Ola Mildred Rexroat, who achieved fame as the only Native American to serve as one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II, …National Native American Heritage Month: Ola Mildred Rexroat, Pilot
This past weekend marked 10 years since I moved my blog to WordPress back in October 2010. Here is a fun flight from 2010 to commemorate the joy of flying from November 2010. Enjoy!
Island Hopping in the Keys
I had been mentally planning this trip for almost a year. Since last December to be precise. So when the opportunity arose to visit Florida I went prepared: logbook, medical and pilot’s license in hand. The checkout at the local flight school was a breeze. An hour in the air and I was licensed (again) to fly in Florida.
It was a little closer to 10 o’clock the next day, when my friends and I set off. I had reviewed the route with my instructor the previous day. My instructor had indicated the previous day that the coastline clearance to transit Fort Lauderdale International Airport (KFLL) was usually at 500 ft. As expected, we departed straight out on runway eight out of Fort Lauderdale Executive (KFXE) and headed straight for the coast. I leveled off below a 1000ft. Once at the coast and cleared to transit the KFLL Class Charlie airspace we headed southwest at 500 ft.
The Class Bravo airspace of Miami airspace adjoins the Class Charlie airspace of Fort Lauderdale. With scattered clouds hovering above 2000 ft, flying around 1000 feet fortunately kept us out of the Class Bravo airspace and provided enough clearance from the clouds. We traced the coastline all the way to Homestead Air Force Base then followed highway 1 past North Key Largo, Key Largo, Isla Morada, Indian Key, Duck Key and Marathon Key. Tracing the highway all the way to Key West was the safest route for a single engine airplane.
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Happy New Year!
It does not matter that only a few in each generation will grasp and achieve the full reality of man’s proper stature — and that the rest will betray it. It is those few that move the world and give life its meaning— and it is those few that I have sort to address. The rest are no concern of mine; it is not me or The Fountainhead that they will betray: it is their own souls.
—— Ayn Rand New York, May 1978
Here’s wishing you much success in the coming year…
May you achieve all you desire.
In 2018, Serena Maria Auñón-Chancellor became only the second woman of Hispanic descent to fly into outer space. (Ellen Ochoa, who is of Mexican descent, made her first spaceflight in 1993.) Auñón-Chancellor (she pronounces Auñón as ON-un) was born in Indianapolis in 1976. Her father, Dr. Jorge Auñón, is a Cuban exile who arrived in […]
August 29, 1911 Hilda Hewlett became the first British woman to earn an airplane pilot’s license. Hewlett, who was 47 at the time, received certificate number 122 from the Royal Aero Club after she completed a test flight at Brooklands Aerodrome near the town of Weybridge in southeastern England. Hewlett had been born in Central […]
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 […]
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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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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November is NaNoWriMo
“Is Amelia, here?” I asked Anne at the front desk. “She asked me to meet her here.”
“You must be John,” she said, as she continued looking at her screen.
“Wait,” she said.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Amelia is not here. She is off in the field inspecting the avionics in one of the B737s, somewhere out there,” she vaguely pointed.
“Do you know when she will be back?” I asked.
“Maybe, maybe not” she responded absentmindedly.
“Do you like opera,” she asked after eons.
“What?” I asked in exasperation. What the devil is wrong with this woman?
“Are you seeing anyone?” she continued.
Before I could respond, the phone rang, and she was on the phone for a good ten minutes, talking secretive, absurd nothings. I was almost ready to give up and leave. What a strange group of people, I thought. How does Amelia manage to work with this weird bunch?
“How about Yanni?” asked the ridiculous woman interrupting my thoughts.
“What?” I asked stupidly. What does this have to do with Amelia I wondered?
“Can you let Amelia know, I was here? I will be at the Firehouse Grill,” I responded getting ready to walk out and leave this bizarre office.
I could hear strange sounds, as someone in the cubicle next to the front desk desperately controlled himself or herself.
“You must definitely like John Lennon. You seem the type,” continued the ridiculous woman.
“Yes, I like John Lennon.” I humored the woman.
This time, the person behind the cube, could not hold himself or herself any longer. I could hear unconstrained laughter. I walked around to see what the ruckus was, before Jane at the front desk could stop me.
Frank the assistant was doubled over laughing so uncontrollably that I was not sure what it was all about. Seeing me looking at him dumbfounded, Frank finally got his act together.
“Hi!” he said. “Amelia said you would come over at 11:30. Would you like to see how we prepare to return an aircraft to service?” he asked. “Amelia said you might,” before I could respond.
“Sure.” I said.
“Terrific, I am to bring you over so you can watch. It is pretty cool”.
As we walked over to the B737 undergoing checks, Frank made small talk. “Don’t mind Jane. She means well. She is just trying to figure out if your interests are similar to Amelia. You know she is a master matchmaker. She can’t stop herself.”
What? I thought. Yanni, Lennon, maybe Jane was not so stupid after all. I could forgive her if she was on my side. Was she?
“There, you are,” said Amelia. “We have been waiting for you. I thought you might like to see the process to return the aircraft to service. This is one of the first aircraft that has been scheduled to return to service.”
“Yes. I certainly would.” I said as Frank and I joined Amelia and Jack as they walked through the avionics checks.
It takes a full seven days to return an aircraft to service according to Amelia.
Although, what was foremost on my mind was whether I liked Yanni.