2019 is seen by many industry experts as the year drones become more widely accepted. Though the technology has been around for quite a while, drones have yet to be fully embraced, says aviation expert Scott Beale. But more and more startups and established companies are beginning to commit to the flight of drones. For […]
Sedona, a land of timeless beauty, surrounded by magnificent, natural red rock sculptures and pristine National Forest. Standing about 4,300ft above sea level, centrally located less than two hours north of Phoenix and just two hours south of the Grand Canyon, it is one of the most spectacular secrets of the world. Erosion has sculptured this masterpiece for over 350 million years.
As we drove north, I was almost disappointed. All that we saw were pine trees and the landscape looked no different from other countrysides. When we had set off it was hot and 90 degrees.
“Isn’t early morning better for a flight?” I had asked.
“No, anytime is fine,” was the response.
Checking the forecast that morning, I wondered how the day would play out. With thunderstorms in the forecast, chances of pulling off this flight were diminishing. I weighed the odds of planning something else as opposed to keeping the afternoon open and have my flying plans cancelled.
We arrived at Flagstaff (FLG) airport a little early, eager to take to the skies. Fred, the instructor at Wiseman Aviation who was going to fly with us had assured us that thunderstorms in the forecast were not a factor. In no time we preflighted and departed with me at the controls and Fred’s able guidance. He made sure to remind me about the the departure procedures, density altitude and other necessary details. Fred was also our tour guide, as he pointed out landmarks along the way – painted dessert, canyons, native American dwellings, dormant volcanoes, Sun coast crater, ski areas and more.
When I put together my flying bucket list a few years ago, I had added Sedona and Grand Canyon as an after thought. My interest had been sparked by the beautiful aerial images that Greg Brown had posted on his blog and in articles he has written over the years. Despite seeing the images, and reading the articles, nothing really prepares one for the incredible views not just from the air, but even from the ground.
We looped around flying turns about a point over key landmarks, awestruck by the natural beauty of the land, painstakingly etched over millions of years. With lots of help from Fred, I made my first landing at Sedona (SEZ). Taxing back, we took off again and this time climbed slowly to 10,500ft as we overflew Falgstaff airspace to make our way to the Flagstaff Snowbowl, a ski area very popular during the winter months. With spring here, the ski areas were deserted. But we could easily identify the ski slopes, the ski lifts and resort area.
In good time we retraced our path back to Flagstaff and all too soon the flight ended. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend looking up Wiseman Aviation. If you have the time, you can do an aircraft checkout and rent an aircraft to fly. If not, take Fred.
Sedona does have a restaurant on the field: Mesa Grill. Although we did not stop on the day of the flight for a meal, we did have breakfast there. And I highly recommend staying at the Sky Ranch Lodge that is next to the airport and within walking distance to the Mesa Grill. While there, hike the airport loop for some spectacular views of the Sedona red canyons!
And that bucket list item, I think I will leave it on.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have been around for quite some time, but only in recent years have they become commercially available. But they have quickly become a part of many people’s everyday lives, and soon drones will become a staple the world over, says aviation expert Scott Beale. Below is how drone technology […]
Aviation pioneer Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes (1901-1975) developed a strong enthusiasm for human flight early on in her life. When she was only eight years old, her grandfather Thaddeus S.C. Lowe – an aviation legend who achieved fame as the Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army Balloon Corps during the Civil War – took her […]
Aviation pioneer Neta Snook Southern was born in the city of Mount Carroll Illinois, in 1896. While best known for teaching Amelia Earhart how to fly, Southern also left behind a legacy of several other noteworthy aviation achievements. Southern graduated from Shimer School (now Shimer College) in Chicago in 1912. Three years later, she enrolled […]
February brings fond memories of Bahamas…
Has it really been 5 years?
If wishes were horses, I would, I should, I might, or I already would be in the Bahamas!
Five years ago today…
Last year when we planned the Bahamas trip, we set off with a hotel reservation in Fort Pierce, FL, which by the way, we had to change since we departed one day later than planned. Of course, we did need to prepare ahead of the time: radio licenses for the aircraft as well as the pilots, decal for the aircraft, and eAPIS accounts to submit passenger manifests. That was the extent of our planning. I roughly planned what stops we would make on the outbound, so we could have a rough estimate of flight times to expect and where we would stop for fuel, food and customs. But that was it.
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Happy New Year!
Five Years Ago
“So, you are going to do it cold turkey?” asked Linda
“Yes, how hard can it be? I am going to be in the pattern…” responded I.
The last time I did a night flight (solo or otherwise) was 4 years and 10 months ago! While night flying can be fun, it is not a favorite time for me. Although with a good instructor or co-pilot, I love to get the experience to do some night flying!
It was a picture perfect fall day: warm, clear (for now) and busy. Earlier in the afternoon, Linda and I had headed out to the practice area, so I could practice my commercial maneuvers while she played safety pilot. It was a busy Sunday afternoon. After some steep turns, chandelles, lazy eights and steep spirals, we had returned comfortably back to the airport.
An hour later, after the sun set and evening twilight was about to set, I hopped back in the aircraft for some pattern work to execute some night landings and edge my night solo time closer to that required for a commercial rating.
It was a partly cloudy, and the waning crescent moon was not visible. I had deliberately departed prior to the official start of night time, so I could adapt easily to the night conditions. I looped around the pattern and decided to execute a touch and go for round one, as I adapted to night flying. Unfortunately calm winds meant runway 34R was in use, which meant right pattern!
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Eula “Pearl” Carter Scott made aviation history in1929 when she took off in a plane for a solo flight. Pearl, who was only 13 at the time, became the youngest pilot in the United States. She had been born in the city of Marlow in Oklahoma in 1915. Her mother was an enrolled member of […]