Creeper alert! Normally that’s cause for alarm, but not in this case. Like an auto mechanic rolling under a car to work underneath, one of us will roll on a creeper under our airplane to wage war against a special breed of dead bugs. Greasy ones, and lots of ’em. Around here we use well-diluted Simple Green Aircraft Cleaner, which is actually white, not green, and made for airplanes. It’s easy on aluminum and on the environment. Be careful what you use to clean your aircraft; some products you might use on your automobile are actually corrosive to aluminum. Read the labels and when doubtful, ask your mechanic. No matter how good the solvent, the main ingredient to achieving a shine is elbow grease. Rub a dub dub. While we’re on the topic of cleaning, what about the windows? Remember – and tell your helpful kids – not to use typical window cleaners, as the windows are plexiglass, not glass, and the chemicals in many glass cleaning products will damage the plastic! Try Pledge or Prist to get that plexiglass sparkling. After hours of work, I’ll be wondering whether it’s worth it. How much speed do you suppose we lose for each bug we carry? Thoughtful estimates are welcome.
With less than a week until the Women’s Air Race Classic (ARC) race take-off, AOPAngels Luz Beattie (left), Kathy Dondzila (center), and Paula Wivell (right) are deep into preparation: double-checking paperwork, logbooks, credentials; reviewing rules; studying the route. And removing bugs. So many bugs are splattered on the leading edges of our Cessna 182! Flight teams are beginning to arrive at Frederick Municipal Airport, home of AOPA headquarters and the take-off airport. The first ARC pre-race event is tomorrow evening. We are looking forward to getting to know the other competitors. The love of flying. It’s what brings us together, the basis for friendships across the country that may last a lifetime. Sure, it’d be great to win, to place in the Top 10 – and we will certainly give it our best shot – but the real reason we are flying is for flying, itself. To encourage those young and old who are are learning to fly; and those whose flying skills have grown rusty over years of inactivity, yet still dream of getting back in the left seat. Can I do it, you wonder. Yes, we think you can! Fly along with us and be encouraged! I’ll be blogging every day until the Awards Banquet on Sunday, June 25. We are Team 43 and you can follow the race online http://airraceclassic2017.maprogress.com and on Twitter! @aopangels.