Flight Training - July 2012 - 26

FLYING CARPET

By Greg Brown

PLUS View a slideshow.

JEAN, LINDA, AND GIANNA pose in the late-afternoon sun at Scottsdale Airport before takeoff. 

OFFERING A DAY OF RESPITE

CELEBRATING LIFE

e lost a friend and neighbor last week. Retired physician Jim Mueller was one of those rare friends you needn’t know long to appreciate. Inquisitive and funny, quiet but outspoken, Jim was opinionated but welcomed opposing ideas. When we congregated on Friday night to celebrate his life, Jim’s family recalled “magical moments” they’d shared around his bedside, laughing and remembering through his final hours with Jim “quipping jokes to the very end.” If one must go, this seemed the way to do it.
All this was on my mind when I awoke Sunday morning following the memorial. I was scheduled to retrieve Jean from Scottsdale that afternoon, and I wondered if Jim’s wife, Linda, might find an aerial jaunt uplifting after all she’d endured, or whether such an offer would be insensitive so soon after her husband’s Gianna Sparacino, who was staying a few more days. “Linda,” I said, “I hope this isn’t inappropriate, but I’m flying to Scottsdale this afternoon to pick up Jean. I realize you might prefer some private time right now, but....” “Greg, that sounds wonderful! Could

W

CLEARLY WE WERE BRIGHTENING LINDA'S DAY. AND LINDA IN TURN WAS DELIGHTFULLY DIVERTING US FROM OUR ROUTINE.
passing. Finally I decided that we were close enough friends that the bigger risk would be to not ask. If Linda wasn’t ready to socialize she’d still appreciate my offer, but then again, this might be just the diversion she needed. So a bit apprehensively, I dialed her number. It turned out that most of the family had left, leaving only Linda and her son-in-law’s sister Gianna go, too? This is her first visit to Arizona, and what better way to see it than from an airplane!” “Sure!” I said, delighted at Linda’s spontaneous response. “Jean will be thrilled to see you; she has no idea you’re coming.” The girls insisted on driving to the airport, and helped pull the Flying Carpet from her hangar. My one concern

was that a forecast cold front seemed to be approaching early. Gusty crosswinds battered the runway, suggesting a bumpy ride through the mountains for first-time passengers. I needn’t have worried. “This is much smoother than I expected,” said Linda, despite the bumps when we leveled at 9,500 feet. “I experienced far worse rides as a stewardess on United Airlines Convairs back in the 1950s.” This was news to me. “Airline flying was considered fun and exciting in those days, Greg, not like today. I remember we served in-flight meal trays atop pillows instead of foldout tables. We had to meet height, weight, and age restrictions to remain employed. And of course I had to quit when Jim and I wed because ‘stews’ weren’t allowed to marry back then.” Gianna, who was visiting from Florida, had extensively flown the Caribbean in aircraft hardly larger than ours, and had tried her hand at parachuting. I was intrigued to learn her profession—Gianna is head hairstylist for the popular Burn Notice television series, and has worked on such films as Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight, and All the Pretty Horses. Jean was waiting when we landed at Scottsdale Airport. “This is a convenient fly-in location,” I explained to Linda and Gianna, as we collected Jean’s things. “We keep an old car nearby for running errands in the Valley. And Kierland Commons, with its shopping and dining, is only a few blocks away.”

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Flight Training - July 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - July 2012

Flight Training - July 2012
President’s Perspective
Right Seat
Letters
Best of Both Worlds
How It Works
Knowledge Test News
After the Checkride
News
Since You Asked
News
Final Exam
Products
ASI News
AOPA Action
Flying Carpet
ENJOY THE VIEW
V IS FOR VELOCITY
TECHNIQUE
Weather
Checkride
Flight Lesson
Year One
Career Advisor
Tech Talk
Is Flying Hard?
Delaying Solo
Are You Positive?
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - July 2012 - Flight Training - July 2012
Flight Training - July 2012 - Cover2
Flight Training - July 2012 - 1
Flight Training - July 2012 - 2
Flight Training - July 2012 - 3
Flight Training - July 2012 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - July 2012 - 5
Flight Training - July 2012 - Right Seat
Flight Training - July 2012 - Letters
Flight Training - July 2012 - 8
Flight Training - July 2012 - 9
Flight Training - July 2012 - Best of Both Worlds
Flight Training - July 2012 - 11
Flight Training - July 2012 - How It Works
Flight Training - July 2012 - Knowledge Test News
Flight Training - July 2012 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - July 2012 - News
Flight Training - July 2012 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - July 2012 - 17
Flight Training - July 2012 - News
Flight Training - July 2012 - 19
Flight Training - July 2012 - Final Exam
Flight Training - July 2012 - Products
Flight Training - July 2012 - ASI News
Flight Training - July 2012 - AOPA Action
Flight Training - July 2012 - 24
Flight Training - July 2012 - 25
Flight Training - July 2012 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - July 2012 - 27
Flight Training - July 2012 - ENJOY THE VIEW
Flight Training - July 2012 - 29
Flight Training - July 2012 - 30
Flight Training - July 2012 - 31
Flight Training - July 2012 - 32
Flight Training - July 2012 - 33
Flight Training - July 2012 - V IS FOR VELOCITY
Flight Training - July 2012 - 35
Flight Training - July 2012 - 36
Flight Training - July 2012 - 37
Flight Training - July 2012 - TECHNIQUE
Flight Training - July 2012 - 39
Flight Training - July 2012 - Weather
Flight Training - July 2012 - 41
Flight Training - July 2012 - 42
Flight Training - July 2012 - Checkride
Flight Training - July 2012 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - July 2012 - Year One
Flight Training - July 2012 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - July 2012 - 47
Flight Training - July 2012 - Tech Talk
Flight Training - July 2012 - Is Flying Hard?
Flight Training - July 2012 - Delaying Solo
Flight Training - July 2012 - Are You Positive?
Flight Training - July 2012 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - July 2012 - 53
Flight Training - July 2012 - 54
Flight Training - July 2012 - 55
Flight Training - July 2012 - Debrief
Flight Training - July 2012 - Cover3
Flight Training - July 2012 - Cover4
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