are unfamiliar with this even make sure you check out the details here, and then find a way to be there next year because they once again sold out in about 30 seconds this year, though there is a waiting list.

So once again my apologies for not being more consistent, believe me I wish this was where I had the free time to play.  Just keep your eyes out because there is some fun stuff on the horizon.

January 28, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Lessons Learned: Surviving a Murder Board

The problem with having essentially a two-week break from work as a flyer is that you really don’t get to fly either.  I was fortunate enough to get out with my friend in his Piper Cub on Christmas, which was amazing, but mostly just time around the house, and some homework otherwise.

I did have something to look forward to coming back to work this week, but it was a bit of a bitter-sweet thing.  The exciting part of this week is that I get to be part of an 8-ship formation soon.  In years past this would have been a relatively common occurrence, but these days almost all of our flights are only 2-ships, so to get out on an 8-ship is really exciting.

The downside is that I am one of the two main planners so there is a lot of work that goes into it.  We got a great start two weeks ago and had a bunch of stuff prepared only to find out that the powers that be didn’t like our plan, so we changed it to a more vanilla plan.  However, there really is no such thing as a vanilla plan when you are flying with four times as many planes as you usually do.

No worries though as I got a good base of a plan last week with a whole week to put it all together, or so I thought.  I spent most of the last day or so putting the plan together and starting to prepare products and a brief to explain what we were doing.  Then this afternoon we invited a handful of very experienced pilots and navigators that will be flying with us to take part in what we call a “murder board”.  The point of a murder board is to get other people who may not have been involved in the planning process to look at your plan and find anything that may be wrong or just things that need to be reconsidered.

The name and the description make it sound like an incredibly painful process, and it can be if you are stubborn or prideful, but in reality it is an awesome chance to get an outside perspective.  Especially for someone as inexperienced as me, it is an opportunity to learn from the people who have been there and done that.  Though it can lead to massive amounts of work, or in other words what I will be doing until we actually fly.

Please don’t mistake this for a complaint, as I do genuinely appreciate the feedback.  It is something that can be valuable in many different arenas, and even in civilian flying.  While the vast majority of civilian flying is likely not as complex as an 8-ship military formation, part of the fun of any flying is trying new things.  But, trying new things can also be a challenge if the plan is not thought through well enough.

Most of these poor plans can be traced back to a few common phrases, “Watch this!”, “I bet you can’t do…”, and the most dangerous “Hold my beer.”  There is nothing wrong with trying new things and challenging yourself, but it should be done in the right way.  If you want to get into aerobatics, take a class.  If you want to fly across the country, plan it out thoroughly like Bill Harrelson’s trip around the world.  If you want to land on small landing strips practice where you have extra room, and then when you are ready go for it.

One of the best things you can do is to get feedback from others with more experience.  Anything from building a plane to getting a new rating can be done better with help from those who are more experienced than you.  They can help you see things you never considered, and provide insight when you come across a problem where you see no answer.

One of the great things about military flying is that you can’t just rest on your laurels because they expect you to learn new things and progress through higher ratings and certifications.  It can be challenging at times, but as I said, it is important to find new challenges in all aspects of your flying.

So the real lesson to be learned here is to be open to feedback from other people.  If they are just being a jerk then nod and smile and then move on.  However, the vast majority of my experiences have been that they are just trying to help you get better.  That is one of the awesome things about people in aviation, for the most part they just want to help.  So don’t be afraid to not only accept feedback, but actively pursue it, because that is the only way to reach your full potential as a flyer.

January 6, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Christmas in a Piper Cub

The first attempt to fly didn't get much past the hangar, but even there she sure is pretty.

The first attempt to fly didn’t get much past the hangar, but even there she sure is pretty.

It is amazing how much life can change in only one short year.  Last year at this time I was deployed to Afghanistan thousands of miles away from my family.  While not the worst Christmas I have had, it was certainly not where I wanted to be.

A year later I am back in Arkansas enjoying a break with my beautiful wife and kids.  On top of the much-needed family time, I was able to take part in an amazing experience this afternoon.

I have a friend that I work with that is the proud owner of both a Pitts and Piper Cub that he bought a couple of months ago.  I was thrilled to find out he had gotten a plane with a second seat because all I want to do is fly anytime, anywhere.  We tried to go flying a few weeks ago but it was just too dang windy to fly.  This really sucked because he is scheduled to deploy soon.

Few things bring me more joy than walking out to a plane to fly.

Few things bring me more joy than walking out to a plane to fly.

On Christmas Eve we were two of the roughly 10 people who showed up to work for some strange reason and he suggested that Christmas should be a good day to fly, so we agreed to get together in the afternoon after the traditional festivities.  Fortunately, the weatherman was right and it was a gorgeous day to fly.

By the time I got to the airport he was already up in the pattern getting a little work in and it got me super excited to actually get up in a small plane again.  He pulled into parking and I hopped in to begin an amazing hour and a half.

The awesomeness began with takeoff as with a slight headwind we were able to takeoff in only 200 feet.  While it was no zoom climb up thousands of feet, there is just something fun about taking off in less than the length of a football field with the wind blowing past the open door next to you.

While not really for those afraid of heights leaning out the side of a plane is just awesome.

While not really for those afraid of heights leaning out the side of a plane is just awesome.

That is one of the amazing things about the Cub, with the door open you gain a sense of freedom that really is like nothing else.

We casually flew our way down to the Arkansas river at about 1000 feet enjoying an extremely pleasant December day.  There were a handful of other people out enjoying the amazing Christmas weather which was nice to see.  Once we got to the river we followed it out to the West and my friend showed me some of his favorite spots to play around.

The first was a small island in the middle of the river with a nice open grassy area surrounded by leafless trees.  We came in low and dropped below tree level until the end of the island and then popped back up over the top of the trees.  With my weight added to the plane and the tail wind it just wasn’t a safe move to put it down there.

This is what freedom looks like from the air.

This is what freedom looks like from the air.

We then spent the next hour or so cruising up the river checking out sandbars, a small abandoned runway, and the newest airport in the area which just recently began IFR service. We never broke 1500 feet or 95 knots which may sound incredibly boring, but it was quite the opposite.

It was incredibly exhilarating to literally fly amongst the birds and enjoy the wind blowing through the plane.  It is something that truly must be experienced to fully appreciate.  I genuinely hope this is the first of many flights in not only the Cub but in any other old tail-dragger that reminds me of how much fun flying is supposed to be.  Planes like this are what bring the wonder to aviation in this modern age of technological bells and whistles.

There are few better ways to spend an afternoon than VFR flying with a friend.

There are few better ways to spend an afternoon than VFR flying with a friend.

One of the incredibly cool things about this experience was the landing.  At our local airport they have an agreement to keep the grass mowed down so those who want to can land on the grass next to the runway.  Just one more example of the fun that can be had in a plane like the Cub.

I am incredibly grateful to my friend Harrison and wish him the best of luck and safety during his deployment.  The world needs more true aviators like him that really understand what flying is all about.  I have already learned a lot from him and I look forward to continued adventures once he returns.

December 26, 2014 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Airbus A350: MinutePhysics Shows How it’s Made in 5 Minutes

If you are not familiar with MinutePhysics then I highly suggest you set aside an hour or two to enjoy some simplified science at its finest.  He does a great job of taking incredibly complex things and simplifying them for those people who want to be a little more educated, but not Sheldon from The Big Band Theory.

In this edition, Henry Reich takes a look at the brand spanking new Airbus A350 which had its first delivery today.  While five minutes is not near enough time to show everything I think he does a pretty fantastic job of describing the overall process.  Personally I am just incredibly jealous of the tours that he got.  I think most of us Avgeeks would give body parts to get the access he did.

Until that day comes enjoy the physics lesson.  The second video was released by Airbus and shows more of the tours themselves.

 

 

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December 22, 2014 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.