Sunday, October 10, 2010


Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve flown, so here’s a big story with a lot of photos!

Travis and I headed out to Bill’s place. We were hoping others could join us, but it turned out that everyone was busy. No worries, we needed to fly and both needed a break from work. Bill said I could fly his PPC and since mine was still down, I couldn’t pass that up!

By the time the winds died down Friday afternoon, we only got in a 30 minute flight, but it was nice and smooth.

We got up Saturday morning and headed out. It would be a calm day with an almost tragic ending. Got your attention didn’t I? Don’t skip to the end!

This was what I really needed. It was peaceful and there was ground fog everywhere, so it was beautiful. This was some of the most relaxing flying I’ve done in a long time. The funny thing is, I knew we had a headwind as we’d planned our flight that way, but I didn’t know how much since I didn’t have my GPS. Travis said we only got about 3 miles from the field. I would have sworn it was more. I knew I was moving when I got close to I-35 and I was passing some cars! I decided to put it way. The flying was still nice, but I didn’t want to risk anything in Bill’s plane.

When we landed, we discussed whether or not to go home. It was looking like we might not get to fly that evening. We ended up going to a local airport to their Commemorative Air Force museum to kill some time. We also went to eat, then headed back to Bill’s place with only a couple of hours until it would be time to fly. We decided to wait. This turned out to be a good decision…

Bill’s brother-in-law, David, came up in a big excavator. He said he was heading down to the pond to remove some trees. He told us to jump in the Polaris Ranger and come down to watch. We decided to go check it out. We had some time to kill and what man doesn’t like to see big trees tossed around like toys?! We found a shady spot and watched. Shortly after he started, he came screaming out of the excavator. He was yelling, “Help me”, “They’re attacking me.” and “Get them off.” We quickly figured out that it was bees. They were all over him and especially around his head. He was screaming and batting at them running around in circles. He ran over to us in the Ranger and told us to get him out of there. I was in the driver’s seat with Travis next to me. I pushed Travis out and told David to take the Ranger and drive fast. I ran one way, Travis ran the other.

Travis ended up getting stung once in the head, I didn’t get any stings, but David had many stings to his face, neck and head. He finally go them all off of him and we got him to drink some Benedryl. He would be fine. Then he realized he’d left his bird, Harley, in the excavator!! He had to go back. He took his van this time. She had hidden under the excavator. When he got down there we heard him yelling, “Harley” over and over. Apparently every time he says her name she whistles back to him. He was being swarmed again, but finally found her and she was okay. If we hadn’t been down there with the Ranger, David would have been hurt a lot worse. It was good for him that we decided to stay.

It’s was a fun weekend with a rough ending! We were so tired from running that we didn’t even feel like flying. We missed out on some nice weather, but at least we got to fly twice.

Now for lots of photos!

Travis flying ahead of me taking video.

You can see the new toll road in the background of this one.

Say cheese!!

Gear down and locked!

Saturday morning we got up early. As we were warming up, we could actually seeing the fog rolling in!

Travis planned to go fly first, rob a bank second. He dressed for both.
Not a great photo, but it will give you an idea of how the sun was reflecting off of the fog.
This will give you an idea of how steep Travis can climb.
Such a serene pond. No chance of killer bees being down there right?
I always hope to get that one shot per flight. And Travis turned toward the sun and there it was!
And another one…
And another one!

Travis flying over the fog.

The ponds looked like volcanoes with the steam coming off of them.

I’m gaining on him.

The hospital in the background.  We almost had to take a trip there!

Another steaming pond.

This photo doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the sun coming through the fog.

Where ya gonna land? Where ya gonna land when your engine stops? (Sung to the tune of the COPS theme.)

This is where nature ends and man takes over!

I believe these fellers were having a discussion about me.
I’m not sure if I like this photo… sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t!
Why is it some cows just look at us and wonder how a man can fly, while others scream, “It’s a big giant cow eating bird” and run away? Any bovine experts here?
It’s my shadow. Of course that’s not an elliptical because I’m not qualified to fly one.

I’m glad you could come out to watch me. I really like your dirt swimming pool.

These school busses really glowed in the morning sun. Also notice how the shadow of the Texas flag stretches across the entire freeway!
Hey it’s hay shadows.

Where’d my chute go? (I’m not making that up. I actually heard him say it.)

All done. Time to pack up.
On another note, I got my cylinders back Saturday, got them on today. I now have to do the break-in. If all goes well, I should be flying more. I need to catch up!

See you soon - Jack

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