Cellpic Sunday – 28 July 2019

Jamestown, North Dakota.

The James River winds its way through the town of Jamestown just south of a dam and reservoir. The small dam widens the river and the view to the west above is just upstream of the dam. For those who wonder why this isn’t a feature called “Drone Sunday”, we are much too high in altitude to have been captured with a drone. FAA regulations limit drones to a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground (or above the nearest tall structure). Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 21 July 2019

Fargo, North Dakota.

In late June, I was getting ready for a proficiency flight in preparation for my annual Civil Air Patrol (CAP) check flight (certification to continue piloting CAP aircraft). As I went about my business doing the normal preflight safety checks, I noticed a large cargo aircraft that looks like the military heavy hauler, the Hercules C-130. This wasn’t a military aircraft painted in the usual dull gray. It was painted white with the only identifying signage reading “Lynden Air Cargo.” Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 23 June 2019

Mandan, North Dakota.

A couple of Sundays ago, I made the trip to Mandan’s Y19 airport for their annual Planes and Pancakes fly-in. I try to get there every year to help share the Civil Air Patrol story, sometimes bringing along the glider behind me. That was the case on this day, as well as hoping to give some Civil Air Patrol members a sortie or two in the glider after we showed it off to the fly-in attendees. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 9 June 2019

Fargo, North Dakota.

OK, so this isn’t technically a Cellpic. It is, however, captured from a truly mobile device. First, the backstory… One of the newest missions of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) involves the use of small unmanned aerial systems, in CAP parlance, sUAS Missions. In the common vernacular, drones. The sUAS class of device weighs between .5 (266 g) and 55 lbs (25 kg). In a word, “small”. In the last couple of years, I’ve gone through the steps needed to become a Commercial sUAS Pilot. The FAA calls this class of license a Part 107 and CAP requires that all of our members who wish to pilot one of these devices hold a Part 107 UAS license. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – Rainbow Circles

Somewhere over North Dakota.

Yesterday I attended a meeting in Bismarck. This trip, I was a passenger and I left the flying duties to Chad, a flight instructor and head of our flight standards department in North Dakota Civil Air Patrol. The sun was behind us, still low in the sky, when we departed Fargo early in the morning aboard a Cessna 182. Reflected on the clouds ahead of us, we saw a circular rainbow. Over my two decades of flying, I’ve seen a few circular rainbows reflected on clouds below us. We were on an instrument flight plan which allowed us to remain at our altitude and fly through any clouds that happened to rise above our flight level. As we approached one of these higher cloud layers, I saw something I’d never seen before. We could clearly see the shadow of our aircraft on the cloud directly in the center of the circle. Continue reading

New York – My First Visit to the State

Syracuse, New York.

I’ve been to many states, but before March 2018, a trip to Boston brought me to the only state on the east coast I’ve visited north of Washington DC. An opportunity to visit Syracuse New York for volunteer Civil Air Patrol (CAP) duties would be my ticket to visit a new (to me) state. The image above is one of my first views of the city of Syracuse while on landing approach to Syracuse Hancock Airport. In the United States, Aviation research is increasingly turning to unmanned aerial systems for flight assignments. Civil Air Patrol is helping in the transition as many current Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have limited visibility for their pilots on the ground. Continue reading