Archive for New Mexico

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

Posted in Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2018 by Greg Brown

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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

“Tight Quarters,” Greg’s December, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2016 by Greg Brown

gregbrownft1216_5091-1smw1200Pirate pool party

Attending a kid’s 4th birthday party might sound unimportant, but Jean and I felt high emotional stakes in flying to Alamogordo, New Mexico for the occasion.

Our son and daughter-in-law Austin and Desi and their children had recently moved there from overseas. That would make our grandson’s “pirate pool party” our first family celebration together in six years.

Alamogordo is nine hours’ drive from Flagstaff, but less than three hours by Flying Carpet. Perusing the charts, I was pleased to find manageable terrain en route. However, a 140-mile thicket of restricted airspace encompasses nearby White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base, blocking general aviation access from the west. High mountains and additional military airspace also limit access from the east.

That leaves two flying routes from Arizona, neither direct. Shortest is to fly east beyond Socorro to JUPTR intersection, then steer 90 miles south between military airspace and the Sacramento Mountains. The longer alternative is to fly southeast to El Paso over high and remote terrain, then thread an exceedingly narrow 60-mile corridor northward between restricted areas. Both routes are comfortably flyable in good weather, but given such tight quarters each can be blocked over many miles by a single thunderstorm…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, TIGHT QUARTERS**

Photo: “Massive thunderheads crown the Sacramento Mountains northeast of Alamogordo, NM. (Note malpais volcanic lava fields in foreground.)” SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE!

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

Greg

©2016 Gregory N.Brown

“Oblique Views,” Greg’s June, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, flying destinations, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by Greg Brown

Bittersweet aerial journey

Adriel Heisey flies and photographs from his Flight Design CTsw Light Sport airplane over downtown Santa Fe.Sunrise cracks the horizon as Jean and I rotate skyward. Any direction we steer—north to the Grand Canyon, south over Sedona, west toward Las Vegas–will reward us with spectacular sights. But we’re reminded this sparkling morning that perhaps our favorite route is east to Santa Fe.

From Flagstaff’s mountain pines, we soar above volcanic cinder cones, crazy-jagged Canyon Diablo, within sight of Meteor Crater, over the Painted Desert, and then the buttes, hoodoos, and hogans of the Navajo Nation. Beyond there, crimson cliffs frame Gallup, New Mexico, and jet-black ancient lava flows stream eternally from 11,306-foot Mt. Taylor.

We’re not the first pilots to appreciate these views. Back in 1929, Charles and Ann Morrow Lindbergh photographed area scenic and cultural sites from their custom Curtiss Falcon biplane, and hence today’s mission.

Our friend, National Geographic and Arizona Highways aerial photographer Adriel Heisey, was commissioned 10 years ago by Archaeology Southwest to reenvision the Lindbergh photographs for a comparative “then and now” exhibition, called Oblique Views. We’re bound today for the opening at Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

JeanGreg-BrucePapier-UliNiemeyer_FC-SAF_SantaFeAirport_2661eSmw1200-2Joining us in Santa Fe for the event will be another longtime friend, Bruce Papier.

In a past life we shared many adventures, including piloting a Cessna 210 from Indiana to Arizona…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, OBLIQUE VIEWS.”**

Top Photo: Adriel Heisey photographs downtown Santa Fe for the Oblique Views exhibit, from his Flight Design CTsw Light Sport Aircraft.

Lower Photo: Bruce Papier and Uli Niemeyer greet us at Santa Fe Airport, New Mexico.

SEE MORE PHOTOS!

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

Greg

©2015 Gregory N.Brown

“Three Time Zones,” Greg’s August, 2015 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2015 by Greg Brown

Journey to the past

4-GregBrownFT815_3001eSmw1200“Be prepared to turn around,” I cautioned Jean as we launched under dark clouds. Keeping options open would be key to safely completing this long journey east.

We were bound from Arizona to Illinois for my mother’s 90th birthday and a high school newspaper reunion. Unable to justify flying ourselves 9-10 hours each way for a long weekend, we’d originally planned to go by airline.

But then we learned my mother would be gone over reunion weekend, stretching our stay to a week. That changed everything. By Flying Carpet we could use the free time to visit long-missed friends, relatives, and locations.

Yes, it’s a long flight to Chicago. But from there, many Midwestern destinations are only an hour or two away. Newly excited, we compiled a wish list encompassing three time zones and six destinations in four states. It was an ambitious itinerary, given the vagaries of spring weather.

Indeed, the forecasts were alarming as departure day approached. The Great Plains suffered near-daily tornados, showers were predicted throughout our Midwest stay, and two storm systems threatened Arizona. Rain hammered our roof the night before departure.

11-GregBrownFT815_0885eSmw1200We awoke to dark, racing clouds, but for the moment Flagstaff boasted a flyable 1,400-foot ceiling. From nearby Winslow east, Arizona featured fair weather.

Northern New Mexico reported marginal visual flying conditions, with possible mountain obscuration. That might require staying over in Gallup, but we’d cross that bridge when the time came.

For now the objective was to beat the storm out of Flagstaff. Snowflakes pelted our windshield as we drove to the airport…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, THREE TIME ZONES.”** (Allow a moment for the article to load.)

Top photo: “The clouds break up near Santa Fe, New Mexico.” Lower photo: “Braving a bitter wind at Centerville Municipal Airport, Iowa.” SEE MORE PHOTOS!

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

Greg

©2015 Gregory N.Brown

One-time opportunity – Save on Greg’s “Flying Carpet” Fine Art Prints!

Posted in Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2014 by Greg Brown

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Save on a Flying Carpet Fine Art Photographic Print!

Over the past 18 months I’ve enjoyed as many as three Views from the Flying Carpet photography exhibits running concurrently. That’s been a thrill, and the work has been enthusiastically received.

Normally, my prints are individually made to order, including exhibit sales. So now, as the exhibit prints come down, I find myself lacking display or inventory space.

SharlotHallMuseumFCexhibit_0029-EditeSmw1200Therefore, I’ve decided to discount the previously-exhibited prints, and cover sales tax or domestic shipping. That amounts to savings of $100-400 per print, depending on size.

All prints are museum-mounted with non-glare lustre finish*, and have been displayed in secure museum or gallery settings.

See DISCOUNT LIST HERE. This is a one-time offer — when sold, they’re gone. (My regular pricing is not changing.)

  • Sale print prices include Arizona sales tax OR regular shipping within the continental US. (Prints may also be picked up in Flagstaff or Phoenix.)
  • Sales are first-come, first-served.
  • This offer applies only to the specific individual prints listed in blue.

Please CONTACT ME DIRECTLY TO ORDER discounted prints.

This is a one-time opportunity, so if your dream print is on the discount list, act on it!

Greg

Top photo: Sunset Rains. Lower photo: Sunset Over Window Rock.

*Frameless, reflection-free “museum mount-lustre” prints are bonded to Dibond aluminum-and-polyolefin sheet with museum-back subframe, with a non-glare UV-protective film laminate over the print surface. (See example.) Greg’s favorite!

“Six Mile Canyon,” Greg’s Aerial Fine Art Photographic Print

Posted in Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2014 by Greg Brown
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I captured this detail of Six Mile Canyon, en route to Albuquerque over New Mexico’s Cibola National Forest. As I often do when photographing  dramatically tinted terrain, I incorporated bordering vegetation into the photo so viewers would appreciate that the canyon’s vibrant colors are genuine.

This photograph was taken on a flight associated with my September, 2011 Flying Carpet column, “Game Plan.”

Six Mile Canyon debuts in Limited Edition  27″x40″ and 24″x36″ prints, and Open Editions of 16″x24″ and 10″x14″. Print prices start at $175. See detailed pricing and ordering information.

Like all my Views from the Flying Carpet, this photograph was collaboratively tuned for print with Master Photographic Printer Richard Jackson, who prints for the world’s finest photographers. Each individual print is meticulously crafted, mounted as appropriate, and packaged for shipping under Mr. Jackson’s supervision.

Learn more about my Views from the Flying Carpet Fine Art Photographic Prints, including available images, and our process for creating these marvelous prints.

View a video about my aerial photography, and subscribe for email updates.

Hope you enjoy this view from my cockpit!

Greg

PS: Visit my Sharlot Hall Museum exhibit in Prescott, Arizona — extended through April 27th, 2014.

©2014 Gregory N. Brown

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