Texas-Flyer Blog

I’ve been flying since 2000, starting with ultralights and moving into experimental aircraft of different sorts.  This is a collection of stories and images I’ve captured which may enlighten and entertain.  I am by no means an authority, but I’ve had fun and hope the stories on this site can provide you with some interesting perspectives of flying very light aircraft.

This cartoon exemplifies the kind of flying
I do… and the trouble I can get into!

If you’re interested in aviation, you should join the local EAA chapter, or other local flying club. You don’t need to be a pilot or own an aircraft to participate. I’m a member of the local EAA chapter, Chapter 347, and the local gyroplane club.

If you’re curious about the history of this site, please click here.

I hope you will enjoy reading the various Texas-Flyer
stories as shown at the left, under “STORIES”,
or linked below.

If you are using a smaller screen, the stories can be found by clicking on the menu button above.  I would greatly appreciate it if you will subscribe to the blog; you’ll get an email only if I post a new blog entry.  And, finally, each story now allows for comments; feedback is always appreciated!

 
                               Stories
2018

Ferrying The Cavalon, Jan 14
All Kinds of Changes, Jan 1

2008

A Short Flight With Jimmy Young, Jan 12

2007

More Local Flying, Aug 25

2006

Waller Flying, Sep 2
Ferrying a Challenger, Aug 12

2005

The Aventura’s Last Trip, Sep 5

2004

Rick’s Crash, Mar 11
John’s CH701 Journey, Feb 5

2003

Wimberly, Nov 29
Scout Flyover, Oct 4
Mustang Beach, Sep 6
Minnesota to Houston, May 24
The Sandbar Landing, Jan 19

2002

Wharton For 4, Nov 23
Circumnavigating Houston, Oct 5
Ferrying My New Plane, The Aventura, Aug 17
Bolivar Peninsula, Jul 5
Calhoun County, Jun 7
Bolivar Ferry and Lighthouse, May 19
SportFlyer Fly-In, Engine-Out, May 4
Pierce Field, Matagorda Island, Apr 28
MS150 Bike Ride, Apr 20
Through The Fog, Apr 13
A Big Day For Jim!, Apr 5
Roger’s Place, Mar 23

2001

My Rossi Trike, Jun 25
Flying In My Quicksilver, May 19

2000

My Ultralight Training Experience, Oct 15

 

About Me

My dad was a naval aviator, my oldest brother got his pilot’s license when he was 16, and I tried to follow in his place.  So I originally did ground school and some flight hours when I was 16 but I was unable to continue at that time.  Fast forward to the year 2000, and I found myself looking around for something I could do in Houston.  (My previous avocation — cave diving — required lengthy trips to Florida, and a developing personal situation prevented me from making those trips.)

From the ’70’s, I remembered that ultralight aircraft were at best unreliable, but in 2000 I wondered whether that were still true.  As it turns out, it wasn’t!  The technology and maturity had improved considerably, and kits were being made by people who knew about materials, aerodynamics, engines and other aspects, resulting in a much safer form of flying.  So I found a local EAA ultralight club and starting hanging around and asking questions.  And reading. I did lots and lots and lots of reading and researching.  I finally decided to take the plunge and found myself  under the tutelage of John Wall out of Bailes Airport near Angleton, TX.  You can read about my ultralight training here.  My 2nd-eldest brother, Jim — who plays a large part in my adventures — decided to join me in my training and several years of my adventures.

After training, I promptly bought 50% of a used Quicksilver MXL; the other 50% was owned by my brother, Jim.  We both flew the Quicksilver in the local area, until my sights were set on a Rossi trike (a flex-wing ultralight).  After I bought the trike, Jim became sole owner of the Quicksilver, and he and I were able to fly around together.  That didn’t work out very well, however, since the trike was a lot faster than the Quicksilver, so eventually Jim upgraded by selling the Quicksilver and getting a single-seat Challenger.

Not too much later, I decided trikes were not my thing, and moved on to a RAN S12-XL.  Now we were more equal in performance, and had many adventures flying together.    Many times we flew down by the coast between Galveston and Matagorda Island, and my mind started thinking about all that water and how a seaplane would give me access to more places.  Eventually, I moved up to a seaplane, the Aventura II.  While I enjoyed having the seaplane, I could not find anyone to write insurance for me, so I felt uncomfortable flying it without some level of protection.

In an effort to downsize the sunk-cost a bit, I sold the Aventura and bought a Kolb MkIII, and started doing some ultralight flight training in it — by this time I had received by UL instructor rating.  The folding wings of the Kolb also made storing it at home a lot easier.   I thought the Kolb might be the last aircraft I would own, but at some point I became enamored with gyroplanes.  (Actually, I had been enamored with them since the late 50’s/early 60’s!)  But I found one — a single-seat UL gyroplane, the Gyrobee — that was inexpensive and would let me see if I liked that kind of flying or not (I didn’t want a repeat of my flex-wing experience).

As it turned out, I loved it!  To the total neglect of my Kolb, I ended up flying the Gyrobee exclusively, but after a couple of years, I had to sell it because of some financial problems I was going through.  I held on to the Kolb, though.  Eventually, I did sell the Kolb and for the first time in 17 years, I was without an aircraft of some sort.

Retiring brought me a windfall, and I had had my sights on a 2-seat, fully enclosed gyroplane, the Cavalon  In October 2017, I bought one (see photo below).  Is this the end of the story?  Who knows?  I’ve been having fun figuring it out!

The above description of my trajectory through many aircraft is just a summary.  Some of the stories on this site go into more detail, and I encourage you to read them all.

If you want to contact me, email me at:  robert@texas-flyer.com