December in Tennessee PAGE 197.

December 2, 2005: Wendell says his quickbuild wings and fuselage will be coming via Partain Transportation next week.  I will have pictures of the event posted here soon.

December 3, 2005:  Rain came this Saturday morning as forecasted.  I had already called yesterday to postpone my Young Eagle flight that was planned for this morning.  The 10-day forecast has possibilities for next weekend.

December 4, 2005:  A sleepy, dreary, rainy day punctuated by a few claps of thunder.  Now the rain has settled in as the weather radar depicts a long train of rain showers stretching from here back down to Texas.   Here is the radar view of my area.  Yes, that is snow over in Arkansas.

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When you look at the "big picture" and see it animated, the movement is from Texas to the mountains of East Tennessee.
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I wanted to put down some thoughts about what has been happening lately, but as you can see, none of them have anything to do with flying Enterprise anywhere.  With weather like this, the computer updates of this website are strictly house keeping.   I know some of you wish I were out around the country flying from here to there, etc.  But for now, the weather is less than desirable and after the warm front dumps this rain, it is going to turn cold around here.

There is good news from Texas:  My oldest son has completed his forty hours of student pilot flight training and taken the private pilot written test missing only one question.  I will let you know when he has completed his check ride and has his "license to learn" that all of us pilots enjoy each time we leave the ground on a new adventure.  You may remember the photo below from my Labor Day weekend trip to see my son in Texas.
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I also wanted to try out a file download that can be viewed with Windows Media Player.  This is a movie of my departure from Hugo, Oklahoma during the trip to Fort Worth, Texas on day one of the flight to LOE5.   This is a 3-megabyte .wmv file, so don't do it unless you have plenty of time for downloading or a high-speed connection.  Let me know if you cannot see the file --  email1.gif (2101 bytes).

December 11, 2005: The end of a GOOD weekend!  Here is the good news from this weekend.

1. Wendell received his quick-build RV-8 wings, fuselage, and the finishing kit - - all delivered via Partain Transportation on Saturday afternoon.  I have pictures and text details posted on a new page in his section of the OTHER RV pages of this web site.

2.  My son in Texas called last night to tell me he is now a licensed private pilot.  He completed his check ride and had to fly back to his home field arriving after dark.  Since he had the required three hours of night flight training, it was a suitable end to his first day as a private pilot!

3. TODAY, Sunday, December 11th, saw the first flight of a new "Young Eagle" in the Enterprise.  With the name Chris Stinson, how could this young man NOT want to be an aviator.   Chris is a quiet young man with a goal to become a U.S. Air Force pilot.  His 16th birthday was last week and this flight was on a day when the winds aloft were blowing 50 MPH above 7,500 feet MSL.  I had left my camera in the shop at Wendell's air strip and flew the 10 miles back here to retrieve it and give Chris a look at Wendell's RV-8 airplane construction project at the same time.
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I had already given Chris the usual indoctrination with a sectional chart before our departure from the Collegedale Airport.  We flew past the Choo Choo VOR on the way back to "Folks Field" where I took the picture above.  After our quick look in the shop at the RV-8 parts, we took off and gave Chris the rest of his "Young Eagles" flight up to 7,500 feet MSL out in the practice area East of Collegedale.  The scattered clouds covered the gusting winds of 10 to 15 MPH at the surface.  Above the clouds, the airplane cruised at 160 MPH in smooth air that was blowing at 50 MPH from the northwest!  I had Chris flying the airplane up there and he had a gentle touch on the stick.  I talked him through a turn into the wind as we climbed to 8,500 MSL and headed into the wind.  After we leveled off and the airspeed came back to 160 MPH, I pointed to the GPS ground speed for comparison.  We had been flying over the ground at 213 MPH toward the SE, and now we were down to 113 MPH going NW.   After that it was a few stalls with flaps up and flaps down to show Chris the kinds of things that all pilots must learn.
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Here is the final photo I took after his flight back on the ramp at Collegedale Airport.  Chris got a flight that had two takeoffs and landings and yet we burned only 3.9 gallons of fuel!  It was a good day!  By the time I got the airplane put away back at "Folks Field", the Hobbs meter indicated a total of 135.6 hours.

December 17, 2005:  This past week has been all about bad weather and teaching new skills to Wendell as he begins the work on his RV-8 quick-build wings and fuselage.  The details and photos of his work are shown on his PAGE 9 in the OTHER RV section of this web site.

I received an email earlier this week from the company that is my best job prospect.  Nothing will happen on that front until January. 

My oldest son and his family from Texas will be in this area for the holidays when they arrive December 20th.  The 10-day weather outlook for the 22nd looks good for flying down to the Atlanta area to meet up with him for lunch, etc.  The fuel tanks are full and I am ready to get in a good flight to see them on a short day trip without any holiday traffic on the ground!

December 22, 2005:  The weather is severe clear in my home area today and it should be this way tomorrow as well.  My flying trip down to the Atlanta area will be tomorrow due to another holiday visit of other relatives with my oldest son and his family.  My son and I will have lunch with my sister at "The Flying Machine" restaurant located on the airport at Lawrenceville, Georgia (KLZU).  Part of my trip tomorrow may also include a visit to the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), known to pilots as "Atlanta Center" on the radio.  A long-time internet acquaintance and I should get a chance to meet at Clayton County Airport to make the visit together during my flying visit with my son.  My friend Dave has other friends who work at the center and at a nearby FAA weather center.  I will post pictures of the day's events when I get a chance late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

December 23, 2005:   Friday!  I headed down to the Atlanta area to pick up my son at Falcon Field (KFFC), Peachtree City, Georgia.  We then flew around the East side of the Atlanta Class B airspace under the 3,500 foot ceiling area to travel up to the Lawrenceville Airport (KLZU) for lunch with my sister as planned.   I took this picture of my sister and my son right out in front of "The Flying Machine" restaurant located on the airport.
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Right after I took the photo above, I called Dave Homan who would meet us at the Clayton County Airport, Tara Field (4A7).  That airport is adjacent to the Atlanta Motor Speedway on US 41 and US 19 south of Atlanta.  We had to remain at 3,000 MSL to remain clear of the Atlanta Class B airspace as we passed East of the runways at KATL.  We had two airliners turning to final approach above and to the right of us at that time.  I took this picture of Edward and the Enterprise on the ramp at Tara Field while we were waiting for Dave to arrive at the field.
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The graphic map below shows the south side of the Atlanta area with my flight paths belneath the Class B airspace, and the relative locations of the two airports I visited to the Atlanta International Airport.
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I was surprised to see not only Dave, but Scott Shaw arriving together to pick us up at the airport.  Dave and Scott came to visit my shop on October 2, 2004 to see my RV-9A project under construction.  You can review that page by clicking on this link to PAGE 57.  Scott had driven about an hour from his home near Canton on the north side Atlanta to join up with Dave.   Scott has started construction on his RV-7 empennage.

It was a short ride down to the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).  This is the busiest ARTCC in the country since it handles the world's busiest airport (Atlanta), plus the Charlotte, North Carolina airport that is a major hub for US Air.  We visited some of the folks that are on the other end of the radio when we fly in this area.  Cameras are not allowed on the property, so there is nothing to show you.  We had a chance to meet the weather guys, some of the controllers, and to listen in on the other side of the conversations.  Those conversations included the land line communications between controllers that we never hear when we fly and communicate on the radio with ARTCC or TRACON (approach/departure) controllers at Class B or C facilities.