Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It Takes A Village

Poor Emma Baker.  She has three flight instructors---her father; and two assistant instructors in the form of Brother Barbeau and Yours Truly.  Since our flight instructor certificates are long expired, Gary and I are here mostly to provide comic relief.  But consider this:  Young Emma is learning to fly in a 1947 Luscombe 8A.  (The very airplane her father learned to fly in all those years ago.)  A vintage airplane that requires vintage skills.  Dear Old Dad has been programming A320's for almost eight months now.  He has also started carrying an iPhone around in his hip pocket.  I don't pretend to be an alarmist, but skills can deteriorate.  One day soon, probably during the cross country planning stage of her Private Pilot check ride, Emma will realize it was a good thing the peanut gallery was there to ensure the correct wind scale was utilized on the back side of her E6B computer.  Sometimes it takes a village. . .


Monday, August 19, 2013

Barbecue Kitchen

Nine months have past and once again I am in Atlanta for recurrent training.  Two days of fun and excitement in the machine my good friend Captain Brad Wigren likes to call, the Humiliator.  It is also time to pay my respects to my friends at the Barbecue Kitchen---my home away from home for sustenance during training since 1983, the year Frank Thompson introduced me to the Virginia Avenue icon.  It is said that in the South, all roads lead to Atlanta.  If you were a pilot for Thurston Aviation, Eastern Airlines, Private Jet Expeditions, or Delta Air Lines, all roads lead to the Barbecue Kitchen.

Dinner was excellent!  Let's hope the humiliator is as well!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hangar Art

We have a new addition to the Jellystone Art Collection---complements of our good friend, Gardy Wilson.

It certainly fits the d├ęcor!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Albatros Werke

Brother Hogan's New Standard biplane ride at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome last Friday got me thinking about my visit to the World War I styled airfield thirty years ago.  In 1983 I was a newbie copilot flying for Thurston Aviation in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I was assigned a two day Cessna Citation charter to Poughkeepsie, New York.  As I recall, the customer was IBM.  It was one of those early morning departures designed to arrive before the crack of dawn and then return late the following day, that charter pilots love so much.  I was flying with R. C. Furr, the Chief Pilot, and a super nice guy.  Rather than sit around the hotel for two days, we decided to rent a car and see the sights.  The two notables were the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York, and Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.


I remember Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome being a disheveled place---realistic; what you would expect a hastily constructed flying field would look like during the Great War.  Hangars were nothing more than open-ended sheds.  Airplane parts that would not fit inside were covered with tarps.  But the airplanes were cool!  Sopwith; Nieuport; Spad; Fokker---they all flew on the weekends.  Unlike the IBMers, who only flew during the week.

The intrepid charter pilot, in uniform, sans jacket, standing beside what appears to be a New Standard biplane at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in 1983.  The grey polyester pants and black wingtip shoes don't seem to match the surroundings.  The backpack on the ground to my right---the same one that carried books at Appalachian State University---was full of camera gear, now obsolete.

Thirty years ago, more often than not, my Nikon FE/II was loaded with black and white film.  (What better place to shoot black and white film than at a vintage airfield.)  My modus operandi at the time was to print contact sheets before deciding which images to enlarge.  I remember printing only two photographs from this roll of film---the Sopwith with the majestic propeller, and the Vanderbilt Mansion.  Except for the three image strip above, my contact sheets have all disappeared; as have the negatives.  On a lark, I placed the strip on our $100 Lexmark scanner, and set the image for 1200 dpi.  The result was not too bad, all things considered.

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, Hyde Park, New York.

Cessna Citation, N145TA.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hudson River Ride

Brother Hogan and I were both in New York Friday afternoon.  I was in the crew lounge at LaGuardia Airport, awaiting a 3:00 PM show time.  Mark, wife by his side; was cruising above the Hudson River Valley in a 1929 New Standard D-25 biplane.  I don't need to tell you who was having the better afternoon.

The New Standard D-25 on the ramp at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

Wrong Way Hogan & the First Lady of the Sky. . .  "Eyes peeled" for Canada geese!