United States Air Force Thunderbirds – America’s Ambassadors in Blue

Fargo, North Dakota.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the story about the USAF Thunderbirds Meet and Greet with Civil Air Patrol cadets. As far as I know their exhibition would be the first time that they appeared during our Fargo Airsho (spelled correctly). As you might imagine, their two-day show features some of the best pilots the Air Force has at their disposal. Their precision flight demonstration is something to be seen. Continue reading

Air Cadet League of Canada – A Focus on Cadets

Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Over the years, I’ve made some interesting connections through my involvement with Civil Air Patrol. As the North Dakota Wing Commander, my travels to national and regional conferences have introduced me to new people and places. It’s been an interesting and busy three-and-a-half years. In April, I’ll be ready to hand over the wing to my successor. But I digress… Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Magical

Regular readers know of my affinity with all things aviation related. This week, Ann-Christine asks us to share our concept of the term “Magical.” She writes in part, “But Magical can mean so many different things to everyone of us – At Lens-Artists, we have already had Magical Light as a theme, (last year) but this time it is all up to you! What is Magical to you?” You can read her entire challenge post here. So, I’ve always thought that being able to get into an aircraft and visit places unknown is magical in itself. But what about those aircraft who don’t have the advantage of generating any power to keep themselves airborne? 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

Dronie Sunday – 30 June 2019

Fargo, North Dakota.

Those accustomed to seeing “Cellpic Sunday” on its usual day may note the name change. No, I haven’t abandoned Cellpic Sunday. In the interest of variety, I decided to mix it up a bit and use the term Drone Sunday when the shot featured is captured from a flying camera platform. Please excuse me while I inflict upon you the results of my learning experiences as I get familiar with the characteristics of drone photography. Cellpic Sunday will be featured whenever the photo was generated from a cellphone, tablet, or other mobile device. 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 – 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