“Barn Dance!” Greg’s September, 2015 Flying Carpet column
Flying airways through time
What a weather contrast after yesterday’s challenging flight from Arizona! Unable to land at nearby Unionville Airport due to low ceilings, we’d diverted to Centerville, Iowa. (See last month’s column, Three Time Zones.)
Larry and I were University of Illinois architecture classmates after I transferred from Wisconsin junior year. A quiet, low-key farm kid with just a hint of a smile, Larry would have been at home in the movie, Animal House. Many a Saturday night we rocketed down Green Street on our Suzukis — Jean and me on my X-6, and Larry balancing his 350 on one wheel. Larry was such a whiz at “wheelies,” that except when parked, his motorcycle’s front tire rarely touched the ground. Our usual destination was the Rose Bowl Tavern, where even the glare of regulars at longhaired college kids couldn’t dull our appreciation of the house country band.
One spring break, Larry and I teamed up with my roommate to fly from Champaign, Illinois to the Bahamas in the Flying Illini Cessna 172.
Larry’s friend Steve met us in Florida and we “flew the Atlantic” to Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands under my command. It was an epic journey for a 190-hour, non-instrument-rated pilot. (See “Spring Break,” FT May, 2005.)
This was the 1970s gasoline-shortage era, and late that night Larry phoned from Bloomington, Illinois where he’d run out of gas because no service stations were open. By the time we rendezvoused, siphoned gas from my car into his, and drove back, it was past midnight…
**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, “BARN DANCE.”**
Top photo: “Larry and Karen Howard wave from the ramp, Centerville Municipal Airport, Iowa.”
Middle photo: Larry (with “‘fro”), Steve (far left), with Greg’s roommate, Al, and Greg, Abaco Island, Bahamas, 1976.
Lower photo: “Karen & Larry at Centerville Municipal Airport, Iowa.”
(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)
©2015 Gregory N.Brown
This entry was posted on July 23, 2015 at 09:56 and is filed under flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags aerial photography, Champaign, college adventures, flying adventures, Flying Carpet, Flying Illini, Greg Brown, Iowa, Lake Thunderhead, Missouri, Rose Bowl Tavern, University of Illinois. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.