Flight Training - March 2019 - 10

FLYING CARPET BY GREG BROWN

Thanks in part to diligent preventive
maintenance, GREG BROWN has
rarely been stranded by Flying Carpet
mechanical problems.
www.GregBrownFlyingCarpet.com

AVIATION FRIENDS

"We're stranded!" lamented my son, Austin. He was flying his
wife Desi and family from southern New Mexico to Flagstaff,
Arizona, to join us for Thanksgiving.
The Diamond DA40 carried adequate fuel for what's normally a three-hour
flight, but to allow for headwinds and antsy little kids, Austin had planned a pit
stop at St. Johns, Arizona. Two days before, he'd phoned St. Johns Industrial
Airpark (SJN) regarding fuel availability. "We're closed Thanksgiving Day,"
explained airport manager Gary Liston, so Austin rescheduled to travel the day
before. A career jet pilot, Austin had only recently returned to lightplane travel.
On two previous journeys the family had battled headwinds, turbulence, and been
stranded overnight.
Wednesday, however, dawned calm and clear-finally after those rough rides,
Austin had perfect weather "to show Desi how enjoyable and efficient flying can
be." They launched after lunch, and midafternoon we received the expected call
from St. Johns.
"The flight was fine," reported Austin, "but after a perfect landing the airplane
pulled progressively harder to the right as we slowed until even full left rudder
and brake wouldn't straighten it. It turns out we have a flat tire and there's no
mechanic here nor any way to pull the airplane off the runway. I'm monitoring
unicom frequency with a handheld radio to alert any inbound aircraft. Oh, and
this is not helping Desi's air-travel confidence." Tires sometimes deflate because
of sticking filler valves, so I hoped this one might hold air when reinflated. But the
tire pressurized only long enough for Austin to taxi off the runway.
10  FLIGHT TRAINING MARCH 2019

Still 150 road miles from Flagstaff,
Austin learned that the nearest rental cars
were 45 miles away in Show Low, and it
was getting late this holiday weekend to
rent one. So while Gary phoned around
seeking a mechanic and tire, I solicited
pilot friends for a second airplane to help
me retrieve the family. But none was
available.
"Too bad," said my CFI buddy, Freddie.
"They'll never find anyone to fix it at such
a remote location, much less have the
proper tire." But then Austin called back.
Mechanic Ray Webber of Ray's Aircraft
Services miraculously stocked the proper
tire and tube, and offered to drive 50 miles
from Taylor Airport to install them.
"I have a project to finish but will be
there in two hours," Ray told Gary. When
Austin expressed frustration at the day's
poor luck, I countered with his wisdom
in planning travel to an attended airport,
and his good fortune in getting the tire
changed. While waiting, Desi and Austin
plied their hungry children with vending-machine snacks, and Gary provided a
toy airplane for entertainment.
Ray arrived and set to work in cold
darkness with a headlamp supplemented
by auto headlights. But his jack would
not fit under the Diamond's wing. Gary
crafted a wheel ramp of scavenged
wood to elevate the wing and place the
jack. Then, unexpected metric fasteners forced a search for additional tools.
Despite the setbacks, Ray successfully
replaced the tire.
Austin was wary of continuing in
darkness over unfamiliar terrain. But snow
and gusty winds threatened on Thanksgiving Day, potentially stranding the family if
they waited until morning.
"From St. Johns to Flagstaff is flatter
than a board," Gary advised Austin. "It's just
45 miles to Holbrook and from there you
can follow I-40 to Flagstaff." A full moon
would illuminate the one-hour flight, with
alternate airports along the way. We heard
no more until Desi texted for a ride from
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport at 9 p.m.
"You were right about our luck," said
Austin before the family tumbled into
bed. "Gary and Ray should have been
home with their families preparing for
the holiday, but instead spent their evening changing our tire so we wouldn't be
stuck." The next day over turkey we celebrated two new aviation friends among
our blessings. FT


http://www.GregBrownFlyingCarpet.com

Flight Training - March 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - March 2019

Contents
Flight Training - March 2019 - Cover1
Flight Training - March 2019 - Cover2
Flight Training - March 2019 - Contents
Flight Training - March 2019 - 2
Flight Training - March 2019 - 3
Flight Training - March 2019 - 4
Flight Training - March 2019 - 5
Flight Training - March 2019 - 6
Flight Training - March 2019 - 7
Flight Training - March 2019 - 8
Flight Training - March 2019 - 9
Flight Training - March 2019 - 10
Flight Training - March 2019 - 11
Flight Training - March 2019 - 12
Flight Training - March 2019 - 13
Flight Training - March 2019 - 14
Flight Training - March 2019 - 15
Flight Training - March 2019 - 16
Flight Training - March 2019 - 17
Flight Training - March 2019 - 18
Flight Training - March 2019 - 19
Flight Training - March 2019 - 20
Flight Training - March 2019 - 21
Flight Training - March 2019 - 22
Flight Training - March 2019 - 23
Flight Training - March 2019 - 24
Flight Training - March 2019 - 25
Flight Training - March 2019 - 26
Flight Training - March 2019 - 27
Flight Training - March 2019 - 28
Flight Training - March 2019 - 29
Flight Training - March 2019 - 30
Flight Training - March 2019 - 31
Flight Training - March 2019 - 32
Flight Training - March 2019 - 33
Flight Training - March 2019 - 34
Flight Training - March 2019 - 35
Flight Training - March 2019 - 36
Flight Training - March 2019 - 37
Flight Training - March 2019 - 38
Flight Training - March 2019 - 39
Flight Training - March 2019 - 40
Flight Training - March 2019 - 41
Flight Training - March 2019 - 42
Flight Training - March 2019 - 43
Flight Training - March 2019 - 44
Flight Training - March 2019 - 45
Flight Training - March 2019 - 46
Flight Training - March 2019 - 47
Flight Training - March 2019 - 48
Flight Training - March 2019 - 49
Flight Training - March 2019 - 50
Flight Training - March 2019 - 51
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Flight Training - March 2019 - 53
Flight Training - March 2019 - 54
Flight Training - March 2019 - 55
Flight Training - March 2019 - 56
Flight Training - March 2019 - Cover3
Flight Training - March 2019 - Cover4
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