Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Far We've Come!!!

It's sort of amazing to think I'm doing what I'm doing now. I'm currently sitting in an airport lobby waiting for my very first knowledge test victim to finish his private pilot written. Life is awesome. THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!!!!

I'm easily one of the luckiest people alive. I may not achieve everything I'd like to but I have the privilege of having been able to live out my dreams and I'm not stopping for anything or anyone. Life is beautiful. I have the most awesome friends, I get to fly the coolest little airplanes and I get to share that with others! Tell me, tell me, does it get any better than this??

I'm definitely way more excited about this knowledge test than Jordan. While he'll be relieved to have it done, I'm finding things to inspect in the lobby and pacing. This must be the definition of the mother hen reaction. I just can't believe I get to do this! Almost exactly a year and a half ago I was at this same airport taking MY private pilot written test. Now I endorsed someone else to take theirs and take the first step towards achieving THEIR dreams!

I keep thinking there can be no purer joy than helping and enabling someone else to chase down their dreams.

This rocks! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best Day

At Blakesburg, Sunday night marks the annual "Gone Home" awards, as many of the attendees have headed back home to use Labor Day Monday to recuperate and spend time with non-aviation family/friends. Last year I flew back Monday and I enjoyed the Gone Home awards so much I decided to stay (additionally, since I arrived on Saturday I wanted one more day!). 21Y and I eyed up some parking spots closer to the showers but elected not to move since that required moving the tent--too much work for one night, as the additional exercise walking to and from the shower house wasn't going to kill me.

We elected to sleep in til about 9 am, then evaluate what we wanted to do. Sometime around 9:15 Todd rattled the tent and told me there was a little bit of fog so not to worry about dashing out of bed.

A "little" bit of fog . . .

After leisurely getting ready and packing the airplanes, we taxied them over to get gas so that we could take our time eating breakfast and then leave without worrying about being stuck in the gas line. Since we had already packed everything, there was no sense taxiing back to the back 40 where we had been parked before, so we invited ourselves into a Howard group. 21Y has just as much class as a Howard : )

One of these is not like the others . . .

After an hour or so, the first brave souls began departing. Most of the obscuration was now due to haze rather than fog, but we waited a little longer to give our route ample time to clear.

Excited it all fit back in the airplane!

After one last sideslipping pass down the Antique Airfield runway, we were homeward bound. It was a sad feeling, leaving Blakesburg when I had so much fun hanging around airplanes and meeting new people. But it was time to go--I had class on Tuesday and Steve probably wouldn't approve of me airplane-napping 21Y (although I would be lying if I said that it didn't cross my mind . . .).

Somewhere along the line we decided this would be a true classic Cub cross-country (with a Luscombe following). CUB HEIGHT!

I have never had so much fun flying cross-country as on the way back from Blakesburg. I fancied myself a modern-day barnstormer, swooping alongside small Midwestern towns and rocking the wings in response to a groundbound individual's wave. Fresh off of finishing up a compilation of Gordon Baxter's writings, I was full of romance and awe. No one could touch me, and I didn't want them to. With cruising tunes in my ears, I had a soundtrack for life with my favorite airplane, having the most fun I could ever possibly have.

Even 21Y was happier with this method of cruising. On the trip to Blakesburg, we had cruised around 1,000 feet AGL, and running the engine a little harder, as I had on the way to Lock Haven, 21Y pigged out and burned a little over 5 gallons an hour. WHAT?!?!?! Piggish airplane!! On the way back, reaching no higher than 300 feet AGL except over populated areas we couldn't dodge, running her nice and light, around 2150, little 21Y was PULLING AWAY from a Luscombe with a C-90! That's my girl : )

Coolest thing ever!

Farewell Iowa!

The Luscombe finally inched forward enough to make it into the picture ; P

Just a cool view : )

Unfortunately, the pictures don't do the experience justice. But I can tell you it was just perfect--except for the fact that it had to end. But, so it is. On to another adventure : )