A Couple of Loads at Midwest Freefall at Kunstman Airfield in Ray, Michigan

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Flew another couple of loads of skydivers yesterday with Skydive Radio co-founder and co-host Dave Schwartz in a Skydive Chicago Twin Otter at Kunstman Airfield, home of Midwest Freefall Sport Parachute Club.

I arrived around noon, about 10 minutes before Dave returned from Romeo after having picked up fuel. This is a shot of the Otter on approach to the field. The wind was fairly light, so landing direction on the 18-36 grass runway was pretty arbitrary.

There’s Dave. Great guy. Always willing to give you the right seat so long as operations, safety, and other circumstances allow. He’s the first guy to tell you how much he appreciated it when people gave him the right seat during his early flying career and he gives back by returning that favor down the line to the next generation (which, as a new multi driver with only about 200 hours TT, includes me).

In case you thought that Dave’s patter on the two loads that appeared in episodes earlier this year was a one-time prepared thing, it’s not. Same checklists, same procedures, and same safety culture. Really neat to fly with him.

Here’s yours truly in the left seat with Dave behind the camera.

The takeoff run with 20 or so people in the back. Yoke in your lap, full power, release the brakes, and keep get up as soon as possible. The treeline does come at you rather menacingly, but there’s never any real doubt by the time you get close. The Otter climbs very well and you’re to 13,000 feet or more before you know it.

Here’s the approach to landing, coming the other way. Like I said, the wind wasn’t really a factor, so we landed on 36, the better to roll out the loading area at the north end of the field. This really showed off the Otter’s short field landing characteristics.

Another post coming soon covering the drop zone.

Take Your Kids to the Science Center

This is a regular blog post. Please check out the other posts if you’re looking for show notes or links to show audio.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road in the Big Dream, folks! No bitching and moaning about why Johnny can’t split the atom if you don’t take Johnny (and Jill!) to the science center every now and then.

I took Cole and Ella to the Detroit Science center today for a few hours after my haircut. We’re members at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and we get reciprocal free admissions at the DSC and other science centers. In fact, we’ve used those reciprocal privileges at the Museum of Science and Industry, the Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, all within the last 60 days.

Yeah, we’re nerds. Go ahead and point and snicker. You have the choice of having your kids work with – or for – my kids. Choose wisely. And we’ll see you at the science center.

Above is an early experience with plasma science for Ella.

Cole getting acquainted with photoelectrics.

Ella taking a turn at the power transfer displays. Not sure she walked away with a lot of the math, but she sure seemed mesmerized. Which is, after all, the point early on.

Cole Meets Mr. Tesla’s progeny at the plasma displays.

And what’s a trip to Detroit’s cultural center without a romp near (or in) the fountain? The Detroit Art Institute is right near the science center and we ate some White Castle and walked around a little before hitting the science center.

Hey, Hannah Montana and the monster truck races are great. Absolutely nothing wrong with those. But you gotta get the kids out to meet the universe in a more constructive way every chance you get. And the local science museum is a great start. Tomorrow, the airport! (Again!)

Safety with Aviation Safety Magazine Editor and UCAP Hangar Denizen Jeb Burnside

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We talk this time with Jeb Burnside about aviation safety. Jeb is an editor at Belvoir Publications, the folks who bring you Aviation Safety Magazine (of which Jeb is editor), KitPlanes, AvWeb, Aviation Consumer, IFR, IFR Refresher, and Light Plane Maintenance. Many of you know him as a third of the regular occupants of the Uncontrolled Airspace Podcast‘s virtual hangar. He’s also a longtime pilot.

Jeb’s website is at http://www.jeburnside.com/, where there’s a pretty complete account of the partial engine failure in he experienced in 2003 along with pictures.

You can reach him at jeb@uncontrolledairspace.com.

Picture used by permission.