Pilots N Paws, Phoebe, Dalmatian Mix

July 4, 2010

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Well, after a weather (thunderstorm) cancellation on Friday for a Pilots N Paws mission, I got a call from my buddy and coworker Jon to join him for a mission from Georgia to Virginia. After packing up my mission kit, I headed off to the airport to meet Jon.

My commentary is going to be a little terse for now, but maybe I’ll elaborate some later.

The drive to Shiloh.

I pulled out my stuff (two different sized crates for Jon’s baggage compartment, some plastic bags to line the floor, just in case, some treats, a couple harnesses and leashes, etc.) and waited for Jon at the self serve fuel pump.

My PNP stuff.

Jon pulled up a few minutes later…

Let's go save a dog today!

Because I think I’m clever, I decided to take a picture of all of the airport signs. Here’s Shiloh’s.

It's a good picture, darnit.

After loading up, we got going. Here’s Jon’s panel.

I used to work for the wonderful Cessna Aircraft Company, so I'm a little biased, but this is a nice 1960's era (but hugely upgraded) panel. Well done, Jon.

Jon’s smiling because I just gave him a new yellow Pilots N Paws hat.

Do you think he likes it?

On climbout from Shiloh. Jon's a multi-engine commercial pilot with instructor ratings, too. It was a nice, competent flight.

These funny glasses are called “foggles.” They simulate instrument conditions, and allow one of the pilots (two pilots needed for this kind of operation, the other required to still watch outside for traffic) to practice instrument conditions.

Please remember, I wasn't trying hard to take this picture and ignore my piloting duties looking outside. I just held up the camera and snapped the picture without looking.

Random picture of the trip down.

I was too busy watching for traffic to take any more pictures until Jon took the foggles off on short final for runway 34 at Anson County (KAFP).

Short final, runway 34.

Taxiing in. Crappy focus, but it ended being a cool picture.

Okay this is actually a pretty amazing picture.

This one, too.

Doggie-air-ambulance for the day.

Jon forgot to chock the airplane, so he is holding it with is left hand. He is strong.


Here comes Phoebe!

Ooh, that's an RV-9A! (Very similar to my RV-7, but longer wingspan and bigger tail.)

Look at how happy Phoebe looks!

Jon and I helped Wayne get Phoebe out of the back of the -9A, and Jon's soon took her for a nice walk.

I, of course, couldn’t stop from asking Wayne 1001 questions about his airplane. One of the first things Wayne said he would change was to move the backup GPS over to the right, and move the small secondary AFS screen more toward the middle (that is where the IFR charts show up).

This is a beautifully laid out panel. I love that low center console (I am going to copy the drink-holder thing for sure). Also, very excellent layout. I would be happy with this layout.

Wayne also pointed out that I should use the extensions for some of the avionics connections. Helps with finger access (TWSS). Look at the ingenious place for the fuel tester. Most people put something in the baggage compartment. Why not put it here?

Just some overall airplane pictures.

I love the paint scheme.

It looks fast!

Ha. I get it. "Giggles." Ha.

He. He. (Still giggling.)

Love the tip-up.

The rudder and vertical stabilizer are the same on the RV-7, but the horizontal and elevators are different.

That's a big trim tab.

I love Wayne's idea for an inspection door on the wheel pants.

The most imporant part of the conversation was Wayne explaining that it was pretty easy to carry pups in the baggage compartment behind the seats. When I finish this RV-7, the girlfriend and I are definitely going to be flying pups all over the place.

Jon's son and Phoebe are back.

I don't really know which one is leading the other around...

Let's go get loaded up.

Of course, we have to do the requisite in-front-of-the-airplane pictures. This is Jon.

This is me.

Jon's son and Phoebe, bonding.

About halfway to Roanoke, we flew back over Greensboro (KGSO). I took this picture because you can see the parallel runways, and my house. Guess which one it is?

Our house is right.....there.

That's not cute at all.

Jon was sneaky and snapped this picture of me.

Finally, long final at Roanoke, runway 33.

Roanoke is KROA, and is basically a very beautiful city. It’s set in a valley of sorts surrounded by mountains.

Great views.

So beautiful.

More prettiness.

I can't stop taking pictures of the mountains.

Still on final.

Squeak, squeak.........squeak. (Nice touchdown, Jon.)

Even the tower at KROA is cool.

No runway 33 departures after dark. I can see why. (CFIT, pronounced "controlled-flight-into-terrain.")

Leaving runway 33.

Where's Landmark?

Hey, then I grabbed the video function of the camera and grabbed this.

After we got out, Phoebe was interested in this little piece of grass. I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks.

Phoebe, do you need a magazine?

That first spot wasn't good enough. Let's try the shade.

Jon's son and I took Phoebe inside and met another dalmatian, who came to greet Phoebe.

Then, we headed back outside to take our goodbye picture. If you decide to help these pups out, please remember that hot summer asphalt hurts paws, so make sure you don't leave them out on the asphalt for long. (A few seconds, and Phoebe was letting us know it hurt.)

Then, I got lazy with the camera on the way back to Shiloh (KSIF).

Final for runway 34.

Want another picture of runway 34?

Zoomed in.

So the most exciting part of the trip was on rollout when I felt something crawling up my leg….OH MY GOD THERE IS A WASP ON MY LEG! AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

(swatting, stomping, screaming, etc.)

(dead wasp on the floor…breathing a sigh of relief.) Okay, I’m exaggerating, we are pilots, and we cannot be distracted during a critical phase of flight.

Here's the plane being tucked away. Can you say "man-cave?" (I pronounce it "jealousy.")

Whew. Good day. Back home, we decided we were going to stay in for the night, but not before cooking up a good all-american meal. I am a spoiled, spoiled man. Let me explain.

I grabbed some baby back ribs from the store and threw them on the grill (sealed in the foil) for 2 hours at 250°. After 2.5 hours, I opened it up and added some bbq sauce.

Here's the bbq sauce added. Keep in mind, this is homemade bbq sauce. Dijon mustard, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar, salt, pepper, sauteed onions, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, etc., etc., etc.)

Then, I snuck inside (I was supposed to be manning the grill) and grabbed a picture of the homemade mac n' cheese.

This looks horrible. Just kidding.

All I can say is "Mmmm."


Finally, dinner is served.


Now all we need are some explosives to celebrate the 4th of July. Have a good holiday, everyone.

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Pilots N Paws Fly-in, SC Breakfast Club (Triple Tree Aerodrome, SC)

June 20, 2010

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Today was the first annual (maybe?) Pilot’s N Paws fly-in at Triple Tree Aerodrome just south of Greeneville, SC. Pilot’s N Paws partnered with the South Carolina Breakfast Club (a group I now want to hang out with more) to host a breakfast for both groups. As far as I am concerned, it was a great success.

Without saying a lot about how much I love Pilot’s N Paws (see my first rescue here), go check out their website, and sign up to rescue puppies, it’s ridiculously easy and rewarding.

Triple Tree was such a great venue. What an amazing place.

As usual, I’m posting these pictures, and may come back later for some more commentary. I’m working on the trim tab right now, hence a lot of pictures of peoples’ tabs. Also, there were a ton of planes there, maybe 150? Of course, most of my pictures are of RVs.

Of course, if you find a picture of your plane here, and either want a copy or want me to remove the picture, just let me know (easiest way is to make a comment on the post.)

Good motivation for more airplane work.

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First Pilots N Paws Rescue

May 9, 2010

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Well, the girlfriend and I woke up at the butt-crack of dawn this morning to get out to the airport in time to get to Atlanta and back by noon for a Pilots N Paws rescue. If you aren’t familiar, Pilots N Paws is a not-for profit organization that basically provides a way for dogs in need of transport to be connected with pilots that can help transport them. Most requests are for relatively short distances, but sometimes, a few pilots will team together to do legs of a larger distance. See their About page for more details.

Anyway, if you are a pilot and are willing to get involved, go to the Pilots N Paws pilot sign-up page and get going!

If you aren’t a pilot, consider going to their donation page to make a small donation (it’s on the right side of their website). They’ll use it to buy crates and harnesses for pilots to use on rescues.

Okay, back to today.

After getting to the airport, I  got the airplane (Piper Arrow, PA-28R-200) pre-flit (past tense of pre-flight), and started loading up all of our stuff. Towels, blankets, water, dog treats, leashes, cleaner (in case our passenger had some motion-sickness), etc.

During loading, I grabbed this picture of the moon.

Wow, it's a pretty morning.

After getting out the camera, I decided to document all of the passengers on the trip. Here is the girlfriend, clearly happy about the time and temperature.

Someone's not very happy that it is 6am. And 33°F.

During taxi, camera duties were relinquished to the copilot.

Not a terrible picture. Just kidding. I think this is going to be my windows background for awhile.

Heading southwest toward Atlanta (direct-to KPDK, or Dekalb-Peachtree airport), I grabbed this picture of Lake Norman, just northwest of Charlotte.

I love the light in the morning.

Even the wing looks cool with the backlight effect of the rising sun.

I caught the girlfriend trying to stay cuddled under the blanket, and I snagged this one just as she was showing some embarrassment.


Smile! We’re going to rescue our first dog!

That got me what I wanted.

"Is this good?"

Aright, time for a family portrait. This is a series of three (of about 10 that we actually took) pictures trying to do the whole “hold the camera back toward us” thing.

"I'm not looking at the camera. Do it again."

"Yes! Oh wait, YOU aren't looking at the camera. Do it again."

There we go.

Soon thereafter, descent and landing at Peachtree was normal. Here we are taxiing up to Atlantic Aviation.

Atlantic! (Maybe they want me to fly her back in that Gulfstream.)

Inside, we met our passenger.

This 65-lb (really? she seems kinda small) Doberman female was between 4-6 years old, and had been surrendered as a stray. Given the size of her….ahem….mammaries, we are guessing she was bred. Animal control said she didn’t have any milk, which leads us to believe she had been bred so much that they eventually dumped her when she stopped producing.

She was so nice, though. When we walked in, she immediately came over and said hi, and was especially interested in the sealed bag of treats we had brought along. What great noses they have!

Anyway, all of the line guys had come inside to meet her, and they were having fun trying to name her. One of my favorites was Sassy (which she wasn’t).  We ended up calling her Dobie.

After taking a bathroom break and exchanging paperwork with Atlanta’s animal control, we took our new friend out to the airplane and gave her some much-needed affection.

While she warmed up pretty quickly to us, she didn’t love the camera…yet.

Dobie, the camera is over there.

Remember how I said she didn’t like the camera…yet? Not anymore.

Curious much?

After startup and taxi (crazy complicated taxi instructions, even though it was “turn right at Bravo, taxi to 34”), she started looking outside. (The taxi instructions, while apparently simple, had us crossing two parallel runways and taxiways that were not well marked.)

Nope. Not curious at all.

After takeoff, the girlfriend managed this picture. Even though the airport isn’t in focus, I like it.

By the way, the Arrow has a brand new interior. Nice.

Some little mountain outside of Atlanta.

Now she loves the camera.

See? Loves it!

I tried to snap a few more self-portraits.

I'm not very good at this. (The girlfriend and Dobie really bonded, though.)

Aren't they cute together?

The actual flight was pretty boring on the way back. After about 30 minutes, Dobie fell right asleep.

Only upon descent into the airport did she wake up and start focusing outside again.)

Where are we?

We forgot to snap pictures after landing of the handoff to Doberman Rescue of the Triad (DRT), but everything went smoothly.

Last night, I got an email from the original requester for the trip, who had gotten some pictures of Dobie from DRT after she got a bath.

Happy as a clam with her new collar and after a bath.

So pretty. Someone go adopt her!

Anyway, Pilots N Paws is really cool. I’m really glad to be getting involved.

Now I gotta go finish my RV-7 so I can do this more often.

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