Sunday, April 29, 2007

Finally in the Air Again

The weather came through in a big way Saturday. It was 3Mph Winds almost all day. Chris called me Friday night and said he was bringing a friend, Chip, who also flies a powered-parachute.

I got to the field about an hour before they arrived, so when they showed up I already had 30 minutes of flying. It was a nice, calm, smooth day.

We flew over to Hubert's field and I landed and talked to Hubert's Dad and Brother for a little while and then headed out to catch up with Chris and Chip. As I was taking off, I saw Jim Schwertner taking off in his Robinson R44 helicopter and warned them he was heading their way. Jim came on the radio and said he had them in sight. He flew around them for awhile asking questions about their parachutes. All the while, there was a large group of bicycle riders down below. Probably not often they see two powered-parachutes, a helicopter, and a fixed-wing ultralight circling each other!!

We flew around for awhile and then headed back to the field for fuel and a quick bite to eat. About an hour later, we were in the air again and headed toward Stillhouse Lake. We probably made it to within about 5 miles of the lake when I decided I was flying on only one tank of gas and should probably head back.

It was a perfect day of flying and I ended up with 3 1/2 hours in the air!! Can't imagine it being better.

P.S. If a cell phone fell out of the sky and damaged you or your property, it's not mine! If it didn't hurt anything, call Home on it and I'll come get it. It's still working, not going straight to voicemail, so I guess that's an advertisement for Motorola!

Chris and Chip preparing to take off.

Flying over I-35

Chip was getting too close, so I shot him down.

My favorite photo from the day.

Tractor shot for Robert Laird.

Just a field.


If you look closely, you'll see our friend Wayne in his Cub.

Buzzing the sprayer.

Wayne's Cub next to my plane.

Chip, trimming the trees.

Spraying for Mosquitos!


Anonymous said...

Great pictures Jack and hope you find that phone. Can't wait till next time.

Mark Z. said...

Great pictures. I now have several desktop wallpapers for the next few months. It's amazing that your phone still works. How did it fall out? You are living my dream. I can't wait until I'm able to do what you are doing.

Mark Zinkel

Jack Fleetwood said...

Thanks Mark and Chris. I take a lot of photos and hope for the best. This time most of them came out good!!

I don't know when I lost my phone, just landed and it was gone. It might not have fallen far. In the Airbike, not much stays in if you drop it!!

Have you started the Skypup yet? The hard part about building a plane is most of us can't afford to fly and build at the same time.

Chris said...

Wow, Nice pix!
Tell me about the airbike. I'm interested in building one with a friend who owns a commercial carbon fiber fabrication shop. I'm thinking I need all the help I can get at 6'1 and 260, if I can get just a little more payload capacity that would be good. I think carbon fiber frame/fuse is the way to go.

Did you build this one yourself? What engine? timeframe to build? etc.


Jack Fleetwood said...


The Airbike is a great, easy to fly plane. At 6'1", you would be cramped, I'm 6' and with a helmet, my head touches the frame. I believe some builders have modified the frame. You might ask on the ETLB forum listed in my links. They know everything about these planes.

I don't think you're weight would be a problem either, I'm about 205, but I carry 10 gallons of fuel, weighing 60 lbs, you could go with 5 if needed.

No, didn't build it myself. It has a Rotax 503.

Send me your email in another comment and I'll give you more info. I will not post your email.

BTW I deleted your comment on Wayne to keep it on the QT :-)

Mark Z. said...

Sorry about my delay.

No I haven't started building the Skypup yet. Right now I'm gathering materials and trying to create a suspended workplace where I can keep my plane (above a layer of junk in the garage) when I'm not working on it, then slide it over an open area and lower it to the ground when I decide to work. If I had the space, I'd probably already be building.

And yes you are correct. I won't be able to fly and build at the same time, but the good thing about building is that you don't have to wait until you have 100% of the money to start working. It eases the agony of being chained to the earth by gravity.