Flying Further: Crossing Borders
by Deena Schwartz, EAA Chapter 932
For an experienced pilot, crossing a border might not be much of a challenge. But, for a new aviatrix, it’s a very big deal!
This past year, I’ve looked for any reason to fly: I took my husband hours away for a pancake breakfast; I started flying to work; I flew to pick up some “project parts” for my husband; I flew out to spent a perfect spa weekend with friends at Kohler’s Resort; I seized a day and flew with my son to an alma mater for a college tour. Then, there was my right-seat time in Hawaii with good friend, fellow new-aviatrix and EAA932’s own award-winning website designer, Meira Leonard.
But as pilot-in-command, my flying has been limited to Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa.
Due to the barriers of time, money and weather, the distance I fly from my home base has remained limited. Yet as the “circle” has grown, I’ve felt more at ease flying further away. So, with some anxiety – though mostly excitement – I am planning on flying to Canada to visit family for Canadian Thanksgiving.
I scoured the internet for info about flying to Canada and watched hours of YouTube flight videos. The AOPA website is a very good source.
Next, I sought advice from many pilot friends and fellow 99s.
My goal: to fly across the border (and back) without a fighter jet escort, and thereby, spend a lovely Thanksgiving with family in Canada.
The legal stuff for a flight to Canada has been completed, and it seems like I have all my ducks in a row. Now, my flight planning begins.
It’s nice to have a mission. Having “a why” most certainly pushes me to move into new and uncomfortable space. Uncomfortable? Yep. But I push myself for the simple reason that I know it’s the only way I’ll grow.
My plane has become my teacher.
Nothing in my life has ever boosted my energy and spirit more than the excitement of going after something just beyond my reach. Whatever I have done in my life, including my plans to fly across the Canadian border, I’ve always found that working hard for a defined purpose has taught me more than I expected. Consequently, I’ve learned to seek projects and adventures that are just a little bit bigger than me. When I get my head, heart, and hands around whatever my goal is, the resulting smile you see is coming from every ounce of me.
I know I’ll learn something surprising from this flight. I don’t know what it is yet, and that’s pretty exciting!
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Pics of the Month (Sometimes, themes just happen!)
Planes on Posts…
Bill Marinangel spotted the 1/5th scale P51 on the right at a fly-in resort on Lake in the Woods in Canada.Bill says it’s bigger than it appears in the photos and serves as a wind indicator for local seaplanes.
August Chapter Gathering Recap: Flyout to Rochelle
On August 11, the Chapter hosted a flyout to Rochelle Airport (KRPJ), just south of Rockford, IL, to enjoy lunch and watch the bustling activity at the Chicago Skydive Center. The weather was cooperative, and nine chapter members flew to Rochelle in three airplanes: Rich Kocken and Arnie Quast flew their Piper Archers and Dave Spitzbart piloted his C172.
Just as we were arriving, a beautiful Sling light sport pulled up next to us on the ramp. The Sling is owned and built by Joan and Bob Zaleski of Naples, FL, who reside up north during warm weather months.
Joan and I had met last year at an EAA Chapter Leader training conference in Oshkosh. She is the President of EAA Chapter 1067 in Naples. Joan and Bob joined us for lunch and we enjoyed some great conversation during our meal at the Flight Deck Grill.
Afterward, we watched a busy De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter fly parachute jumpers. It was amazing how quickly the jumpers loaded and then were flown to altitude for their jumps. Watching them come down, making landings that were precise and graceful, was a remarkable sight.
A flight to Rochelle from Galt is quick and easy, taking approximately 20 minutes. Food and service at the Flight Deck Grill is very good. The outside patio has a volleyball court and various lawn games to enjoy during lulls in the action. It’s a great spot to fly to when you feel the need for some air time but don’t have time for a long-distance flyout.
Double clicking on any of the images below will start a brief slideshow:
Question of the Month:
What’s your favorite Weather App?
Let’s know your preferences and thoughts.
We’ll put all the ideas into an informative article that opinions can be shared by EAA932 members. Who knows, maybe we’ll all end up with new favorites!
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dreams in the Wind?
Both Ecclesiastes and the Byrds have proclaimed “To everything there is a season…” I can’t help but think that two items recently in the news may have somehow passed their “use by” dates:
The first comes by way of “Wired” with a story about the biggest aircraft ever built. What started out twenty-two years ago as the brainchild of Burt Rutan, revered creator of “outside-the-box” designs, and was ultimately made possible with funding from Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has finally become a reality in 2018.
The design that Rutan had in mind was an aircraft capable of carrying vehicles to the outer edges of the atmosphere as a reliable and economical way of launching satellites into space. What was ultimately built over a 7 year period is a leviathan created of used engines, cockpit pieces, landing gear and electrical parts scavenged from 747’s with a wingspan of 385 feet.
Unfortunately, during those 7 years, Elon Musk created SpaceX and Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin. Both companies cut the costs of launching things into space by means of re-usable rockets. They’re just two of several innovative approaches to send things into “infinity and beyond!”
And the thing has yet to fly.
Maybe it will eventually find at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in Oregon alongside the Spruce Goose, another brainchild that became an instant anachronism.
The Sampson Switchblade
The perennial favorite of dubious usefulness showed up at AirVenture again this year. The roadable aircraft – or more popularly, the flying car – is regularly reincarnated in various forms.
The idea of flying cars goes way back to 1917, when Glenn Curtis created the Curtis Autoplane. Between then and now, numerous attempts have been made to creating a useable roadable aircraft, with none drawing any sustained interest among the general public.
Samson introduced its Switchblade idea to the world at AirVenture 2009. My memory is of an original concept that had wings telescoping out from the body, like those collapsable plastic cups that fascinated us as kids.
Fast forward to AirVenture 2018. The current iteration of the Switchblade has wings that fold forward into the body of its three-wheeled chassis. Unfortunately, the company couldn’t demonstrate this key feature, making the excuse that the battery wasn’t hooked up. Seriously guys? A decade of development and you couldn’t hook up the battery? I had jumper cables in my car that you could have borrowed.
And another thing, and maybe it’s just me, but aren’t those wings a little…uh, little? Lets just say that the Switchblade really flies: would I have to have the skills of a test pilot to land it?
It may have gone noticed, but the development of multi-rotor aircraft that don’t require runways seems to have pushed the idea of a flying car off to the side of the road. While the Switchblade offers the convenience of being able to transition from sky to road in the case of bad weather, to me, the ability of a multi-copter to take off from my driveway and land in the parking lot at work beats that hands down.
And, again, the thing has yet to fly.
I can’t help but wonder if the Switchblade, like the StratoLaunch, may have missed its window-of-opportunity.
Then again, my wife swears that the older I get, the more of a curmudgeon I become.
Enter the Blackfly
Speaking of “out-side-the-box” design, take a look at the Blackfly by a company named Opener. They showed up in the Innovation Center at AirVenture this year…and astounded everyone who looked at their creation.
The fact that something which, at first glance appears so ungainly, can actually fly so elegantly is stunning. Its transition from vertical to horizontal flight is utterly simple…and brilliant! The Blackfly was easily the most original personal aircraft at AirVenture 2018.
And yes…this one is already flying!
Photo courtesy of the Mariposa Gazette
Fight and Flight
We’ve all heard and seen reports of the devastation that wildfires have caused up and down the west coast this year. My wife and I have friends in Mariposa, CA who had to evacuate their home because of the Ferguson Fire that ravaged the area around Yosemite. Fortunately, the tireless efforts of fire crews have allowed them to return to a still-intact home. Then they received the devastating news that one of the firefighters that they knew personally had lost his life in the blaze.
The images of tankers flying through blinding smoke to drop water and fire retardant are incredible. One firefighter learned to fly helicopters shortly after graduating high school and is now the co-pilot of a massive Sikorsky CH-54A Skycrane stationed at the Mariposa Yosemite Airport. With a huge tank slung under its enormous rotors, the Sikorsky is continuously flying into dangerous situations.
The courage and dedication of the crews on the ground and in the air is extraordinary, including that of 19-year-old CH-54A co-pilot, Ann Hansen
The President’s Page
Hello Fellow EAA 932 Members!
I hope that everyone has been enjoying a great summer. August slipped on by and now here comes Fall!
On August 11th we had a fly-out to Rochelle Airport. Three airplanes carrying nine people took part in the a very enjoyable outing. Everyone agreed that we should do more flying together as a chapter.
There is no shortage of great things coming up with the chapter and the airport. Your EAA 932 board has been working hard to put together some cool things to look forward to at Galt Airport.
UPCOMING ELECTIONS AND CHANGES IN BOARD POSITIONS
As we move into the closing months of another year, it’s time to elect two chapter officers. Both of the two-year terms for the President and Secretary will end on December 31. Please consider nominating yourself or someone in the chapter who you feel would be a good candidate for either position. Nominations will be accepted over the next two months, with the election taking place at the November gathering. If you have any questions about the duties that come with these positions, or wish to make a nomination, please contact me at email@example.com or Paul Sedlaeck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are pleased to announce that Deena Schwartz has accepted the roll of At-large Board Member. One of the initiatives Deena will be helping us with is promoting chapter gatherings and events to a greater level. Deena is a private pilot and owns a beautiful Cessna 182 based at Galt.
In addition, Chapter member Justin Thuma has agreed to lend his expertise to our foray into social media. Welcome to the team, Deena and Justin!
Daniella Knoll has agreed to step up to fill the position of Young Eagles Coordinator. As many of you know, Daniella has been very successful in helping us coordinate pilots and passengers at previous Young Eagles events. Daniella and her husband, Jeremy, are the owners of Aerosport LLC, distributors of the Bushcat and Sling light sport aircraft. Thank you, Daniella, for helping us out!
There has also been a change in our Newsletter Editor position. Chapter member Jerry Thomas is now editing our newsletter and helping to maintain our award-winning website. Jerry has a background in commercial art and advertising. He recently returned to earning his private pilot license after a long break. Please welcome Jerry in his new role.
As September approaches, we will have our regular chapter gathering on Saturday, September 8th. Our theme for the gathering will be Foreflight and Flapjacks. Come join us for a hearty pancake breakfast at 8:30am followed by Paul Sedlacek’s presentation on Advanced Foreflight Techniques.
On September 15th we will host a Family Night at the pond at Galt Airport. The event will start around 5:00pm and run until everyone tires out. The chapter will provide food and non-alcoholic beverages. If you prefer a beverage with more octane, please BYOB. Donations toward our scholarship fund are welcome.
Looking to October 13th, we will again host our annual Planes and Puppies event in conjunction with a Young Eagles Rally. Pilots and ground support volunteers will be needed to staff the Young Eagles event.
As always, please visit our chapter website at www.eaa932.org for the latest information on all events.
That’s all for now. I hope to see everyone at the upcoming events. Have a great month, and fly safe!
Arnie Quast, President, EAA Chapter 932