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

Cellpic Sunday – 16 September 2018

Somewhere over southern North Dakota.

I’m writing this on Saturday evening. Yesterday we brought our Civil Air Patrol glider from its home base in eastern North Dakota to Mandan, in the south central part of the state. Our plan was to give cadets in the western part of the state orientation rides, one of many benefits that cadets receive from being a member. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Blue

In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

OK, the above photo of a wave crashing on the rocks on the island of Kauai, Hawaii is an obvious example of the color blue. My first thought was to review the dozens, probably hundreds, of images that feature the ocean blue. Science tells me the sky is blue because the atmosphere filters out most of the red side of the color spectrum. In the early morning and late afternoon, those reds return as the sun is reflected through at a lower angle. The ocean, lakes, and rivers are blue because they are simply reflecting the sky. Continue reading

Fargo Airsho – Blue Angels In Flight

Fargo, North Dakota.

As an aviation enthusiast, I’ve always enjoyed the performances of our military flight demonstration teams. For many years, the Blue Angels have flown in Fargo at an event known as the Fargo Airsho (sic). The air show features many more performers than the Blue Angels, though. Between the jet powered biplane, the Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team and many other acts, the show starts in the morning, but the Navy’s featured demonstration team doesn’t start until around 3 PM. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 5 August 2018

Fargo, North Dakota.

I’ve been overloaded this week on aviation. The Blue Angels performed last weekend here. I did some glider towing for one of our pilots to take his glider checkride, our glider (with that pilot) spent this weekend at the Northern Neighbors Day Airshow at Minot Air Force Base, and I spent the last two days working with Air Force and Civil Air Patrol National staff as we concluded the North Dakota Wing’s Compliance Inspection (a close-up look at our state operations that happens every four years. (We came away from that inspection looking good with only a few bits of administrivia that need to be addressed in the next several weeks.) Continue reading