Monday, February 11, 2013

Not Entirely Grounded

It's been an interesting winter, with a pronounced lack of deicing, snowstorms, holding, divert fuel calculations, or icy Saskatoon layovers. Of course, being on medical leave also means I haven't had any nice sunny San Antonio layovers to help cope with the Minnesota winter doldrums, either. I've been able to stay surprisingly busy - medical treatment, chasing down paperwork for my special issuance medical application, a few weekend trips to warmer locales like LA and Alaska, a few paid writing assignments, and the various duties of a hausfrau haven't left too much time for moping. In two weeks I leave for a long-awaited dirtbike ride down Baja with my friend Brad, and I expect to get an answer on the medical shortly after I get back.

I'm looking forward to it. I've started to really miss flying - hassles and ennui of modern button-pushing regional airline flying included. I miss being part of a crew, I miss being useful, I miss going places and having some variety in my week. I miss just being in the air.

At least I have the Cub to fly. It falls under Sport Pilot rules, so I don't need a medical to fly it - only a driver's license and self-certification that I'm fit to fly when I take it up (my medical wasn't denied or suspended - don't worry, I checked with EAA Legal to make sure I was ok first!). Mind you, Minnesota winters aren't quite the Cub's element - if it's not snowing or blowing stink, it's usually too cold for comfort - but I've been able to sneak in a few very enjoyable days aloft. I think I'm actually the only club member that has flown it since November!

A few days ago, I took my friend and fellow NewCo captain Dan up in the Cub to try his hand at taildragger wrangling. I brought along a GoPro Hero HD camera I recently scored off craigslist for the upcoming Baja trip, and a roll of duct tape to secure it to a strut. The footage came out pretty decently for my first effort, and I made an amusing little video on iMovie out of it. Enjoy!