“Piper, the Flying Cat,” Greg’s February, 2019 Flying Carpet column

Dogs commonly travel by airplane, but how often do you meet a flying cat? Transporting the skittish animals can be tough enough by car, much less by airplane. Yet my Montana friends Alyson and Travis Booher routinely aviate with Piper, their adventure cat.

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“Before Piper, two geriatric cats at home limited our travel,” explains Alyson. “So when I got a new kitty, I vowed not to be homebound anymore.” Alyson used to write a “Dear Tabby,” advice column for Missoula’s Animeals food bank and adoption center. One client had trained her kitten to ride everywhere in a harness on her shoulder.

Intrigued, Alyson wondered whether most kittens can be trained to travel. Investigating online, she learned that ‘pet adventure travel’ is trending among young people. Few fly with felines but given countless other “adventure cat” activities she thought, “Let’s try it!” Travis was concerned about being tagged as ‘the crazy cat people,’ so the couple agreed Piper would travel exclusively for function, not attention.

“As with people, flying is not for every pet,” says Alyson. “My cat just happens to be really chill. Probably the key is to train kittens when they are young.” A show-cat owner advised Alyson that if a kitten isn’t bothered by vacuum-cleaner noise, it will be comfortable out and about. Piper passed that test, so she began toting him on errands in a cat backpack. Finally one day, the couple bundled Piper into their Skylane to visit Alyson’s brother in Bozeman. When Piper stretched out relaxed, Alyson freed him from his backpack to cruise the cockpit…

**Read Greg’s entire column, “PIPER, THE FLYING CAT”**

Photo: “Piper relaxes aloft over the Cascade Mountains.” (Alyson Booher photo) SEE MORE PHOTOS!

Follow Piper the Flying Cat on Instagram!

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

Greg

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

“Inches of Runway,” Greg’s January, 2019 Flying Carpet column

Wind rarely seems as threatening as other weather when flight planning, because you can’t see it. But as every pilot learns, wind is real; it can be helpful or hazardous, and often portends changing conditions.

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We’d planned Christmas in Tucson, but holiday snow was forecast, urged along by a powerful cold front. Indeed, Christmas dawned snowing and blustery. Surprisingly though, Flagstaff’s forecast called for midmorning clearing. Sure enough, at precisely 10am sun warmed our yard, blue sky pierced the clouds, and ceilings rose along our route. So we packed and took off.

Ceilings again lowered as we flew south but so did the terrain, so we cruised comfortably to Tucson for a family holiday dinner. Based on a sunny forecast, we planned to brunch and hike the next day before heading home.

The next morning, however, we were wakened by a smartphone weather alert. Despite yesterday’s clear-skies forecast, Flagstaff now expected morning snow flurries, followed by northeasterly 35-knot wind gusts tumbling from the mountains. What’s more, 40-knot headwinds would plague our normal 8500-foot cruising altitude. I suggested staying another night, but Jean wanted to return for the neighborhood holiday party. That meant departing immediately in hopes of beating the winds home

**Read Greg’s entire column, INCHES OF RUNWAY**

Photo: “Down I flew, carrying partial flaps with knife’s-edge readiness to go around because something bad was surely imminent.”

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

Greg

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

“Painted into a Corner,” Greg’s December, 2018 Flying Carpet column

 

Thunderheads_2686eSmw1200“Oh, and the St. Johns VOR is out of service,” said the flight service briefer before we departed Santa Fe for Scottsdale.

In those pre-GPS days, St. Johns was the only enroute radio navigation aid on Victor-190, the 274nm instrument airway between Albuquerque and Phoenix. No matter, I anticipated good weather throughout the 2½-hour flight.

Launching late afternoon in a rented Cessna 172RG Cutlass, we cruised clear skies southwestward. Entering Arizona, however, I spotted unexpected clouds ahead. It turned out that an unforecast stratus layer had developed almost to Phoenix. Fortunately, visual flight conditions prevailed underneath, the only concerning weather being a line of heavy thunderstorms paralleling our route 30 miles to the north.

Soon we cruised under clouds at 8,500 feet, ogling intense distant lightning off our right wing. I’d anticipated reaching lower country by nightfall, but we’d been slowed by headwinds, and darkness falls early under clouds. I calculated ceilings to be 1,000 feet above the highest ridges ahead. While usually plenty in daytime, that’s risky for night flight over mountains…

**Read Greg’s entire column, PAINTED INTO A CORNER**

Photo: A line of heavy thunderstorms paralleled our route 30 miles to the north.

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

Greg

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

UPDATED: “Inner Basin Flaming Aspens,” Greg’s latest “View from the Flying Carpet” Fine Art Photography Metal Print

Inner Basin Flaming Aspens!

Recently I flew out-of-town visitors over the Grand Canyon. As always it was amazing, but I found myself dodging clouds so we returned early.

On our way back, however, sun pierced clouds over flaming autumn aspens lining the Inner Basin of Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks, and… Wow, one of my most amazing aerial sights ever! (Click on photo to see a larger image.)

UPDATE: Happily, interest in this print has been off the charts. However many people have apparently been confused regarding purchase options, for which I apologize. To clarify: 

“Inner Basin Flaming Aspens” Fine Art Metal Print sizes and pricing* in ready-to-hang frameless floating wall mounts (pictured at my Fine Art Metal Prints page):

11″x17,” $125
12″x18,” $145
16″x24,” $195
20″x30,” $295
24″x36,” $395
30″x40,” $495
*Prices include standard shipping within Continental US. (Contact me for pricing of custom sizes and framing options.)

Order your “Inner Basin Aspens” Fine Art Metal Prints HERE. **Select “Inner Basin Aspens” from the aerial prints drop-down menu in Step 2. (Steps 2-4 must be completed.)

Check out my other available Views from the Flying Carpet aerial photographs, and Down to Earth terrestrial photographs.

Many thanks for the amazing response to this particular photo, and to all who have invested to date in my Fine Art Metal Prints, 2019 Photographic Wall Calendars, and Pilot Achievement Plaques.

Greg

Announcing Greg’s 2019 “Down to Earth” Terrestrial Photo Wall Calendars!

NEW! 2019 “Views from Kachina Wetlands” Photo Wall Calendars

Nearly every day for years I’ve hiked or biked this beautiful wetlands near Flagstaff, photographing sunsets, weather phenomena, wildflowers, and birds.

(The Audubon Society ranks Kachina Wetlands among Northern Arizona’s top birding sites.)

Finally this year I’ve collected some of my favorite and most unique Kachina Wetlands images into Standard and Premium-sized wall calendars, including many from my “Down to Earth” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.

2019 “Views from Flagstaff” Photo Wall Calendars

new 2013 Lulu FC oversize wall calendar-front

These calendars feature some of my favorite photographs shot in and around our beloved Flagstaff, Arizona, including several from my “Down to Earth” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.

Among them are photographs of historic downtown Flagstaff including the landmark Weatherford and Monte Vista hotels, the San Francisco Peaks, 2015 Lulu FC Greatest Hits standard wall calendar-frontCoconino County Fair, seasonal views of summer sunflowers and autumn aspens, and Flagstaff’s famed New Years “Great Pinecone Drop!”

(Previous buyers note that this year’s “Views from Flagstaff” calendars contain the same great photos as last year’s.)

2019 “Views from Japan” Photo Wall Calendars

2014 Japan oversize wall calendar-frontOnce again, I’m also offering my terrestrial, Views from Japan” photographic wall calendars.

Although a departure from my aerial persona, Jean and I have been so taken with Japan’s beauty and character during our travels that I can’t resist sharing special images from there.

This is one country you must make plans to visit! And once seeing the included photographs, I suspect you’ll agree.

2014 Lulu Japan standard wall calendar-frontIncluded are amazing views of Kyoto’s and Nara’s exquisite temples, Matsumoto Castle, Osaka’s Dotombori Entertainment District, a Shinto wedding at Miyajima Island, Tokyo’s Ginza District, and Ogimachi Historic Town.

(Previous buyers note that this year’s “Views from Japan” calendars contain the same great photos as in prior years.)

2019 “Views from Korea” Photo Wall Calendars

2014 Japan oversize wall calendar-frontCheck out my “Views from Korea” photographic wall calendars!

Included are amazing photographs taken in the Republic of [South] Korea, little-known among Americans, with its fascinating blend of old and new.

Lulu Korea standard wall calendar-front copySee Seoul’s renowned Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gunsan’s Barley Festival, traditional Korean horsemen in Jeonju, Gochang-eup Fortress, and more troubling, North Korea viewed from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Joint Security Area.

(Previous buyers note that this year’s “Views from Korea” calendars contain the same great photos as in prior years.)

2019 “Well, I’ll Be!” Photo Wall Calendars

2015 Lulu FC Greatest Hits standard wall calendar-frontCheck out my “Well, I’ll Be!” Photo Wall Calendar, featuring some of my wackier photographs.

I created this calendar primarily to hang over my own desk, but can pretty much guarantee you a monthly smile when you change pages!

(Available only in Standard size. Previous buyers note that this year’s “Well, I’ll Be!” calendar contains the same great photos as in previous years.)

Click on each calendar image to preview and order, or visit my Calendar Store!

(To preview monthly calendar pages, click “preview” under the picture on the individual calendar page.)

*Calendar Sizes and Pricing

Each full-color 12-month wall calendar series comes in two sizes:

  • Standard 11″x17″ for $19.95** (8.5″x11″ images).
  • Premium oversize 13.5″x19″ for $29.95** (9.5″x13.5″ monthly images).

Monthly photos for a given calendar are similar in both formats except for size.

What a great way for you and your lucky gift recipients to celebrate each month of the new year!

Greg

**CHECK CURRENT WALL CALENDAR DISCOUNTS HERE.

**NOTES:

  • All calendars can be shipped directly to you, or to others as gifts.
  • Shipping and sales tax (if applicable) are additional.

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

Announcing Greg’s 2019 “Views from the Flying Carpet” Aerial Photo Wall Calendars!

2019 “Views from the Flying Carpet” Photo Wall Calendars

Check out this year’s “Views from the Flying Carpet” aerial photo wall calendars, filled with recent aviator’s-eye views from around the country.

This calendar comes in two sizes,* featuring some of my latest aerial photographs from my “Views from the Flying Carpet” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.

Both calendar sizes feature exceptional image quality suitable for framing!

 

2019 “Views from the Flying Carpet Greatest Hits” Photo Wall Calendars

new 2013 Lulu FC oversize wall calendar-frontHere are my “Views from the Flying Carpet Greatest Hits” aerial photo wall calendars, filled with my favorite aviator’s-eye views from around the country.

This “Greatest Hits” version comes in two sizes, featuring some of my most popular aerial photographs from my “Views from the Flying Carpet” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.

2015 Lulu FC Greatest Hits standard wall calendar-frontBoth calendar sizes feature exceptional image quality suitable for framing!

Note that because these photographs represent my most popular images to date, all have ap

Click on each calendar image to preview and order, or visit my Calendar Store!

(To preview monthly calendar pages, click “preview” under the picture on the individual calendar page.)

*Calendar Sizes and Pricing

Each full-color 12-month wall calendar series comes in two sizes:

  • Standard 11″x17″ for $19.95** (8.5″x11″ images).
  • Premium oversize 13.5″x19″ for $29.95** (9.5″x13.5″ monthly images).

Monthly photos for a given calendar are similar in both formats except for size.

What a great way for you and your lucky gift recipients to celebrate each month of the new year!

Greg

**CHECK CURRENT PUBLISHER DISCOUNTS ON MY WALL CALENDARS HERE.

**NOTES:

  • All calendars can be shipped directly to you, or to others as gifts.
  • Shipping and sales tax (if applicable) are additional.

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

“Routine Flight,” Greg’s November, 2018 Flying Carpet column

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“For once,” said Jean, “a routine flight.” We cruised homeward through cool, calm skies thanks to a high overcast filtering New Mexico’s high-desert summertime sun.

Driving from Flagstaff to Alamogordo takes eight hours each way. Going commercially requires two airline legs plus ninety minutes’ drive from El Paso. So general aviation truly offers the fastest way to get there, circumstances permitting, and this weekend was proving to be such an occasion.

But what is a routine flight, anyway? Piloting light airplanes turns out to be more about anomaly than routine. However often we travel a given route, every flight is different. Most aviators learn to appreciate that variety as adventure, but anyone expecting uneventful aerial “auto trips” is doomed to disappointment…

**Read Greg’s entire column, ROUTINE FLIGHT**

Photo: Thunderstorms threaten Alamogordo White Sands Regional Airport, New Mexico (KALM) from the Sacramento Mountains.

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

Greg

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

Sunflower addiction: Greg’s latest “Down to Earth” Fine Art Photography Metal Print

Sunflower Sunset

Here’s my latest Down to Earth terrestrial Fine Art Metal Print offering, “Sunflower Sunset,” photographed at Kachina Wetlands south of Flagstaff, Arizona.

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This summer has been one of the best in memory for wild sunflowers blooming in Northern Arizona’s meadows and mountains.

Every time I go out, my camera insists on capturing more perspectives, and each time I post one I’m encouraged by audience response to take more. So thanks, everyone, for enabling my camera’s sunflower addiction! 

See all my latest “Down to Earth” terrestrial and “Views from the Flying Carpet” aerial photography Fine Art Metal Prints.

As always, thanks to all who have invested in my photography to date, including Fine Art Metal Prints, Photographic Wall Calendars, and Pilot Achievement Plaques.

Greg

“Time Warp,” Greg’s October, 2018 Flying Carpet column

The weekend had long been planned.

Jean and I would fly from Flagstaff to Phoenix, soak up sun at a tony resort, and attend a late-afternoon wedding in nearby Tempe.

Shortly before the wedding, however, Navajo friends invited us to a same-day high school graduation luncheon in Gallup, New Mexico, an hour in the other direction.

For days Jean and I calculated and recalculated how we might attend both events, but the timing was too tight—even an embarrassingly-brief Gallup stop might make us late for the wedding. How disappointing, that two celebrations involving treasured friends should land so far apart on the same day.

“We’d need a time warp to make both events,” lamented Jean as she RSVP’d regrets to Gallup.

But “time warp” triggered an epiphany…

**Read Greg’s entire column, TIME WARP** (Mobile Link HERE)

Photo: Gallup Municipal Airport sign, New Mexico.

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

Greg

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

Greg’s latest “Down to Earth” Fine Art Photography Metal Print

Mountain Sunflowers!

Here’s my latest “Down to Earth” terrestrial Fine Art Metal Print, “Mountain Sunflowers,” photographed at Kachina Wetlands south of Flagstaff, Arizona.

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This summer has been one of the best in memory for wild sunflowers blooming in the meadows and mountains of Northern Arizona. Just the other day I captured this image of the San Francisco Peaks framed by sunflowers at Kachina Wetlands.

See all my latest “Down to Earth” terrestrial and “Views from the Flying Carpet” aerial photography Fine Art Metal Prints.

c2014GregBrown_SphinxMothWithThistles_4312-bb12x12Smw1200In other photography news, I’m pleased to have just donated two other terrestrial Fine Art Metal Prints prints to the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) for their upcoming Summit and fundraiser at Quinta Mazatlan Birding Center in McAllen, Texas:

c2015GregBrown_Sunflowers_1983-8bitSmw1200“Sphinx Moth with Thistles,” (right) for their silent auction, and yes, more “Sunflowers!” (left) for their live auction. Coincidentally both of these were shot in previous years at Kachina Wetlands. Best of success to ANCA at their fundraiser!

Many thanks to all who have invested in my photography to date, including Fine Art Metal Prints, Photographic Wall Calendars, and Pilot Achievement Plaques.

Greg