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“U-Turn,” Greg’s July, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2016 by Greg Brown

Knowledge is power

GregBrownFT716_3743-Edit-2Smw1200For pilots, knowledge is power. Today’s broad aviation weather access contributes immeasurably to flight safety by allowing us to anticipate and plan for what lies ahead. Without it, we return to the dark ages of flying.

Recently Jean proposed picking up her mother Marge in Phoenix, and from there visiting her brother in Montrose, Colorado. Phoenix to Montrose is a long flight for the uninitiated— 3½ hours through often-turbulent desert skies. What’s more, Marge is in her eighties and limited in mobility. Most any precautionary landing site along this remote route would lack people, water, or shade, with help potentially hours away. Oh, and another brother was flying in from Chicago, making the schedule immutable. So as much as I love piloting, I suggested dropping Jean in Phoenix, where she and Marge could hop a 1-hour commercial flight instead.

“Mom says she’d rather go by Flying Carpet than airlines,” Jean answered with finality, but she did compromise. After retrieving Marge in Phoenix she suggested we overnight in Flagstaff before proceeding, thereby shortening our Montrose flight by an hour. Although helpful, that didn’t relieve my concerns. But at least Jean and Marge had made an informed decision.

Pilots outside the intermountain west may not easily picture a 275nm route with virtually no attended airports, minimal weather reporting, limited ATC radar and voice communications, marginal to non-existent weather radar coverage*, and 14,000-foot peaks surrounding the destination…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, U-TURN.”**

Photo: A ridge-top “sucker hole” materializes under a line of thunderstorms near Kayenta, Arizona.

SEE MORE PHOTOS!

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

Greg

* Check out the NEXRAD weather radar national coverage map. NE Arizona to SW Colorado features one of the biggest weather radar coverage gaps in the country.

©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

“Ready, Set, Don’t Go,” Greg’s May, 2016 Flying Carpet column

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

Third time’s the charm—sort of…

GregBrownFT516_4694e2Smw1200Winter offers spectacular flying, but its fickle and unforgiving weather can make longer aerial journeys daunting.

Jean and I annually flee snowy Flagstaff to visit our neighbors Tim and Hedy Thomas for a California vacation. Usually we meet in sunny Oceanside or Carlsbad, but this January they invited us to sample Monterey’s rugged coastline, bountiful sea life, scrumptious seafood, and renowned aquarium. Afterward, we planned to visit other friends two hours northeast in Truckee, California, and from there fly home through Nevada.

Although straightforward in good weather, this is an ambitious wintertime journey. Mountainous northern Arizona and California’s coast, deserts, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada all feature different if interrelated weather patterns, which must coincide for safe air passage across the route. Truckee, in particular, high in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe, averages 41 inches of January snowfall, yet perfect flying weather would be required to land there.

So rather than attempting to hard-schedule our vacation, we negotiated a three-week “visit anytime” travel window with our respective hosts.

Even then, weather concerns arose. By early January, closely spaced winter storm systems were lined up to steamroll California and Arizona. Our travel needed to be accomplished during one- to two-day gaps between storms…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, READY, SET, DON’T GO.”**

Photo: Ocean mists fringe verdant hills near Monterey, California.

SEE MORE PHOTOS!

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

Greg

©2015 Gregory N.Brown

“Cap’n Alex,” Greg’s March, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, learn to fly!, teen pilots with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2016 by Greg Brown

Flying “turns about a patio”

Nicole-AlexChambers_CarolWyatt-Smith_FC_SEZ_2236-EditeSmw1200I questioned how much Alex Chambers would appreciate an airplane ride celebrating his 5th birthday, given little kids’ notoriously short attention spans.

But Jean’s friend and tennis coach, Nicole, had long reported her son’s obsession with airplanes, so I willingly offered a flight when Jean suggested it.

Normally I fly first-timers around the nearby San Francisco Peaks, followed by breakfast at scenic Sedona Airport. But for little Alex, I figured one or the other would be enough. I also bought a toy airplane to occupy him if necessary during our flight; finding no Flying Carpet-style Cessnas, I selected a nifty P-47 fighter.

Our opportunity arose a week after Alex’s birthday. Nicole’s visiting girlhood friend Carol Wyatt-Smith from South Africa would join us.

“Why are we going inside the gate?” Alex asked his mom when we met at the Flagstaff Airport.

“We’re going to see Greg’s airplane,” she explained. Alex squirmed shyly when invited out of the car, but eventually emerged to open his P-47 birthday present and stash it with his back-seat airplane collection.

AlexChambers_FCaloft_2218eSmw1200I assigned my young friend to push the button opening the hangar door—always popular among youthful passengers.

Then he “helped” me pull out the airplane. Surprised at Alex’s level of engagement, I demonstrated the elevators during preflight.

“These make the plane go up and down,” I said. “What do you think they’re called?”

“Are those the flaps?” he replied. This is a five-year old, mind you, so I was impressed that he could name any flight surface, even if the wrong one…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, CAP’N ALEX.”**

Top photo: Alex and Nicole Chambers with friend Carol Wyatt-Smith, at Sedona Airport, Arizona. (KSEZ)

Lower photo: ‘Cap’n Alex’ at the controls.

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

Greg

©2015 Gregory N.Brown

“Tucson for Christmas,” Greg’s February, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Posted in flying adventures, Flying Carpet column, Greg's piloting tips, Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , on December 23, 2015 by Greg Brown

Seeking holiday sunshine

SnowShowersCeilings_MazatzalMtnsLakeRoosevelt_2440eSmw1200

Most Christmases my former sister-in-law Lesley hosts a gathering at her Tucson vacation home.

Jean and I always try to attend, though December is one month when Arizona weather sometimes raises its head. Factor in short winter days, a dearth of Tucson hotel rooms during “snowbird” season, and the alternative 8-hour round-trip drive, and sometimes it’s not feasible to go. Weather permitting, however, it makes a great aerial daytrip. The 90-minute flight allows us to arrive midmorning, enjoy family company, and return home around sunset.

This year we were particularly eager to go because all my Chicago nieces and nephews would be coming, several with spouses and girlfriends and two in their first year of college. It would be a rare treat to see them.

We also faced an unrelated mission the day after Christmas, when following a debilitating fall, Jean’s mother was to be released from a Phoenix hospital. After returning from Tucson Christmas night, I was to drop Jean at Glendale Airport the next morning to assist her mom’s transition home.

On Christmas Eve we learned that a Central Rockies winter storm system was to brush northern Arizona on Christmas Day. Despite a chance of snow flurries, I wasn’t concerned. Stationary high pressure generally deflects such storms north, accounting for Arizona’s typically benign winter weather. Ceilings usually remain high in these cases, and just south of Flagstaff the terrain drops into normally clear warm-weather country. Sure enough, all stations from Sedona to Tucson forecast blue skies.

We awoke Christmas morning, however, to a lower than expected overcast shrouding northern Arizona, raising concerns of mountain obscuration by ice-filled clouds. Accumulating snow was now forecast for Flagstaff, with precipitation to spread southward throughout the state…

**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, TUCSON FOR CHRISTMAS.”**

Photo: Our first glimpse of holiday sun illuminates Theodore Roosevelt Lake, viewed over Arizona’s Mazatzal Mountains.

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

SunsetRainshowers_1156-Hance8bitNoTankSmw1200

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!

Last chance to see Greg’s Phoenix “Views from the Flying Carpet” photography exhibit!

Posted in Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2014 by Greg Brown

Greg-SharlotHallFCopening_JanCollinsphoto_5024eCrSmw1200Only one week remains to see my Phoenix Views from the Flying Carpet Fine Art Aerial Photography Exhibit!

IMG_3355-1024x682See two dozen of my finest photographs, at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Papago Park, through September 14th, 2014.

No further exhibits are currently planned.

Visit the museum at 1300 N. College Ave. Tempe, Arizona. (The exhibit gallery is directly upstairs from the reception desk.)

Gallery Hours
Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun. noon – 4 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and state holidays

Museum admission is $5 for adults, with discounts for young people and seniors. Children under 11 are free.

CHECK OUT MY ONE-TIME AFTER-SHOW TAKEDOWN SALE!

©2014 Gregory N. Brown

Visit Greg’s first Phoenix-area “Views from the Flying Carpet” photography exhibit!

Posted in Greg's photographs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2014 by Greg Brown

Greg-SharlotHallFCopening_JanCollinsphoto_5024eCrSmw1200Announcing my first Phoenix-area Views from the Flying Carpet Fine Art Aerial Photography Exhibit!

IMG_3355-1024x682See two dozen of my finest photographs, at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Papago Park, through September 14th, 2014.

Visit the museum at 1300 N. College Ave. Tempe, Arizona. (The exhibit is located in the upstairs gallery, directly above the reception desk.)

Gallery Hours
Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun. noon – 4 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and state holidays

Museum admission is $5 for adults, with discounts for young people and seniors. Children under 11 are free.

©2014 Gregory N. Brown

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