Got this link from one of my tweeps (that's Twitter follower for those of you who haven't taken the plunge). I've checked it out, and it's safe. FAA's flight training handbooks are currently available free online through FlightSchoolList.com: http://www.flightschoollist.com/free-flight-training-books.php
Just getting through the latest batch of pictures in the camera. Last month, three cobras and two hueys (tied to some marines out of Pennsylvania) stopped at Ames on a cross-country trip. Unfortunately (but very common to helicopters), one cobra was left behind due to a seal acting up. After a couple days of waiting for parts and a bit of oil from the Half Fast Hangar, they were back in the air in no time.
During their stay in Ames, they shared a couple interesting maintenance-related stats: Hueys (one of the most reliable choppers out there) spends about nine hours on the ground for every hour of flight. Cobras? They're not quite as reliable--they spend fifteen hours on the ground for every hour in the air. Those numbers make me realize that Stearmans really are practical airplanes to own. :)
Coming in just a couple days after our furry co-pilot (and many, many years before) is Brian's birthday. How old is he? Well, it's not a milestone, but you'll have to ask him. :)
To Brian -
Happy birthday to the man of my life, my co-pilot and my best friend.
Today's a big day at the Aukes house, where Brian and I are catering to Annabelle's every whim for her big 10th birthday. A little more salt around the nose but she's still a puppy at heart!
If you want to get her a present, apple slices and squeaky toys are her favorites. (she made me add the last sentence) :)
The Air Race Classic is an all-women's air derby started by Amelia Earhart and other renowned aviatrixes of the day. The Ninety-Nines have kept the tradition alive, and we have an Iowa team in the race again this year. If you'd like to keep up, here's Minnetta Gardiner's blog: http://deadreckoners.blogspot.com/
Ed & Kathy Pettus' Lockheed Lakester
I couldn't make the Quad Cities Air Show this weekend, so Dan Sokolowski volunteered to take my seat and keep Brian out of trouble. They flew (in the T-6) to Davenport alongside Craig Sommerfeld in his T-34. The guys had a great weekend and the weather was good.
One of Brian's highlights was the Lockheed Lakester, a hot rod built by Ed & Kathy Pettus (Eddy's Rod Shop). The hot rod is built from a fuel tank off a Connie. According to Brian (and the pictures), "It's a work of art."
Aside from that, I heard the air show was great (one of my favorites, Fat Albert, made an appearance). Here are a few photos Brian snapped. If you want more details on the air show, grab Brian, Dan, or Craig!
EAA's B17 (Aluminum Overcast) will be at the Ankeny, Iowa, airport (IKV) this week. Stop by the airport to tour this piece or history, or even take a ride in it! Here's the details.
Here's a poster Amanda gave to us
The world has lost an aviatrix legend long before her time this week. Suffering from a horrific plane crash earlier this year, Amanda Franklin slipped the surly bonds of earth for the final time this past weekend.
As a team, Amanda and Kyle Franklin brought passionate energy to the airshow world, the like we'd never seen before and will likely never see again. They were incredible, together an unstoppable force. But, heart-wrenchingly, fate had other plans. Now we are left treasuring memories of your incredible aerial feats.
And so we raise our glasses to you, Amanda Franklin, for your indomitable spirit, your classic beauty which went far deeper than poster-good looks, and your inspiring courage to achieve more than anyone dared.
And to you, Kyle - we salute you for your strength and honor. We offer our deepest condolences for your loss. We all hope to see you take your amazing gift and skills to the skies again. You always have a bar stool open here at the Half Fast Hangar.
Here's to you...
Alright. I've got some awesome pics on the camera. BUT it's officially missing in action. Brian thinks it's either lodged somewhere in the fuselage or else decorating some farmer's field. One of the only downsides of an open cockpit. So I still have no pics to share. But I do have some great news to share: Matthew Sawhill flew his freshly rebuilt RV-4 for the first time on Saturday (woot!). I missed the action (was in Milwaukee), but looking forward to seeing the speed demon in the sky a lot this summer. Hopefully I can snag some pics and a first flight story from Matthew to share with you. How about you? Did you fly this weekend?
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.