Flying Time

Here’s some footage from a day out with a beautifully restored Piper Cub. Just got to the airport and opened the hangar door.

Was a great day for flying: light winds, clear sky, cool. And to think that aircraft was built in the late 1940’s is nothing short of amazing.

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The Right Seat

I had the pleasure of taking a nice flight in a different plane. This time, it was a Piper Archer for a run around the Philadelphia Area. I sat in the right seat for the first half of the flight, which was different because I was able to snap a few photos, such as this one of the skyline from about 1,200′ MSL:

Philadelphia skyline from about 1,200' MSL.

Philadelphia skyline from about 1,200′ MSL.

The other benefit was getting this close to Philadelphia proper, an area I usually avoid. From there it was a slow turn to the north and then west out to Chester County Airport (KMQS) for lunch. Here’s a look at Runway 29 on final:

Final approach to Runway 29 at Chester County Airport, KMQS.

Final approach to Runway 29 at Chester County Airport, KMQS.

Had a tasty lunch then took off, this time in the left seat for the short run back to headquarters. Was a great flight. I suppose they all are. Always do your checklist!

J3 Cub, around the patch, video

I’ve always wanted to fly in the venerable Piper J3 Cub. This is a legendary aircraft, an original, an icon. No doubt thousands of people learned to fly in this type of plane. Fortunately, there’s a couple of nice guys at my local airport who own them. While working on another video project from the air, I managed to get a few minutes of stick time in this plane. Take a look at the video of us flying around Brandywine Airport (KOQN).

An absolute joy to fly in the J3. It’s aviation at its most simple. The basic instruments, controls, and machinery. More than that, you don’t need. Plus, flying with the old stick and rudder forces you to be a good pilot, controlling the aircraft properly all the way from the hangar and back. Special thanks to Dave Nelson for taking me for a ride in his bird. By the way, most of the camera work you saw was done with a GoPro Hero 2. The shot in the middle of the runway was with a Canon XF100.

Flying is not inherently dangerous, however…

…flying is incredibly unforgiving. So goes the old adage about aviation. If you make a mistake, it will not forgive nor forget. Just yesterday, there was an incident at my home airport in Pennsylvania, USA, where some mistakes were made. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured when a single plane lost control upon landing. The result was quite a bit of damage to some storied aircraft. Take a look at the general scene:

Here’s the aircraft that lost control and crashed.

This aircraft was more or less totally destroyed after being struck.

Pipe tail destroyed when hit by other aircraft.

Again, gracias a dios, no one was severely injured. Sadly, some aircraft are headed for the scrap heap, which is a shame because these planes are beloved by many students and rental pilots. Remember, ALWAYS do your checklist. One of the first items must be: AM I FIT FOR FLYING TODAY? As well as, ARE MY ABILITIES SUITED TO THE CONDITIONS? We all make mistakes because we’re human. Nonetheless, do your best to minimize them, especially when flying.