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!


Capt. Schmoe said...

One nice thing about combining a Cub and a GoPro camera, you don't need 200 mph tape to do it. Home depot 90mph duct tape will suffice just fine.

Thanks for sharing.

Tom B. said...

Nice video Sam!

aviatorpr said...

I know you miss a lot of the daily airline routine, but it looks like you're enjoying the not having to shave every day look

Derek said...

Whats a good deal on a GoPro?
I would use it to record some student pilot training to help new students with the final to touchdown picture. I have used an iphone with audio conected to headsets but your video looks a lot better.



CaptainVector said...

Love your choice for the video soundtrack!


Anonymous said...

Was that Dan Drexler?

skater3260 said...

Hi Sam,
I’ve been reading your blog for a few years and have really enjoyed it, particularly comparing some of the nuances on your side of the fence to the 135 world on my side. I even referenced some of your motorcycle-round-the-USA posts for a week-long ride last year through the Appalachians. Well, I’ve been living with Crohn’s for the last nine years and just wanted to tell you it is not the death-knell to your career that it used to be. A good scare, yes but a manageable one nonetheless. Having dealt with the prescriptions, diet changes, and surgery myself, if you have any questions feel free to contact me. I’d love to be of some help.


Bob Collins said...

Sorry to hear about your woes. I know what it's like to have the fear of losing a medical. Last week, I had to call 911. I knew as soon as I pushed the last button, that I was ending a flying career. Or so it seemed at the time. We'll see.

Good luck.