Hooked on Grass

Published on: April 20, 2011
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I love landing on grass and I love flying to fields I’ve never been to. This is my first landing at Breedlove Field in Hobo Station.

I taxied back and did a quick takeoff and trip around the patch for another touch-n-go before I headed back to Tupelo… it was a fun evening.

Warren Field Fly-in

Published on: March 23, 2011
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Betsy and I went to a fly-in at a private strip in Ecru, MS on Saturday (3/19/2011)… it was a blast.

Here is a video of me landing a C152 on the grass strip. The first stall warning you hear is when right at flair the air vent fell and hit me. I was startled so I kinda sat back and pulled the yoke a little bit when I did. I added a little power and lowered the nose a tiny bit to recover.

One of the EAA guys did a fly-Over in a Convair 340. He was close enough to the trees at the north end of the field that they rocked as he passed. He came over a bit higher the next time.

This was my first takeoff on grass in a Cessna 152 so I learned a lot. This field is one way in… one way out so I had to take off with about a 5kt tail wind. I did a standard soft field takeoff (10 degrees flap yoke back to keep the nose up). I stayed right on the edge of the stall warning. Vx is 55 and I was getting a stall warning at 60kt so I kept pushing the nose over to stay just above the stall warning. After I cleared the trees at the end of the runway I pushed the nose over and got rid of the flaps so I could climb at Vy.

It was about 85 degrees here today so I was a bit shocked at how low the climb rate was coming off that field. I was just able to get 400fpm but we were at full gross.

It was very exciting and a lot of fun.

Tony

Disconnected

Published on: March 14, 2011
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Do you guys ever feel “disconnected” in the airplane?

Let me explain. I needed to get some night landings in to keep night current so Saturday night I rented a 172 and took care of it.

I did my normal night preflight, jumped into the plane and flew up to Booneville/Baldwyn (8M1) so all my stopping and going wouldn’t bother anyone.

My first landing was a bit flat but soft as a baby’s butt so I didn’t think much about it. My next four landings and one go-a-round went much better but I felt like I was chasing airspeed and coming in lower and slower than normal for me. It was as if I just couldn’t “feel” what the plane was doing. I seemed to be sort of disconnected from the plane like I was watching myself fly instead of actually flying it….. it’s hard to explain. I flew well and landed really well but something seemed amiss.

Was I just having an off day since I hadn’t been in a plane in over three weeks? Did leaving at night somehow put me behind the plane? Was it just lack of practice? I don’t know. Does this ever happen to you guys?

Thanks
Tony

Slapped Around

Published on: February 21, 2011
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Several weeks ago I had my instructor check me out in a Cessna 152. I trained in a C172 because Jimmy and I are both over 6’2″ and over 200lbs so we kind of look like two elephants riding a June Bug in the 152. But, the 152 is $40 an hour less so it’s an option when I’m broke lol.

Anyway, I took my daughter (Mary Beth) up for the first time yesterday in the 172. We hit several of the airports within 50 miles of Tupelo working on my goal of visiting every public use airport in Mississippi. We had a really fun day and I dropped a ton of cash for our morning of fun.

It was really nice here again today (in the 80′s) so I just had to go fly again. Betsy and I jumped in the 152 and headed up to Savanna, TN for lunch.

It was a nice flight up there with a good tail wind so we were able to make 137kt over the ground.

After a nice lunch we headed back to Tupelo. The sock was standing straight out but blowing right down the runway so takeoff was quick. Climbing was another story though and about 1500 feet MSL we hit some big time turbulence. I tried to climb up out of it but the higher I went the worse it got. And if that were not bad enough, the ceiling was 4000 with no way to get on top of it.

Now in a 172 this wouldn’t have been so bad but in the little paper airplane we were in it was ugly!! We were making 65kt over the ground and getting tossed like a rag doll. It was the longest hour of my life.

I have flown the 172 so much that I totally underestimated how bad the 152 gets tossed around in wind. I’ve never been in a plane that changed direction and revved the engine because it was cavitating. Holding altitude was almost impossible. We’d catch an up draft and gain 300 feet in 15 or 20 seconds then sink like a rock a few seconds later. I caught myself releasing the yoke to make sure I wasn’t over controlling the plane and making it worse. I now know how a leaf feels.

Lessons learned. Never fly the 152 when it’s windy. And I’m a complete wimp when the plane is getting slammed around. I felt like I was in over my head. I flew the plane and we made a good landing in Tupelo but I can honestly say I was scared and really happy to be on the ground.

I didn’t think I had made a bad decision to go fly and in a 172 it wouldn’t have been. I’m not so sure about the 152.

Anyway, I don’t know how anyone ever gets use to the helpless feeling that nature could bitch slap you any time it wants.

Quick Trip

Published on: February 8, 2011
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On Sunday Jimmy called and asked if I wanted to ride shotgun on our companies King Air E90. On Friday we flew in some of our customers so they could spend the weekend at the casinos over in Tunica, MS and now they needed to be taken home.

I met Jimmy in Tupelo where we pulled the plane out and got ready for the day.

We flew from Tupelo to Tunica to Gastonia, SC then home.

The King Air doesn’t make a very good photo platform so the pictures are not as good as I like.

Here we are waiting on our passengers in Tunica, MS

Flying along at 26,000 over the Mississippi delta

Entering the great Smokey Mountains off the right wing. There is a reason they call them “Smokey”.

They don’t look like much when you’re 20,000 feet above them.

These clouds were backed up along that ridge line. It was cloudy on one side, sunny on the other.

Veiw of Gastonia airport from our parked plane.

It was a fun day but a long ride back home. 100 knot winds off the nose killed our ground speed.

I didn’t take any pictures on the way home because we sat in or on top of clouds the whole way. If you want to see what that looks like just hold a sheet of paper in front of your eyes….. it’s about the same thing.

Enjoy,
Tony

Snow Flying Southern Style

Published on: January 25, 2011
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Well, we get very little snow down here so when we ended up with 10 inches…. I had to go up and make some pictures :roll:

After begging the FBO for 3 days to FIX A DANG PLANE!!!!!! they did, so we headed up before it melted (not much left).

Enjoy,
Tony

Here is a look off the right wing at “exit Charlie”,” taxiway Alpha” and the Commercial terminal.
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North end of the runway has a little factory called Independent Furniture.
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Looking off the left wing west at Hwy 78 toward Belden
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Me, JC and Betsy.
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Killing Time on a Beautiful Sunday

Published on: January 3, 2011
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Betsy and I thought we’d take advantage of the only good day we’ve had all week so we went for a little ride. I don’t own my plane so all I get is an hour in the plane and I have to make the best of it.

Anyway! Here is my “cheese” grin picture lol!

This is Smith Lake formed by Lock E on the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway

It’s hard to tell but the little town on the right is Fulton, MS and the water is Lock D on the TennTom. As you can tell, I kinda spent the day flying up the waterway.

Heading back to Tupelo we pass the wide spot in the road “Peppertown”.

Here is a some video of my landing in Tupelo. I know it don’t look like much to you seasoned veterans but it’s a good landing. I’ve really been working on speed control and “standardized” approach and it’s paying off with consistency.

It was a good day and I can’t think of a better way to kill a Sunday.

Tony

The Big Day

Published on: December 21, 2010
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Well! On a very windy day in December  (December 5th 2010) I flew down to Bessemer, AL (EKY) to take my practical test. Things went pretty well and by the end of the day I was a full blown private pilot. It was a good day.

After the checkride, exhausted but happy

The Dream

Published on: December 16, 2010
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As a kid in the ’60′s I lived only about 2 miles from the 9/27 runway at Tupelo (KTUP). We were in the traffic pattern so planes came over the house all day long.

I remember hearing an airplane coming and running outside to watch it go over our house. we’d lay down in the yard and watch them make the turn to final.

Back then Southernair was flying some old Martins and DC-3′s with big radial engines. You could hear those things for miles. The sound was low and rumbly with a wah wah wah sound when the props were slightly out of sync. I LOVED IT!!

I told myself that one day I was going to be a pilot and at 50 years of age I’m living the dream.

First Post

Published on: December 16, 2010
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Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Tony and I hope to share my aviation experiences with you. As I learn and travel I’ll be sharing all that here. Sit back and I’ll try to bring you current with my progress.

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