“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.)

Greg

©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!!
Greg

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.)

Greg

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.

PREVIEW AND DOWNLOAD FRED GIBBS’S PRINTABLE IFR CHECKLIST, for your kneeboard!

Thank you, Fred!

Greg

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

See Greg’s latest Fine Art Aerial Photography exhibit!

Posted in Greg's photographs on January 30, 2015 by Greg Brown

InstallWilMcNabbFineJewelry-FCexhibit_0447eSm1200See my latest Views from the Flying Carpet Fine Art Aerial Prints Exhibit at Wil McNabb Fine Jewelry 18 N Leroux Street in Flagstaff, opening February 6th at First Friday Artwalk, and continuing through March 4th!

DarknessFalls_InstallWilMcNabbFineJewelry-FCexhibit_0455-Edit-2eSm1200This show again features fabulous C-prints crafted by Master Photographic Printer Richard Jackson, including Darkness Falls (right) debuting in print for the first time.

Flagstaff locals know Wil McNabb and his wonderful team Sue and Tina as fine people and talented jewelers. I’m honored to be invited to show there. Stop by and check out their fine work, and mine!

Other exhibit news…

GregBrownSunsetRainshowers_1132_DxOeSmw800In other exhibit news, I’m proud to have two invited images as metal prints in the Flagstaff Arts Council 10×10 Fundraiser exhibit, running through Valentine’s Day at Flagstaff’s Coconino Center for the Arts. GregBrownKachinaWetlandsSunset_0486eSmw800

This is one of my favorite shows of the year – “100 artists :: 100 square inches :: 100 dollars” – in all sorts of media to benefit FAC. Don’t miss it!

Greg

“Fun Flight,” Greg’s March, 2015 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by Greg Brown

Sharpening skills for family travel

EmilyLibbyAlanHerringFC_GlendaleAirportGEU_2323eSmw1200“I missed out on a bunch of flying this weekend,” lamented my neighbor, Alan Herring, over dinner.

Alan is a dairy-cattle veterinarian and fellow pilot; he owns a Cessna 170 taildragger, and a Turbo 182. Alan and his wife Jeanie live near Phoenix, and commute on weekends to their vacation home here in Flagstaff. He’d just finished describing how his family names all their vehicles; the Skylane goes by “Wanda,” and the 170 is called “Willy.”

“Our daughter Emily is down in Tucson attending the archrival Arizona State University – University of Arizona football game,” Alan explained. “Her sister Libby is at home west of Phoenix. They’re coming to Flagstaff tomorrow to join us for one night. The plan was for Jeanie and me to fly up here in Wanda yesterday. The girls were to rendezvous tomorrow morning at Glendale Airport, where I’d pick them up. Then we’d all fly home together on Sunday. Sounds crazy for just one night, but we always have a good time together and the girls have shopping in mind. But when we got ready to fly here yesterday, Wanda’s battery was dead, and it was too late to address it.”

I asked about the girls’ contingency travel plan. Emily would now drive from Tucson to Tempe in the morning. Libby would come from the west valley to meet her, and they’d continue to Flagstaff together. Returning home Sunday, they’d detour to retrieve the extra car.

“That’s complicated for one night, and quite a drive,” I observed. “Why don’t you and I just pick up Libby and Emily at Glendale Airport in the Flying Carpet tomorrow? Then they could ride home with you and Jeanie Sunday without leaving cars all over the place.” Alan and Jeanie expressed surprise.

“Oh, we couldn’t ask you to do that,” he said.

“Why not?” I asked. “That would give the girls more time to enjoy their brief visit. And you’d get an extra couple hours of family time traveling home together instead of driving separately. Besides, it’s always fun seeing Emily and Libby — and what more productive excuse could I find to enjoy a morning’s flying?“…

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

Photo: EMILY, Libby, and Alan Herring at Glendale Airport, Arizona.

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

©2015 Gregory N.Brown

“Charity Aloft,” Greg’s February, 2015 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2014 by Greg Brown

Surfing sunbeams

10-GregBrownFT215_2277eSmw1200-4Last summer my friend Chris Barton asked me to take aerial photos of his church to help raise money for its associated school. The charitable mission sounded both worthwhile and fun, so I readily accepted. The opportunity presented itself one sparkling morning, as I returned the Flying Carpet from nearby Prescott.

I’d yet to visit the church on the ground, but knew it overlooked a prominent intersection just outside Flagstaff Pulliam Airport’s traffic pattern. So on a whim I coordinated with the control tower and went for a look. The complex was easily spotted on open, elevated property, backed by magnificent views of the San Francisco Peaks. Armed with a telephoto lens and flawless visibility, it took only a few passes to capture the requisite views. That was easy and fun, I thought. So when referred a few months later for another charitable shoot, I eagerly volunteered.

Camp Colton is a revered institution located on the west flank of Humphreys Peak. Every local 6th grader is offered a week there to learn teamwork, natural sciences, and love for the outdoors; most Flagstaff natives under age 50 once attended.

DannyGiovaleTracyAnderson-FC_FLG_2007eSmw1200Friends of Camp Colton director Tracy Anderson sought aerial photos of the camp’s stunning mountainside location for fundraising purposes, including promoting the upcoming Kahtoola Agassiz Uphill trail race benefit sponsored by board member Danny Giovale’s company.

Gorgeous autumn weather prevailed when the three of us connected. With golden aspen trees blanketing the mountain, we agreed to shoot the very next day. Given the camp’s western-slope location, I chose late afternoon sun to illuminate Colton’s idyllic setting amid brilliant fall colors.

8-GregBrownFT215_2065eSmw1200Camp Colton resides in wooded wilderness, so I was concerned about finding it. I also worried from a safety standpoint about its proximity to the 12,633-foot mountain and surrounding foothills.

Danny eagerly consented to help with spotting and shooting. But Tracy hesitated, having once been traumatized by a poor-weather Alaska air-taxi flight. I explained that we’d fly only in perfect weather, remain within minutes of the airport, and land at her request anytime during the flight. After considering it overnight, she agreed to join us.

At the airport I engaged Tracy and Danny in the preflight and pre-takeoff checklists to ease any concerns. Then we launched into late-afternoon sun…

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

Top photo: Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks, with Camp Colton’s snowy driveway visible at lower right. Middle photo: Camp Colton’s Danny Giovale and Tracy Anderson await takeoff for the San Francisco Peaks visible behind them. Lower photo: “Flaming” autumn aspen trees ignite the flank of Humphreys Peak. SEE MORE PHOTOS!

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

©2014 Gregory N.Brown

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