Category Archives: Flying

A Study In Blue & Gold

Playing with the new iPhone camera with our PT-19 trainer as a subject.

She’s a tail-dragger, something I haven’t flown yet (although I have flown in her).

The open cockpit is a hoot to ride in. The tube & fabric body is quite a change for those accustomed to aluminum and titanium.

The cockpit is simple and you can see just how basic the tubular structure of the body is.

The prop is wooden, but it gets the job done.

The brightly colored tail is rakish – the color combo is spectacular. (It also makes you easy to spot after an “off-field” landing, a good thing if you’re a training aircraft!)

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Since the picture yesterday was popular, here are more from one of the P-51’s flights last Saturday. Yanking it around on short final, touchdown, and taxiing up to the crowd to show off.

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Coming & Going

That feeling when you didn’t get out of the office until just before 21:00 and by the time you get home and eat dinner and breathe for a few minutes you suddenly finding yourself saying, “Shit, it’s 23:30 already??!!”

This is why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this month!

Here’s another shot from Camarillo this last Saturday. Our P-51 was taxiing in from a ride, while behind it our yellow SNJ was taking off for one.

Both aircraft are a joy to take a ride in – for a very reasonable price, I can arrange that if you’re in the Southern California area. (Seriously! Shameless plug and all of that. We sell rides, I’m the finance officer, and we can always use the revenue. And it really is a great ride.)

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Cessna 195b

In addition to all of the other birds at Camarillo this weekend, this one rolled by on the taxiway.

It’s a 1952 Cessna 195b, one of the only radial engine planes that Cessna built after WWII.

Not quite as pretty to my eye as a Beech Staggerwing (if anyone out there wins the lottery and wants me to smile just a TON, I would take a Staggerwing in a heartbeat!) this is nevertheless a very good looking aircraft.

In this closest picture, I noticed the aircraft’s name up by the nose – “Patience.” I was surprised to see in researching the aircraft that it had a very impressive speed capability, cruising at 170 mph with a max speed of 178 mph and a service ceiling of 18,300 feet. Given that a “modern” Cessna 172 cruises at 140 mph with a service ceiling of 14,000 feet, that’s outstanding performance!

A guy can dream…

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Hawk & Crow

There was aerial combat over Camarillo Airport yesterday – but no airshow. This wasn’t simulated, it was as real as it gets.

The crow will gladly feast on hawk eggs, given the chance.

The hawk will gladly feast on crow, given the chance.

The crow has a bit of a size advantage, the hawk the advantage in speed, maneuverability, and weaponry.

But while you’ll occasionally see hawks in pairs, crows tend to mob hawks, three or four or as many as a dozen at a time.

Yesterday, at about 800′ above CMA (out of the landing pattern, fortunately for the big metal birds that could ruin everyone’s day) it was a draw.

The crow flew off (for now) and the hawk went back to looking for mice and rats (for now).

The battles will continue.

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Someplace Special – September 25th

Temecula, CA

(The dawn patrol was worth it for glassy smooth air, a touch of haze, and a tour of the wine country at about 2,000 feet – downwind all the way!)

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Really – Smoky, Cloudy Sun Over Ramp Pano – Plus Video

Yesterday I said it was self-explanatory, only to push the “Publish” button instead of the “Save Draft” button before I could actually upload and insert the aforementioned panoramic photo. Which is:

The picture I had uploaded was very nice, but it wasn’t the one advertised. This is.

Enlarge it for the detail, you’ll see that not only did we have the smoke, the clouds, the sun, and so on, but we had a whole bunch of guests on site. They got to see our P-51 Mustang do a couple of passes. Because you deserve the best, here’s a gorgeous, high-speed pass with a great high-speed break and 180° climbing turn. Listen to her whistle!

Finest kind! Watching this and hearing that Merlin engine purr is one of the reasons I do all of this work for the CAF SoCal Wing.

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