Readers of my AOPA Flight Training magazine column often ask, “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