Beginning tomorrow, you'll notice some changes to the blog. Some new series are coming. For starters, stop by tomorrow for the debut of Brian's new series called Radial Rants...
Being married to my instructor gives me some perks both in and out of the cockpit (tee hee). Getting my tailwheel endorsement in a 1942 open cockpit biplane is just one of them. This fall I logged my first hours in the Stearman, which included plenty of miles on the tires from high-speed taxis and a couple not-so-pretty take-offs and landings (with plenty of instructor assistance). Don't be surprised if when the weather gets warmer you see the stock Stearman in the sky and Brian let stranded on the ground. Oh, who am I kidding. He'll be right alongside me in close formation. Until then, I'll just work on my checklist and fantasize about new fun flying experiences... like breaking the sound barrier in a 1942 stock Stearman.
Brian is getting ready to convert av-gas into smoke and noise with our North American SNJ-5 Texan on a brisk winter morning. With a 12-to-1 blower installed, he's probably heading out for some aerobatic fun by the lake and proving once again that he lives his personal motto, "fly it like you stole it."
Below are before and after photos of a Super Cub that attracted a bear's attention in the Alaskan wilderness (note to self: never leave a cooler full of bait in a plane when there are bears around). Evidently the bear was successful in finding some tasty treats and had fun with his new chew toy in the process.
The bush pilot took everything in stride, called another pilot who flew in 2 new tires, 3 cases of duct tape and some plastic sheeting. A few hours later, the newly restored plane was flown home. Hmmm... I wonder if this would work for the Stinson?
Brian with the Sokos and Jim just before the party
Thanks to good weather (albeit a bit chilly) and great friends & family, we wrapped up 2009 in the best company. The first - and definitely not last - hangar party was a wild success with plenty of food, drink, music and most importantly, people. A big thanks goes out to everyone who joined us. Happy New Year. We hope 2010 is the best year yet for you.
Brian and Rachel Aukes are aviation nuts based in Iowa. They love to fly, and when the weather keeps them on the ground, they love to talk about flying. When they aren't in the air, Brian keeps the airplanes running while Rachel cleans them and keeps this website running.