Does a Lockeed SR-71 Blackbird call AAA for a tow?

| June 28, 2018

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird The SR-71 was designed for flight at over Mach 3 with a flight crew of two in tandem cockpits, with the pilot in the forward cockpit and the reconnaissance systems officer operating the surveillance systems and equipment from the rear cockpit, and directing navigation on the mission flight path. The SR-71 was […]

Just in case Kim Jong Un is misleading us again

| June 13, 2018

Just an impressive photo for North Korea to sleep on (and me to include on my blog) … and just in case Kim Jong Un is having second thoughts regarding his historic handshake and agreement with President Trump at the Singapore Summit. Let’s hope we are all on the same page and that hardliners in […]

Who really wants to fly ALONE with a 1-year old?

| March 11, 2018

Ah yes … the stress of a mom flying by herself with a one-year-old … it can be stressful. My daughter Katelyn flew to San Diego, California “alone” with Annalyn on Saturday and reported that all her “distraction” preparations paid off … well she didn’t exactly say that … BUT that fact that she was […]

Try the “Revenue Management” tip when frequent flying

| February 25, 2018

For frequent long distance flyers, give this airline reservation travel tip a try … We have never bought an upper-class seat; if ever we’ve flown anywhere up front, we’ve used miles to upgrade from economy. If you want to do that, call reservations and drop the name “revenue management.” The reason is that revenue management’s […]

The flight of MH17 – National Geographic #video

| February 22, 2018

Previously I’ve detailed a bit about the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and some of what I have learned … here is a National Geographic channel video that summarizes what we know in 44 minutes.

Drones on boats, a good idea?

| January 29, 2018

My friend Jeff is planning on ordering a DJI Mavic Pro this weekend. I sent him a recent article that has him pondering models. Jokingly I sent him this ani.gif suggesting he let me borrow it when I head to the boat … to which he replied, “Sure, if you put down a $1000 deposit. […]

Once in a while I can still find a super cheap flight on Southwest

| January 3, 2018

Before sending another check to the guy I have doing some bottom work on Encore, I really need to inspect the work. I don’t want him to stop working, but I don’t want bottom paint slapped on the new epoxy fiberglass repair before double checking the layers, fairing and keel work and epoxy barrier coats […]

Red Stewart 20th Annual Airshow Labor Day Weekend 2017

| July 22, 2017

Along with the Red Stewart Airfield airshow and night airshow on Saturday September 2, 2017, my EAA284 Chapter will be serving up a pancake breakfast for those camping over or flying in on Sunday morning September 3rd. Always a great time.

Stratolaunch emerges from the hanger

| June 3, 2017

Stratolaunch, cited as the "world’s largest plane," has been under construction for four years, but is finally ready to come out of the hanger. The plane has a wingspan larger than a football field and according to the design firm Stratolaunch Systems, is designed to carry rockets into the stratosphere before firing the payload into […]

Looking back a few years to when I started to blog

| April 28, 2017

This “daily” desultory blog started back in April 2005 as an offshoot from my paper journal started in college. It is a place from me to post and talk about life, family, hobbies and whatever happens to be on my mind. I noticed that one of my first posts started on this day 12 years ago about […]

World War I surveillance DRONE – or pigeon photography

| February 5, 2017

Homing pigeons were outfitted with lightweight cameras in WWI with time-delayed shutters for aerial reconnaissance photography, likely the first "drones."  They were used very effective as messenger pigeons prior to wireless radio and effectively in communicating behind enemy lines in World War II. Interestingly the Swiss Army continued they military pigeons until it was disbanded […]

Aviation and sailing in one great Shot of the Week photo

| January 15, 2017

The quality of the photo isn’t the best, but the content is pretty impressive. The latest issue of the weekly Cruising Compass had this photo as the "Cruising Shot of the Week" … excellent! This busy shot of Boston Harbor from July 2013, with the Navy Blue Angels flying over the USS Constitution (Old Iron […]

Craziness and flight are synergetic terms

| November 10, 2016

When contemplating just how crazy men were when trying to fly in the era of the Wright brothers, you realize "some" are still testing the envelope when it comes to craziness and flight (or perhaps "stupidity and flight?")

R is for Robert, or is it Roger … or maybe Romeo?

| November 7, 2016

A learning game we played while traveling by car was to spell things out using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Both Katelyn and Taylor did a great job learning it … and I think to this day they remember it. Give it a try if you need a way to pass the time AND practice for […]

Archiving some quadcopter video footage from Wayzata, MN

| October 26, 2016

The  advancements in unmanned aviation continue to impress me as a new generation of pilots is flying by remote control rather than “stick and rudder,” “yoke and peddle” … but all can still fly by the “seat of their pants.”  I’m still unsure what to call these computer controlled devices nowadays … quadcopters, quadrotors  (what […]

A beautiful quadrotor aerial video from Lake Michigan

| September 1, 2016

My son-in-law Drew shared a really impressive Phatom3 movie clip on YouTube after his July 2016 vacation in Michigan. There were some incredibly beautiful views, sunsets and shoreline video … of course it didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect for Katelyn and Drew’s vacation at his parent’s “cabin” (as they call it). Although I’ve […]

Nineteenth Annual Labor Day Red Stewart Airshow

| August 28, 2016

Generator woes, beating the rain and EAA Chapter 284’s TDFI

| August 21, 2016

As John “Hannibal” Smith (the late George Peppard) from the A-Team would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” As was the case when I had acres of grass to to mow into a rain filled weekend schedule — it is great when “plans come together.” I was able to squeak in and […]

MH17 anniversary: Meet the man suing Vladimir Putin

| July 18, 2016

Two years has passed since a missle downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, yet 298 families are still without closure. In the US we’ve heard the slogan “too big to fail” when giving a pass to big banks, companies or their decision makers. When it is the powerful like Vladimir Putin and Russia, one wonders if […]

Archive: Phantom 3 quadrotor-drone video from Iowa

| July 6, 2016

My daughter Katelyn and husband Drew were in Iowa over the July 4th holiday weekend with his family. Since they were visiting the old farm homestead, it was a perfect time to get his new Phantom 3 quadrotor out and take a little more video. The time to visit northwestern Iowa is obviously the summer […]

Quadrotors are likely going to be the next personal aircraft

| June 28, 2016

I’m not sure how the whole "drone" future is going to turn out, but it is exciting to watch the improvements over a short period of time. The ease of flying, improvements in batteries and quality of video have really advanced. It will not be long before we’re "jumping" around town in a quadrotor. I […]

A great night for taildragger flying from Molnau Airfield

| June 21, 2016

My son-in-law Drew had a special treat after an evening at the Ridgeview Medical Center fundraiser in Waconia, Minnesota. It looks like my daughter Katelyn persuaded her colleague, fellow pediatrician Dr. Adam Weber,  to take Drew up for an evening flight in his Bellanca Citabria (Of interest: When the original manufacturer Champion Aircraft derived the name for this […]

Jerry Skinner talks about #MH17 with @MariaBartiromo

| June 8, 2016

As the second anniversary approaches of the downing of #MH17 by Russian missiles over the Ukraine, my brother-in-law Jerry Skinner is doing what he can to keep the tragedy in front of the public eye. Pressure on politicians for them to pursue justice, compensation and a admission from Russia and Putin (a long shot) is […]

Airline litigation lawyer Jerry Skinner explains the case – #MH17

| May 25, 2016

My brother-in-law Jerry Skinner has been busy working on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 case in order to bring closure for the families of victims. It is hard to imagine that shooting down of a commercial airliner was anything but a mistake, but who should be held accountable for Buk missiles capable of this kind […]

Russian jets make provocative passes over Navy ship

| April 14, 2016

This isn’t the first close call incident according to the news coming from the Pentagon, but a very close and dangerous pass over the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic. They halted exercises with a Polish helicopter landing on the flight deck and shared the video below. *Video: russian su-24s fly over uss donald cook […]

Kee Bird B-29 Superfortress story

| March 16, 2016

Watched an older aviation documentary this past weekend on YouTube (remembered reading about it years ago). The attempted rescue of the Kee Bird was a 1996 video story and heroic attempt ending in disaster — NOVA: B-20 Frozen in Time.

From my personal perspective, the TSA did their job well

| November 21, 2015

What a duffus! I don’t want to admit, but I made a MAJOR airport security mistake on Friday morning … and am thankfully a free man to tell the tale. KUDOS to the much maligned Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for doing their job and doing it well. Neglectful Rich left an extended round full 9mm […]

This Delta plane gets struck by lightning

| August 26, 2015

A passenger who was waiting for a storm to pass to board his flight caught the exact moment when a lightning bolt struck a Delta airliner. Source: Watch this Delta airliner get struck by a lightning bolt!

The Sony Mobile and ZMP Inc tests their new UAV

| August 25, 2015

After getting a chance to play with a quad copter last week, I’ve been a little more intrigued with the advancements in “drones.” Who knows, this innovation may find its way into the first realistic personal transportation device someday? Sony’s Aerosense drone that takes off and lands vertically but during flight gets most of its […]

What a fun time flying a quad copter or #drone

| August 19, 2015

Well … one of the positive things that happen at funerals (and weddings) is that families get together. Taylor took a funeral day (plus weekend) from his job and Katelyn and Drew drove home from Wayzata (Minneapolis, MN) and brought along his “new toy” … quadcopter with a camera – what a great distraction. We […]

Preparations for the EAA Chapter 284 TailDragger FlyIn

| August 13, 2015

This year’s September 5th and 6th Red Stewart Airshow and our  EAA284 TalilDragger FlyIn not until Labor Day weekend in September, but with my full plate I want to get my part done early. I’ve been up most every morning this week with Brenda (pain issues), and so while the PT/OT persona was at the […]

EAA 2015 Airventure app is available for smartphones

| July 11, 2015

For those aviation “nuts” who flock to Oshkosh each July for Airventure, EAA has a couple smartphone apps for you. I am told (thanks Bob) that version are in both iOS and Android so both major mobile operating systems are supported. I've just download myself so am not sure how helpful it will be, although […]

Air travel on the cheap. First flight on Frontier Airlines.

| July 11, 2015

It was a quick and inexpensive flight to Florida this past week to do a little tropical weather prep aboard Encore. Summer is the time of year that “commuter cruisers” double their line, remove sails and store an extra windage in case hurricane winds target the area … besides I really was looking forward to […]

Buy airline tickets 47 days in advance & on Tuesday afternoon

| June 17, 2015

Now I’ll be the first to admit, I spend too much time agonizing over purchasing things wondering if I’m buying the right model or brand … and am I paying too much. The Internet has only complicated matters since there is even more information to process. It’s the same thing when booking travel … although […]

Poor flight management by #Delta Airlines at Reagan National

| June 14, 2015

Somebody has had a lousy day of traveling … or is it two days? After 9 days in London, Taylor was up at 6AM UK time on Sunday to get to the airport for his flight back home. Because he had re-booked his ticket from CVG instead of leaving from Williston, ND, he ended up […]

Why is there a tiny hole in airplane windows?

| June 13, 2015

If you have already traveled by airplane, chances are you’ve noticed a tiny hole on the lower portion of all airplane windows The hole is designed to balance out the pressure between the last two layers of a typical pressurized-cabin window. For more images and a more detailed explaination see the article at Interesting Engineering.

Reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

| May 22, 2015

Out of sight, out of mind. Unlike a hard copy book sitting on my reading table, ebooks are easy to forget about … that’s one of the disadvantages of receiving the gift of an ebook (as is having multiple e-reading apps). My friend Jeff gave me David McCullough’s new book The Wright Brothers for my […]

The Treasure Coast was a popular place this weekend

| March 30, 2015

After the rain on Friday (above), the weather improve for a weekend finishing up a long drawn out engine work (plus a few other repairs) to Encore at the marina in Florida. The weather improved and was high 70s on Saturday and Sunday but with the north wind felt cooler in the shade. I wasn't […]

NYTimes says one of the pilots was locked out of the cockpit

| March 26, 2015

News is slowly trickling or leaking out as to what may have happened to Germanwings Flight 9525 with 150 people on board in the mountain region of southern France. The lastest indication from a New York Times report is that one of the pilots left the cockpit after having a “very smooth, very cool” conversation […]

The Germanwings Flight 9525 debris field is gutwrenching

| March 24, 2015

Early in the day I wondered why French President François Hollande was so quick to say that he expected no survivors in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 … after seeing the debris field photos in the afternoon, I understand why (below). Sure seems like a suspicious crash considering the reliability of this Airbus A320 […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.