2024 Update. Finally.

My how time flies.  It has been well over three years since I have updated here.  And a strange three years to say the least.  From living accommodations to personal health issues, it has been quick the epic three years indeed.  Fortunately, the laws of aerodynamics are constant.  Of course I didn’t intend to be this stagnant for so long but I had some outside help.  Once again, mysteriously, I could not get WordPress to do what it was supposed to do and all progress halted.  I finally threw in the towel, called GoDaddy and paid $$$ to have an “expert” in some remote part of the world fix whatever I had managed to screw up.  So I am back in business.

My first order of business is to post a couple of picks of my latest ride–an Extra 300L–by far the greatest plane that I have ever owned or flown.  It is the best of everything: it’s fast, it carries a decent amount of fuel, it lands easy and it is roomy….at least in comparison to anything else that I have flown. And so far I have not been beleaguered by exorbitant  maintenance and repair costs.  So far.  And I have bot bent or broken anything.  So far.

We are still based in Palm Springs and the longest trip to date has been to Denver and that was a hoot.  The photo above was taken right before departure at about 6:30 am local time in Palm Springs and I was putting the plane about 4 1/2 hours later in Denver and that included a fuel stop in Gallup, New Mexico.  Weather was ideal and the service I got from Signature Flight Support at Rocky Mountain Regional was amazing and much better than I am used to getting elsewhere.

But the return trip was when things really got interesting.  I have not spent a great amount of time flying near the clouds.  With the range afforded by the Extra, more time needed to be spent paying attention to the weather than it had been in the past….at least it should have been spent.  Leaving Gallup on the return trip home I could see from the flight app on my cellphone that there were cloud buildups both to the north and the south  but it looked clear along my direct route.  So off I went, fat, dumb and happy as the saying goes.  Midway through Arizona the clouds were getting lower.  And closer.  But I soldiered on like I really knew what I was doing.  To make a long story short somewhere in western Arizona I found myself almost totally surrounded by clouds and it was not a pretty sight.  Summoning up my best rendition of Chuck Yeager sounding cool and collected I said to the controller that I had been in contact with:  “If you were going to give me a heading to get me out of this mess I find myself in, what heading would you give me?”  The controller responded with something like:  “fly heading 135 degrees” just as the radio was acting up and I lost contact with him.  Shortly thereafter another pilot on the same frequency told me to switch frequencies and contact LA center.  I had no sooner set the frequency when I heard a gal from center calling out to me; about the same time I broke out into clear blue skies all around.  Fun trip.

I will try not to be a stranger going forward.