Fun and Dumb Things I’ve Done in Airplanes

As I look back on my flying career, there were many situations that should be called “memorable.”  Some started out as what I thought was a good idea and wasn’t.  Others were just plain dumb and turned out to be really dangerous.  And then there are others that...

I want to fly Pipers!

Back when we were living in Lock Haven, PA and working for Piper Aircraft, one of the benefits was one could rent planes from the company at ridiculously low rates. For example, a Piper Cub 180 was $2/hour wet! A Cherokee Six 300 was $10/hour. If you took it on a...

Tomahawk Roll

No, it is not a type of Indian – native or Southwest Asian – type of bread.  The Tomahawk was the name of a primary trainer designed in the 1976 -1977 to compete with Cessna’s 150/152 series of aircraft.  One of the complaints about the Cessna products were that the...

Lobster Run

Way back in the late 1970s, I was assigned to a helicopter anti-submarine squadron based at Lakehurst, NJ.  Our annual training syllabus in the H-3 required that we take cross-country flights to practice navigation under visual and instrument flight rules. We –that’s...

Whaddaya mean no ice?

This story begins when I was about 11 years old and my dad, a career Air Force Pilot, was stationed in a backwater – at least in those days – called St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 1949, Labrador and the island of Newfoundland were combined to become the easternmost...

There’s what on the deck?

Right after I joined my first squadron after getting my wings, I started hearing stories about what happened on first flights as a helicopter aircraft commander (HAC).  Some were funny, some were scary and some were, well, just stories. They all seemed to happen...