Your connection with the sky

Heading Out for a Week of Flying

, June 25th, 2012

The alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., and I woke full of optimism, only to hear the rain drip, drip, dripping. Darn! A friend had spent the night and we were hoping to be wheels off at 6:00 a.m., heading to the very tip of southeastern Oregon for a fly-in. Of course, it’s been raining for days, only partially clearing in the last afternoon and early evenings. Yet I had been so hopeful!

My fat-ultralight-type LSA Talon Typhoon has been almost completely rebuilt since last summer’s fiasco. It didn’t have major damage, but the master mechanic and his “elves” as he calls them had taken delight in re-creating the plane. All new wiring, new instrument panel, moving the regulator, the radiator overflow bottle, the battery. And on and on and on. They had such fun doing it, and I was delighted. My old Rotax 582 was toast, so I bit the bullet and bought a new one.

The test flight went flawlessly – except for oil leakage from the exhaust manifold. So that was repaired and then I did another test flight. It’s trimmed out so perfectly that I did two patterns around the Independence (Oregon) airport using only rudder – never touching the stick. Since then I’ve put about 20 hours on the plane, and am ready for a long flight. Read More >>

The REST of the Story!

, May 30th, 2012

FINALLY – the complete, total “rest of the story!” When I last blogged, in April, I wrote how I had an engine failure and landed in a wheat field outside of Custer, MT – upside down. Amazingly, I wasn’t hurt at all – not a single scratch or bruise. And the Talon had minimal damage, but enough to prevent me from flying home. So with the help of my two flying partners, Wayne in a Rans S-14 and Bob in a Titan Tornado, I rented a truck, took the Talon apart and loaded it up, and drove home. Bob and Wayne continued their flight back to Oregon, taking almost as long as I did because of weather. Read More >>

At AirVenture, Oshkosh

, December 13th, 2011

Landing at EAA AirVenture on Monday, July 26 was SUCH a thrill! The largest air show in the world!

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The turf runway slowed me down nicely and as I taxied up to the “gate” to the ultralight area, a volunteer sped up on a small scooter. Unfortunately, I had no way to alert the helpful volunteers that my brakes had failed 4 days previously and I hadn’t been able to fix them. He came a little too close to my wing, probably assuming that I’d brake, and I promptly took off his left mirror! Lots of apologies all around, and then I had lots of folks helping me push the Talon to a parking spot near Bob and Wayne. (There’s a strict “no engines on” rule in the tie-down area.). Read More >>

Flying to Oshkosh, Part 2

, November 29th, 2011

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Leaving Wyoming was such a relief! We were tired of fighting the wind, high density altitude, (12,500’ DA over Cheyenne) and taxiing 10 minutes for take-off on 10,000’ runways. Although the hills of South Dakota were gnarly, there was a feeling that we’d left the worst behind. Read More >>

Flying to Oshkosh

, October 28th, 2011

Oct. 28, 2011

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How has this happened? Almost four months since I’ve posted to this blog! And SOOO much as happened since then – maybe that’s the problem.

My last post was July 5, as I was getting ready to fly to Oshkosh. I won’t whine about the wonderful time we had hosting two Norwegian teenagers – who stayed for a full month, leaving only 2 days before I took off on my grand adventure. Even with trying to be a good host, I did carve out time to check out the Talon thoroughly and pack carefully. This was going to be my first major cross country flight in the Talon with the new gas tank, and the first one where I had to take everything for both hot and cold weather. Read More >>

Everything Takes Three Times As Long As You Expect

, July 5th, 2011

I had all these good intentions – to blog weekly about my upcoming flight to Oshkosh. And to get started on my “To-Do” list that HAS to be done so that I can leave on Tuesday, July 19. So what happened? The weather turned into real flying weather, and I’m getting distracted! I go to the airport to fly “just for 30 minutes” and I can hear Norm chuckling. When I see him three or four hours later, he never says “I thought you were only going to fly for half an hour.” Maybe that’s why we’re still married after all these years – he knows when to stay silent!

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In my last post I wrote about gunk in my fuel filter, and deciding to get a new gas tank to replace the fiberglass one that appeared to be disintegrating. Boy am I glad I did! Read More >>

EAA AirVenture—Here I come!

, May 31st, 2011

Rain, rain, rain…and more rain. Only a very few brief windows for flying. I try to keep myself from severe flying withdrawal by reading anything to do with flying and watching movies featuring great flying. Then the phone rings. A good friend of mine in Tennessee has bought a Maxair Drifter – from a friend of mine here in Oregon. He’s going to fly his new Drifter home instead of pulling on a trail. But he doesn’t want to do it alone. If he makes a detour to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh – do I want to fly along? Read More >>

Flying a Microlight in South Korea

, April 11th, 2011

In my last post I said I’d write about some of the places I’ve flown internationally – and why I’m so grateful for our comparative lack of flying limitations here in the U.S. I’ll start with my experience in South Korea.

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First, let me be very clear that my experiences happened in the fall of 1994 and the regulations have changed since then…but how much, I don’t know. I searched the Web before writing this post but could only find the Korean Civil Aviation Authority website in Korean, not English, and so wasn’t able to track down current regulations. I also found one flying club – Expatflyers.net, which provides LSA training– and a company that gives scenic tours – Aerotourkorea.com – but couldn’t find any of the four ultralight clubs that existed when I was there. Read More >>

We Have It So Good…

, March 14th, 2011

Two seemingly unrelated events got me thinking about how incredibly much freedom we have to fly ultralights—and all private aircraft—here in the U.S.

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First event:
I was at a meeting of my ultralight club last month, and one of the members began a familiar refrain. He was grumbling about the FAA and how difficult they made things for pilots. “We need to be free to fly!” he groused. “They do everything they can to throw obstacles in our way.” On and on, like a broken record, with others nodding their heads, until the subject shifted to a discussion about whether or not doing crow hops was safe. Read More >>

The Ying and Yang of Flying, Part 2

, October 14th, 2010

“When we last left our intrepid heroine…” (Sorry – I just couldn’t resist. )
In my last post, I was in a hay field, having dead-sticked in after my engine died.

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I called a good friend, told him of my predicament, and asked if he’d load up his trailer and come get me. (Ultralight pilots are an amazing group. They are always ready to come to each others’ aid. Even if it means a 3-4 hour drive.) Dave first asked me if I knew what had caused my engine out. I had checked the float bowls, and it wasn’t fuel starvation. Even if I was able to get the engine re-started, I wouldn’t have been able to fly it out—the uncut hay was much too high. So he said he’d round up his wife and son, load the trailer and an ATV, and be on his way. Read More >>