The road to the hangar

I left three loads of laundry on the kitchen table, ready to be folded and put away. Grass needed cutting; tomatoes needed canning. The dog begged to go, but for him, a ride in the truck would have to wait until another day.

Like me, my green Dodge Ram has seen better days. The right front blinker assembly is held together with Gorilla tape, courtesy of a local deer. The back bumper sags a little, a confirmation that the tractor is a stouter piece of machinery. The air conditioner died last year, the passenger door lock refuses to work, but the tires are good, and the engine is maintained. For years, with its fuel tank and pump, it was our fuel truck for the airplanes, but ethanol ended that duty. Now it fuels lawnmowers, weed eaters and chainsaws.

And it does a darned good job getting me to the airport.

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The Land of Perfect

SHORT FINAL By DEBORAH McFARLAND

Like many aviators, I spend some of my free time cruising various aviation forums, and from past experience, I have learned to take what I read with a grain of salt.

Recently, however, it has been kind of difficult to ignore some of the nonsense that makes its way to these sites.

Through the wonderful portal of knowledge that is the Internet, I have been assured that I am dangerous because I utilize the slip. How so, I asked the CFI who forewarned of impending disaster. The slip is a cross-controlled situation, he said. Its use will lead to a stall and spin.

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Endless Summer

SHORT FINAL By DEB McFARLAND

Summer officially commands three months on the calendar, but according to Keely’s school calendar, summer only lasts eight weeks, hardly enough time for mind and body to slip gently into summer’s languid rhythms.

This year, I can hardly conjure those memories of simple summer pleasures such as swimming in a pond, bare feet in soft grass and the taste of ice-cold watermelon.

Our summer started in a rush and hasn’t slowed since.

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The road to the hangar leads to possibilities

SHORT FINAL by DEBORAH McFARLAND

I left three loads of laundry on the kitchen table, ready to be folded and put away. Grass needed cutting; tomatoes needed canning. The dog begged to go, but for him, a ride in the truck would have to wait until another day.

Like me, my green Dodge Ram has seen better days. The right front blinker assembly is held together with Gorilla tape, courtesy of a local deer. The back bumper sags a little, a confirmation that the tractor is a stouter piece of machinery. The air conditioner died last year, the passenger door lock refuses to work, but the tires are good, and the engine is maintained. For years, with its fuel tank and pump, it was our fuel truck for the airplanes, but ethanol ended that duty. Now it fuels lawnmowers, weed eaters and chainsaws.

And it does a darned good job getting me to the airport.

[Read more…]

The Hangar

By DEBORAH McFARLAND

My friend, Bob, at the Tom B. David Airport in Calhoun, Ga. (CZL), has been trying to explain to some folks in his town about the ambiance that can be found at the airport. Trying to describe the nuances of aviation to non-aviators can be a tricky business. In particular, Bob would like to differentiate between “a” hangar and “the” hangar.

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A fight well fought

John W. Murphy never did anything that made him famous. He wasn’t rich. As a kid he entered World War II with the assurance that it was the right thing to do for his country. He was unassuming and most times quiet, but in 1946 he left the military a changed man. He found a passion, and it was flying.

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An unusual upbringing

She was small with flaming red hair, but I had no doubt her backbone was reinforced with stainless steel. We sat at a conference table, the Old Man beside me looking grave and concerned, as appropriate for the situation. I, on the other hand, squirmed with guilt and no doubt my discomfort was apparent on my face.

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HAPPY, HAPPY: A long-awaited decision makes this Luscombe owner a happy woman

A friend of mine once told me that he didn’t read most flying magazines because they were full of gloom and doom. Airplanes crashing and pilots doing stupid things were not high on his agenda for enlightening reading. Where, he wondered, were the stories of pilots who did the right things? Of those successful forced landings or those good experiences of aircraft ownership? Where are the happy stories?

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