Readers of my late AOPA Flight Training magazine column often asked, “What model is the Flying Carpet?” I’ll admit to keeping the FC’s identity a bit of a mystery, except when the make and model bear directly on the story in which cases I do occasionally reveal them. The Flying Carpet is a Cessna 182. Although I am proud of her and she’s the perfect airplane for us, there are several reasons why I don’t mention it more often.
First and foremost, I like to think that flying adventure is largely independent of what model aircraft we operate. In conceiving the column I wanted to avoid all those longstanding pilot biases about low-wing vs. high-wing, tail-draggers vs. tricycle gear, homebuilts vs. production planes, flying low-and-slow vs. soaring through clouds, piloting single-engine planes vs. twins, etc. The fact is that most Flying Carpet adventures could be flown in most airplanes and I don’t want readers dismissing a column’s relevance because it was flown in something other than their preferred model. This way they are free to imagine that it was (or could be) flown in their favorite airplane.
As for my blog header photo above and the Flying Carpet book cover, I was looking for something that said “adventure of flight” as boldly as possible but again in a non-specific way. When we prepared to shoot those photos the non-pilot photographer asked, “We’re not gonna shoot this in front of some old Cessna, are we? How can we make that look exciting?” Hence the WACO biplane that suggests “romance and adventure” to almost everybody. I’ll admit that not everyone agrees with me on this logic — but that’s my reasoning, however flawed!
©2009, 2019 Gregory N. Brown
8 thoughts on “About the Flying Carpet”
Long live Flying Carpet and many more happy landings 🙂
Thank you, Patrick!
Great explanation about Flying Carpet. I would say you have conveyed that message quite well as that is precisely what I have felt about Flying Carpet and your articles even before reading your explanation.
Thank you, Paul!
I am a grade nine student living in Calgary, Canada.
I read your book ‘flying carpet’ and found it spiked a new
Interest in general aviation, that I never know I had.
Before I read your book, I only cared about commercial
Aviation, and the world of airliners, but now I know that that the true side of flying is trips like the ones you took on flying carpet. Now that I have read your book, I have more encouragement to go out and get my pilots liscense than ever.
Thanks for the encouragement Greg!
Dear Taylor, thank you for your very kind words! An adventure book you might enjoy reading about the commercial side of flying, and one which inspired me greatly, is Fate is the Hunter by Ernest Gann. I encourage you to read it when you get time! See some of my other favorite flying books here. How were you introduced to my Flying Carpet book, Taylor?
Oops! iPod is being dumb, so my apologies about those last two posts… I was looking through the iBook store trying to find a good aviation themes book and yours stood out. As for your recommendation, I will look into it!
Well that’s pretty darned cool, Taylor. Thanks for making my day!