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Thread: It all STARTS with a DREAM!

  1. #1
    dreamer's Avatar
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    It all STARTS with a DREAM!

    Introduction to a dream…

    I am learning how to fly. I just had my first official flying lesson (logged that is) in a 1955 SUPERCUB! I’ve had a few hours (not logged) in some other little taildraggers and wouldn’t know what to do with a nose wheel if it goosed me in the A** Hell no!! I’m not CLEAR!!! Please don’t get that thing started NOW!

    When I knew that my first time up in the front seat (not JUST the RIGHT seat) would be in a SUPERCUB I started feverously searching for information about this fabulous bird. Before long, I had stumbled into the hallowed corridors of SUPERCUB.ORG and found a veritable treasure-trove of priceless information and shared experiences THEN, I came across the musings of a certain CloudDancer… and before long, say about the first paragraph or so… I just KNEW I was getting into trouble.

    By the time I went up for my “maiden” flight, I’d read all of the Chronicles and had been flying in my mind in places far more challenging than I was ever likely to encounter on my first “introductory flight” into the land of sunshine I was so excited upon returning to earth (ink still WET on the first ENTRY into my VIRGINAL logbook) I sort of skidded and blurted out on CloudDancer’s thread discussing a whole ‘nuther “first time” http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=12660

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer
    Me 'n' my shadow got separated today... For the first time in ages, not stuck onto one part of me or another like confetti after the big parade... Not really all that hard, but just a little tricky, strapping myself into the big thing with wings and barreling down a long straight stretch of flatland faster and faster as UP comes the tail and she LEAPS into the air and all of a sudden, she is UP and THERE'S my poor shadow, running along on the ground below trying to follow me still and here I am, flying around with NO shadow touching ANY part of me anywhere . Air smooth as glass, river and lakes all sparkly below, far away clouds shaking off colors of the morning sun like water off a dog. Stick and rudder JUST like in dreams and JUST like Wolfgang wrote (well kinda), only this time I am IN the pilot's seat! Whoo-hoo!! With an ace pilot instructing me, in a beautiful 1955 PA-18 SUPERCUB!! Logged my very first "official" hour in the log book this morning

    How 'bout them rites of passage, eh? One moment, all dressed in virginal white, an unwritten page, a story still yet to be told, just ACHING to be touched... One simple entry later... Oh Baby! I WANT MORE!!



    LuLu
    Before I spin completely out of control here, I’m gonna lower my nose and kick some hard rudder and tell you how I got my tail up in the air in the first place. It all starts with a DREAM!

    for real,
    Songbird in the Land of Sunshine

  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Cloud Dancer under cover?

  3. #3
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    DUH!!!

  4. #4
    dreamer's Avatar
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    Hell nO! Besides, he's a brown paper bag kinda of guy, I'm wearing something pretty with ruby red sequins ALL over it. Sheesh!


    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers
    Cloud Dancer under cover?

  5. #5
    dreamer's Avatar
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    It all STARTS with a DREAM!

    It all STARTS with a Dream…

    Some lousy weather in New England, a couple of tornados tearing through Tennessee and I find myself transplanted to an emerald green place of Panthers and Gators and Coyotes OH MY! It’s sort of a cross between the land of OZ and the Flying Crown Ranch… It’s a BIRD! Yep, all kinds of pretty birds… It’s a COW! Um, we call 'em "cattle" here... It’s a PLANE! A whole BUNCH of planes! It’s a FLY-IN NEIGHBORHOOD! There’s RED ONES and YELLOW ONES and SHINY ONES TOO! There’s one with a red tail and TWO SPINNING PROPS! LOOK! There’s a SUPERCUB TOO!! What in the world is a dreamer to do?

    I’m camped out in a little place along the banks of a wild and scenic river. It starts to rain one day and keeps on raining for thirty-nine days The levee breaks and I am suddenly living IN the river A deck 10 feet off the ground is now just inches above the waterline The fishing is GREAT and I don’t have to mow! The yard-fish keep me awake at night… Catch 6 dozen of them with a cast net in less than an hour one afternoon… get real good at filleting… free fish for everyone! Scrape the mud off of everything I own and reluctantly head for higher ground… Now I am living in HANGAR ONE! I am right under the glide approach to runway 27 WhooHooo!! (This is very exciting).

    One fateful night I have a dream…

    Getting parched here... I'll be back!

    It's HER again...

  6. #6
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Behindpropellors and WWHunter -
    Well for ONCE....I TRULY DON'T resemble that remark!!

    "Dreamer" is NOT "undercover or "in DRAG"!!

    FIRST off....I WILL admit there are SOME similarities in our writing "styles" (and LIFEstyles as well , apparently!!)

    HOWsumEVer...have you not NOticed the girl even puts CD to shame when it comes to the use of EMOTICONS!! I mean SHEEESH. You'd THINK she just discovered SEX ....fer crissake!!

    I mean her post looks like the wall in the ORD garage where they had the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, except with emoticon "patches" for the bullet holes!!

    Her WRITING on the other hand IS very....very inSPIRED and I believe she and I MAY share MANY......er....aspirations!

    But guys!! I'm feeling GUILTY AS HELL over this "I'm from the F.A.A." thing enough as it is. I WANTED to write today but instead came down with a WHOPPING case of food poisioning so bad I can hardly leave my bed or the . This is the 1st time I've been at my keyboard in about seven hours.

    If NOTHING else, you can believe this. Being "CloudDancer" and doing the "Chronicles" is close to almost ALL the "image" and "responsibility" I can handle, esPECially when combined with my "real life" and job.

    There is NO WAy I can take on another "secret identity" as well.

    Lynne "Dreamer" is very real. Let's just enjoy her writings and musings too!!

    CloudDancer

  7. #7
    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    Getting parched here... I'll be back!
    Hurry back...
    I'm wearing something pretty with ruby red sequins ALL over it.
    Well... I'm reasonably certain that you don't hang out at our local airport..

  8. #8
    dreamer's Avatar
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    Well, being as I was DREAMING in the other room (having fallen asleep in a tangle of sectionals, Jeppeson’s, Wolfgang Langewiesche and a 1961 copy of the Private Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge) during the time when posted last NIGHT… This proves beyond a SHADOW of a DOUBT contrary to the theories abounding that this could be like the premise of a Hugo award winning novella , CloudDancer and I are NOT the product of each other’s imagination!

    Need… MORE… COFFEE!!

    Tripping down Penny Lane...

    Songbird singing on a cloudy day...

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    x.

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    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    (having fallen asleep in a tangle of sectionals, Jeppeson’s, Wolfgang Langewiesche and a 1961 copy of the Private Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge)
    May I suggest some additional reading?

    "The Compleat Taildragger Pilot" by Harvey S. Plourde is an excellent source of information for both the novice pilot and for an experienced aviator transitioning from nosewheel to tailwheel airplanes. It was required reading for my tailwheel students.

  11. #11
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Okay Everybody!! Once and for ALL!

    I KNOW who I AM! I mean...I know who I WAS!! AND I know who I am NOT.

    Jeeeeez! You guys are a bunch of CONSPIRACY theorists!!

    Do you see all black helicopters flying with no running lights through the night skies TOO!!

    I SUPPOSE the ONLY way to settle this beFORE it turns into a THING is for "Dreamer" and I to be logged in at the same time so you YAHOOS can see for YOURSELVES that we are 2 seperate and destinked people! :P

    Whaddaya' say Dreamer. Can you make the board at 9 P.M. eastern 2-nite??

    It's not that I'm so concerned about being mistaken for you, but I wouldn't want any of my so called "bad habits" to be accidentally assumed to be a part of your persona as well. You seem like SUCH a nice lady!

    AnnesToy needs some backup from time to time.

    CloudDancer

  12. #12
    dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skagwaypilot

    May I suggest some additional reading?

    "The Compleat Taildragger Pilot" by Harvey S. Plourde is an excellent source of information for both the novice pilot and for an experienced aviator transitioning from nosewheel to tailwheel airplanes. It was required reading for my tailwheel students.
    Thanks skagwaypilot, I've just ordered a copy. Now just waiting for the airmail pilot to drop it through the hole in my roof

    For those who are looking for books, here's a site well WORTH checking out! The $$ you save can go directly into your flying fund

    AbeBooks: New & Used Books, Textbooks, Rare & Out of Print Books
    Offering new, used, rare and out of print books, textbooks, and ephemera. Represents a wide variety of independent booksellers located throughout the world.

    www.abebooks.com


    I'll be logged on at 2100 GMT-5 hours... Does that sound about right?

  13. #13
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    2100 is 9 P.M. (local) in MILITARY time.

    Nine P.M. east coast time tonight is ACTUALLY 0200Z tomorrow (02/16/2007) in Greenwich.

    BUT...since the battery in my NON-aviator (Mickey's BIG hand is on) watch crapped out two days ago and I haven't replaced it yet....

    AND since I don't have a couple of Zebra time clocks staring me in the face like I do in the cockpit .....can we keep this simple please Dreamer?

    nine P.M. East Coast time tonight..........I'll C U....ALL here!!

    Cloud(Back in Time)Dancer

  14. #14
    TDTerry's Avatar
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    Hummmm.... the picture of CD in drag sorta rounds out the only thing missing from SC.Org. Of course, he/she would have to have an outfit that matches the sack and maybe brogans with a dull brown shine?

    I think the Lady is real. Figured it would just be a matter of time before the ladies shot us down. LOL Neat thang about them shooting us down, is that mother nature sorta makes us males like it.

    *Sorry for the term "shoot down". Don't want to cause flashbacks.

    ** No I never actually met his sister "Pole". Just a rumor and I am sticking to it.

    TD

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    dreamer's Avatar
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    Sorry Cloudy, I'll try to be Clear.

    I've never been very good with time I'm one of those people that CAN'T wear a watch... I've tried MANY different types of time pieces... big hands, little hands... even with numbers that blink and glow in the DARK Invariably, within HOURS or DAYS... they ALL stop running and are hereafter correct only once every twelve hours or so (and no silly, this has nothing to do with my FACE! Honey, I've been featured in the SOCIETY pages of a certain semi big city paper!). Nope, near as I can figure, it has something to do with an electro-magnetic field generated by the rapidly firing synapses of my convoluted brain. .. Lest you think I am making this up, let me assure you I am not... I have met others in my life that can stop time too . I am donating whatever is left of my brain when I die to Science-FICTION!

    But, never FEAR, I will APPEAR at the appointed time and place. This Christmas, I was given a little tiny yellow airplane that has a clock enclosed within a crystal canopy. I've got TIME in a little airplane now!! THIS time keeps on TICKING!! I've keep it clipped to the belt loop of my jeans where it swings in a gentle arc about my hips. Hmmm... perhaps there is another type of magnetic deviation at work here??

    9pm EST... I shall be there

  16. #16
    dreamer's Avatar
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    The DREAM

    Oh yeah, so where was I? Um… I musta been dreaming again… Lessee…

    The stubby winged experimental aircraft with the great big engine and the weary pilot on his way to work again taxies past the opening of the hangar (gosh the acoustics in here are GREAT! ). The sounds of a pre-flight run-up herald the crack of dawn and moments later, the little plane roars over my head signaling to the entire neighborhood that another day HAS begun and it is time to get UP.

    The fan directs the cool morning air over my somnambulate body, the sheets have all been blown off by prop wash, the pillows re-arranged by wake turbulence. I am having a GREAT dream , I don’t WANT to wake up. I am in an airplane… taxiing down the road winding around the trees across from the hangar… I am peering over the top of the nose, allRIGHT! It’s got a tailwheel! I am turning the corner onto the base of the runway, steering with my FEET!! I am IN the PILOT SEAT!!! Oh $%&#! What do I do next?? I’ve never DONE this before! Well, I MIGHT be able to get it UP, it’d be great to fly around for awhile… but what happens when I run out of fuel?? What happens if the engine quits?? How the heck do I execute one of those beautiful smooth maneuvers where the plane gently floats back to earth like a freaking LEAF?? I have NO idea how to get this thing DOWN!! VERY reluctantly, I pull back the throttle, turn off the mags and shut off the master switch. <sigh>

    My tail is dragging. I turn my face into the wind generated by the fan… my eyelids feel VERY heavy… I use MORE FLAPS and move my tail into position. Reluctantly, I am UP . Oh darn, I really wanted to fly…. Even if it’s only IN MY DREAMS!

    I gaze over toward the bookshelf. My eyes alight upon a copy of the “Private Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge”… hmmm… there’s some old copies of the FAA publications “Facts of Flight”, “Realm of Flight” and “Path of Flight”… There’s the little Golden Science “Guide to Flying” and ALL of those books about the History of Flight, the Brothers Wright and of course, all of those paper airplane books. MAYBE, just MAYBE… If I start studying NOW, the NEXT time I have that dream, I WILL be able to fly!! It all starts with a DREAM.

    To be continued...

    I’ve got to go feed the noble steeds around the corner before it gets DARK around here … I’ll be BACK!

    Dreaming in TECHNICOLOR!!

  17. #17
    SJ's Avatar
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    Folks, as the site admin I can tell you that the posts of these two individuals are NOT coming from the same computer.

    Good thing we are on the "unlimited emoticon" plan here at supercub.org....



    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  18. #18
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Steve!! -

    I KNEW I could count on you ol' buddy! Thanks fer' squaring THAT away onced and for all!!

    And when it comes to EMOTICON usage....WELL! I think I'd HAVE to HUMBLY submit sir that, rather than following the "Cheaper by the DOZEN" philosophy...yours truly....TRULY attempts to use the APPROPRIATE emoticon...at the appropriate point to provide additional emphasis or entertainment value for your reading dollar.

    I remain Sir,

    Cheerfully Devoted to Them what gave me a new HOME
    Supercub.org

    The one, the ONLY....

    CloudDancer

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    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDancer
    ...I WANTED to write today but instead came down with a WHOPPING case of food poisioning so bad I can hardly leave my bed or the . This is the 1st time I've been at my keyboard in about seven hours...
    What happened CD? Did you get ahold of some of that bad Peter Pan Peanut Butter?




  20. #20
    TDTerry's Avatar
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    what kind of body does Dreamer have ??? Hell, I worry about just getting my tail off the couch much less in the air.






    Your old uncle TD

  21. #21
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Ahhhhhhhh....HA!! :P

    SEE!! Look at the bottom of the page.

    There we BOTH are sinutenu...

    simonetious.....

    at the same DAMN TIME!!

    NOW! Any FURTHER Questions??

    Cloud(nah-ner-nah-ner-NAH-ner )Dancer

  22. #22
    TDTerry's Avatar
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    <---------- always has more questions!!!!

    What kind of a body is a "somnambulate body" ??????

  23. #23
    dreamer's Avatar
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    Fire away!

    dreamy

  24. #24
    dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDTerry
    <---------- always has more questions!!!!

    What kind of a body is a "somnambulate body" ??????
    OK (Sorry, I was practicing in the next room)

    Somnambulate: hmmm... interesting link here: http://fayette.k12.in.us/~cbeard/cal...nambulate.html

    Generally somnambulating people are considered to be sleepwalking. Little typo there, what I should have said is somnambulaR. As in my somnambular body. The dictionary definition of somnambulate is as follows: To walk or perform another act while asleep or in a sleeplike condition. In this case, I was not walking in my sleep, I was FLYING or more accurately, TAXIING. My feet tangled up in the sheets were on the rudders. I groped around, but could not find a stick to wrap my hand around, which probably explains WHY I was only taxiing.

  25. #25
    BES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer
    but could not find a stick to wrap my hand around, which probably explains WHY I was only taxiing.


    Please don't go there.....this is supposed to be a family site....


    bent

  26. #26
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    huh?

    Go Where?

  27. #27
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    SO!! I start reading… and reading… Some of these books were published before I was born… I start wondering if all this information is up-to-date, especially the Wx stuff (Does anybody still get weather reports via TELEGRAPH??).

    I am a certifiable weather junky… There are times when I am listening constantly to the weather radio or keeping the news on in the background just to have a “heads-ups”. You do that after seeing first hand what weather run amok can do to you. So, I can EASILY understand why weather is important in aviation.

    I call up one of my buddies in the neighborhood to ask if I am learning stuff that matters anymore… I THINK it matters still… Certainly the weather matters and no matter HOW forecast technology has changed, you still gotta LOOK at the sky. I’d like to be able to plot a course no matter WHAT happens to the GPS and be able to fly by the seat of my pants even if some freak event causes ELECTRONICS to fail. He assures me that this stuff will ALWAYS matter and explains that the biggest differences in knowledge requirements between then and now are regarding airspace. He offers me a contemporary Jeppeson’s Private Pilot’s manual to study which he acquired upon retiring from the airlines in order to familiarize himself with the alphabet soup down here below the jet airways he spent most of his life flying around. I am grateful

    So I KEEP on studying. My GOODNESS this is a heavy TOME!

    By now, I have admitted to myself that I REALLY want to learn to fly and not just IN MY DREAMS. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to learn to fly. When I was a kid, the answer I gave to, “So what do YOU want to be when you grow up little girl?” was an automatic reply of, “pilot” and “writer” and the well meaning souls assured me that I MIGHT be able to be a writer (though that’s really not very practical dear) IF I studied hard and got a GOOD education, but pilot?? “No, no dear, you couldn’t be a pilot… GIRLS aren’t pilots”… Well what if I joined the Air-force? “No, no dear, the Air-force won’t let GIRLS fly air-planes” Well maybe they were WRONG! But I couldn’t see any way I was going to be getting my feet off the ground, so I packed up the dream and placed it on the shelf with the other souvenirs.

    Coming next… I’m FLYING!!!

    Maybe it's never too late to grrrow... er... go UP!!

  28. #28
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    Among the souvenirs is a small bronze piece that once belonged to my great-grandfather… On one side, the Spirit of St. Louis flying high over the earth… Stars afore, clouds aft and a mythological depiction of the west wind blowing towards the tail. The words cast below, PER ASPERA AD ASTRA… On the other side, a star enclosed within a circle flanked by wings and these words,

    COMMEMORATING FIRST NON-STOP
    NEW YORK TO PARIS FLIGHT
    BY
    COL. CHARLES A. LINDBERGH
    MAY 20-21,1927
    AERONAUTICAL CHAMBER
    OF COMMERCE OF AMERICA

    "Through adversity to the stars"… I just looked it up. Well if THAT’S what it takes! I'm REALLY hopeful now! I should be boldly going where no man has gone before… any minute now. This little souvenir sitting on the shelf along with the remnants of Dr. Stone’s introduction to Latin and Greek class from middle school that's STILL swirling around in my head, MUST have been a subconscious influence upon me all these years. I plunge headfirst and headlong into ALL sorts of adversity. I get into the MUSIC business! Hell, I’ve been into SOME adversity so deep I nearly drowned in it a time or two. I’ve gotten through so far… I can DEFINITELY see the sky from here. Look out stars! Here I come!

    But FIRST… Exactly how the heck am I going to pull this off?? Although I’ve had my share of paying gigs and even a royalty check or two (and some still owed), there’s still a fair amount of work that’s expected to be done for the less than lucrative exchange commodity commonly referred to as “exposure” not to mention the investment capital required to keep oneself appropriately clad in
    sparkly stage clothes, fishnet stockings and other such necessities.

    I have graduated Magna cum Laude with an advanced degree in “Creative Survival” from an ivy clad university without any walls. The employment opportunities are interesting, but... There are some years I can barely keep up with my alumni membership dues… I've been having a pretty good year but... My broker is still advising a conservative approach to my portfolio

    Well, I figure if I can put myself through “ground school”, I might save myself SOME $$ in this crazy pursuit of heavens above… When I sheepishly admit to one of my favorite cranky old pilots that I am trying to learn what it takes, he looks at me incredulously... “Why on earth would you want to fly? That’s just CRAZY! It’ll take every penny you’ve got, break your heart and absolutely RUIN your life!”

    I am heartened. I already KNOW how to do that!


    Throwing some more wood on the fire... I'll be BACK!

  29. #29
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    Yes, this IS a crazy dream. I am a bit of an outsider here, even though I’ve been living here now longer than a good number of my neighbors. I am perhaps, the only person in here that doesn’t own the property I am living on. Some good people are letting me live in guest quarters that had been built into one end of an old hangar. I moved in here after the first place I was caretaking for a friend was sold. I inherited a brand new Craftsman garden tractor, a good pressure washer and some other tools from my friend. I had taken care of his property along the river during and after the flood and had cleared enough of the overgrown areas (by hand mostly) to show potential buyers what a beautiful place it really was. I’d have bought it in a heartbeat if I could have figured out HOW! The new owners are very happy.

    The hangar I’m in now was quite run-down, but it’s got beautiful bones. There are high ceilings and tall windows full of sky... there’s a beautiful view straight down runway 27… It’s an INFINITE view of the western sky. The sunsets are FABULOUS! I begin a restoration process and start getting the place fixed up, only somewhat hampered by a rotator cuff torn in the move. I take over all the mowing (with my brand new mower!) and start cleaning up the overgrown areas. It’s a gorgeous piece of property. I just LOVE it!

    Some people can’t understand why I’d do all this work on a place that’s not my own. It’s very simple really. It’s JUST SO BEAUTIFUL here! I LOVE this place with the beautiful old oaks draped in Spanish moss... I LOVE the wild and beautiful river I can walk to... I am amazed at the sight of endangered birds so unthreatened, I can practically reach out my arm and touch fingertip to wingtip… I watch an eagle drop down from a mile overhead and steal a huge bass from an osprey. I walk outside my door and see a very rare and seldom seen Florida panther… Standing stock still, we gaze into each other’s eyes for one infinite moment before the huge cat looks away and silently leaps into the woods. The night sky is swimming in stars and I am accompanied by a symphony of a thousand voices of nightingales and owls, ten thousand happy frogs and lovesick gators calling across a distant swamp. There’s no sound of traffic other than the occasional airplane taking off or flying around the pattern fixing to return to earth.

    If these wonderful people weren’t LETTING me live on their property, I might have to move back into the CITY and have to live in some run-down crowded place it takes me three jobs to PAY for. I’ll work my ass off and be glad for every MINUTE they LET me stay here. I feel like the luckiest person on the PLANET!

    I continue studying my flying books and take every opportunity to learn everything I can. I figure if I keep studying and saving my $$, then maybe someday I’ll be able to find an instructor and find out for myself what its REALLY like to learn to fly. I’ve been up a number of times in several of the small planes in the neighborhood (and one helicopter too!). During the fly-ins, there’s usually some opportunity to catch a ride.

    I take care of horses for some nice folks down the road while they head out on various adventures. One day while I’m out mowing, they’re flying in alongside of the field I’m working in and offer me a ride in their sweet little SUPERCUB!! Naturally, I jump RIGHT in! I want to fly SO bad. There’s something inside me that just ACHES for the sky. My goal is to pass the knowledge test, then, MAYBE, I’ll be able to take the next step.

    I don’t know how I’m going to do it, only that I am. At least IN MY DREAMS I’ll be flying for SURE and won’t have to worry about getting LOST!

    I find an old kite and hold it up into the wind. I let it go and hold onto the string and study how it behaves as the string slides through my fingers. I sit on the fence by the runway for hours at a time, head tilted back, eyes cast UP. I watch birds. I listen to the sounds of various planes flying the pattern and memorize the sounds of engines throttling back as they begin their graceful glide back to earth.

    I watch as a small homebuilt light sport aircraft nears completion and watch as the pilot take it out of the hangar for the very first time to steer an un-familiar tail-wheel down the runway when no others are around. His head pokes over the top of an open cockpit, his brow is furrowed in concentration. I watch his level of skill on the ground quickly improve as he practices for his tail-wheel endorsement.

    I watch hundreds of take-off rolls and an equal number of gravity defying moments, I hold my breath each time until there is nothing but blue sky behind each set of wings growing smaller in the distance. Each graceful bird disappears from view and eventually returns home. The annual touch landing contest and picnic approaches. In the days leading up to the big day, every pilot in the neighborhood with time to spend conducts a series of touch and goes. I help set up tables and wash off chairs.

    Coming UP next... The Annual Fly-in, Spot Landing and Flour bombing contest!! (and how I finally get to FLY an airplane for the very first time!!)

  30. #30
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    I'm FLYING!!!

    A Consolidated Vultee Valiant BT-13 ROARS straight toward me and tips a wing over my head as I step outside the hangar on the morning of the fly-in. Who needs coffee? I’m awake NOW!

    There’s a collection of aircraft flying in the pattern and others gathering on the field. A spot landing contest takes place at the other end of the runway. Another pilot briefing and the flour bombing begins. I listen to a conversation about using doors in place of ailerons to bank a plane around a turn. There’s a bit of organized chaos as all the fair representatives of Aeronca, Beechcraft, Cessna, Piper, and miscellaneous other manufacturers are lined up around the field.

    Fires are burning under the trees and the sweet smoky smell of barbecuing meat drifts through the air. The tables in the clubhouse are sway-backed with the weight of covered hot dishes, assorted cold salads and a multitude of family secret recipes. The coolers are chock full of icy cold beverages and the men have once again, expertly tapped the keg. There’ll not be much more flying today.

    I wander away from the conversations and walk among the airplanes, looking through the windows at the unfamiliar array of instruments and the strange looking knobs and controls. Every time I’d previously been in one of these things, my eyes had been riveted outside rather than in. Silently, I’d be drinking in a view too big for words, getting me an eyeful to dream upon long after returning to earth. These are strange looking birds when they’re perched on the ground. I wander back to the crowd and look for an interesting place to pull up a chair.

    This is a wonderful group of people. They are warm, intelligent and funny. These are folks who have been friends and neighbors for many years. The couples have remained happily together for decades. I think there must be something in the water. There are a lot of shared memories. I love listening to the pilots talk “shop”.

    A few people have flown in to check out a house and hangar across the street that’s up for sale. A lone pilot in a Cessna 140 shows concern about the rising cumulous clouds building up under the afternoon sun, concerned about a bumpy ride home. I offer the use of my guest room if he’d like to remain over-night. He accepts, much preferring the smooth sailing of the early morning and offers a flight at dawn in return.

    The fires burn down to ashes, the leftovers are packed up, the chairs are all stacked up and a dedicated few make sure the keg is thoroughly empty as per the sacred neighborhood covenant. I take my new friend for a ride in the golf cart down to the river to watch the fish chase the gators and make it back to the hangar just before the skeeters come out. The pilot has a good time climbing up the shelves in my library finding a vintage collection of science fiction titles that he’d never run across before.

    Come morning, a thick blanket of fog has completely hidden the runway and obscured the remaining aircraft parked on the field overnight. I can barely see the huge war-bird parked less than a hundred feet from my door. I cook up some fresh eggs (having been personally acquainted with the chickens that laid ‘em) and we wait for the fog to burn off. The pilot calls flight briefing for a weather report and checks the batteries in his GPS. As visibility improves, he walks outside to conduct other preflight checks.

    It’s a beautiful little airplane that he’s flying. It’s a gorgeous 1946 rag-wing Cessna-140 with a custom paint job that he’d spent two full years of his life recovering and restoring to airworthiness. Soon, we can see the end of the runway again and the sky is clear and blue for miles and miles.

    We climb into the little plane and line up on the end of the runway after getting settled in and conducting a final pre-flight check. The trees at the end of the runway grow rapidly before my eyes until suddenly we are UP and the trees start getting smaller again as we leave them behind and well underneath us. I feel a peculiar combination of blissful calm and excitement. I just LOVE it up here!

    A voice in the headphones brings me back inside the cockpit. “OK, see those pedals down on the floor? Put your feet on those (they’re called rudders). Put your hands on this thing here… we call that a yoke”. I re-arrange myself and feel the motion of the little plane through my hands and feet. The voice in the headphones returns, “You’re flying the plane now”.

    I’m flying the plane? Really??? Oh WOW! I can’t believe it! Sure enough, the pilot is grinning at me, hands and feet completely off the controls! The voice in the headphones tells me how to make a few basic maneuvers and I follow a heading toward a nearby small public airport. I turn in a wide circle outside of the pattern before heading back to the neighborhood and begin descending to pattern altitude before turning the controls back over to the pilot in command. I have flown a little over 30 nautical miles!

    Back on the ground again, I can scarcely contain myself. I turn cartwheels across the field and can’t stop grinning. I get excited all over again, every time I realize what I have just done. I spend the rest of the day looking up to the sky for a glimpse of my heart which is still soaring around up there somewhere.

    The pilot heads home with a handful of my books and a promise to bring them back along with another chance to fly someday.

    Gravity (which I am convinced is a fluctuating force on this planet) barely keeps my feet on the ground for the rest of the day.



    *****************************

    Coming next: Broken wings upon the ground, and an answer to the age old question; “100LL - An effective herbicide?”

  31. #31
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    Whoo-Hooo!! Hour TWO!

    Feets back on the ground again... Only just a leetle bit wobbly Just got back down from HOUR TWO in the log book Up in a '46 Aeronca CHAMP with a pilot (and CFI) with over 45,000 HOURS! He taught me how to do a Dutch Roll and took me up and over in a LOOP All kinds of crazy sideways turns, some slow mushy flight and my very first STALL , SPIN and recovery No flaps on this bird, so also experienced SKIDDING to lose some altitude and finished it all off with a nice smooth landing.

    WHOO-HOO!!

  32. #32
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    The day before the fly-in, I had finally gotten a computer hooked up to the internet again. I lost the computer that survived the flood to a lightning strike that was contained within a hurricane feeder band. I was given another computer by a friend with a spare, but hadn’t bothered to hook it up to the Internet for quite awhile. Frankly, I didn’t have time for it. It was a full time job keeping the other property continually ready to be shown during the height of the real estate boom and the grass short enough for all the folks that showed up in less than sensible shoes to walk the acreage down to the river.

    We’re too far out of town to have many options other than dial-up. I could run laps around the property waiting for pages to load. The only option for high-speed Internet cost more than I wanted to pay, but I finally decided to go for it after getting somewhat settled into the hangar, reasoning that there would be so much more I could do with the TIME! (Sure, you can build that thing with hand tools, but power tools… oh YEAH!) Well, NOW I’ve discovered a whole ‘nuther flight training tool… There’s a TON of information on-line! Within days, I’ve signed up for a six month trial membership to AOPA and have earned my “Pinch Hitter” certificate. I take a bunch of safety quizzes trying to win a chance for a free radio (STILL trying!). I read my books, conduct research on-line and continue watching the activities around the airport, trying to learn whatever I can and hope that my new friend with the C-140 is a fast reader so he’ll come back and let me fly his plane again.

    A few days after the fly-in, I hear the guy across the way trying to hand-prop the engine of the little homebuilt sport plane that had been displayed at the fly-in, but not flown (still awaiting final inspection and other red tape). After several attempts, the prop is spinning and the pilot heads down the runway for some high speed taxi practice. He’s gotten pretty good on the ground by now, nary a wobble as he heads down the runway at a tails-up level attitude. Down toward the end of the runway, something happens… A sudden gust perhaps? A momentary loss of control?? I’m STILL trying to figure out what happened.

    All of a sudden, he’s veered OFF to the right and is in the air jumping over a fence and quickly gaining altitude and climbing OVER some trees. He’s FLYING!! OH my God. I don’t think this was a PLANNED flight! He circles around at a fairly low altitude for a couple of turns and then he gets into the pattern. I’m sitting on the gate outside my back door watching the whole thing. The plane is out of sight behind the tree line to the East of the runway. I hear the engine approach and suddenly, the plane is visible again just barely over the tops of the trees lined up for final approach. This does NOT look good. He’s coming in TOO low, mere INCHES off the top of the hangar. The cats lolling around jump up and RUN out of the way and I jump OFF the fence I’m sitting on with a “Holy $%#&! ______ !” He MISSES the top of the hangar and not being perfectly lined up with the base of the runway, applies a little MORE POWER and executes a perfectly executed GO-AROUND!!

    Okay, I’m shaking now (and the cats are no-where to be seen). I watch as he circles the pattern again and STAND over next to the gate to watch him come in over the trees. Ah yes… THERE he is again. MUCH better lined up with the end of the runway this time... But OH NO! He’s sinking like a STONE!!! The wings are tearing through the trees! I leap off to the side as his landing gear catches in the gate I was just leaning on. The gate SWINGS around with the plane on it and what’s left of the other wing is caught in the other gate. There is a sudden deafening silence and a STRONG odor of aviation fuel. I run over to the plane… Staring into his eyes over the top of the open cockpit, I ask, “Are you ALRIGHT?!?” He nods and answers simply, “I think so”. I give him a hand and assist him out of the wreckage. He walks with me away from what's left of the plane and the growing puddle of fuel in the weeds. The steel gate is destroyed, but it probably just saved his life. There’s a fairly deep culvert just beyond he likely would have gone nose first into, flipping the plane over onto it’s open cockpit if the gate had not caught him first, both absorbing the shock of impact and keeping him upright.

    A few months previously, I’d observed an interesting phenomenon on the runway. It had been a hot summer day and heat waves were rising from the asphalt. An afternoon rain storm blew in from the West. The sun was still shining behind me as the storm approached and rain started falling on the other end of the runway. Steam rose off the hot surface and was stirred up by the wind accompanying the storm.

    The human eye has a tendency to connect the dots. It’s a survival mechanism of the species… keeping eyes open for predators blending into the dark shadows...

    As the wind stirred up all this steam rising off the runway with the sun still shining, I suddenly saw ANGELS! A whole legion of angels dancing on the runway… Wings swept back, swirling all around, faces tilted back into the light ANGELS! I watched spellbound until the rain finally cooled off the hot tarmac and the angels disappeared from the visible realm. I still think about all those angels on the runway. Today I am convinced it was not an illusion. There ARE angels on the runway.

    If you look at the avatar on the left side of the page, you’ll see the post at the end of the fence line that used to support the second half of that gate. There’s a spot on the ground to the left where the weeds no longer grow. 100LL is indeed a very effective herbicide but I would not recommend the application process. I’m STILL picking up little bitty pieces of hand-stitched wings.

    No emoticons today... I'm ready for an adult beverage NOW. I'll be BACK... Later!!

  33. #33
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    Flew cross country in the SUPERCUB this morning! Taxiing through the trees and down the runway is getting much easier. There was a moderate cross wind component on the departure runway and winds aloft to familiarize me with crab angles during ground reference work. Got to aviate, navigate and communicate and we landed on a grass runway about 24 NM away from home. I think I handled a good portion of the take-off from the grass after we'd wandered around the FBO for a few minutes. (didn't feel TOO much imput on the controls from the back seat). Got back home! An absolutely gorgeous day. Flew around with open windows

    Books arrived in the today's mail. My very own copy of "Stick and Rudder" so I can return the copy of the one I've been borrowing and "The Compleat Taildragger Pilot"... Both books (used and reasonably priced) are in absolutely pristine condition.

    Gonna go read some. MIGHT fly tomorrow if it's not too windy

  34. #34
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    It's all backwards!

    Another day of firsts today. Taxied a '61 Piper Cherokee around the corner to put into another hangar... up and down the runway for practice, but not flown. My first time with a LOW wing , a HAND brake and a wheel on the NOSE instead of on the tail where it natcherly belongs It was really strange... Plus, there was a YOKE in front of me instead of a stick! Looks like the Supercub (and the Champ) is gonna have me ruint for life

    I will tell you though, I did feel like Penny at the Flying Crown for a minute whilst climbing on that wing to get inside.
    Good thing I was wearing my cowboy hat!

  35. #35
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    Plus, there was a YOKE in front of me instead of a stick! Looks like the Supercub (and the Champ) is gonna have me ruint for life
    It is true that Cubs and Champs are more fun... and in many applications, more useful (my personal ride is an L-21B), but when the winds in Alaska get to 40 kts. plus, the Cubs, Champs, and most Cessna high wings remain tied down while the durable old Cherokees are still at work. I've learned to respect these old designs... there's a reason that they are still around after many years. Most airplanes, high wing or low wing, have valuable lessons just waiting to be taught to an observant student.

  36. #36
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    Thanks for your reply skagwaypilot Also many thanks for your recommendation of The Compleat Taildragger Pilot... very well written and highly informative! On my second read now. I'm a long way from flying anything other than a kite on those windy days...

    Ironically, the '61 Cherokee is the most modern aircraft I've ever handled! The owner says it's like flying a magic carpet... handles easily and is nearly impossible to stall. I found an interesting article about William Thomas Piper published in Time magazine in the same year (the year the Cherokee debuted at a brand new Vero Beach, FL facility) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...828739,00.html

    The Supercub I'm learning in is a 1955 90hp SC, the Champ is a 1946 (7AC), The C-140 was built in 1946 (does have a yoke) and I've also flown a very rare 1946 Commonwealth Sky Ranger. All tail-draggers... I find the Supercub (Scott tail-wheel) the easiest to taxi. The C-140 was the first... that first time taxiing was REALLY interesting ... dunno what kind of tail-wheel it has, but I suspect it's not a Scott... nope, just found out it is, just handles differently for some reason, or mebbe it's just me! Learning! The nose-wheel felt strange to me... I know it's supposed to be simpler, but the SC just seems easier and natural even with a more complicated route through trees. Go figure... Do you think I'll need a special endorsement in my log-book to transition TO nose-wheel?

  37. #37
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    Just remember... each airplane can teach you many things... they can teach you far more than that what is contained in your instructor's syllabus. You are getting a very good start - your experiences include a broad cross-section of aircraft.
    Your writings tell me that you have excellent powers of observation. Put those skills to work. Think about the characteristics of each aircraft.
    For example, the 90 hp SC wants to fly and will do so quickly if lightly loaded. That's great for getting into the air... but the C-140 will teach you a lot about the skills needed to guide a taildragger down the runway until it is ready to lift off.
    By flying different types of aircraft, you'll find that there are additional lessons to be learned which are embedded within your lessons.
    Do you think I'll need a special endorsement in my log-book to transition TO nose-wheel?
    I'd request that endorsement from your instructor - I'd be very proud of it! In fact, I'd point it out to the examiner when I took my Private Pilot Check Ride!

  38. #38
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    Witnessing (and very nearly tangled up in) a CRASH within days of my first time at the controls has kept me VERY interested in learning how to be a GOOD pilot! Fortunately, I am in an excellent place to learn. My literary friend with the C-140 returns to the fly-in library at Hangar One and takes me flying again. He is not a CFI, so I can’t log the hours and there are certain maneuvers he can’t let me do in his plane, but the experience is invaluable.

    He encourages me in other invaluable ways too. First, he shows me that I don’t have to be some sort of millionaire in order to fly… Yes, it does take money (How much? ALL of it apparently), but it’s doable if you are willing. He gave up pretty much everything in his life that wasn’t absolutely necessary in order to be able to fly. Every time he made a choice to NOT spend cash on something that wasn’t absolutely necessary, he put the money into a special account earmarked for flying… Every time he didn’t make an impulse purchase, didn’t go out to eat, didn’t go to the bar, etc… the money went into the flying fund. I see what this kind of personal discipline can accomplish. I see it flying and I see it tied down right outside the window. I climb inside it and put my hand and feet on the controls and learn to fly straight and level heading on-course.

    Hmmm… luckily I don’t have the shopping gene, but hey! I can give up smoking! Thirty years of non-filter Camels and American Spirits… I quit! That’ll buy a LOT of aviation fuel! Four months, ten days and counting Motivation, what a concept! Opportunities come my way… now I’m thinking how much flying time they can bring instead of cash I don’t necessarily care much about... but another hour in the air? Oooh whee! Now we’re talking I contacted an aviation magazine with an idea for a story. Much to my surprise, the editor calls me up and I am assigned the story. My first published article in a national publication! Cover AND full page centerfold (ooh la la!). My first PAID writing assignment! The money goes directly into MY flying fund… earmarked for my first official flying lesson (or two) and my very own log book.

    It is suggested to me that it’s better to have enough money available to be able to go from introductory to check ride as quickly as possible as this will be more economical than a more haphazard approach spread out over a longer period of years or more. I probably have enough in savings to earn my private pilot certificate if I work my ass off, but don’t want to be broke when I’m done or else it will have been a pointless endeavor (got the license, can’t afford to use it!) so I TRY to be patient and keep studying in the meantime.

    I’m NOT all that patient. The more I fly, the more I want to fly some more. There are a number of CFI’s around, but I don’t have a plane… I DO have an old Subaru engine and some wood and a bunch of fabric, a handful of assorted wheels and a few cans of old airplane dope but no A&P certificate either, so scratch THAT idea…

    One of my neighbors offers to take me up in his Champ someday… sez “I’m a CFI, go get you a log book and I’ll endorse it for you”. Whoo-eee!! I order one on-line immediately and it arrives before all the holiday rush The pilot is a pretty busy guy… our local FAA examiner in fact… then it’s the holidaze upon us again! The little Champ stays in the hangar, the pilot too busy for flying.

    SO it’s a while for me staring at the blank pages trying to be patient… NOT smoking… saving up the nickels and dimes… all the while studying the books, trying to learn the sky and dreaming while I can.

    There’s another instructor in the neighborhood… one I’d love to learn from as well… Excellent piloting skills, a good temperament for teaching… MAYBE with a little more time for a student… I respect the hell out of him, he’s SERIOUS… but I’m afraid to ask… plus there’s that matter of not having my own plane… that issue of insurance… How the heck can I do this? There are no planes for “rent” here. Obviously, finding something to solo in is going to be an issue, but PERHAPS it might be possible to get in some of those duel hours or maybe just an introductory flight? The blank white pages of my empty log book mock me until finally I get up the nerve. I’ve been working for this man and his wife, taking care of their horses and keeping an eye on the place whenever they are called out of town for awhile. Next time they want to pay me, I ask if they’d be willing to swap for some time in the SUPERCUB! To my everlasting surprise, gratitude and utter total unmitigated happiness, they say “Sure!” and here I am now with about ten hours total time (all in tail-draggers), three hours of which are logged and getting ready for my next lesson on the morning after tomorrow

    Life is VERY good.



    Dreaming is SWEET!

  39. #39
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    Building Hours

    1.8 more hours logged today... CC procedures, s-turns, turns around a point (found a nice little sink-hole to circle)... Flew into a rather busy GA airport, filled up both wings with 100LL and went shopping at the FBO for a new sectional, E6-B flight computer and practical test standards book. Since all of that was about the going rate for a hamburger, had some vending machine crackers for lunch instead On the return trip, did some power on and power off stalls and recoveries Looks like I might be doing some additional training in the Cherokee 140 so maybe I will be getting that nosewheel endorsement after all. Looking for a TD to rent to solo in at some point (pretty tough to find). Does anyone have any ideas? What about Flying Clubs? Any of these have TD's? Can you join as a student pilot?? How do I find a list of clubs in my area? (not much luck searching on-line) How much of a plane do I have to own in order to be able to insure myself if I go fractional? I've probably got enough set aside for a prop and some landing gear... maybe even some wing tips As much as I'd really like to continue all my training in a tail-dragger, the insurance issue really IS a bear. I hear that rates climbed up quite sharply after 9/11. Just full of questions today!

  40. #40

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    Saving enough to go from intro to check ride.

    dreamer, From an efficiency standpoint having enough money to go directly to the check ride is probably correct. My life didn't work out that way. I went from $ to $ and hour to hour. I purchased a Cessno 140 and paid cash. I took my chances and purchased liability only. No regrets. It has worked out fine.

    It took me nearly two years to get my private ticket. Which is longer than it could have taken, but it has it's benefits too. Your experience is over a longer period of time, weather, seasons, etc. I believe I have five instructor endorsements to private ticket. I learned something different from each one of them. Conversely I knew a guy that learned to fly in thirty days in Southern California off of mostly one airport, from mostly one instructor, in mostly one airplane. Moved to another state, bought a different airplane and wrecked it. He didn't know about soft, off airport, wind, uneven terrain, etc. He purchased another airplane, full insturments, concrete runways, etc, etc. He got into some other, not unusual for this country, conditions and wrecked another one. It ended his flying career. The point is, his breadth of experience wasn't adequate. My advice is to save your nickels and dimes, sleep well, and enjoy the ride.

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