“O, Canada,” Greg’s January, 2017 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, flying destinations, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , on November 27, 2016 by Greg Brown

gregbrownft117_5433-1smw1200Crossing Borders

When a family wedding beckoned from Chicago, our first thought was to book airline tickets because it’s too far to fly for a weekend. But then Jean and I got to talking.

Think of all the sights to see and friends to visit within flying range of Chicago. And soon, Where shall we go this time? In short order, a weekend wedding trip blossomed into a full-fledged flying vacation to three states and Canada.

Canada! Consider your feelings when flying into a new-to-you state. Now make that destination Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean and you’ve got one memorable trip.

This would be our first foreign border crossing by private aircraft since 9/11, and security procedures would accordingly be more complicated and stringent than before. I might have waited too long to start planning, if not for chatting a month before the trip with pilot Mark Harris who routinely flies into Mexico.

“Don’t linger ordering your customs decal, and enrolling in the eAPIS program you’ll need when crossing the border,” he counseled. “Those can take time.” Immediately, I tapped into AOPA’s excellent “Flying to Canada” web and video resources, and began submitting the requisite applications.

Every aircraft crossing US borders must have a current Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CPB) decal. These annual stickers cost only $27.50, but can take several weeks to receive. In addition, pilots must pre-file crew, passenger, aircraft, and itinerary information for each crossing via CPB’s “Electronic Advance Passenger Information System” (eAPIS) web site. While individual trip manifests can be filed as little as an hour before takeoff, the required pre-registration can take up to a week for email confirmation.

I’d also need a restricted radiotelephone operators permit for international travel, and a radio station license for the Flying Carpet. Canadian charts and GPS navigator database are of course required, and aircraft insurance certificate. Non-aviation planning included current passports, international cellphone and data service, informing our credit card issuers, and medical insurance coverage…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, O, Canada**

Photo: “Downtown Toronto, Canada, and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (CYTZ, commonly known as the Toronto Island Airport)”

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

Greg

©2016 Gregory N.Brown

Introducing Greg’s 2017 photo wall calendars!

Posted in Greg recommends, Greg's photographs on November 5, 2016 by Greg Brown

2017 “Views from the Flying Carpet” Photo Wall Calendars

new 2013 Lulu FC oversize wall calendar-frontHere come my 2017 “Views from the Flying Carpet” aerial photo wall calendars, filled with my favorite aviator’s-eye views from around the country.

This “Greatest Hits” version comes in two sizes, featuring some of my most popular aerial photographs from my “Views from the Flying Carpet” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.

2015 Lulu FC Greatest Hits standard wall calendar-frontBoth calendar sizes feature exceptional image quality suitable for framing!

Note that because these photographs represent my most popular images to date, all have appeared in various calendars from previous years.

2017 “Views from Flagstaff” Photo Wall Calendars

new 2013 Lulu FC oversize wall calendar-front

These calendars feature some of my favorite photographs shot in and around our beloved Flagstaff, Arizona, including several from my “Down to Earth” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.

Among them are photographs of historic downtown Flagstaff including the landmark Weatherford and Monte Vista hotels, the San Francisco Peaks, 2015 Lulu FC Greatest Hits standard wall calendar-frontCoconino County Fair, seasonal views of summer sunflowers and autumn aspens, and Flagstaff’s famed New Years “Great Pinecone Drop!”

(Previous buyers note that the 2017 “Views from Flagstaff” calendars contain the same great photos as last year’s.)

New for 2017: “Views from Korea” Photo Wall Calendars

2014 Japan oversize wall calendar-frontCheck out my new terrestrial, 2017 “Views from Korea” photographic wall calendars!

Included are amazing photographs taken in the Republic of [South] Korea, little-known among Americans, with its fascinating blend of old and new.

Lulu Korea standard wall calendar-front copySee Seoul’s renowned Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gunsan’s Barley Festival, traditional Korean horsemen in Jeonju, Gochang-eup Fortress, and more troubling, North Korea viewed from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Joint Security Area.

2017 “Views from Japan” Photo Wall Calendars

2014 Japan oversize wall calendar-frontOnce again, I’m also offering my terrestrial, 2017 “Views from Japan” photographic wall calendars.

Although a departure from my aerial persona, Jean and I have been so taken with Japan’s beauty and character during our travels that I can’t resist sharing special images from there.

This is one country you must make plans to visit! And once seeing the included photographs, I suspect you’ll agree.

2014 Lulu Japan standard wall calendar-frontIncluded are amazing views of Kyoto’s and Nara’s exquisite temples, Matsumoto Castle, Osaka’s Dotombori Entertainment District, a Shinto wedding at Miyajima Island, Tokyo’s Ginza District, and Ogimachi Historic Town.

(Previous buyers note that the 2017 “Views from Japan” calendars contain the same great photos as in prior years.)

2017 “Well, I’ll Be!” Photo Wall Calendars

2015 Lulu FC Greatest Hits standard wall calendar-frontCheck out my 2017 “Well, I’ll Be!” Photo Wall Calendar, featuring some of my wackier photographs.

I created this calendar primarily to hang over my own desk, but can pretty much guarantee you a monthly smile when you change pages!

(Available only in Standard size. Previous buyers note that the 2017 “Well, I’ll Be!” calendar contains the same great photos as last year’s.)

Click on each calendar image to preview and order, or visit my Calendar Store!

(To preview monthly calendar pages, click “preview” under the picture on the individual calendar page.)

Calendar Sizes and Pricing

Each full-color 12-month wall calendar series comes in two sizes:

  • Standard 11″x17″ for $19.95* (8.5″x11″ images).
  • Premium oversize 13.5″x19″ for $29.95* (9.5″x13.5″ monthly images).

Photos for a given calendar are similar in both formats except for cover image and size.

What a great way for you and your lucky gift recipients to celebrate each month of the new year!

Greg

*NOTES:

  • All calendars can be shipped directly to you, or to others as gifts.
  • Shipping and sales tax (if applicable) are additional.
  • “Well, I’ll Be!” calendars come only in Standard Size.
  • ***CHECK HERE FOR ANY APPLICABLE PUBLISHER DISCOUNTS!

©2016 Gregory N. Brown

“Tight Quarters,” Greg’s December, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2016 by Greg Brown

gregbrownft1216_5091-1smw1200Pirate pool party

Attending a kid’s 4th birthday party might sound unimportant, but Jean and I felt high emotional stakes in flying to Alamogordo, New Mexico for the occasion.

Our son and daughter-in-law Austin and Desi and their children had recently moved there from overseas. That would make our grandson’s “pirate pool party” our first family celebration together in six years.

Alamogordo is nine hours’ drive from Flagstaff, but less than three hours by Flying Carpet. Perusing the charts, I was pleased to find manageable terrain en route. However, a 140-mile thicket of restricted airspace encompasses nearby White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base, blocking general aviation access from the west. High mountains and additional military airspace also limit access from the east.

That leaves two flying routes from Arizona, neither direct. Shortest is to fly east beyond Socorro to JUPTR intersection, then steer 90 miles south between military airspace and the Sacramento Mountains. The longer alternative is to fly southeast to El Paso over high and remote terrain, then thread an exceedingly narrow 60-mile corridor northward between restricted areas. Both routes are comfortably flyable in good weather, but given such tight quarters each can be blocked over many miles by a single thunderstorm…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, TIGHT QUARTERS**

Photo: “Massive thunderheads crown the Sacramento Mountains northeast of Alamogordo, NM. (Note malpais volcanic lava fields in foreground.)” SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE!

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

Greg

©2016 Gregory N.Brown

Greg on “Flying High and Hot”

Posted in Greg's piloting tips, Greg’s flight instructor tips on September 30, 2016 by Greg Brown

Check out my density-altitude and mountain flying tips on this week’s AOPA Live aviation news broadcast!

Greg

“Ode to Night Currency,” Greg’s November, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , on September 22, 2016 by Greg Brown

Tough, beautiful, and a little scary

gregbrownft1116_1139-2smw1200I taxi my noisy little capsule toward the runway, arm out the window, in a cocoon of flashing red beacon light.

I’m practicing landings tonight, and it’s a dark one. Although nervous, I’ve done my homework and the facts say I’ll be fine. So I grit my teeth and go. We learn valuable things about ourselves through piloting.

I scan the flight controls with my flashlight, and perform an extra-thorough engine run up. Then I squelch the butterflies, and take the runway.

Sure, our little city will appear on downwind to base, but every other direction will be black, black, black. Instrument flying skills will be required, and takeoffs anemic at Flagstaff’s 7,000-foot elevation.

First circuit: When possible, I time night flights when moonlight offers a glimpse of terrain, but this month’s opportunity was fogged out. So I launch into utter darkness. It’s warm this evening, and at nearly 9,000-foot density altitude the airplane is sluggish.

Slowly I skitter aloft, accelerating in ground effect to climb speed. Hardly off the ground, I punch blackness beyond the runway. There are invisible pines and foothills down there, and nearby lurks 1,000-foot-high Woody Ridge…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, ODE TO NIGHT CURRENCY**

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

Greg

©2016 Gregory N.Brown

Greg shares Arizona flying destinations on “AOPA Live”

Posted in flying destinations, Greg recommends on September 17, 2016 by Greg Brown

aopalivescreencapture

Hey Folks, check out my “Flying Carpet” video segment with Warren Morningstar on this week’s September 15th AOPA Live aviation news broadcast, about Arizona flying destinations within range of AOPA’s upcoming Prescott Fly-in.

Find my mentioned Southwest Flying Destinations post here, and learn about my new Savvy Flight Instructor Second Edition book here.

Hope to see you at the Fly-in!

Greg

 

 

Southwest flying destinations

Posted in flying destinations, Greg recommends on September 17, 2016 by Greg Brown

For my fellow “AOPA Live” fans, here is a reblog of my Southwest Destinations post.

Greg Brown's Flying Carpet Blog

Acoma957e909SmWReaders often ask me for Southwest flying destinations. Flying New Mexico and Arizona is generally less challenging than the more northerly Rockies. Density altitude is an issue, but our lower terrain offers more route options for circumnavigating weather. We get afternoon turbulence and thunderstorms here, so summertime flying is best done in early mornings and late afternoons. (For more on regional flying weather, see Tom Horne’s terrific book, Flying America’s Weather.) It would be wise to study mountain flying before piloting the West for your first time. (For starters, check out AOPA’s free online Mountain Flying course.)

Some of my favorite Southwest destinations:

  • Durango, Colorado: ride the Durango & Silverton steam train; kayak rapids through town!
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico: founded by the Spaniards in 1608, with adobe buildings dating from that era. The 2nd oldest city in the country after St. Augustine, Florida. Dining, history, art…

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