“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!


Announcing Greg’s 2020 “Views from the Flying Carpet,” and “Down to Earth,” photo wall calendars!

I am offering quite a number of 2020 wall calendars featuring my best photographs. These are beautifully printed, and the images are suitable for casual framing.

Calendars come in two sizes, standard and premium.

Proceed to my Calendars page for details, or you can go directly to my Calendar Store to see all at once. (Be sure to see both pages.)

Click “preview” under calendar-store images to see inside photos for each calendar.

You can order calendars sent to you, or directly to others as gifts. (Order soon for the best mailing rates.) Check here for any current publisher discounts.

Hope you enjoy this year’s calendars!

Greg

Hear Greg’s talk, about piloting the Flying Carpet on an unforgettable “Long Journey North”

If you ask my wife and me to name our most memorable journey in our decades of flying, we’ll both respond with our “long journey north” from Phoenix to the Canadian border for a relative’s funeral.

I wrote a column about this trip years ago, recently revisited as I work on an upcoming book project. But the bigger rediscovery was a recorded talk I gave at the 2004 AOPA Expo detailing the memorable journey when it was still fresh.

The trip was spontaneous, hardly planned, and involved crossing much of the country in a Cessna 182 through difficult weather. But we all know how it is with family events, right? There was no choice but to go.

Along the way we experienced numerous aviation adventures, our wackiest “airport car” ever, and some of the craziness found in every family.

Pilot listeners will also appreciate the details I reveal along the way, about how we make piloting decisions to get us to faraway destinations by light airplane, safely.

The talk is 50 minutes long, and I believe you’ll be compelled to sit through and enjoy it. So grab a seat, a cold drink, and have a listen!

Greg Brown, “Long Journey North”
(Please excuse the occasional brief mic interruptions.)

See more Long Journey North photos HERE.

Greg

©2004, 2019 Gregory N. Brown

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

Celebrating five years since Greg’s first solo fine art print exhibition

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Wow! Five years have already passed since my first solo “Views from the Flying Carpet” photography exhibition.

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Thank you, friend, fellow pilot, and Master Printer Richard Jackson (above left) for starting me down this path, and former Northern Arizona University College of Arts & Letters Dean Michael Vincent for inviting this first solo exhibition that led to numerous others.

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And a special thanks to all you good folks who have supported my passions for flying and photography by investing in my Views from the Flying Carpet and “Down to Earth” series Collector Prints and Fine Art Metal Prints, Pilot Achievement Plaques, and Photographic Wall Calendars since then!

Here’s wishing you the Happiest and Healthiest of New Years for 2018!

Greg

“Snipe Hunt,” Greg’s featured past column

This goose chase was for real…

GregBrownFT107-ScanFeSmw1200“Super Snipe?” Old Doc had to be kidding. Sure, some birds carry the name “snipe,” but like most former boy scouts I remembered only the pain of being duped into a ritual “snipe hunt” on my first troop campout. (Future Scouts avert your eyes to preserve your coming initiation.)

When Jean and I first married, her grandparents lived in tiny Juneau, Wisconsin. We flew there from Indiana by Cessna 172 to visit them as often as our newlyweds’ budget would allow. Our usual mission was to hang out with family, but once a year we’d bundle into Grandpa’s car after landing for a multigenerational road trip to “the Oshkosh fly-in.”

I soon joined another annual excursion thanks to Gramps and Granny’s next-door neighbors, “Doc” and Marge. Doc was a large-animal veterinarian who over the years had liberated numerous collectible cars from dusty corners of his patients’ barns. Among them were a sporty 1939 Ford business coupe, a pair of fin-tailed 1955 Plymouths, and a bulbous ’51 Pontiac Eight. Although hardly rare, all were low-mileage cars and notably rust-free given Wisconsin’s brutal winters.

GregBrownFT107_3799eSmw1200Doc also mentioned something about a “Humber Super Snipe,” but I figured he was pulling my leg. After all, “snipe hunt” is a slang equivalent to “wild goose chase,” and Doc was a master of straight-faced ribbing.

Doc’s own favorite ride was a good-enough-to-eat 1941 Lincoln Zephyr convertible – he’d share keys to his other autos, but reserved the Zephyr for himself.

I’d long been interested in old cars, ever since conducting unprintable adventures in those owned by friends and I during high school. Anyway, it turned out that every year Doc took all his roadworthy cars on a 100-mile pilgrimage from Juneau to the annual “Chicken Roast and Old Car Show” in the yet-smaller town of Iola. To my delight Doc invited me to drive one of his cars in the upcoming procession.

Accordingly Jean and I loaded friends into a flying club Cessna and soared over Indiana cornfields, Chicago suburbs, and Wisconsin meadows to Juneau’s Dodge County Airport…

**READ GREG’S ENTIRE COLUMN, SNIPE HUNT“**

Top photo: Doc’s cars line up for the Iola run: the Pontiac Eight, the Super Snipe, a ’55 Plymouth, and around the corner, the Lincoln Zephyr.

Lower photo: Doc’s 1963 Humber Super Snipe. (Paul Luebke photo.)

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

Greg

©2016 Gregory N.Brown


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

“Flagstaff Rain,” Greg’s latest Fine Art Metal Print

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Until recently, the photography I’ve offered for sale has largely been from my Views from the Flying Carpet aerial series. To my delight, however, there’s also been a good deal of action on my recently introduced Terrestrial Photographs.

Here’s Flagstaff Rain, my latest terrestrial Fine Art Metal Print, featuring historic downtown Flagstaff on a rainy July Art Walk night. It’s amazing the effect of water in “punching” nighttime colors and lights.

MattTantau-FlagstaffRain-20x30metalprint_2066eSmw1200Matt invested in this 20″x30″ Fine Art Metal Print as a gift for a couple who first met in Flagstaff and are shortly moving away.

Turns out Matt’s friends originally met in Charly’s Pub at the far end of the pictured Weatherford Hotel, and he thought this would be a great goodbye present for remembering their friends and the origin of their relationship here. What a cool gift!

See all my currently available Fine Art Terrestrial Photographs.

Greg

©2015 Greg Brown

“Grandpa’s Hat”

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Jean and I were walking Kachina Wetlands near sunset a few weeks ago, when up rode this kid, stunting on his bike like you’ve never seen from 5-year-old.

Turns out his beloved grandfather recently passed away, and the only thing he wanted of his grandpa’s belongings was his hat.

The young man told us he wants to be a cowboy, just like his grandpa. Is there any doubt that he’ll make it?!

And yes, he’s wearing “Grandpa’s Hat.”

Greg

(Thanks, “Mom,” for letting me share your son’s pic and story!)

©2015 Greg Brown