A Song Comes Unbidden

Just a regular blog post here. If you’ve ever written songs or otherwise tried to create art, you know that there’s the initial inspiration, then you sit down and suffer through the creation of the song (essay, book, painting, whatever) structure, and then you start to have fun again as you have a mostly-formed song and you get to play withthe fussy bits.

The really lucky and brilliant songwiters out there say that sometimes a song jus tcomes intotheir heads, fyully or mostly formed. Kind of like what happened to Adam Duritz with A Long December.

That happened to me on the drive back to Chicago the week before last. and now it’s sitting there brewing and getting better and better. I think I might try to record it sometime this week. It’s called ‘Til I Can Take Eleanor There. I think it’s going to be the first fully complete tune for Songs From the Sheffield. And I think it’ll make a great submission for the MacDowell residency.

This just doesn’t happen to me. I’m really excited about it. No pictues or other stuff with this post. I need to just go into the studio with a lot of Diet Coke and lock the door behind me.

But I wanted to tell you guys about it.

Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) Open House – Part 2

This is a regular blog post. Check out the other posts for links to show notes and show audio.

I was on duty all day with the Civil Air Patrol, mostly handing kids into and out of the CAP Cessna 182. It’s a new (303 hours) CAP aircraft with the G1000. I went to the ground school in January for the G1000, but haven’t flown the platform yet. Don’t know when I’m going to get some time to do it, but it would be really cool to fly a little more glass.

CAP members with at least a private certificate can train in this aircraft for $41/hour dry. That’s really outstanding, considering that you’d probably pay well in excess of $180/hour wet for something like this on the line at an FBO.

C/MSgt Penix manning the line. He was one of about 15 cadets that showed up at 10:00 on Saturday, trained all day, camped on the airport grounds Saturday night, and then worked the show all day on Sunday. The cadets are members of my squadron, the Oakland Composite Squadron (GLR-MI-238) (http://www.oaklandcomposite.org/). I’m really proud of the job they did.

Note that C/MSgt Penix has taken off his cover. We wore covers most of the day on the ramp, but took ‘em off whenever we were marshalling aircraft. You don’t want to be the cadet whose name is written in the cover that they pull put of the F-16’s engine.

The Michigan ANG out of Selfridge ANGB sent Maj Matt Hopkins and his F-16 to the open house. Here, some kids get up close and personal with the fighter jet.

Maj Hopkins rotating for takeoff. Check out the exhaust stream behind the jet! The open house is a good opportunity to get really close to the aircraft, especially when they’re moving. The ropes are maybe 50 feet away from the edge of the taxiway and Runway 27L/9R is just a little past that. So you’re maybe 200 feet away from an F-16 on full afterburner.

Maj Hopkins did a couple of passes (one gear-down and one high-speed with a vertical pull) on departure. I got audio of that. We also had a fly-over by a pair of F-16s and an F-15 in trail and all three aircraft did a few low passes.

I hope the publicity for this is a lot better next year. I also hope that they pick some weekend other than the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend. It’s be nice to have more people out on the ramp coming to meet general aviation. I think that the airport community, and particularly the Civil Air Patrol, gave good account of itself and I hope we get bigger crowds next year.

Oakland County International airport (KPTK) Open House – Part 1

This is a regular blog post. Check out the other posts for links to show notes and show audio.

I spent the day yesterday at the Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) open house. It’s my home airport and I take a great deal of pride in showing it off to the neighbors.

Lower attendance that in years past. The publicity for it was almost nonexistent, which is disappointing, but the airport community itself was out in force and talking up GA to anyone who would listen.

N157AC was on the ramp, which was very cool. It’s nice to walk around on the ramp, point to an airplane, and say “I was upside down in that yesterday!” I really love this aircraft. In fact, I haven’t gotten over to Flight 101 to get checked out to fly their 172s and 152s so that I have a place to rent airplanes. It’s been too much fun doing tailwheel training and aerobatics with Barry Sutton.

Here’s a North American T28B Trogajan owned by a guy from Milford. I can’t get over how stubby the airplane is. Huge engine and apparently great visibility from the cockpit. I’m glad that he opened the cowling because that engine is really impressive.

The airport has a number of lakes around it in the Class D and you hear floatplanes and amphibs calling in on the tower frequency. Sometimes you see an aircraft landing on the lake to the north and it’s weird when you see it from the ramp to the south because the aircraft disappears behind the trees to the north of the airport. But then it pops back up and you remember that it’s an amphib.

Here’s a really cool-looking amphib that was on the ramp. Usually, I search the tail number to figure out what kind of aircraft it is, but I realized this morning that I had no pictures with the tail number fully visible. Still, I think the picture belongs in the post.

A Waco UPF-7 registered to Romeo Sport Flying LLC. This aircraft was giving rides, as were several of the line 172s from Flight 101 and helicopters from the field. Good to get the public up and give them a taste of GA!