“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.

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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!


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

Make a one-time donation, or better yet, subscribe your ongoing support. Thank you! Greg

Become a Patron!


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!


“Sky King & the Old Apache,” Greg’s Cockpit Adventures from the Flying Carpet Podcast, Flight #4

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 “Sky King & the Old Apache,” Greg’s Flying Carpet Podcast Flight #4

“The roaring powerplant and squealing tires soon brought my instructor scrambling from the office.”

Rancher-pilot Sky King of the legendary 1950s TV program played a role in the wackiest checkride of Greg’s piloting career.

Cover photo: “Sky King” (Kirby Grant) and “niece, Penny” (Gloria Winters) with the TV show’s Cessna 310.

Piper Apache

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!


Follow Greg on Social Media!


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

Make a one-time donation, or better yet, subscribe your ongoing support. Thank you! Greg

Become a Patron!


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


“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!


Follow Greg on Social Media!


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

Make a one-time donation, or better yet, subscribe your ongoing support. Thank you! Greg

Become a Patron!


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!


Follow Greg on Social Media!


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

Make a one-time donation, or better yet, subscribe your ongoing support. Thank you! Greg

Become a Patron!


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


“Convergence,” Greg’s past Flying Carpet column

greg,penny,chris769eMy longtime dear friend and writing mentor, Penny Porter, passed away last week, and I decided to share a past column in remembering her.

When I met Penny in the late 1990s, she was president of Tucson’s Society of Southwestern Authors (SSA), author of several books, and reportedly the most-published-ever Reader’s Digest contributor back when that was a big deal.

unknownSix feet tall with “big,” fiery red hair, Penny was a consummate writer who somehow balanced between professional woman and delightful giggling 12-year-old.

Penny introduced me to famous writers of the day like Ray Bradbury and Tony Hillerman–she induced me to fly Clive Cussler to Tucson one year for the annual SSA Writers Conference–and lovingly shared writing wisdom and humor that helped shape my own work and inspires me to this day.

Most of all, she was an artist to the core who imbued even the briefest informal message with literary richness.

Penny, I’m gonna miss you big-time!

Greg

**Read about Penny in Greg’s column, CONVERGENCE**

Photo: “Penny Porter with Chris Sis and Greg at Jimmy’s Diner in Tucson, Arizona, 2000.” 

(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine. Read an expanded version in Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane.)

Greg

©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!

“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”** Mobile version here.

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

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

“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.

FLG Flagstaff area aloft_0134e+++Smw1200

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

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

“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

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

“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

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

“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

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