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Thread: What Could POSSIBLY Go Wrong?

  1. #41
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Disgustedly, I turned away from Vincent’s angry and mostly unintelligible ranting about his love life. My sympathy had been just about completely exhausted YESTERday at this time whilst listening to the story for the tenth or twelfth time already. With no little effort I tried to plaster a welcoming smile on my face and greet my new customers with SOME amount of genuine warmth and hospitality.

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    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  2. #42
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    Chapter Four - An Offer I Couldn't Refuse

    Thirty minutes later the bar is for the moment empty. Vincent has been taken to the hotel to it off yet again. The boss called the owner of the cab company and convinced him it would be in his and his driver’s best interests to transport Vincent. Elsewise if we couldn’t rely on HIS company we’d have to start one of our OWN tomorrow. Given that my boss wasn’t known to make IDLE threats a cab arrived within 90 seconds of the conversation’s end. Likewise the two lovers in the corner both were “encouraged” to find more secluded surroundings to continue pursuing their passions as their rate of beer consumption was no longer deemed to be economically suitable for us to ignore their increasingly brazen exhibition. :P

    The boss comes back in and sits on the end of the bar. He and I both drink coffee at the rate of two or more gallons a day so I pour him and I a fresh cup. And then, as he has so often in the past, he floors me with a one sentence statement out of the blue. This time it was “Find out where Hood River, Oregon is and figure out how soon you can get there if you catch the morning Wein jet tomorrow.”

    Equally as deadpan I return with “And WHY would I be wanting to go to Hood River, Oregon tomorrow, if I might ask.” Brantley (the boss) responds with “I’m buying a plane down there.”
    With a little too much enthusiasm I come back with “Whoa! Al-l-lRIGHT! Whatcha’ GETtin’?” He tells me “A cub.” “Wow! You’re gettin’ a SuperCub?!?! How many horses?”

    He then explains he’s got his eye on a straight Cub. A-80-8 65h.p. Continental engine and no electrical system. About as basic as it gets. Wrapped up in his detailed description about how he found it (Trade-a-Plane) and his phone conversations with the owner, it takes me a few minutes to get to the obvious question. He’s buying the plane. He’s a private pilot. What am I going to go there for, to inspect it first?

    Brant then tells me it’s all but a done deal, but he wants me, with my far greater experience with small aircraft to go inspect it. Buy it if it’s good and then FLY IT HOME!

    WHOOPS! Did you say FLY the damn thing back HERE from Hood River Oregon! “In CASE you hadn’t NOticed my friend....I recently gave UP flying” I reminded him.

    In essence my friend/employer Brantley had decided FOR me that it was time for me to get back on the bronc that had throwed me. He knew (I guess) better than I, that the time was right. If it wasn’t done soon I might truly never be able to overcome my apprehensions. He WANTED to buy a plane anyway and had been thinking about it. He was interested in becoming a more accomplished and capable pilot, even to the point of getting his instrument rating.

    As a very low-time private pilot only at this point, he felt the Cub would be a good time builder and could maybe well be modified in the future to be more capable. In the meantime, buying it would enable him to force me back in the air where he was fairly sure I belonged. It wasn’t the first time he had pushed me in a direction he had FORESEEN I needed to go , nor would it be the last. He was usually right too, which made him even that much MORE irritating to me from time to time.

    Nonetheless I continued feeble arguments. What about my OTHER job. Oh. He had already talked to the store owners (also pilots, remember?) and they thought it was a great idea so they would grant me the time off until I got back. Well....I allow as how I’m STILL not too sure about my flying again. Brantley then tells me if I wish to remain in his employ....THIS was the deal. The money was XXX dollars a day cash plus expenses ‘til I rolled back into town with his new toy. Still I told him...and I WAS....genuinely unsure.

    “Okay.....” he sez, and I watch the wheels turning in his head. “How about I let you take Selena along?” “Say WHAT!” I respond incredulously. Now, KNOWing he’s finally hooked me, he reels me in with “Yeah. Oh-KAY! I’ll let you take Selena along and pay her ticket and expenses too and you GO!”. DAMN! “No WAY I can turn THAT down. You got a DEAL!” Be on the plane in the morning was all he said to close the deal.

    Think of the greatest torrid and tempestuous love affairs of history. Tony and Cleo, Liz and Dick, Ike and Tina....then there was CloudDancer and Selena!

    Selena was....a BABE. Our first meeting set the stage for the entire relationship for life. Seeing her walk into the room unexpectedly our eyes met and the EARTH MOVED. Va-VA-VOOOM!
    At that precise moment I KNEW this female was going to be among the MOST significant in my life. Immediately out of my mouth sprang a typical sway-vee and de-boner CloudDancer “line”. These usually guarantee to overwhelm and smitten ANY female within hearing distance. Rather than the expected blush and swooning in response I was told I’d stand a FAR better chance of performing an act I assumed was anatomically impossible. E-E-E-YOUCH!! I DO admire a girl with some sass. But this girl was SO-O-O fine I couldn’t see nuthin’. Including the freight train that was about to run me down.

    For the last four years....our relationship had been.... well it alternated back and forth between a Kotzebue version of “I Love Lucy” and a fire in a munitions factory . I often described it as an amusement park carousel. Where you just go round and round.....and round....and the horses they go up ‘n down ‘n up ‘n down but NEVER together side by side. If one’s UP the other is DOWN! Selena and CloudDancer. Boy. Did we deFINE a love-hate relationship!

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

    We-e-ell. Thas' about eNUFF for my first day back at the scribin' board.
    Hope you good folks are gettin' re-warmed up to the story line. Hopefully i'll get to some AIRplane stuff tamale...afore i gotta' go and churn up the skies for four-and-a-half days.

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  3. #43
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    Chapter Five -


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    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  4. #44
    Mathew Sharp's Avatar
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    Man that is good stuff! I can't wait to hear about the trip to Hood River, Or! Some of my old stomping grounds!

    I'll be ordering books!

    Matt

  5. #45
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    Hiya' Matt -

    And THANX for the vote of encouragement! Not having done any OH-ficcial scribin' since last August; it was kinda' hard to get this keyboard firing on all cylinders again.

    Still feel like she's runnin' a little rough, but I 'spect she'll smooth out here purdy quick after I burn somea' the carbon deposits offa' the plugs. I'm leanin' for peak EGT as we speak.

    Stay tuned for more. MAYbe today....but most likely not 'til the 23rd since I have to go burn some kerryseen for about four-and-a-half days starting with heading to Motor City (DTW) 2-nite.

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  6. #46
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    Hiya' EverBOdy -

    Just a breif note. Don't want ya'll to go a'thinkin' that I've decided to take another hiation....uh....hyasis.....hi-ATIS!!

    I jes' been busier than a one legged hooker in a room fulla' confessionals.

    'Spect soon I'll have a neat announcement that will make ya'll happy. But in the meantime I'll return to scribin' on this story tamale morning. Uh...
    wait a minnit. Better make that tamale AFTERnoon.

    I'm scheduled to conduct interviews for prospective cocktail waitresses at mah favorite waterin' hole this evening. Not in any real oh-FICcial capacity ya' unnerstand. I just volunteer my time as sort of a "quality control" professional. It's GOOD to volunteer.

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  7. #47
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    Chapter Six - Going to America

    A brief two hour layover at Anchorage International before boarding our Western Airlines 727 flight to Portland allowed for the continued consumption of adult beverages. We chatted with friends from Kotzebue awaiting their flight north. Their envy of our “great fortune” was obvious and we tried to appear non-gloating, :P while Brantley’s “expense” money disappeared at the rate of $10 (including tip) per round for the two of us. I do remember being outraged that a Bacardi and Coke ($4.75 ) and a Budweiser ($3.50) were priced HIGHER than at our bars in Kotzebue. And this was in 1981! But Alaska was still flowing with oil pipeline money...and prices!

    Fortunately for our trips sponsor, we were delighted to find drinks far more reasonably priced once on board the flight to Portland. At $2.50 apiece or five bucks a round with no tip allowed or required it was indeed a bargain! Selena and I worked our way through another forty bucks before the airborne “last call”.

    Given Selena’s propensity for the outrageous ; of course, I had hoped that this would be an opportunity for us to join the SIX Mile High Club. Much to my surprise (not to mention frustration ) she failed to share my enthusiasm for that proposal. Worse yet, under some newly erupted outbreak of apparent prudishness , she informed me that my alternative proposal to “just mess around a little bit in our seats under the blankets” , marked me as some kind of “sex maniac”. Well.....harrumph! Like that’s a ...BAD thing! “Oh stewardess! Two more, please!”

    Giggling and stumbling out the forward exit of the trusty Boeing three-holer we bade our Western hostesses a warm good-bye and thank you. Despite their best attempts at maintaining the Stewardess Academy practiced smiles and goodbye waves I couldn’t help but notice the barely disguised sighs of relief as we passed , along with a clear failure to invite us to “Come back and Fly with us again.” No sweat. I got my own way home.

    Much to my surprise our arrival at the Hertz counter was NOT like it shows in the T.V. commercials. Nobody was smiling at us.


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    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  8. #48
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    Chapter Six - cont'd

    Well, two things I know. If I have any hope of engaging in sex tonight with anyone other than myself , the path to fulfillment leads through the hotel lounge. If I don’t go she’ll go without me and this is NOT an option. Should additional alcohol consumption and dancing “do the trick” (i.e. get her in “the mood”) it would be prudent if I were nearby at the moment. Being from Alaska, one thing I know is there ain’t enough good lookin’ womens to go around. It is ALWAYS a good idea to keep close tabs. There always a “claim jumper” around somewheres who’ll be only too happy to take advantage of the slightest (even perceived on the girl’s part) lack of attentiveness (in her eyes).

    The oh-eight-hundred wake-up call from the front desk just a few hours later seems to literally impact my ear drum. My hand shoots quickly out from under the covers and bounces once, twice three times at the end of my up and down flailing arm. I blindly (my eyes are closed in pain) feel my wrist collide with what feels like a glass, knocking it off the nightstand before my right hand smacks down on one end of the phone receiver. As if the cradle were a fulcrum the receiver is launched enthusiastically upward where it collides with the lampshade and gravity takes over bringing it down on top of (eyes open now....barely) the edge of the furniture from whence it falls off. It disappears going downward and falls out of my line of sight as it passes below mattress level. This is instantly followed by the sound of breaking (cheap) glass indicating the final and complete resting stop of the receiver. I pull my head sideways off the bed to get a look. The receiver lays on it’s side amidst broken glass shards and about a good 8 inch circular area of the cheap shag carpet now soaked in stale Bacardi ‘n Coke.

    Through the jungle of green and aqua and blue carpet fibers I can hear, as if far far away, a perky female recorded voice is inviting me to sample “our every day fresh twenty-two item breakfast buffet”. Oh......GOD.

    In an instant my brain spools up as I remember where I am and that I am on a mission. I have a one P.M. meeting with a Mr. Jeremy Rogers in Hood River, Oregon. ....(Pause.) CAR! Dammit! I still have to go get a CAR too! Okay. I find my watch and see it is seven-thirty in the morning! No. Wait. I’m in Portland. Did I reset my watch? WHAT the hell time IS it?? What time did I leave a wake-up call for? Carefully I reach down and extract the phone receiver from the mess on the floor. I eye it carefully to assure there are no glass shards present before wiping it back and forth a few time on the bedsheet to sorta’ dry it off.

    I dial “zero” and wait it seems for EVER for an answer. Must’ve been a good ninety seconds. After ascertaining the correct time (eight-thirty) I ask the nice perky girl on the phone (could this be the same one from the wake-up recording?) if she knows how long it takes to drive to Hood River, Oregon. She said “I’m not sure. Do you know how far away it is?” I thanked her politely and said goodbye. Still grasping the phone in my left hand, I reach behind me under the covers and grab Selena firmly by the uppermost (she’s sleeping on her side) naked (did we HAVE sex?) buttcheek. She is snoring and I shake her gently at first and then continually harder until the snoring stops.

    As I’m doing this I move my left hand (holding the phone receiver) over the cradle and release my grip. The receiver remains firmly pasted to my open left palm by the now tried sticky Coke. I shake my left hand gently while still shaking Selena even more insistently. Her snoring has stopped and been replaced by a moaning that sounds eerily reminiscent of some werewolf movie soundtrack.

    As the phone receiver finally separates from my left hand, Selena’s moaning abruptly ceases. See, she’s not really much of a morning person. Sober OR hung over. I feel her left hand grasping mine and her nails grip the outside of my right hand brutally. JEEEEZUS! “What the.....” As she throws it as hard as she can off her body she offers her morning greeting. “KEEP your ****ing hands OFF me you son-of-a-bitch!”

    Okay. I’m guessing the was no sex last nite. I sit up carefully in bed watching the placement of my feet to ensure I don’t lacerate the bottom of either one. My head hurts. I think my EYElashes are actually THROBBING. Is that even possible. I have four and a half hours to rouse my “sleeping beauty” (without getting hurt in the process) and get some desperately needed breakfast. Then I need to rent a car. Figure out where the hell other than “east of here” Hood River Oregon actually is, and then find the house of one Mister Jeremy Rogers. I shake my head a little to clear it. Bad idea. I rise slowly and carefully to my feet noting that I have a morning woodie. Briefly I toy with the idea of sliding back under the covers and trying to awaken Selena by poking her in a different manner. Still not to clear on the events of the latter part of the evening, and given the ferocity of her morning “greeting” (two small droplets of blood are leaking out of the top of my right hand) I choose to retreat to the bathroom. I turn the shower on full cold.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  9. #49
    Pokette's Avatar
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    more cloudy more.... but you probably hear that a lot!

  10. #50
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    Okay. Oh-KAY! I'm co...er...IT'S COMING! IT'S COMING!!

    CD
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  11. #51
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    Chapter Seven -

    Three hours later (the majority of which was spent motivating Selena to face the day ) I am cruising eastward on I-84 in my rented Chrysler LeBaron. What. You think I’d rent a Chevy Geo on somebody else’s tab? :P

    After enduring the 20 minute long ordeal of first rousting my traveling companion I then suffered through the agonizingly drawn out period required for her to “get ready” (1:10). The productive portion of the day started off with a great breakfast at Elmers. Following that I dropped Selena (who had absolutely NO interest in airplanes ) at the largest closeby shopping mall. My initial offer of two hundred dollars to “shop with” was met by a lukewarm and tepid response , with no indication of even a forthcoming I immediately kicked in another C-note. After all, I still had hopes that we might overcome last night’s disagreement (whatever it might have been ) and resume our normal “can’t keep our hands OFF each other” relationship sometime soon. Very soon. That produced a nice smile, a kiss (no tongue though), and a caution to drive carefully.

    Now with the cruise control set, and my seat slightly reclined, I gaze to the left and enjoy the view of beauty and splendor that is the Columbia Gorge. Once east (upwind) of Camas, Wa. and the putrid smell of the papermill a sweet scent of clean air roars through the cabin of the LeBaron as I choose 4-60 fresh air conditioning over the manufactured breeze of the car’s system. And for the first time in many month’s I cast my gaze upward with a real genuine interest.

    The sky cover is scattered to broken at what I guess to be three to four thousand feet above the ground. I feel my airman senses trying to awaken. What are the trees beside the road saying about the winds close to the ground. I try to judge the movement of a cloud nearby the sun to compare to what the trees are telling me. There is the possibility I may actually fly a plane again today. Am I UP to it?
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  12. #52
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    Chapter Seven - cont'd

    The miles roll by effortlessly under the big Chrysler’s chassis and I revel in the feel of being in command of the big machine on such a pleasant stretch of road. The feeling is a surreal and mostly unattainable one where I come from. If you added all the gravel “roads” end to end in Kotzebue, inCLUDing the one out to the old Air Force site, they MIGHT total ten miles. I doubt it. The only chance to experience such a feeling in Kotzebue would be to take a new car straight off the airplane from Anchorage. And for about 15 seconds after reaching 65 miles per hour you could set the cruise control and enjoy the ride. It would then be necessary to quickly apply the brakes so as not to run off the other end....of the RUNWAY! I know. We’ve been known to do it many a time in both our cars and with our dirt bikes in days gone by.

    Bridal Veil passes by and then the town of Dodson. A cautious “position check” on the Texaco map and I come to a quick agreement with the sign ahead to the right. Hood River - 25 miles.

    I will be well early. My plan. In the days before “MapQuest” and Google Earth I always allowed extra time to “temporarily misPLACE myself”. This, even though Mr. Rogers had supplied me with explicit and very clear directions to his house, which I had copied as carefully as any airborne clearance. We (Jeremy and I) had engaged in a most enjoyable “get acquainted” conversation over the phone earlier whilst my darling had conducted her morning rituals.

    Jeremy’s accurate directions brought me a couple of miles south of I-84 and directly to a mailbox marked “Rogers” at the end on a long gravel drive where I stopped and consulted my watch to find I was 20 minutes early. A glance up the long and curved gravel drive revealed just a glimpse of the corner of one building that appeared from this distance (about 200 yards) to be a house.

    Not wishing to be too early I decided to cruise a little down the road and drink in the rare and enjoyable wooded scenery. I let the car idle along at six or seven miles an hour and looked ahead where the redwood pole fence bordering his property seemed to stretch for miles ahead into the distance. Brief partial flashes of buildings and a tractor and a couple of horses peep in and out of view for the first 100 yards or so. Then it seemed that a cleared area was just thirty or forty yards on the other side of the trees for quite some time.

    The odometer said I’d rolled closed to three/tenths of a mile when a larger gap in the trees revealed a cleared area and...a WINDsock! I looked ahead and still the fence ran on at LEAST as far as I had idled along so far. Wow! His own AIRstrip! This dude must be RICH! The fence ended another 4/10th's of a mile down the road. Ni-i-ice JOINT. Reversing course I idled back to the driveway to find my watch now reading about 11 ‘til the hour so I turned in. I figured if I hit the front porch at nine ‘til that would be pretty respectable.

    The slam of my car door must have been heard inside since before I could cover the ten yards to the front door of the sprawling ranch house the screen door opened. A nice stoutly built fella’ emerged with a welcoming smile and said "Mr. CloudDancer, I presume” sticking out a right hand in friendly greeting. ‘’Jus’ call me Cloudy” was my reply as I stuck my hand into a calloused and working man’s firm grip. I liked his handshake. Firm with a look straight in my eye and a smile in his.

    Refusing his offer of lunch leftovers, I accepted a glass of homemade lemonade from his wife as we sat for a few minutes inside his cavernous living room making our acquaintance. I explained my relationship with Brantley and how I’d come to be here while omitting the details of what had led to my flying hiatus. And Jeremy told me a little bit about himself and the history of the J-3.

    Seems Mr. Rogers, among a few other business interests, operated an aerial photography service. The J-3 had been the initial platform for his photographic missions but had since been replaced by a Cessna 185. What with the J-3 not getting the use needed to pay it’s own way anymore it was deemed to be “surplus” so to speak. It was apparent from the way he spoke of it that he truly loved it and was going to miss it. He loved to fly, and there was no purer flight than in the J-3. But I could tell Jeremy Rogers was also a practical sort who insisted that things be useful as well.

    Fifteen minutes into the conversation, wherein I’m quite sure he was evaluating ME as well, he extended the invitation. “Well, whaddaya’ think? Shall we go have a look a ‘er?” I took a last sip from my lemonade and jumped up excitedly. “You BET!”

    Heading out the back kitchen door revealed a view of two buildings. A separate two car garage and a much larger structure, obviously a hangar. We walked the ten intervening yards on a dirt and gravel pathway. Stopping on the concrete pad outside the entry door, as he wiped his feet, he turned to me and said ‘’Preciate you doin’ the same if you don’t mind. I try to keep it neat in here. And as he swung the white aluminum sided door inward and stepped in I looked down to do same.

    Then I looked up as I stepped inside. Whoa. At probably thirty by fifty and a good ten feet tall inside, this was SOME spread. Sunlight streaming through the many windows reflected off a gleaming dull very light grey concrete hangar floor. It was immaculate. There wasn’t even an OIL stain that I could see. Coiled yellow electric extension cords hung in formation on pegboards along with air hose lines and garden hoses. On another wall hung tools, equally symmetrically placed. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Only the wooden work tables under the tool pegboards showed signs of actual use. Everything else was pristine.

    Including the two airplanes in the center of the arena.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  13. #53
    Pokette's Avatar
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    again cloudy again...
    more cloudy more...

  14. #54
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    Chapter Eight - Back in the Saddle....Almost

    A J-3 and a 185. Does life GET any better? The two air machines sat tail by tail. Both were at first glance spotless (“and I’ll bet close to FLAWless, as well”) I think to myself. Obviously this Rogers fella’ has the dough. Obviously he has attention to detail. I expect I am going to be impressed with a closer inspection as well.

    Jeremy walks over to the nose of the J-3 and pulls the two copper cotter keys holding the cowling bottom secure and gently and gingerly opens the left side of the cowling. “Come have a close looks at ‘er” he invites.

    Ten minutes later I have poked and peered in every available orifice and portal of the airplane. There is not a spot of grease or grime anywhere. Not on the mag wiring. Not on the wheel assemblies. Not even on the floorboards in the airplane. They gleam in freshly painted glossy black paint. You can SEE yourself in the polished wooden propellor. As I lay under the tail of the airplane inspecting the underside of the tailfeathers I hear a metallic rattling sound begin and sunlight begins to pour in the hangar as Jeremy pushes first one then the second rolling hangar door to it’s open limits.

    He opines that I ought to hear the engine run to which I agree, hoping he’ll offer more. And of course he does. Telling me he never runs his engines indoors we’ll have to roll her out. And since we’re gonna’ go to all that trouble (as a slight smile begins to crease his weathered features) he continues with “after we listen to her run, since it’s so nice and all today, maybe we should take her up.” My grin goes ear to ear at this point, as I slowly and very gently resecure the open cowling. :P
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  15. #55
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Pokette -

    Why....THANK ya' DARLin'. Thank ya' ver-r-r-ry mush...

    Glad to see you're enjoying this, the last of the comedy "Chronicles" which shall compose Volume II.

    Besides...... yore written'...um....enTHUsiam.....is the next best thing tuh gettin' in onea' them fancy new fangled computerized elevators that has that sultry (automated) female voice and pushing the button for a LOWER floor. Just like you keep askin' me for "more"...I almost never hear those two words.

    But. Alas and alack. It appears that my well of creative juices has run dry yet again. All this writin' agin' all sudden-like...well...I plumb ferGOT
    proper per-SEE-dure.

    Hence I have called a cab. I need to lubercate my typin' digits some an' see if'n I can settle that liddle quiver in my liver.

    So. I'll see ya'll back here tamale.

    Same time.

    Same channel !!
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  16. #56
    Pokette's Avatar
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    so cloudy i have a question for you.
    do you have to write and re-write? maybe put some words in and then take some out, and repeat that process? or do you get it all out with one shot? Just curious about how the creative juices flow.

  17. #57
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Pokette -

    (Is there ennybuddy else OUT there??)

    In answer to yer' question.

    Yes. SUMtimes. MAYbe.

    As I've stated minnie times. "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles"(TM)....
    are TRUE stories....so help me Bacardi.

    Summa' the names have been changed to pertect the imminent.....

    Summa' the chanes have been maned to pertect the indigence.....

    %$^# !! SUMtimes I make UP names...OKAY?? I gotta' good reason!!

    Other than THAT....YES....occasionally I have two rewrite something once 'er twiced...sumtimes even THREE times before I think it is suitable for youse guys to READ.

    I am are a PILOT!. All this writing &*^% came outta'....I dunno' WHERE.
    I jus' know it makes some folks laugh and forget their cares for awhile. If by some small chance I should be blessed enough to even lighten someone else's load a smidge....for a while....

    it's a GOOD thing!

    Cloud(smoke'emifya'GOT'em)Dancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  18. #58

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    By the way speakin of smokin did you ever quit ? Oh I thinks I know the answer since that subject died long ago. Just gotta have a smoke with that liquid refreshment. That's what I always say.
    Were still out here looking for the escape that keeps given us hope.
    Thanks for your writings

  19. #59
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Eight - cont'd

    Rolling the Cub out the hangar door gives me my first clear view of Jeremy’s home airstrip. My guess of 3,000 feet was off by only 200 as the strip measured 2600 by 60 feet bordered on all sides by trees ranging as high as 30 feet. We brought the Cub to a halt alongside an old but gleaming green and yellow John Deere tractor with a towing mower latched onto it’s rear. Jeremy said it was the one with which he had cleared the strip and uprooted the over 250 tree trunks necessary to provide the clearing.

    Standing forward of the struts as he prepared to help me fold my 6' 3" frame into the front seat we both suddenly realized that we were still one control stick short of a full set of controls! Mr. Rogers, like so many other aerial photographers had removed the extra stick as a safety
    precaution long ago. Unfortunately after searching for 20 minutes or so, of all things, this was ONE item which seemed to be MISplaced. And a somewhat chagrined Jeremy asked me if I still wanted to go up. I said yes immediately. I liked the man. My gut told me he knew what he was doing. But mostly, it was a perfect day, and I wanted to FLY again. Besides, if I was gonna’ BUY the thing I needed to see her put through her paces in SOME form or another.

    Strapping in to the front seat, I manned the brakes and the mag switch and throttle. Jeremy had assured me however that I would not need to move it. With his left hand grasping the inner cockpit window frame he reached forward with his right hand and smoothly pulled downward on the propellor. Instantly the little Continental caught and burst into life. I watched the skinny black needle rise on the oil pressure gauge as Jeremy turned to me with a big grin saying “First time, EVERY time!”

    I hunched forward as he climbed in the aft seat and secured himself. Feeling his feet join mine on the brakes I heard him say ‘I got ‘er’ and slid my booted feet backwards off the small brake pedals. Jeremy let her idle for another two or three minutes, using the time to check the controls and get the door buttoned up. Like everything else on this airplane the door mechanism worked smoothly without any sign of friction or binding. A small burst of throttle and we pulled away from the buildings. The runup produced exactly the expected results and shortly we were lined up facing the far end of the strip.

    The flight was...inCREdible. Thirty minutes flew by as if five. We opened the door and flew with the breeze for a while blasting into the plane. No surprise the engine purred like a Singer sewing machine. She was “equipped” with the bare essentials of flight. Just a needle-ball, an altimeter, vertical speed indicator, and oil pressure and temperature gauges peered back from the dark black face of the instrument panel two feet ahead of my face. A whiskey compass hung overhead. A visual “instrument sweep” was accomplished in one glance. Your eyes needn’t hardly move to take them all in at once.
    Even with no control stick of my own I felt fully ALIVE for the first time in MONTHS. I marveled at the precision of Jeremy’s flying as the sideslip on short final slowly and smoothly transitioned to straight as an arrow and perfectly level just as the wee black tires with the Cub yellow "hub caps" again rolled onto the grass.

    Spinning around he taxied back to the hangar slowly. Very slowly I thought. And I suspect he was thinking about his relationship with this inanimate object which he obviously loved, and how it may be coming to an end.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  20. #60
    J Pyle's Avatar
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    I’m sure there is many of us lurking in the back ground, like me.

    Waiting and wanting more…

  21. #61
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    Chapter Nine - It's a Done Deal

    We sat in silence for just a moment after the propellor ticked over the last compression stroke. Then as Jeremy reached for the door handle he broke the silence with “Well. What do you think of her Cloudy?” I replied with “I think I need to look at the logbooks and decide if we got ourselves a deal here.” And he came back with “Let’s go get some more lemonade and some cookies then.”

    Over the kitchen table we sat perusing the biography of an old airplane's life. Faded ink written decades earlier right up to the last annual done three months ago. The last three logbooks unlike those previous that documented the plane’s early life, were absolutely spotless. Not a smudge, fingerprint, nor one faint minuscule oilstain marred any page in the logbooks that Jeremy Rogers had kept. It was then that I learned that he was an A & P as well. Almost all the work except the annual sign offs were accompanied by his signature and license number.

    All in all I had never seen a more impressive (albeit simple) combo of airplane and logbook.

    -- delete --

    Was this a “bargaining tactic”? I don’t think so. The price was settled. My gut told me this was real. He seemed almost sad that he had to tell me that. Seems another phone call north was in order and I returned to Jeremy’s den and again closed the door.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  22. #62
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya J Pyle -

    Lurkers and readers of ALL types WELCOME!

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  23. #63
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Nine - cont'd

    I dreaded making this call. I had observed my friend and employer Brantley conduct many business deals for his various companies over the years. He’s a tough, extremely tough negotiator and never likes it when “glitches” crop up unexpectedly. But I also know he really WANTS this airplane. I answer all his terse questions directly. “No. I don’t think it’s a tactic. I believe him.” I say in response to the obvious question. And we go over every minute since my arrival at the Roger’s house in detail again.

    Then Brantley asked me the most critical question he ever could. “What does your GUT tell you Cloudman” (He almost always called me Cloudman. That or “cat”.)

    I then told him about the QUALITY of all I’d seen. The order and neatness in everything I’d seen. An overall positive perception. I closed with “Brantley. I think you’d like the guy. He looks you in the eye, has a good handshake, and a hearty laugh. I think the man is honorable and there is a good deal to be had here.” Then I reminded him that tomorrow was Labor Day and that I’d likely NOT be able to get ANY inspection for at LEAST 48 hours. We could LOSE the deal.

    With his full reliance based on MY “gut” feelings he made his decision. “O.K. Make the deal. Call me and let me know when you’re gonna’ get out of there.” Click. I returned to the kitchen with a grin on my face and said “O.K. Jer. Let’s cut some paperwork here. It’s a done deal! But I want another control stick too!” and Jeremy’s face broke into a grin. He said “Wait a minute. I gotta’ make a call first.” He reached into the front pocket of his Pendleton shirt and extracted a small notebook. Flipping it open he reached for the phone hanging on the wall and dialed as he read the number silently to himself. I listened as he told the man in California that there wiould be no use in coming. The plane had been sold. I walked out to the car to get the briefcase with the dough out of the trunk.

    As we filled out the necessary paperwork Jeremy and I discussed my plans for heading north. Upon learning that I would have Selena and god knows HOW much STUFFS with me we concluded that departing off his strip might not be the smartest option. I hadn’t flown a Cub since I was 14 (13 years ago). I hadn’t flown a taildragger in three or four years. And I hadn’t flown ANYthing in over five months. I really need a “check-out” in this airplane with someone who knows it well.

    We come up with a plan. Jeremy will find the other control stick and re-install it in the Cub. Either late today or early tomorrow he will move it over to the public field a little further east down I-84. A longer and wide asphalt runway with clear approaches will be a far most suitable venue. As he has long-laid plans with family for Labor Day we decide to meet Tuesday morning at the airport where he will first check me out around the patch. Then after I shoot a few landings I can gas up, load up Selena (and god knows HOW much STUFFS) and depart for the Great Land. Well. You know what they say. The best laid plans......
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  24. #64
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Biting my nails ; Cloudy--LETS FLY !!!Reminding me of a similar adventure a few years ago to Darby MT.

  25. #65
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Ten - RIDE That Bronc Cowboy !!

    Tuesday morning dawned grey and rainy and windy in Portland. NOT a good sign. Selena and I were up early as I had insisted we BOTH refrain from any the previous 24 hours. For me, a precaution to ensure that my “flying senses” would not be compromised. And I had insisted she abstain until after at least her first ride in the Cub.
    Given that on a few occasions when she had accompanied me in a various assortment of airplanes over the years, the only time she got sick was after being out with me the night before. This resulted in no SMALL argument. She got no You KNOW what I didn’t get!

    But we did have fun playing (sober) tourists on Monday, spending more of Brantley’s “expense” money on good dining and souvenirs for our friends and a drive westward see the Pacific Ocean.

    Upon arriving at The Dalles airport much of my apprehension had vanished along with half the cloud cover and almost all of the rain. Conditions gradually improved the further we put Portland behind us during the cab ride eastward. Unfortunately, so did the wind speed. By the time the cab driver had finished unloading us in front of the FBO where I was to meet Jeremy the wind had become the primary remaining concern.

    It was gusty out of the northeast. The kid behind the counter in the FBO said he’d seen the anemometer hit 28 knots at one point although the gusts seemed to regularly peak at 25 now and the steady breeze was down to 17 or 18 knots. Interesting enough had it been straight DOWN the runway, this wind was some 25 to 30 degrees off the runway centerline from the left. Not exactly the best conditions for an initial Cub checkout.

    Jeremy showed up on the dot, and after making some small talk with Selena for a moment he looked at me and said decisively that he felt we should hang out for an hour or so in hopes that the wind would continue to decrease in velocity as it had over the last couple of hours. Selena dug out some People, or US, or some such magazine (they’re ALL “Twinkies for the Brain” in my opinion ) and proceeded to get lost in it as Jeremy and I had our first cup of airport coffee.

    An hour later the only change had been in my bladder pressure. The Cub rocked gently (it SEEMED) it her tie downs. I had pre-flighted the hell out of it. The wind speeds and directions had held steady. On the plus side though even more clouds had disappeared and there was no rain to be seen anywhere. After the fifth cup of coffee and the tenth personal visual inspection of the wind indicator by me I was getting antsy. The impatience of youth. Selena was no help either. For the last half hour she had been whining that she either wanted to “get this show on the road” or... go SHOPPING somewhere closeby until I figure it out. It was at this point I began to despair of ever getting laid again.

    A lot of the small details of the following thirty or so minutes escape me. But those of you with light plane flying experience in and around the Columbia Gorge can see what’s coming by now.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  26. #66
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Ten - cont'd

    I honestly can’t remember if I did the run-up in the tie-down spot while still tied down. I think I might have. I honestly can’t remember clearly the taxi route I took once the plane was unchained from the ground. I remember it was very, VERY slow. I could have WALKED to the runway threshold in under half the time I am sure. My focus was as intense as it ever had been as I manipulated the stick to keep all the controls surfaces where they needed to be. Downwind. Crosswind. Quartering from the front, the rear. I must be I tell myself.

    Jeremy’s quite intelligent refusal to fly and Selena’s goading along with my impatience to be underway allowed my alligator EGO to override my pea BRAIN. Now a tiger is trying to get MY tail it seems as I creep to the runways edge. I sit there repeating the same stupid four word phrase in my mind that got me (myself) into this mess to begin with. “It’s JUST an AIRplane!!” And using those four words I had convinced myself that I could check mySELF out if Jeremy didn’t want to go.

    I didn’t know it yet, but by the time I had managed to reach the end of the runway half the airport had assembled in front of the FBO. Faster that the crack of a lightning bolt, word had spread around this intimately small aviation facility of an impending disaster to be witnessed! As the hotshot Alaskan “Bush Pilot” sat, legs braced against the brake pedals and shaking like a set of maracas in a Mexican cantina on a Friday night; I’m sure money was being wagered left and right among the onlookers. I can only iMAgine what “the odds” were being bandied about. And now I sat pointed directly into the wind at about a thirty degree angle to the runway centerline. I need to know. Can I still fly. Do I still have the kahunas when I need to? Only one way to find out I finally convince myself.

    I release the right brake and suck the stick all the way into my gut and full hard right ‘til it stops.

    -- delete --
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  27. #67
    Mathew Sharp's Avatar
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    Pain fades but glory lasts forever!

    Go get em Cloudy!


    ...I Love this stuff!

  28. #68
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Ten - Cont'd

    As the wheels begin to turn I release the back pressure on the stick to neutral just momentarily before pushing slightly forward. The tail LEAPS into the air. My eyes are riveted forward and fixed on the far side of the runway now slowly coming nearer. Before I can consciously even THINK the thought (uh....WHAT’s my airspeed?) The plane practically STOPS forward motion (it seems) and JUMPS vertically upward with no further control input from me! In an INSTANT the runway has dropped twenty feet below the plane as if somehow the earth had mysteriously collapsed from beneath me.

    Holy CRAP! I quickly ease the stick aftward and get the nose off level and pointed up! I don’t think we rolled three plane lengths. I had BARELY reached the centerline! WHAM!! Upward we jolt another two hundred feet or so : I raise the nose in an attempt to climb to pattern altitude and every time I do, I am literally in a HOVER! I have enough thrust to EITHER climb or fly forward in this wind. But it is simply that. A choice for now. Both are not possible simultaneously it seems. I settle for a “climb in position” mode until reaching what the altimeter tells me is 1000 feet AGL. I believe I am LOSING ground now.


    -- delete --

    I lower the nose to level and ease the power back slightly. At a groundspeed that even a self respecting snail would be ashamed of, I now churn forward through the air hoping the east end of the runway is within my fuel range. The BAM! turbulence is atrocious and I wince slightly as some of the worsts gusts strain Mr. Pipers trusty creation. I hope the bolts holding these wings on are BIG mothers!! And TIGHT!

    -- delete --

    I don’t remember the landing(s) either. Other than to say I MADE it, much to the disappointment and financial detriment of many, I’m sure. And I somehow returned the aircraft to it’s tie-down spot without flipping it over taxying in either. Thank You Lord Jesus.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  29. #69
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Eleven - Over or Under

    By the time Jeremy had re-anchored the Cub to Mother Earth and I crawled out the majority of the crowd had dispersed. A few however remained, either to see what shade of white I had turned, or to check out if I had custom fit blue jeans with extra room in the crotch. However, one Levi overall wearing elder pelican, complete with a piece of straw protruding from the corner of his mouth apparently spoke for them all. As I approached the group standing with arms folded and leaning against the white walled building I glanced his way. The straw stopped wiggling up ‘n down in his mouth as he raised his voice to be heard above the still blowing winds. “ I heard summa’ you fellers up north were half a bubble off alright. But I never knowed ya’ll were plumb CRAZY!” To a man, the other three remaining men in the group nodded silently in agreement. I couldn’t have said it better myself and no response other than a slight shake of my head in concurrence was possible.

    Selena rose as I came inside and came over and said. “How WAS it? Are you done? Can we GO now?” She hadn’t even gone outside to watch!

    Go? Or no-go. What the hell. With more weight in her she’ll be easier to taxi I try to convince myself. The real reason I want to go though is I’ve spent just about enough time in America. I’m used to Alaska now. WAY too many people here all hustling about like it’s important. It’s time to go HOME already.

    Again Jeremy tries to present what is obviously the common sense viewpoint and again I ignore him. -- delete --


    She finally acquiesces and begins to hand me things as I start packing the baggage area. We fill it top to bottom and from the back end to jammed against the back of the aft seat. It all fits. Just BARELY.

    Jeremy now emerges again from the FBO and tells me he’s paid for my fuel fill-up as a “parting gift”. Selena and I return to the building for a last minute “pit stop” as Jeremy stays with the plane. Selena and I clamber in on our return and Jeremy stands beside the open door as I secure myself in the front seat. Finally situated I turn and stick out my right hand. He again grasps it firmly. He says “Happy flying, and you come back by and visit me again if you’re ever down this way. Tell Brantley the invitation is good for him too!” I told him he’d been a wonderful host. What a great guy. With that he again reached forward and prepared to prop the little bird one last time. Standing by until I gave him a thumbs up from inside the cabin, he first untied my right wing and then scampered around the front of the airplane giving the idling prop a wide arc of clearance. Untying the left wing he looked up at me with a last smile. I slid open the small window to my left and hollered “Take care Jeremy” over the engine’s clattering. With a “thumbs up” back at me he ducked down and disappeared behind the left wing.

    Again I goosed the throttle with my left arm now resting comfortably against the window. Time to focus intently again on my taxying procedures. About 1500 miles away lies our destination. And the LONGest journey begins with...just the first rotation of the little tires.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  30. #70
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya' EverBODY -

    Well...SHOOT! I THOUGHT maybe I'd GET to what could POSSIBLY go wrong today. I mean you KNOW Ol' Murph is gonna' show up sooner or later, right?

    Trouble is...onced ah-GIN I have to go to my REAL job tamale. But the upside is...I IS headed for The Great Land (via Las Vegas). AND -

    I have to invent/create an officious looking INVOICE for my company so I can bill the newest distributor to sign up for teh "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles"(TM) sales bandwagon....

    Ta-a-DAH!! TITLE WAVE bookstores in Anchorage, Alaska are "on board" with your ol' pal .

    WOW! Am I EXCITED!! A real certified card-carryin' oh-FI-cial BIG BOOKSTORE is gonna' have the Chronicles on the shelf. Tell your friends!!

    So, anyway. I gotta' go do this other stuff. But I MAY get some more written tonight. If not it will be Monday before you see the 'climax' of this saga. But, rest assured. I NEED to get this finished so Volume II can start the publishing process and make a May 1st deadline.

    Enjoy everybody. And, as always.

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU for sharing part of your day with us here at Chronicles Central!!

    Cloud(Isurewishtherewuztwoofme)Dancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  31. #71
    Pokette's Avatar
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    Cloudy, Cloudy, how could you do this to me. I was so excited and happy and ... now left hanging.

  32. #72
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Oh Pokette -

    I see you just joined our little fun corner of the internet less than ten months ago. I don't know when you first became acquianted with the Chronicles. Much of it was written before you arrived on the scene it would seem.

    Most, if not ALL long-term observers of the CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles forum will be among the first to tell you...gettin' left hanging' in midair with the flaps or gear in mid-motion is not all that unusual.

    Besides the burden of having to continue my regular four or five day a week flying job; now, thanks to ME foolishly allowing people like YOU to talk me into writing a BOOK! I now have to spend my off time trying to wear the hats of writer, salesman, bill collector, delivery boy, publicist and a few others I can't remember right now.

    Long-time reader's will also tell you that my various vices (despite my BEST EFFORTS to curtail them*) consume alot of my time too. (Counting "recovery time" , where coherent effort of ANY sort is a waste of time).

    Then...I have the occasional need to "recharge my batteries" Aloha-style. Yeah. I got more ways to leave you hangin' just a wee bit short of the climax than you can imagine........

    CloudDancer

    (*)HONest guys! REALLY! I mean.... I TRIED. HARD! PRETTY hard anyway ......I mean I was going to try hard. Anyways....at least I THOUGHT about trying hard....
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  33. #73
    Pokette's Avatar
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    Cloudy,
    Another man full of excuses....
    I payed up my dues and got the book with my renewal. Enjoyed every bit of it. When I flew my cub back from Yakima I told my son I had to pee really bad once and he said "did you use a boot?" See what you did.

    got more ways to leave you hangin' just a wee bit short of the climax than you can imagine........

    I have a very vivid and creative imagination... intriguing ....

  34. #74
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Yeah. I can see the note from the schoolmarm now.

    "Dear Ms. Pokette

    Your son (uh, his name's not Little Johnny :P by the way, is it?)
    has demonstrated remarkable reading comprehension skills.
    But about this...um....BOOK he brought to school....."


    CloudDancer

    P.S. Hmmmmm. I'll SEE your "very vivid and creative imagination" and RAISE you one "outrageous and banned in 47 states...."
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  35. #75

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    The a mere teacher might have about a book is nothing 'til the school board votes to ban the book from the schools. Then you have sumthin' to brag 'bout. I did a book report on Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth" in fourth grade, much to the of the teacher. The principal advised the teacher to get over it or go work elsewhere.

    Three months without flying and I'm going stir-crazy, I can imagine what six months must be like, who cares about turbulence, w&b, or other such things.

    More! More!!!!

  36. #76
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Girls......GIRLS!! Now just STOP it.

    All this PLEAding! After all, I have my repuTAtion to protect, you know??


    Oh...you meant more WRITING. Huumph! Looks like I'm not doin' any better here than I am with Selena!! :P

    Cloud(coldshowersmyspecialty)Dancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  37. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDancer
    I NEED to get this finished so Volume II can start the publishing process and make a May 1st deadline.Cloud(Isurewishtherewuztwoofme)Dancer
    Does this mean that we can buy it at the Trade Show?

  38. #78
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya kr5t -

    That is most assurredly my intention, barring any interference from MURPHY (or sCREW scheduling).

    Courtesy of the WorldWide Grand Poohbah of SuperCubers Everywhere, I shall be assisting in all the hard work that transpires at the SC.org booth and display.

    I shall have copies of both volumes, the Original and the New and (slightly editorially) Improved "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles", Volume II.

    I shall be looking forward to meeting so many of you finally.

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  39. #79
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    Chapter Eleven -

    The wind hasn’t let up even a little bit. Again it takes long and careful minutes to reach the end of the runway. Again I stop short of the runway by mashing on the left brake to swing my nose and try to “clear” as much of the airspace on final as I can. Yep. I’m STILL the only yo-yo in the area it appears. Once again the tail slides to the left as the plane lines up into the wind freely.

    It seems now that I might have gained a five degree or so advantage in wind direction over my last takeoff. I sit rooted to the same piece of asphalt but my plane is at a lesser angle to the runway. The nose now points a good 100 feet or so further down the far (north) edge of the runway. And for this I am grateful. I consider all I am asking of these wings and the little Continental engine now ticking over slowly and (relatively) quietly for the moment.

    Back in those days I was about 180 lbs and Selena barely broke 100. But directly ahead of my eyes the coat-hangar - like metal wire fuel “gauge” jutted upward full range; the cork on the bottom of the indicator floating on top of a full twelve gallons of red-dyed 80/87 octane avgas. I knew our survival gear weighed in at 30 pounds. Add in all the “STUFFS” Selena had packed and purchased (mostly clothes, thank goodness) and I well knew we were at or over gross weight for takeoff. And although operating over gross was standard operating procedure back home, I knew I had never done it in anything smaller than a Skyhawk. And THAT was hairy eNUFF sometimes!

    Very intently I focused on the areas within a twenty or thirty degree wide swath of airspace directly ahead of the longitudinal axis of the airplane. Where in that area was the LOWEST possible path of clearance if I needed it? Trees? Power lines? Over or under? (UNder. Definately Under!) I was quite UNsure just how much altitude I was going to be able to acquire for every horizontal mile traveled. Although my initial flight indicated I wouldn’t be progressing forward any to quickly and I felt comfortable that I would be able to attain a reasonable four or five hundred feet after a few minutes.

    There appeared to be no significant obstacles in my projected path for the

    --delete--


    The controls response is swift and sure and the wings snap immediately level. This airplane is pure response to the stick. No slop. It’s a GOOD feeling. I give thanks silently for the meticulous care Jeremy has lavished on her as Selena resumes her verbal assault on my character and heritage.

    We now crawl generally eastward along the Columbia and I peer ahead intently watching for other traffic in the air. A dot in the distance above us at 11 o’clock grows swiftly into a Cessna 172 or 182 and just as quickly passes on the other side of the river. Heading downriver and downwind he passes at what seems to be just short of supersonic speed. I return his (or her) wing-waggled “Hello” with my big fat left hand in the windshield hoping they will see it and not think I am stuck up. Selena has been silent for almost a full minute now and I do not wish to set her off again with a wing-waggle greeting in return. Up ahead I begin to see The Dalles, Oregon coming into view and decide to resume my efforts to climb as the turbulence continues a slight but noticeable reduction in intensity. I am headed for higher ground and will need more altitude eventually. May as well try and get some now.
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  40. #80
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Wanted to get something up for you nice folks today. Would like to write more but.....um....I have some really important.....uh....STUFF I need to go do.

    So I'll see you guys tamale.

    Your friend 'n part-time writer

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

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