This week, Jen H. asks to share where our heart is. She writes, “‘Home’ is more than where we sleep at night. It is a place that is familiar and comforting, and it gives us a sense of belonging. Home is what and who is local…” You can view the entire challenge post here.
I am a very fortunate man. I have more than one place I call home, a summer home in Fargo, a winter home in Buckeye Arizona, and at least for an average of 75 hours a year, I find another home in the cockpit of an aircraft. The opening shot features the “flight deck” of N830CP, a Cessna 182 especially equipped with the equipment to tow a glider. I have spent some time in a glider, even been signed off to solo, but my preference is a powered aircraft. Not that I feel unsafe in a glider, I just prefer to have an engine and propeller in front of me. The aircraft is one of the fleet of seven that is operated by North Dakota Civil Air Patrol (CAP).
The cockpit above is also a Cessna 182 with some of the latest in “glass cockpit” (electronic instrumentation) technology. This aircraft is also in the North Dakota CAP fleet. The equipment on the seat in the foreground is the control panel for the FLIR Systems camera mounted on the exterior of the aircraft. In operation, one of the flight crew can manipulate the controls allowing the camera pod to rotate and focus on objects below.
The Cessna 182 is a 4-passenger single-engine aircraft. I could provide more technical details, but I will let the photo of N634CP speak for itself. Unfortunately, from this angle, the FLIR camera pod isn’t visible. It’s mounted on the other side of the aircraft.
I don’t always fly fairly modern aircraft. A friend of mine owns a 1947 Piper PA-11 (Piper Cub) aircraft. My friend is an instructor and he taught me to fly the Cub on floats. Of all the flying I’ve done, “feeling at home in an aircraft” often happens when I conclude the flight and arrive on the runway or on the lake with a “greaser”, a smooth landing. “Welcome Home!”