“Wildfire!” How an Airport Helped Save a Town,” Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Flight #6

Ride along with renowned aviator, writer, and photographer Greg Brown in his light airplane, the “Flying Carpet,” as he searches behind clouds for the real America, experiencing countless aerial adventures along the way.


Listen to “Wildfire! How an Airport Helped Save a Town,” Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast Flight #6

This account of how one airport helped save a town from wildfires, is presented as a tribute to the countless wildland firefighters, in the air and on the ground, and the teams and airports supporting them, currently battling record wildfires assaulting California and the US Mountain West.

Podcast music by Hannis Brown.

Greg

PS: Find all Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast episodes here.


Episode #6 Photos

Orville Wiseman photos, except where noted otherwise.

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About Greg

A former National Flight Instructor of the Year, Greg is author of five books, a former Barnes & Noble Arizona Author of the Month, and recently completed twenty years as aviation adventure columnist for AOPA’s Flight Training magazine. Some reviewers have compared his book, “Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane,” to sixties road-trip classics like “On the Road,” and “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

“Greg thinks with the mind of a pilot, questions with the curiosity of a philosopher, and sees with the eyes of a poet.”Rod Machado, aviation author and humorist

“You don’t have to be a pilot, or even a frequent flyer, to soar with Greg Brown in [his] Flying Carpet.” — Nina Bell Allen, former Assistant Managing Editor, Readers Digest

So buckle in and join Greg for the ride!

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If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!


Check out Greg’s Aviation Books, Fine Art Aerial Photo Prints, and Pilot Achievement Plaques!


Greg’s Aviation Books

Greg’s “Views from the Flying Carpet” Aerial Fine Art Prints

Greg’s Pilot Achievement Plaques

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“Ode to Night Currency,” Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Flight #5

Ride along with renowned aviator, writer, and photographer Greg Brown in his light airplane, the “Flying Carpet,” as he searches behind clouds for the real America, experiencing countless aerial adventures along the way.


Listen to “Ode to Night Currency,” Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast Flight #5

Even after decades of piloting, night landings remain tough, beautiful, a little scary, and immensely rewarding.

Just 30 minutes aloft displace all the preflight fears and apprehensions with just a single thought: CAN YOU BELIEVE WE GET TO DO THIS?!

Greg

Podcast music by Hannis Brown.

Greg

Inbound to Flagstaff at dusk for landing, in the Flying Carpet.

Subscribe here to be notified of Greg’s latest posts and podcasts!


Listen and subscribe via your favorite podcast sources:


About Greg

A former National Flight Instructor of the Year, Greg is author of five books, a former Barnes & Noble Arizona Author of the Month, and recently completed twenty years as aviation adventure columnist for AOPA’s Flight Training magazine. Some reviewers have compared his book, “Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane,” to sixties road-trip classics like “On the Road,” and “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

“Greg thinks with the mind of a pilot, questions with the curiosity of a philosopher, and sees with the eyes of a poet.”Rod Machado, aviation author and humorist

“You don’t have to be a pilot, or even a frequent flyer, to soar with Greg Brown in [his] Flying Carpet.” — Nina Bell Allen, former Assistant Managing Editor, Readers Digest

So buckle in and join Greg for the ride!


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Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Blog, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

Make a one-time donation

Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Blog, Podcast, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

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Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Blog, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

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Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!


Check out Greg’s Aviation Books, Fine Art Aerial Photo Prints, and Pilot Achievement Plaques!


Greg’s Aviation Books

Greg’s “Views from the Flying Carpet” Aerial Fine Art Prints

Greg’s Pilot Achievement Plaques

Follow Greg on Social Media!


“Old Pals and N-Numbers,” Greg’s Cockpit Adventures from the Flying Carpet Podcast, Flight #3

Ride along with renowned aviator, writer, and photographer Greg Brown in his light airplane, the “Flying Carpet,” as he searches behind clouds for the real America, experiencing countless aerial adventures along the way.


Listen to “Old Pals and N-Numbers,” Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast Flight #3

Like fond memories of long-ago lovers, beloved airplanes resurface occasionally from quiet corners of a pilot’s mind. We hear the last three digits of some familiar N-number and are flooded with reminiscences.

But rarely do the abbreviated call signs used in routine communications fully match the numbers of actual steeds we once flew — especially when 1500 miles and thirty years have passed under the wings.

Along the way, you’ll learn how Greg’s airplane, the Flying Carpet, earned her name.

Photo: Greg with college friends at Marsh Harbour International Airport, Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, 1976.

Podcast music by Hannis Brown.

Greg


Subscribe here to be notified of Greg’s latest posts and podcasts!


Listen and subscribe via your favorite podcast sources:


About Greg

A former National Flight Instructor of the Year, Greg is author of five books, a former Barnes & Noble Arizona Author of the Month, and recently completed twenty years as aviation adventure columnist for AOPA’s Flight Training magazine. Some reviewers have compared his book, “Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane,” to sixties road-trip classics like “On the Road,” and “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

“Greg thinks with the mind of a pilot, questions with the curiosity of a philosopher, and sees with the eyes of a poet.”Rod Machado, aviation author and humorist

“You don’t have to be a pilot, or even a frequent flyer, to soar with Greg Brown in [his] Flying Carpet.” — Nina Bell Allen, former Assistant Managing Editor, Readers Digest

So buckle in and join Greg for the ride!


One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Blog, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

Make a one-time donation

Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Blog, Podcast, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

Make a monthly donation

Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Blog, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

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Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Follow Greg on Social Media!


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!


“Cowboy Pilot,” Greg’s Cockpit Adventures from the Flying Carpet Podcast, Flight #2

Ride along with renowned aviator, writer, and photographer Greg Brown in his light airplane, the “Flying Carpet,” as he searches behind clouds for the real America, experiencing countless aerial adventures along the way.


Listen to “Cowboy Pilot,” Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast Flight #2

Meet my colorful cowboy-pilot buddy, Baldy, in the northern Arizona ranching town of Seligman.

Says Baldy, “I much prefer aircraft accidents to being bucked by a horse!”

Good times guaranteed!

Greg

Podcast Music by Hannis Brown.


Cowboy Pilot Podcast Photo Gallery


Subscribe here to be notified of Greg’s latest posts and podcasts!


Listen and subscribe via your favorite podcast sources:


About Greg

A former National Flight Instructor of the Year, Greg is author of five books, a former Barnes & Noble Arizona Author of the Month, and recently completed twenty years as aviation adventure columnist for AOPA’s Flight Training magazine. Some reviewers have compared his book, “Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane,” to sixties road-trip classics like “On the Road,” and “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

“Greg thinks with the mind of a pilot, questions with the curiosity of a philosopher, and sees with the eyes of a poet.”Rod Machado, aviation author and humorist

“You don’t have to be a pilot, or even a frequent flyer, to soar with Greg Brown in [his] Flying Carpet.” — Nina Bell Allen, former Assistant Managing Editor, Readers Digest

So buckle in and join Greg for the ride!


One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Blog, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

Make a one-time donation

Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Blog, Podcast, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

Make a monthly donation

Please support Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast, Blog, and Student Pilot Pep Talk Facebook Group!

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

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$100.00
$5.00
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$
——

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Follow Greg on Social Media!


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!


“Passion for Flight,” Greg’s legacy Flying Carpet column

We lost our dear friend Conor yesterday, treasured longtime unofficial family member, and one of the funnest, funniest people ever. Conor, you were and are a ray of sunshine in our lives. We will miss you so much…


What a way to celebrate the New Year! I scan 100 miles in every direction while tracing the boundary between Arizona’s wooded “Rim Country” and the high desert to its north. Snow frosts forests along the Mogollon Rim to my right, while to my left multihued rock barrens stretch out of sight across the Painted Desert. Beneath my wings captivating textures and details reveal themselves one after another on the ground. What created these herringbone rock patterns? Who lives in those remote dwellings? And what might their lives be like?

Memories soon tint the mind-bending vistas on this little-traveled route between Flagstaff and Show Low. Earlier this week my son Hannis journeyed with his buddies Conor and Phil in another friend’s car to the tiny hamlet of Concho. There they celebrated New Years Eve with other members of their on-again, off-again jazz hip-hop band, Lobe. Today their driver heads elsewhere so eagerly I soar over this breathtaking land to retrieve my son and his friends. As far back as Phil and Conor go with Hannis, I treasure their company almost as much as he does. Seeing them will be even better than these amazing views…

**Continue reading Greg’s entire column, PASSION FOR FLIGHT” **. Mobile-device link here.


Photo: Arizona’s Meteor Crater and the San Francisco Peaks


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


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!


“Raise the Flying Carpet: Shipwrecks over Arizona,” Remembering Clive Cussler, Greg’s legacy Flying Carpet column

I was saddened to learn today of Clive Cussler’s passing.

Jean and I once enjoyed a memorable day with the acclaimed author and adventurer, including a Flying Carpet ride. It turned out Clive had strong aviation connections, along with those of land and sea. The biggest thrills were learning about his famed sea recoveries, and seeing him in action formulating fiction. Here’s the column I wrote about that memorable day. A more detailed account appears in my book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane.


“Clive Cussler!” I said, “He writes the Dirk Pitt novels, like Raise the Titanic and Inca Gold. And he discovered the Confederate submarine, ‘Hunley!’”

“That’s right,” said Penny Porter, director of Tucson’s Society of Southwestern Authors writers conference, “After our original keynote canceled for next week, Clive graciously agreed to speak on short notice. You’re still coming, right?”

“Wouldn’t miss it!” I said, “And I can’t wait to hear Clive Cussler speak. But why are you phoning me?”

“Because we have a problem,” said Penny. “Clive has agreed to present, but he must get home by five o’clock for another engagement. Would you bring him with you in the Flying Carpet? He lives nearby and you’d easily be back before five, right…?

**Continue reading Greg’s remembering-Clive-Cussler column, RAISE THE FLYING CARPET: Shipwrecks over Arizona” **.

(Mobile-device link here.)


Photo: Tucson’s aircraft “Boneyard,” viewed from the Flying Carpet with author Clive Cussler. 


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


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!


“In Search of Lost Time,” Greg’s legacy Flying Carpet column

Where the heck is my watch? I wondered, upon checking my wrist for the time.

I was dining with renowned aviation author and humorist Rod Machado, his wife Diane, and two of their friends at an outdoor cafe in Palm Springs, California. We had joined pilots from all over the country to attend AOPA Expo, the pilot association’s annual convention.

“So Greg,” said Rod, continuing a conversation in progress, “how was your flight from Phoenix yesterday?”

“Very pleasant,” I replied, massaging my empty wrist. “I arrived early to avoid the heaviest fly-in traffic. It can be a real hornet’s nest the afternoon before the program starts.”

“I’ve often dodged those hornets myself,” said Rod. “Any delays?”

“None at all,” I replied. “I just joined the published arrival procedure and followed the freeway in—no circling was required. I suspect it was tougher late in the day.” We proceeded to swap aviator stories with Rod and
Diane’s friends. Ian, an American Airlines pilot, told of his days flying in Alaska. Jason, an author and internationally renowned professional magician, recounted adventures flying his twin-engine Piper Aerostar. Earlier, over appetizers, he’d dazzled the group with mystifying card tricks.

Even as flying yarns circled the table, my thoughts kept returning to the missing watch. It wasn’t valuable, but I liked it and the data bank held important phone numbers. Particularly disturbing was that I’d lost a set of keys earlier that morning. Ultimately I’d found them in the side pocket of my suitcase, but I had no recollection of placing them there. Now I’d lost my watch.

Hopefully I’m not developing memory problems, I found myself
worrying. I must ask my wife if she’s noticed any other symptoms. Attempting to banish such concerns from my mind, I returned to my friends’ ongoing conversation, saying nothing of my loss.

“Did I tell you about flying into Long Beach for the last West Coast Expo two years ago?” I asked.

“No,” said Rod. “Did you have some ‘close encounters’ there?”

“On the contrary,” I replied, laughing…

**Continue reading Greg’s entire column, IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME” **. Mobile-device link here.


Photo: Greg with author, speaker, and humorist Rod Machado. 


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


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!


“The Day GPS Went Out,” Greg’s January/February, 2020 Flying Carpet column

“Warning! GPS Navigation Lost!” proclaimed my GPS receiver.

Jean and I were bouncing through clouds on instruments at 12,000 feet, over trackless mountains along the remote Arizona-New Mexico border.

Seconds after that initial warning, my primary flight display announced, “GPS reversion mode: for Emergency Use Only!” (but displayed no position.) My multifunction display restarted itself with a “Maintenance Required!” alert. Next came an “ADS-B (out) inoperative!” warning, meaning our transponder had stopped transmitting our GPS coordinates to air traffic control (ATC).

I was flying Jean from Flagstaff to El Paso for tennis sectionals. Normally we make the 2½-hour journey straight-line VFR. Today, however, layered clouds shrouded the mountainous central portion of the route, so I’d filed under instrument flight rules (IFR). This route spans a huge swath of military airspace that when active cannot be crossed IFR, so I’d filed a circuitous route over Socorro, New Mexico.

My first hint of trouble was when our controller asked, “Are you ADS-B equipped?”

That seemed odd, as he had long been tracking us. He then cleared me to an intersection to bypass nearby White Sands Missile Range restricted airspace, but the GPS died as I entered the fix into my navigator. After I reported the failure, the controller assigned radar vectors around the restricted areas.

Now other pilots began reporting lost GPS, and I noted that the position symbol on my tablet computer had stopped moving…

**Continue reading Greg’s entire column, THE DAY GPS WENT OUT” **. (Mobile-device link.)


Photo: Primary Flight Display in GPS-failure Emergency Reversion Mode. 


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


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!

“Mountain Airport,” Greg’s December, 2019 Flying Carpet column

Some airports set a pilot’s heart racing.

Our friends Steve and Molly recently invited us for a hiking weekend in southwest Colorado.

This would be our first summertime visit to 9,070-foot-elevation Telluride Regional Airport (KTEX). Telluride is surrounded on three sides by 12-14,000-foot mountains, but we could approach from the west at 11,000 feet.

Like most Telluride traffic I planned to land on Runway 9 and depart Runway 27 to avoid maneuvering in the dead-end canyon east of the airport. That required good visual flight conditions, and light winds to preclude downwind takeoffs or landings and dangerous downdrafts tumbling over the surrounding mountains.

Given suitable weather, my main concern flying our non-turbocharged Cessna 182 was safely departing such a high-elevation airport in summertime.

Temperatures of 48°F to 75°F sound pleasantly cool, but at 10-12,000 feet density altitude we’d be lucky to get 65% of sea-level power at full throttle, and 300 fpm climb…

**Continue reading Greg’s entire column, MOUNTAIN AIRPORT” **.


Read my detailed planning process for flying into this challenging airport.


Photo: Final approach to Runway 9, Telluride Regional Airport, Colorado. 


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


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!

“Consolation Prize,” Greg’s November, 2019 Flying Carpet column

Our weekend guests Alex and Sabina arrived to unseasonably wet and cold autumn weather.

As with previous visitors, I’d promised Alex a Grand Canyon aerial tour. I mention only Alex because while he and I had flown together before, Sabina had expressed such fear of airplanes that I’d presumptively invited another friend in her place. Saturday, rain confined us indoors. Based on forecast improvement, we designated Monday for hiking and autumn leaf-peeping. That left only Sunday, weather permitting, for flying.

Sunday morning, both Flagstaff Pulliam (KFLG) and Grand Canyon (KGCN) Airports reported scattered clouds at 1,700 feet above ground (AGL), roughly 8,700 feet above sea level (MSL). While that was adequate for the route, the Grand Canyon Special Flight Rules Area requires a 10,000-foot MSL minimum altitude to overfly the Canyon.

Lacking pilot weather reports, I explained that we could safely fly to the Grand Canyon, but depending on arrival-time conditions we might not be able to cross. Alex was predictably game to go. Sabina, however, surprised everyone by volunteering to join us—her sister and friends had told her she’d be nuts to miss the Grand Canyon from above.

Although apprehensive, Sabina took the copilot seat, usually best for nervous passengers. Noting clenched teeth and hands while taxiing out, I offered to turn around, but she insisted we continue. After takeoff, however, she began peering out the window…

**Continue reading Greg’s entire column, CONSOLATION PRIZE” **.


Photo: “Inner Basin Aspens: Sunstruck autumn aspens line Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks.  (Available as a Fine Art Metal Print, Pilot Achievement Plaque, and in Art Note Cards.)


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


If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!