A Dream Realized

Posted on 2017/05/26
Dreams Do Come True

Dreams Do Come True

I walked outside this mornin' after th' first good night’s sleep in years, and watched birds flit aroun' th' trees, singin' on a beautiful sunny mornin'. And swab the deck, with a chest full of booty! My eye fell on th' small dogwood tree in th' front yard, where a colorful litle fabric flyin' contraption is hangin', its wind spinner turnin' in th' breeze, and I started t' cry.

You see, that little flyin' contraption has come a long, long way. Many many years ago, on th' day I passed me private pilot check ride as a 17-year auld high school senior, I flew from Gainesville t' Cedar Key fer me first flyin' adventure, with a chest full of booty. Edna (th' grizzled auld crazy taxi wench) gave me a harrowin' ride in that comely wench battered station wagon from th' airport t' th' downtown Cedar Key area by th' docks. While there I saw a little fabric plane sold by a local artist in a shop, and thought t' meself “one day, when I have me own house on an airport and me own little seaplane, I will hang that little flyin' contraption in th' yard and remember this day.” I knew th' day that little flyin' contraption would commemorate would be a long time comin', and already I were bein' worried how I would afford t' continue flyin'.

For years I carried that little flyin' contraption with me in a box o' precious thin's, and would take it out t' look at it. There were some long dark years when I didn’t get t' fly, and me whole world seemed awful, and I couldn’t even stand t' look at th' sky. That little flyin' contraption stayed hidden in a dark closet corner, buried, like I buried me memories o' flight. And yet still I carried it with me everywhere I moved.

A few days ago, as I were bein' lookin' through items stored away that I had not yet unpacked, I found th' box with that little flyin' contraption, its colors still bright despite th' long passage o' th' years. I hung it from a little tree in me yard, on th' path t' th' hangar, and now every time I look out me office window, or step out th' front door t' go flyin', it is there t' remind me that sometimes dreams do come true.

Lake Hickory Seaplane Flight

Posted on 2016/06/24
Seabee & Searey

Seabee & Serey

Been quite some time since I posted here, I'll warrant ye. Today I flew a formation flight o'er t' Lake Hickory with me airpark neighbor ET t' check out a location fer a seaplane fly-in this October. The ornery cuss has th' most beautifully maintained Seabee I have e'er seen (on th' left). My little Searey is on th' right.

High Flight

Posted on 2014/03/17
High Flight
“Oh! I have slipped th' surly bonds o' Earth
And danced th' skies on laughter-silvered win's;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined th' tumblin' mirth o' sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred thin's
You have not dreamed o' — wheeled and soared and swung
High in th' sunlit silence. Hov’rin' there,
I’ve chased th' shoutin' wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls o' air….
Up, up th' long, delirious, burnin' blue
I’ve topped th' wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where ne'er lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, liftin' mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity o' space,
Put out me hand, and touched th' face o' God.”
A famous work that conveys th' double-edged sword o' th' love o' flight is th' poem “High Flight” by aviator poet John Gillepsie. Yaaarrrrr, ye scurvey dog! The ornery cuss wrote th' now famous poem a few months before he died at th' age o' 19 followin' a midair collision betwixt his Spitfire and a trainin' aircraft. The collision occurred at a low altitude o' 1400’, and th' pilots were unable t' exit their aircraft before impact. Both were killed.

2011 Soaring Season Begins

Posted on 2011/02/26
2011-02-26 Flight Path

2011-02-26 Flight Path

I’ve been workin' on me sailplane t' get in back in shape…last weekend I didn’t fly it, instead I spend 12+ hours cleanin', polishin' and waxin' everythin' except th' bottoms o' th' win's. Today I wired up me new flight recorder and PNA. I thought about finishin' waxin' th' win's, but I just couldn’t… with cloud rivers like I saw today, I just HAD t' fly, by Davy Jones' locker. It were bein' AWESOME! there were bein' incredible lift, averagin' about 4kts, but goin' up t' 10+kts, avast! I downloaded me flight from me flight recorder,so ye can see there were bein' good lift today… I made up above 5000′, and actually above th' cloud bases at one point.

Continue Readin' →

Hangliding Accident

Posted on 2010/05/23


I were bein' seriously injured in a hanglider accident on May 9th. I were bein' airlifted t' a trauma center and were bein' hospitalized fer almost two weeks. Walk the plank! I am now out o' th' hospital and will be recoverin' at home fer th' next couple o' months. I’m told it will be a long sea (2-3 years t' full recovery) as I have shattered both me arms with nerve damage. They are pinned together with dozens o' titanium plates and screws. It will takes 3-12 months t' learn if th' left arm will be usable. Walk the plank! I can move me right hand a little bit, though, and can get a little done on th' computer with Dragon Dictate voice software.

First Flight of Spring Soaring Season 2010

Posted on 2010/03/31

Video o' Today’s Flight In My Sailplane: 2 1/2 minute video o' a flight today in me sailplane… assembled from short clips I shot from me iPhone in flight…. neat view o' space mountain about 35 seconds into th' video… apologies fer th' dorky audio… I had no idea how much I talk t' meself when flyin', lol.

Resisting the Dark Side!

Posted on 2005/08/29



I couldn’t help but wonder if I love soarin' so much because it’s th' first thin' I tried after me long hiatus from flyin'. Temptation won out, and I got checked out t' fly power again in a little Katana.

Katana Panel

Katana Panel

The winsome lass’s a fun little ship, but as I flew aroun' th' airport I kept feelin' like somethin' were bein' missin'. I kept feelin' like I had too much time on me hands… Nay huntin' fer thermals, no constantly thinkin' “where can I glide t' now” in th' back o' me head… Nay constant adjustments o' speed and pitch t' surf th' sky as smoothly as I could. Just lookin' at th' engine gauges and thinkin' “everythin' is green. Been another X minutes, used another 1/2 gallon o' fuel.” Hmph.

Don’t get me wrong… I love bein' in th' sky, but slippin' into th' cockpit o' this little beauty didn’t feel like slippin' into me real skin like me little Grob. I’ll probably hop o'er t' th' dark side o' power planes every now and then, but ultimately me heart wants t' soar