Saturday, September 03, 2005

Flying is what it's all about!

When I got to the airport, there was a plane parked on the tarmac. This is pretty unusual for Ft. Deposit. Upon inspection, you could see that the propeller tips were bent.

I suspected that the pilot had forgotten to put the gear down. Besides the prop, nothing was apparently wrong from the topside. I looked underneath and sure enough, this plane had made a belly landing.

After preflighting my MX, I took off for the Fountain City Flyers radio-controlled airplane field in Autaugaville. This would be my third trip to that nicely manicured short strip. For the first time since I have purchased my GPS, I was going to attempt to navigate a 30-mile trip without using it. I had it with me to use as my altimeter, but that's it. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, but it was just slightly hazy.

A baseball field that I've never noticed before.

A closeup of the biggest lake at a gravel pit that is one of the landmarks that I use to get to Autaugaville.

As I was flying along, I was alarmed when I saw a HUGE shadow of an airplane zoom past me on the ground. I looked up, and a few thousand feet above me was a C-130 tooling along headed north. By the time I got the camera turned on, he was quite a ways away, but I thought I'd show the shot anyway, since the skys were clear blue.

Flying over another landmark slew, I noticed for the first time that the houses in this area are built on stilts to keep them dry in most floods. Heaven help them should a catastrophe flood come along.

First time I've ever seen a sailboat on the Alabama River, not only from the air, but EVER!

When I landed at the FCF field, nobody was there. This is the third time that I've been there and only once have I found a soul there. Oh well, I used the outhouse and decided to fly to the Prattville airport, which was only about 6 miles away.

Ray Hill is an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic (A&P) who runs his business out of Prattville in this hangar. Ray is a good guy who has helped me out when I needed that bolt or nut or washer that I didn't have. He's building a Wag Aircraft "Wag-A-Bond" in the rear room of the hangar. I'll get a picture of it next time I'm there and post it.

Heading back to Ft. Deposit, I took some more shots. This one is of a new bridge being built on Alabama Hwy. 14 right near the Prattville airport.

What appears to be a catfish pond.

Those aren't ducks, they are Canadian Geese and they didn't seem to be bothered by me at all, even though I was only a couple of hundred feet above them.

A typical Southern Baptist Church. This was the last shot of the flight. I flew about 80 miles and was in the air just over 2 hours. I had a great time. I worked on the Phantom some more for about an hour, then I went back home.


At 4:46 AM, Anonymous renedeneve said...

I used to work at the Prattville airport years ago. The hangar where ray was is one of the buildings I was in (it was new then). The rest of the shots I don't recognise. The shots are all low to the ground. Seems strange but all the flying I do now never gets low like that. I can remember when I used to though.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Roland Allen said...

What is newer than a newbie: I just made a decision today as my 39th birthday approaches that by the time I am 40 I want to have my license to fly an ultralight and my own ultra light. I really enjoyed your journey and hope to have my own interesting pictures to share some day soon. Here's wishing that you Keep flying and Stay safe.

Roland Allen
Indianapolis, Indiana

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

Gotta love the pics with your tennis shoes just hanging out there in "space" - seems like it would be nice. :)


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