“So, do I have to fly out of Flagstaff to hang with the ‘airport slugs?’ Or, are us’ns outta Williams Airport not fit for polite company?”
It was the first “official” pilot query from Bruce Bloomquist, who just earned his private pilot certificate and took delivery of a shiny new-to-him airplane in the same week. [Congratulations, Bruce!]
“You need not fly out of Flag to join the slugs, Bruce,” I replied. “My cowboy buddy Baldy, for example, flies out of Seligman. The only requirement is to be hungry on Sunday mornings.”
“Ha! I’ve already heard a story or two about the, um, infamous Baldy!” said Bruce. “I’m really looking forward to meeting him − and all the other flying locals.”
“Baldy is a total character, Bruce − and one of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet!” I offered to share my columns about Baldy. Then I realized that YOU might enjoy knowing Baldy too, so here is the true tale of a real cowboy pilot!
Read “Cowboy Pilot” here. One of my favorite columns, about one of my favorite people, it first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine back in May, 2005. If you like it, comment below and I’ll post an additional column about him.
Photo: Baldy Ivy and his ’41 “T-craft.” See additional photos here. Visit Baldy’s web site, PilotShareTheRide.com.
©2011 Gregory N. Brown
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!
4 thoughts on “Greg’s featured past column: “Cowboy Pilot””
Love the story. Keep ’em coming, Greg.
BTW I’m at 52 hours and getting ready for my checkride.
Hi Greg –
I would love to see more stories about ‘Baldy!’
Uh oh . . . I’ve made it onto your blog! I better mind my manners now.
Great article! I’m really looking forward to meeting Baldy now.
So where, when . . . on the “hungry Sunday” thingy?
I still haven’t been up in my plane yet. Fred insists on a PTT on the co-pilot yoke. Rory’s doing that plus addressing a couple of other minor squawks. We did crank the engine and check out the avionics, etc. Thumbs up on that!
Maybe this Friday (monsoon permitting) we’ll get in the air to begin the checkout process.
Baldy is supporting http://www.pilotsharetheride.com
out of pocket. He is a working cowboy on very limited funds. If you use the site consider donating.