Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rules of the Air

(Since I seem to be the only one posting new articles, I suppose that I can post almost anything and no one will care.)

Happy New Year!
Since I posted an article about flying last year I thought that you might enjoy these Rules of the Air published in an Australian aviation magazine a few years back.

  1. Every takeoff is optional.  Every landing is mandatory.
  2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger.  If you pull the stick back, they get smaller.  That is unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.
  3. Flying isn't dangerous.  Crashing is what's dangerous.
  4. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.
  5. The ONLY time that you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
  6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool.  When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.
  7. When in doubt, hold your altitude.  No one has ever collided with the sky.
  8. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away.  A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.
  9. Learn from the mistakes of others.  You won't live long enough to make all of them yeourself.
  10. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the parking ramp.
  11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival.  Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival, and vice versa.
  12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere that your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.
  13. Stay out of clouds.  The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction.  Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in the clouds. (I have actually seen mountains hide in the clouds, and planes going the other way.) 
  14. Always try to keep the number of landings that you make equal to the number of take offs that you've made.
  15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing.  Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
  16. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience.
  17. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly that the earth repels them.
  18. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round, and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, then things are not at all as they should be.
  19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.
  20. Good judgement comes from experience.  Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgement.
  21. It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.
  22. Keep looking around.  There's always something you've missed.
  23. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea.  It's the law.  And it's not subject to repeal.
  24. The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above, the runway behind, and a tenth of a second ago. 
I wish that someone had pointed out a few of these to me when I was a young and foolish pilot.  

A Long Silence Broken

I just happened upon this old blog that I started ten years ago. What a trip down memory lane! Thanks to Jay for keeping it going with occasional posts. I'll catch you up to date a bit on the past few years, but if you want to see what I'm doing you can visit my new blog at: We have now lived in Spain for over seven years and have permanent residency here. We still travel a lot, but at age 79 I'm beginning to slow down a bit. I wonder who is still looking in on CVMemories. Drop me a note as a comment so I will know you are still with us. Looking forward to hearing from you, and thanks again, Jay for keeping CVMemories on the air.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Winfield Courier circa 1963

   Image result for Cessna 182 picture
by Jay D. Mills
Bill Gillig was a line boy and pilot at the flight service at Strother Field.  I was flying at the time and rented Cessna 172 and 182 aircraft from Strother Field.  The flight service had a contract to fly high priority repair parts from the Wichita Airport to the GE jet engine repair facility at Strother.  By hanging around the airport I would sometimes get a "free" flight by taking a company airplane to Wichita to pick up parts, and then returning quickly.

Bill Gillig was about my age, early 20s, and we got into all kinds of flying mischief together.  In addition to the GE repair facility, the flying service also had a contract with the Winfield Courier to deliver the newspaper by air.  No, not to individual customers but to the paperboys in the various small towns to the East of Winfield.  Cedar Vale was one of the towns that they served.  The small Cessna 150 would fly over a field at the edge of town and push a rolled up bundle of newspapers out of the side window as they flew over.

Flying the paper route was how I also got some extra "free" flying hours.  Often, Bill and I would fly the route together.  They had a 'low altitude' permit to fly as low as 300 ft.  However, Bill & I considered 300 ft. to be the upper limit and often hopped over fences in the open pastures of eastern Cowley County.  My Guardian Angels must have worked overtime to protect me from myself.

Some of the other crazy stuff that we did in airplanes scares me to even think about it today. There is a saying; "There are bold pilots, and there are old pilots; but there are no old, bold pilots."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I'm Growing Bananas -- Again!

On May 8 last year I wrote asking for help with my first large bunch of bananas.  Now I have a bigger problem.  Four of my banana trees have large bunches that will be ready to eat in the next few months.  I have a spare bed and three active dogs for company if you would like to visit and help out with eating the bananas.  Please!

If you look closely you will see 2 of the 4 bunches, the one in front is newer and less mature.

Behind the banana trees is the jungle, along the deep river gorge behind my house.  We have to keep cutting it back or it would overtake the property.