Introducing “Pilot Achievement Plaques,” featuring Greg’s renowned aerial photography!

Posted in Greg recommends, Greg's photographs on May 14, 2015 by Greg Brown


Commemorate your pilot accomplishments with my new art-quality metal wall plaques! Ideal for celebrating:

  • First solo!
  • New pilot certificate or rating!
  • A gift for your favorite pilot or flight instructor
  • A new-to-you airplane!
  • A special flight accomplishment
  • Just proud to be an aviator
  • Any other aviation achievement you can think of!

These large 10″ x 20″ frameless, ready-to-hang metal plaques feature your supplied photo and pilot achievement. (More info and examples HERE.)

To highlight your accomplishment, select your favorite pilot vista from my Views from the Flying Carpet aerial photographs. (Each image incorporates my signature mark.)

20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2959-EditeSmw1200These Pilot Achievement Plaques feature superb finish and image quality similar to my Fine Art Metal Prints.

20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2962eSmw1200Each semi-gloss metal plaque delivers ready-to-hang on a frameless back mount that floats it 1/2″ off the wall, similar to the Fine Art Metal prints shown at left and right.

Pilot Accomplishment Plaques – sizes, pricing, and delivery

  • 10″ x 20,” with floating wall mount: $124 + s&h*
  • 10″ x 20,” with optional black flush-edge mount: $154 + s&h*

* $15.50 shipping within the Continental US. Applicable sales tax is additional. Normal delivery runs 2-3 weeks. (Not guaranteed.)


Order your Pilot Achievement Plaque here!


©2015 Gregory N. Brown

“Santa Ana Winds,” Greg’s June, 2015 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2015 by Greg Brown

The price of adventure


Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to be a pilot. Flying is as much about adventure as it is about transportation. Jean and I could drive to Southern California for our annual seaside vacation, as others do. Yes, it’s a dull 8-hour trek, and requires negotiating miles of maddening traffic. But little planning and few decisions are required — just hop in the car, and go.

By Flying Carpet, the same journey takes just two hours and delivers us three miles from the beach. Along the way are spectacular views of mountains, desert, and the Colorado River. Sounds impressive to the uninitiated, but flying demands planning, research, and sometimes stress. We pilots see such challenges as the price of adventure — overcoming obstacles for the rewards of stunning sights and completing our “missions.” But for others less suited to piloting, such trials seem troublesome travel complications.

This would be our second flight into Oceanside Municipal Airport for our “beach fix” with friends Tim and Hedy Thomas. It’s a delightful rural airport, but not without challenges: a short obstructed runway, and noise-abatement procedures that demand preflight study. Those I’d mastered last visit.

This year’s travel was constrained because our hosts could accommodate us for only two specific days. Every pilot knows the challenges of trying to meet an inflexible schedule. Fortunately, this route normally features benign flying weather, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

GregBrownFT615_0513eSmw1200As the day approached, the Southwest enjoyed record winter temperatures: Flagstaff in the 60s and Oceanside in the 80s. The cause was a powerful weather system generating easterly “Santa Ana winds.” I knew the effects of the Santa Anas, but had never flown in them.

Yes, 25-knot tailwinds would speed us on our way. But Oceanside is just 30 miles downwind of California’s rugged coastal mountains, raising specters of mountain wave stretching out to sea, moderate to severe turbulence, and low-level wind shear at our destination…

READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, SANTA ANA WINDS.” (Allow a moment for the article to load.)

Top photo: California’s Oceanside Municipal Airport (lower left) lies just up the San Luis Rey River from its namesake town, beach, and pier (upper right). Lower photo: The reward: savoring sunset at Oceanside Beach, California. SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE!

(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)


©2015 Gregory N.Brown

Introducing Greg’s affordable new Fine Art Metal Prints!

Posted in Greg recommends, Greg's photographs on April 10, 2015 by Greg Brown

20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2960-EditeSmw1200Introducing my trendy and affordable new Fine Art Metal Prints! 20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2957eSmw1200

I am thrilled with the superb image quality and fidelity of this series, and believe you will be too.

What’s more, prices start at an economical $125* including shipping within the Continental US.

Each semi-gloss metal print delivers ready-to-hang on a frameless back mount that floats it 1/2″ off the wall. (Framing options available.) 20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2959-EditeSmw1200

This approximates the museum-mount appearance I prefer on my Fine Art Collector Prints, while helping to keep them affordable.

Each open-edition metal print incorporates my signature mark. (But unlike my Fine Art Collector Prints, not certificates of authenticity.) 20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2962eSmw1200

In addition to offering all my popular “Views from the Flying Carpet” aerial images as Fine Art Metal Prints, I’m also introducing my terrestrial photographs for the first time.

I predict you’ll be delighted as I am with these gorgeous and impactful prints!


  • 11″x17,” $125
  • 12″x18,” $145
  • 16″x24,” $195
  • 20″x30,” $295
  • 24″x36,” $395
  • 30″x40,” $495
  • custom sizes available
  1. Preview and select your desired AERIAL or TERRESTRIAL image.
  • Ready-to-hang frameless semi-gloss metal prints, 1/2″ standoff from wall.
  • Normal production runs about 1 week, plus shipping time. (Delivery time not guaranteed.)
  • Print sizes are nominal since aspect ratios vary by image.
  • Applicable sales tax additional.

“Bad Start,” Greg’s May, 2015 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, how airplanes work with tags , , , , on March 26, 2015 by Greg Brown

Beach vacation on the rocks…

PatrickShielsC182Cockpit-ILS21LfinalApproachPRC-FredGibbs_0409eSmw1200 Each spring Jean and I look forward to flying to our annual beach retreat with friends in southern California. That was still a few weeks away when I arrived at the airport one chilly morning for a local flight. Having preheated the engine overnight, I primed it as usual and turned the key.

The Flying Carpet, an older Cessna 182, has always been a terrific starter, rarely requiring more than half a turn to waken the engine. But this morning the engine barely cranked – it just groaned to first compression, and stopped. I wasn’t particularly alarmed as today’s mission was minor, and starting problems are usually easily resolved. I first suspected a weak battery. However, the voltmeter showed the battery fully charged to 24 volts, indicating outstanding health and plenty of power to start the engine.

This airplane’s battery is located back behind the baggage compartment. Thinking there might be a faulty connection or ground between it and the starter, I requested a GPU (ground power unit) start from Flagstaff’s Wiseman Aviation. However their battery cart fared no better. That the engine turned at all absolved the ignition switch and starter solenoid. “Obviously,” the problem must be the starter itself…

Mechanics Rory Goforth and Mike Clever towed the airplane to Wiseman Aviation, checked connections, and installed a new starter. But to everyone’s surprise, the engine still wouldn’t crank adequately to start.

GregBrownFT515_2713-starter adaptor calloutsSmw1200Rory explained that the only possible remaining culprit in this simple system was the “starter adaptor.” This clutch-like device mechanically connects the starter to turn the engine, and then disconnects it when the engine starts.

I’d heard of starter adaptors occasionally failing to disengage so the engine drags and burns out the starter, but never one that wouldn’t start the engine. However mine was apparently slipping internally so the spinning starter wouldn’t fully engage the engine

READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, BAD START.” (Allow a moment for the article to load.)

Top photo: Hitching a ride down the ILS to Prescott, Arizona, with instrument student Patrick Shiels and flight instructor Fred Gibbs. Lower photo: Arizona Air-Craftsman mechanic Leroy Dufresne examines the Flying Carpet after releasing it back to service.

(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)


©2015 Gregory N.Brown

Greg’s affordable new “Sunset Rains” Metal Print!

Posted in Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2015 by Greg Brown

20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2960-EditeSmw1200I’m pleased to announce the first of my trendy and affordable new “Views from the Flying Carpet” Metal Prints.

Order my new Sunset Rains 20″ x 30″ Metal Print for just $295* through the month of March!

20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2957eSmw1200I am genuinely thrilled with the quality and fidelity of this series, and believe you will be too.

The success of my ongoing museum-quality “Views from the Flying Carpet” Fine Art C-prints crafted by Master Printer Richard Jackson has been incredibly rewarding, with pieces exhibited in numerous museum shows and placed in private and corporate collections as far away as Australia. New Fine Art Print images are in the works.

20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2959-EditeSmw1200Plenty of folks, however, have expressed eagerness to own a Flying Carpet print while foregoing the cachet of museum quality and collector documentation to fit tighter budgets. Therefore my specific objective with these new metal prints is to offer superb image quality at affordable prices.

Each metal print delivers ready-to-hang on a frameless back mount that floats it 1/2″ off the wall. (See right and below.) This approximates the museum-mount appearance I prefer on my Fine Art Prints, while helping to keep them affordable. Each open edition print incorporates my signature mark. (Unlike my Fine Art Prints, these come without certificates of authenticity.)

20x30-SunsetRains-MetalPrint_2962eSmw1200I selected generous 20″ x 30″ dimensions to deliver the largest possible size while optimizig value and minimizing shipping costs. I predict you’ll be thrilled as I am with these impactful and gorgeous prints.

My museum-quality Fine Art collector series C-prints custom-crafted by Master Printer Richard Jackson will of course continue to be available.

Thank you!!

PS: In order to personally proof each new image in my metal print series, I’m extending Flagstaff-area customers the $295 price for the first-time metal-print order of any specific Flying Carpet image allowing me to receive, proof, and locally deliver. So if you have your eye on a print other than Sunset Rains, now’s the time to order! (See available images. Contact me directly to order.)

* Plus shipping and/or sales tax. (Just $20.50 shipping to the continental US. Contact me for shipping costs to other destinations.)

“Tomorrow’s Pilot,” Greg’s April, 2015 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, teen pilots with tags , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2015 by Greg Brown

Passing the torch

5-GregBrownFT415_3eSm1200We all meet youthful aspiring pilots. For many it’s a passing interest, but now and then we encounter young people whose aviation knowledge and enthusiasm mark them as exceptional.

Gian Jacuzzi messaged me on Facebook last year about becoming a pilot. He’d gotten the bug at an airshow, and regaled me with photos of his favorite airplanes. I helped the 13-year-old enroll in “AOPA Av8rs,” and briefed him on EAA’s Young Eagles program and Air Academy summer camps. I also introduced Civil Air Patrol, where he might affordably solo in gliders as young as 14. He in turn asked about my piloting, and the Flying Carpet. In the process, we discovered that we share the same birthday.

Shortly after Christmas, Gian messaged me asking about university aeronautical programs. After answering, I casually asked about his holiday vacation.

GregBrownFT415_5eV2Smw1200“Truthfully,” he said, “there’s been a lot of pressure here. My mom, sister Nina, and myself just moved to Florida with nothing but 3 suitcases of clothes and essentials. So we didn’t have much money or time to celebrate the holidays. We spent most of our current money on airline tickets. We lived in a hotel for two weeks but it was expensive and we were running out of money. We considered going into a shelter but met some kind people and are staying in their house while my mom finds a job.”

GianNinaRusso-C150_MaribelRussoPhoto_2eSm1200I asked how his mother was holding up. “She has lots of hope and is very motivated. Nina and I are very proud of her.” There was no hint of sadness or frustration, but clearly this family had suffered a bleak Christmas. Yet even among those trials Gian found a bright spot.

“The good thing was we flew here in a 747! I got to see the cockpit, and the pilot and first officer were both fascinated by my passion for aviation!” Spontaneously I made an offer: “Ask your mom if she’d be comfortable with Jean and me buying you a flying lesson. You deserve to do something special after all you’ve been through.” …

READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE FLYING CARPET COLUMN, TOMORROW’S PILOT.” (Allow a moment for the article to load.)

Top photo: Gian Jacuzzi takes the controls for the first time. Middle photo: Maribel Russo and Nina Jacuzzi, with CFI Yogini Modi and Gian Jacuzzi at Orient Flight School, Homestead Airport, Florida. Bottom photo: Nina Jacuzzi celebrates her brother Gian’s first lesson. SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE!

(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)


PS: Check out some exciting followup on this column by my friend and AOPA Flight Training magazine editor, Jill Wood Tallman.

©2015 Gregory N.Brown

terrific IFR checklist for your kneeboard

Posted in Greg's piloting tips on February 2, 2015 by Greg Brown

FredGibbsCessna162Skycatcher-3034eSmw800bI rode along on an instrument lesson the other day with my buddy, veteran flight instructor and popular FAASTeam Safety Presenter, Fred Gibbs (pictured), and was intrigued by a clever IFR checklist form on his student’s kneeboard.

Turns out Fred created the checklist for his students; he has generously offered to share it gratis for personal use.*

FredGibbsIFRchecklistV43Smw1200Instrument students and pilots of all experience levels will appreciate Fred Gibbs’s terrific IFR checklist and info form.


Thank you, Fred!


*Please contact Fred through me for any commercial applications, including offering them in any form for sale.


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