Flight Training - April 2011 - 24

FLYING CARPET

By Greg Brown

THE SANTA CRUZ RIVER irrigates farm fields near Tucson’s Marana Regional Airport.

FIT TO FLY, AND SO IS MY ENGINE
ren’t you going overboard, Greg?” said my wife, Jean. “This is your seventh straight day cross-country skiing.” “My eighth day, actually. I’m shaping up for my flight physical.” Throughout the fall I’d biked daily. When snow arrived, I’d switched to skis.
“You’re already in shape. What could they possibly find wrong with you?” “Who knows, but why take chances? Just as preventive maintenance keeps the Flying Carpet healthy, I’m optimizing my own fitness to ensure passing. Which reminds me, I want to lose a few pounds so let’s skip dessert tonight, OK? Oh, and avoid stress for the next few days.” Jean rolled her eyes. “Speaking of flying, Greg, would you drop me in Tucson Wednesday for tennis regionals? And pick me up on Sunday?” “Sure; we can land at Scottsdale for my flight physical on the way down.” I’d hardly made the offer when it struck me: What if I fail and can’t get Jean to Tucson? So much for avoiding stress.… Next we learned that the president was to visit Tucson the day of our journey. By the time details of the associated temporary flight restriction were finally released just 24 hours in advance, even Jean was concerned. Fortunately the TFR was to activate after her drop-off time. Still, our destination lay in the TFR’s outer ring, so I filed the requisite instrument flight plan in case the effective time changed. “Greg, I just heard it’s supposed to snow tomorrow! What if we can’t get out?” Arrggh! We awoke to gloomy skies, but

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

A

TRAVEL LOG: MARANA REGIONAL AIRPORT (AVQ)
Runways: 12/30, 6,901 by 100 feet; 3/21, 3,892 by 75 feet Location: 15 miles northwest of Tucson Elevation: 2,031 feet On the field: Marana Skydiving Center no longer offers civilian parachuting lessons, but you can still get your chute rigged.

thankfully, no snow. What’s more, ceilings were high and forecast to remain that way. We ascended through magical shafts of sunlight hurled upon snow-capped buttes from between the clouds. “What a beautiful morning, after all that worrying!” said Jean. “Indeed it is,” I replied. “Now if I can just pass my physical, life will be golden.” “I’m ready to be done with it, too.” “Remember suffering tennis elbow, Jean? You know the feeling when your passion is threatened.” Most second and third class flight physicals include little more than blood pressure, urine, and vision checks. The bigger issue is your recent medical history. Happily, most pilot health concerns can be resolved by researching and addressing them ahead of time. Since I had nothing new to report, there was little to fear. But, still, the stakes seemed so high. Tying down at Scottsdale Municipal Airport, we crossed the ramp to Dr. David Bryman’s office. Dr. Bryman had just arrived in his Piper Warrior following emergency-room duty in San Carlos, Arizona. Immediately he put me at ease. “Just trying to get the most out of my medical license,” he quipped, describing his latest travels. “I’m invited to speak in China!” This guy loves doctoring as much as flying. I emerged 15 minutes later, suppressing a smile. “Surprise, surprise; you passed,” said Jean, checking her watch. “Let’s go. My friend Jan is picking me up in Tucson.” We idled on the ramp awaiting our clearance, then departed on radar vectors in the wrong direction. But today I savored every delay and deviation; I’d passed my medical! “Does the engine seem slightly rough to you?” I asked Jean over Phoenix. “No, it sounds the same as always.” “Good. Must be my imagination.” Jan met us in the Sky Rider Coffee Shop at Tucson’s Marana Regional Airport.

24 /

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Flight Training - April 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - April 2011

Flight Training - April 2011
Contents
President’s Perspective
Right Seat
Flight Forum
The View from Down Low
This Weekend
Tech Tip What It Looks Like News
Training Products ASI News
AOPA Action
Since You Asked
Final Exam
Member Products
Success Story
News Member Products
Insights
Flying Carpet
REVVING UP THE REVIEW
EXIT STRATEGY
TECHNIQUE
Weather
Accident Report
Flight Lesson
Flight Deck Roles
Career Advisor
Career Pilot News
The Owner/Mechanic
Male Students
Say What?
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Training - April 2011
Flight Training - April 2011 - Cover2
Flight Training - April 2011 - Contents
Flight Training - April 2011 - 2
Flight Training - April 2011 - 3
Flight Training - April 2011 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - April 2011 - 5
Flight Training - April 2011 - Right Seat
Flight Training - April 2011 - 7
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Forum
Flight Training - April 2011 - 9
Flight Training - April 2011 - The View from Down Low
Flight Training - April 2011 - 11
Flight Training - April 2011 - This Weekend
Flight Training - April 2011 - Tech Tip What It Looks Like News
Flight Training - April 2011 - Training Products ASI News
Flight Training - April 2011 - AOPA Action
Flight Training - April 2011 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - April 2011 - 17
Flight Training - April 2011 - Final Exam
Flight Training - April 2011 - Member Products
Flight Training - April 2011 - Success Story
Flight Training - April 2011 - News Member Products
Flight Training - April 2011 - Insights
Flight Training - April 2011 - 23
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - April 2011 - 25
Flight Training - April 2011 - REVVING UP THE REVIEW
Flight Training - April 2011 - 27
Flight Training - April 2011 - 28
Flight Training - April 2011 - 29
Flight Training - April 2011 - 30
Flight Training - April 2011 - 31
Flight Training - April 2011 - EXIT STRATEGY
Flight Training - April 2011 - 33
Flight Training - April 2011 - 34
Flight Training - April 2011 - 35
Flight Training - April 2011 - TECHNIQUE
Flight Training - April 2011 - 37
Flight Training - April 2011 - Weather
Flight Training - April 2011 - 39
Flight Training - April 2011 - 40
Flight Training - April 2011 - 41
Flight Training - April 2011 - Accident Report
Flight Training - April 2011 - 43
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Deck Roles
Flight Training - April 2011 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - April 2011 - 47
Flight Training - April 2011 - Career Pilot News
Flight Training - April 2011 - The Owner/Mechanic
Flight Training - April 2011 - 50
Flight Training - April 2011 - Say What?
Flight Training - April 2011 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - April 2011 - 53
Flight Training - April 2011 - 54
Flight Training - April 2011 - 55
Flight Training - April 2011 - Debrief
Flight Training - April 2011 - Cover3
Flight Training - April 2011 - Cover4
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