“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…

View original post 510 more words

“View from the Flying Carpet” cover photo!

Posted in Greg's photographs, Uncategorized on August 29, 2016 by Greg Brown

Thanks to Andrew Wisniewski and all my friends at Flagstaff Live for again selecting one of my “Views from the Flying Carpet” images for this week’s cover photo! (Yes, that’s Flagstaff, NAU, and the San Francisco Peaks.)

“Car Shuttle,” Greg’s October, 2016 Flying Carpet column

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

“Big bumps and smoke”

GregBrownFT1016_4917-1Smw1200Smoky air filled my cockpit as I navigated the final miles home. Thankfully the odor emanated from outside the airplane, but it was stressful and unpleasant all the same. Still, today had been a delightful and practical Flying Carpet mission.

Our son Austin has worked overseas the last few years, necessitating storing his car in California. While visiting Flagstaff for a few days, he’d asked that we retrieve it for his family’s pending return to the States. The pickup location was just a mile from San Diego’s Gillespie Airport (KSEE), and we’d enjoy some family piloting in the process.

After shuffling our planned schedule due to weather, we launched for Gillespie on the one good flying day during Austin’s brief visit. Jean joined us to share driving duties back to Flagstaff.

Even the nicest flying days offer surprises. Thirty minutes after takeoff, Phoenix Approach vectored us around Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University traffic holding at Drake VOR near Prescott. Then Albuquerque Center radioed asking about a possible wildfire off our right wing as we crossed the Colorado River…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, CAR SHUTTLE**

Photo: “Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (KFLG) materializes behind a wall of forest-fire smoke.”

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

Greg

©2016 Gregory N.Brown

“Million-Dollar Brunch,” Greg’s September, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , on July 21, 2016 by Greg Brown

“All the sights we saw”

6-GregBrownFT916_1796editeSmw1200Except for two brief local hops, I haven’t flown in a month. First rain stopped me, then weeks of winds gusting as high as 48 knots.

Today I awoke to the first beautiful morning in forever. I long to fly! I’ve scheduled routine avionics maintenance next week in Prescott—perhaps they could take me today instead. Nope, I call but they’re too busy.

“Jean, want to fly somewhere for breakfast?”

“No, I’m playing tennis this morning.” (No kidding; she really says that to me all the time.)

Okay, if I can’t find anyone to join me I’ll go myself. No way am I letting a morning like this pass after being grounded for weeks, mission or not. I grab a weather briefing to Payson. It’s a mere 30-minute flight, but scenic, and the field’s Crosswinds Restaurant boasts great affordable food and a “million-dollar view” of the towering Mogollon Rim.

Who might consider joining me for such a mission, at the last minute on a weekday morning? It’s a long shot but I phone my nature-photographer buddy Don Hill. He and Barb are usually booked busy but today she’s out of town visiting relatives, and…

DonHill-annotatedMtn-3aeSm1200“Yeah, I’d love to go, Greg! I’ll just load my camera with a fresh memory card and battery and meet you at the airport.”

Don starts snapping photos as our wheels leave the ground. It’s bumpier than I expected, but Don says it doesn’t bother him. I guess a guy who served in Vietnamese river ships in Viet Nam has experienced worse than a little turbulence…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, MILLION-DOLLAR BRUNCH**

Top photo: Don Hill enjoys the Crosswinds Restaurant’s “million dollar view” at Payson Airport, Arizona. (KPAN)

Lower photo: “Don’s email-blast photo of the San Francisco Peaks, annotated with sights from our morning flight.”

SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE!

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

Greg

©2016 Gregory N.Brown

“Bird’s-Eye View: Northern Arizona’s fabled monsoon season seen through the lens of Greg Brown”

Posted in Greg's photographs on July 8, 2016 by Greg Brown

7-7-16 FlagLive-frontcover_Page_1Sm1200Many thanks to Andy Wisniewski and the good folks at Flagstaff Live for featuring my “Views from the Flying Carpet photographs in this week’s cover story! (←Click link or above cover image to see entire story.)

And to Diandra Markgraff for covering my work in her Monsoon Photography article in the Daily Sun!

The coverage is timely — don’t miss my latest solo photography exhibit at Will McNabb Fine Jewelry, 18 N Leroux St, in historic downtown Flagstaff, running through July.

2-6-15 WilMcNabb-FCexhibit-Opening_0485eSmw1200

Included are most of my remaining “Views from the Flying Carpet” Aerial Fine Art Collector Prints, some of which are discounted as much as 50%! (All will continue to be available as Fine Art Metal Prints.)

You’ll also see a few of my new “Down to Earth” terrestrial photography prints.

I hope to see you at the show!

Greg

 

%d bloggers like this: