January 12, 2008
It has been a long winter in many ways. The weather has not been cooperating, and I was out of commission for 6+ weeks due to a serious cold that turned into bronchitis. I managed to make it through the holidays and all my time off without flying, unfortunately, and was ready to start flying again at the New Year. But the weather didn’t cooperate right away. Finally, I got a call from Jimmy Young on a Friday, suggesting we do a little flying together.
As long as the weather held, we were on!
Jimmy had yet to fly very far from his home airport, Alvin, so this was going to be his longest flight yet in his recently acquired Kolb Firestar II. He gave me a call before he left so I’d have a good idea of when he’d be there, and he made good time. You can see from this map…
…that he has to take a less-than-direct route in order to avoid the congested Houston area as well as the Sugarland airspace. He landed and taxied to my hangar and spent a little time checking things over. Soon enough, we were on our way!
It may be hard to fathom, but, I’ve had my Kolb for about 2 years and still haven’t been able to fly with anyone that had a camera! So, I haven’t had any photos taken of me in the air. I guess I got spoiled when I flew so much with my brother, because I’d have 10 or 20 shots to pick from after every flight. Jimmy was nice enough to bring along his camera to take some shots.
Prior to taking off, we discussed the protocols involved in photography in flight. Being so close to each other, we had to know who was doing what, when. Still, we kept a fair distance between us to avoid any mishaps. Everything went smoothly.
First, we headed west, toward the Brazos River.
The idea was to have the sun provide good lighting to the side. As you can see, the results were very nice!
I maneuvered below him, then above him, to give him a chance at a variety of shots.
Of course, I wasn’t just sitting back in the limelight, doing nothing! I was taking photos of him, too. You can see that it was a pleasant day, and although there was a bit of turbulence, it wasn’t too bad.
When we got to the Brazos River, we turned south and followed it a bit, then headed southeast toward Sport Flyer.
I didn’t want to be out too long (I had a family obligation in an hour), and Jimmy needed to refuel for his trip back to Alvin. And since my airport doesn’t have fuel, and Sport Flyer does, we were headed that way. I was going to accompany him but not land.
After we had decided we were done photographing each other, I naturally took advantage of the nice day to take lots of shots of things on the ground…
As we get closer to Sport Flyer, I look off in the distance and get this fairly clear shot of downtown Houston…
…not bad for being over 40 miles away! Jimmy starts to break away from our 2-plane formation, and decides on a straight-in approach. I circle around the airport and take this photo of the typical house and hangar (and plane) of a member of the Sport Flyer aviation community.
As I pass by the threshold of runway 17, I see Jimmy on final approach.
I radio him to say “so long!’ and then continue my track to the north.
On the way to my airport, I see this field which looks like it was burned.
In contrast to that, it was nice to see some green on this farm in the middle of January.
A few minutes later, I see my airport, enter the pattern and land.
A short, but very pleasant flight with Jimmy Young. Time in the air, about 53 minutes.
Thanks for the photos, Jimmy!