Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Return Of The Baron

Our Tiger has been in the shop this past month for her annual maintenance, and my inability to fly her has almost driven me insane. I cannot imagine what it has been like for Rich to be without his Baron for the past year. So, when Rich emailed about an early morning run where I would be tasked with keeping an eye on some instruments while he flew, I was quick to agree. I couldn't convince Gillian that a 5:30 a.m. flight was what she wanted to do, but Eddie came, looking extra spiffy in his new "C0-Pilot" bandana.

Eddie and I nearly froze to the frost-covered ground as Rich struggled to start "el diablo," which is the electric thingymajig that pulls the Baron out of its hanger. Finally, after a few anxious moments where we wondered if the new left engine was going to start, we were ready to go. But not before Eddie got his flying ear-muffs on.

Who says dogs like look their masters? :-)

The feeling of speed as Rich accelerated down the runway was fantastic. I wanted to shout "FASTER!!!," but ultimately decided that doing so might get me uninvited from future flights. I forget what Rich said our rate of climb was, but we were at some insane height in a matter of minutes.

Eddie looked very much at home in the backseat. Rich flew the Baron to North Carolina to collect Eddie (who was found as a pup, sick and abandoned), so it truly is Eddie's home away from home. I have to confess, it's tempting to laugh when Eddie has his ear-muffs on. He can still hear you, but he watches you much more intently, almost as if he's afraid that he might miss something important, like, "cookie?".

With the instrument readings duly noted, Rich practiced some steep turns while I snapped photographs.

Ironically, I found the sensation of looking straight down at the ground as Rich maneuvered through a 45 degree turn somewhat disconcerting in a "big" plane like the Baron. Not so disconcerting that I didn't take photographs, of course.

I also realized that flying in the Baron is going to teach me some new photography skills, like being fast on the trigger. I had barely formulated the thought "that's a cool cloud line formation" and we were almost under it. You still get the idea, though.

Rich offered me the yoke for a bit, but I hesitated to do anything other than hold her straight and level. Next time! Besides, somebody had to take the artsy shots.

And what is Rich doing in the photo? Well ...

If you don't think you're the best pilot in the business, MAYBE you're in the wrong business. If you think you could never make a mistake, you are REALLY in the wrong business. — Randy Sohn


At November 21, 2008 at 8:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dog is my Co-Pilot

At November 21, 2008 at 9:43 AM , Blogger Greg said...

Nothing compares to twins. Congrats to Rich on getting her (them?) back and flying again. And nice job on the post.


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