Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Early this weekend we had in Phoenix what could have been a disaster. A Cessna 182 jump plane, with 4 parachutist aboard, caught fire on the left wing just after the jumpers had proceeded with their exit from the airplane. The airplane was 2 miles from the Chandler airport but had no hope of getting back to the airport. The pilot was able to bail out just before the plane was engulfed in flames with only minor burns. 
The plane crashed into a house in the early morning and the two occupants were able to escape with their dogs. The house was enveloped in flames and destroyed.

Google "Gilbert Plane Crash" and there are several videos available that show the story.

Monday, September 5, 2016


It has been a tough couple of years in our household. Those of you who know me realize that my wife had a kidney transplant last year. We thought we were on the road to recovery, when in February, my wife started rejecting her kidney. Her immune system was wiped clean with seven straight days of infusions in the hospital; and we were very lucky to save the kidney.It was not the way she wanted to spend our wedding anniversary, but it was one heck of a gift to us.

Therefore I have not written any columns in several months, as I have been busy taking care of my wife. As things started to normalize, I started becoming active in aviation matters again. I was able to attend a wonderful Cirrus event at Scottsdlae airport (SDL). Cirrus really emphasized that is was a lifestyle decision to own a Cirrus. At nearly $1 million dollars for an SR22 I would tend to agree. There was also a lot of discussion on the Cirrus Vision single engine jet. Cirrus thought they would have certification by now, however this still has not happened.

My wife was getting stronger and we decided to attend my Nephew’s law school graduation from University of Denver in May. We flew my 62 year old Bonanza from SDL to Denver landing at Centennial Airport (APA). It was a leisurely 4 hour flight. We had to stay at 9500 feet due to cloud coverage. I usually like to fly over the mountains of eastern Arizona at 11,500. Upon arrival we taxied to TAC Air self fuel which is on the very north side of the field. After refueling we then taxied south back to to TAC AIr. They treated us royally. If I only had one complaint it was that they use GO Rental for their rental cars. A compact cost $69 a day plus fees. I found this to be extremely expensive. Graduation was great and it was wonderful seeing family. Heading home we had 40MPH headwinds and light to moderate turbulence. I had to slow the plane down to maneuvering speed and it took 5 hours to get home plus the fuel stop. Having a normally aspirated engine we fly around the Rockies and not over the passes. I would rather be safe than sorry. With the winds like they were, even if I had a turbo charged engine, I would have still gone around the Rockies. Our route of flight was SDL direct to OTO VOR, FTI VOR, CIM VOR, PUB VOR, COS VOR and direct KAPA. 

In early June I had a fraternity brother attending a wedding at the hotel we stay in La Jolla, CA. I had not seen him in 46 years so we decided to go. We usually do not go to La Jolla in June because of June gloom. This is where the temperatures and dew points are the same, and it is cloudy all day. We were lucky to have great weather in June. 

My Mom, living in Atlanta, turned 95 in July. Mayo transplant team did not want my wife to travel on an airliner. They said the two most infectious places are an airliner and movie theatre. So we had planned not to attend. Suddenly my wife’s labs turned around so that we could make the trip. She had to wear a mask and wash her hands every hour on the plane. We also wiped down her seating area and tray table with clorox wipes. This was a one time event as we have to stay away from infectious areas. Mayo also said to stay away from the elderly. I laughed and asked if this included me!

You have 2 choices living in Scottsdale during the summer, you can hibernate or go to San Diego. Over the summer we flew over to La Jolla every 10 days and stayed for four days. My wife still gets tired very easily. We would always return to the room to rest around 1 PM and then go out to dinner. It takes us around 2 hours each way to San Diego and back. Having a private plane is the only way we could make these trips. The drive is 6 hours, which is too much for my wife. Our last trip of the season is this week over the Labor Day Holiday. 

After Labor Day it starts cooling down in Scottsdale, especially at night. The days stay warm through October. When it is nice in Scottsdale we really do not want to leave. Most of our flying is breakfast runs to keep the plane exercised and maybe a trip to Las Vegas in April.

Without a GA Airplane none of this would be possible. We have flown south into the Baja of Mexico and as far north as Victoria and Vancouver in our plane. I can not imagine what life without flying will be like. I am installing a Stratus ESG-i
ADS-B In and Out in my Bonanza September 26th if the FAA rebate is out by then. If not I will have to wait until November as my shop is booked through then.

There you have it. That is what I have been up to. I hope to start writing on a more regular basis starting with the AOPA Regional Fly In Prescott, AZ (PRC) on October 1.

Until then wishing everyone well.