02-14-2005, 07:00 PM
He was over visiting this weekend. Maybe he can tell you the story. We had alot of fun!
02-15-2005, 04:33 AM
Ron . . .are you putting weight on?
Eat more fatouch and less kibe! :)
02-15-2005, 12:46 PM
As winters grip slowly releases itself on the south I realized I needed to renew my solo sign off and given things are quiet this time of year I decided to drive over to charlotte and kill a few birds with one (stone), or trip as they say. Ron has not gotten a visit from me in several years so he wanted to show off his hard work over at goose creek (28A) Ron built a hangar in the dead of winter several years ago, and the first fly in he had there was not optimal due to the condition of the taxiway and the areas in front of the hangars plus some rain. Recently they even put in power so anyone who wants to do serious construction, building of aircraft in their hangars can do so with full lights and electric up the wazooo.. There are 2 - like constructed hangars that fit nicely past rons original hangar so things look good. They filled in all the low spots and it is coming along.
I got up to charlotte 9pm fri and got to meet kasey for the first time. If you think he looked cute in photos he is even more huggable in person. most remarkable he did not cry when he saw me. (I am a scary dude to some little kids).. Shannon has done a super job at being a mommy.
The plan was to fly me over in rons pacer from goose creek over to state line (sc10) to meet up with Gary Neal for some time in his raf. I took along everything I thought I needed which was too much but since I am in ground school and had a bunch of questions I piled it all in rons luggage compartment and off we went into a windy blue horizon at 10:30am saturday morning. The pacer is a really sweet plane but just a bit too small for a large one like me. While it was blowing every which way ron gave me the sales pitch for fw flying and I have to admit it was nice to have a heated, toasty cabin on a cold and blowing day. However it takes some getting used to if all you do is open frame flying. The most surprising thing is how quiet his planes are. The last 172 I flew was a noise box and had turned me off to fw for a long time. I guess exhaust and prop combos make a difference. Either that or I have really lost a tremendous amount of my hearing over the last 15 years.
Ron had not flown into state line in a while and the gps was a great help because its a really well hidden airport. He has been there times before but it just stays hidden. I had pulled up a info sheet on the air nav site but man no way I would have found it without it being pointed out to me. No planes on the strip it just looked like some storage buildings and a really short strip. Ron did a fly by and I hung on for the ride. upwind, cross, flaps,downwind, flaps, base, flaps, final,....wait where is the strip ??, thats trees!!!. I am looking straight at trees.!!! A brief flash of oh no, more trees we are dead... gave way to a nice slip to whip around a stand of trees and the field came into view. the wind was direct cross and the wind sock straight out. Not optimal conditions but ron knows his airplane and we made a perfect landing. Gary was already there and the local hangar rats were all gawking at this bush pilot who just flew into the patch like some national geographic special. (cue intro music here) I unloaded my gear while ron and Gary firmed up the plans for later in the day. Ron would fly back out and work at his hangar while I went a learning with gary.
Gary had all his paper work ready along with his organized lesson plans and we did a preflight and I was relieved to hear we would be doing our "work" over at shelby to the east. A much longer, paved airport with real airplanes and lights and markings with a better wind to runway direction I hoped. I had never flown or rode in an raf. Gary has a hs on the lower keel. He assured me that the machine could hold my weight and size, size wise it almost did. A comfy cabin on a cold and blowing day. It took all of my concentration and flight skills to manage his beast over to shelby, with a 20-30mph wind tossing us around. On the way going over what I had learned. 1 by 1 he checked off the list and thankfully I was not too far behind his machine. One thing I can tell you is that the raf has a much greater skill requirement to master. It is not a craft you just jump in and go fly. It worked me over thats for sure. We entered the pattern over at shelby to find only a few other crazies braving the wind and cold doing some pattern work so it fit in nicely with what we wanted to do.
Gary was so impressed with my flying skill he took his hands off the controls while he filled out the paperwork on the ride home. Lunch came and went at a nice cafe style italian restaurant, while we completed some more paperwork covering all the faa requirements and then we flew again after a lengthy 2 hour "ground school". I threw at least 15 questions at gary and he did his best to answer them plus give me a series of what ifs outside of the basic q&a which is always more meat to what you learn.
meanwhile ron was playing bob the builder showing how its done with the bobcat spreading gravel and fill back at gc, we called rons mowing & air taxi service on the cel and he made the trip back to pick me up. Gary was complete and fair with his instruction. He did his best to answer every one of my zany questions and admitted that half of what we study for goes to the wind when we dont use it. You dont use it you lose it.
Ron wanted to fly in before dark and he made it just in time. The flight back over charlotte airspace from dawn till dark was icing on the cake for the day. Our 30-35 mph headwind going, was sweet return at 150mph g.s. It was pitch black with just the lights of charlotte below. When we got back I was bushed to say the least.
Sunday came and ron wanted to give me some stick time in his 152 he was trying to sale out. It is a real sweet little plane and given its "smaller" dimensions, it actually fit me better than the larger pacer with its better head room and longer leg room to the rudder pedals, plus had plenty of umph to fly us 2 fatties over to get that famous 100.00 burger over at anson county airport. Ron let me do 3 touch and goes with the 152, over at anson, saving my bacon the first time as I came in too nose low, (a habit from flying the gyro) the 2nd time I pancaked & barked it in on all 3 wheels at the same time and 3rd time I flew it ok, and we had an ok landing. Not bad for 3 mins of stick time and instruction. Ron could really be a good instructor if he was so inclined. I also forgot to mention I got a full aerobatic show from one of rons buddies who has a skybolt high performance aircraft. While we were flying over to anson, barry was doing rolls, loops, hammerheads, at altitude while we were lugging along at 120 in the 152. My weak inner ear would not have held up to that punishment. The few wingovers we did on the way over almost made my lunch unnecessary.....I did not ask for a ride. Barry made a comment about not being sure to stomach the hamburgers. I wonder why.....
We taxied over to the main area where a smoking grill left a column of smoke and haze rising into the cool damp air. Ron introduced me to the guys over at anson and everyone over there seems to have a good time. Sunday lunch burgers is a local tradition. Before I knew it the burgers were down lots of lies told, and the rain which had held gave a hint it was going to sprinkle and it was time to go. The ride back was a meandering tour of all the small private strips and ron did his best to give me the full tour given my time limits. My, how time flies, when you go flying. My 6 hour drive up gave way to a 5.5 hour drive home. It will take a few days to recharge the batteries.
Hopefully I can get another camera soon, sorry no photos folks, mine broke but Ron might have a few if he uploads them.
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