This year’s focus, “In the Shadow of the Peaks,” features 13 extraordinary landmarks, all within sight of Northern Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks, photographed from the Flying Carpet at all times of year.
This colorful 11″x17″ calendar features thirteen views over Arizona’s spectacular Red Rock Country captured at all times of year.
Few of us view calendar covers after opening, so Greg turned the cover photo 90 degrees to create an 11″x17″ Sedona vista suitable for framing. (Monthly photos are 8½” x 11″, with plenty of space for daily notes.)
You are hereby officially authorized to remove and frame the cover photo, either to remind you of past Sedona visits, or to inspire future ones!
Rarely do we light airplane pilots get to outfly the airlines, but it does occasionally happen.
A dozen years ago, the Flying Carpet suffered a spate of in-flight voltage regulator failures. This device meters electricity generated by the alternator to meet the airplane’s ongoing electrical needs and keep the battery charged. It also protects the electrical system against spikes or shorts that could damage electrical components.
Every few months our latest voltage regulator would fail in flight, disabling the aircraft’s charging system and sending us scrambling for a mechanic. Sometimes it could be temporarily reset by cycling the alternator switch, but usually not. Of course these failures always occurred at inopportune times, and caused lots of “what-if” stress every time we launched on a cross-country flight. Yet the intermittency stymied our mechanics in identifying the cause.
Then one day, a savvy avionics tech at Falcon Field (KFFZ) asked if I could hear our original-equipment flashing beacon cycling on and off through my headset. When I answered yes, he asked if those beacon pulses also presented via the ammeter needle. They did. It turns out that with age, the power supply units for old flashing beacons can internally deteriorate, drawing increasing electrical current as the circuitry fails.
Testing revealed that our beacon was drawing so much current with each flash, that over time it was causing each successive voltage regulator to disconnect the charging system and fail. Installing a new low-power LED beacon finally solved the problem, though it would take months of trouble-free operation before we could fully believe it.
Jean and I launched homeward from Falcon Field that day flashing our bright-and-shiny new beacon, arriving to rare IFR weather in Flagstaff…
**Read Greg’s entire column,“OH, THE GLORY” **. (Optimized for portable devices HERE.)
Nothing’s more rewarding for pilots than a mission.
“Shay needs a ride home for Easter weekend—do you know anyone driving to Flagstaff from Phoenix?” texted our friend Terri from Window Rock, in far northeast Arizona.
Terri’s niece Shay is a university student in suburban Phoenix. Along with joining family for the holiday, she wanted to visit an ailing relative and her cousin’s young baby. But Shay has no car, nor is there efficient public transportation for the 300-mile drive from Phoenix to Window Rock. She sometimes rides five hours home with a classmate, but this time he could offer only the return trip.
Flagstaff is only halfway to Window Rock, but from there Terri could retrieve Shay in an afternoon’s drive. None of my neighbors, however, expected holiday visitors from Phoenix. So I offered my young friend a Flying Carpet ride.
Delivering Shay from Glendale Municipal Airport (KGEU) directly to Window Rock would have saved Terri hours of driving, but for me it meant flying four hours in afternoon turbulence, half with an inexperienced passenger. So instead I proposed rendezvousing Shay with Terri at Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport (KINW), just an hour flight from Glendale and two hours’ drive from Window Rock.
Shortly after I landed at Glendale on the appointed day, Shay texted that she’d arrived–but was nowhere in sight…