Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just Plane Cool

After avoiding it at length, I finally agreed to go for a ride in my friend Tony's four-seater airplane.

I've known Tony for 20+ years, but he's only been flying for the last few. I figured he had enough flight hours under his belt by now to be trustworthy in the air. Maybe it was riding around in his Camaro during high school that made me wary; he was a bit of a daredevil on four wheels.

After two recent abortive attempts - one where the weather was bad, and another where I was under the weather (which was also bad) - we were finally able to meet up early this morning for the flight. It was a warm, hazy morning in the Tampa Bay area, but, mercifully, also very calm.

The haze made long distance photography difficult, but the ride was also much smoother than I had expected. One or two bumps at the most. Despite the heat inside the airplane, a '67 Cherokee (that's older than me), it was a really, really cool experience!

Bogs on a wing.

Captain Tony reviews the flight plan one last time.

A look back at the runway from whence we came.

Flying is serious business...

...but that doesn't stop me from goofing off.

Yet another batch of condos for the rich under construction.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Spanish-American War-era Fort De Soto in the distance.
(Trust me, it's there.)

Fort De Soto Park.

The Don CeSar Beach Resort at St. Pete Beach,
where I will not be attending my high school reunion.

Clearwater Beach.

Anclote Key.

Chillin' at 1100 feet.


Another plane got too close to us, so we had to shoot it down.
(Don't worry, we think the pilot ejected.)

University of South Florida.

Busch Gardens.

A hazy day in Tampa, where some poor suckers
are actually working today.

Headin' home.

On the approach.

Back on terra firma.

Whew! Defying gravity was fun. Almost as much fun as defying authority!

Oh, and, in case you're wondering, I did take some photos of my home from the air, but didn't want to publish them here. It would show consternatives precisely where to aim their missiles.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Can I go next time? Is there a wieght limit? It would be cool to crash into a downtown Tampa building!

fatty ~ said...

nice to see you replacing the beer mug with the mouthpiece... though i doubt it tastes quite so refreshing.

Pete Bogs said...

anon - I thought you did that already...

fatty - the foam cover had to practically be in your mouth for the mic to work... speaking of foam - where did I put that frothy pint of mine?

liberalbanana said...

Glad you had fun on the flight! My dad is a pilot for his hobby and hates that no one else in the family shares his passion. It's really neat to see things from that kind of view though, isn't it? I've actually been to Clearwater beach. Memories...

Pete Bogs said...

banana - it was indeed amazing... very peaceful in a way, even with the prop noise... even though you're going 120 mph, when you're in an airplane the world seems to be just floating slowly by... flying is not something I want to do on a regular basis, but would definitely do again...

Aunty Belle said...

Well, chile' this is jes' awesome!!

Jack K. said...

Thanks for the view. I have only been in the Tampa/St. Pete area on the ground. (Visiting relatives, you know.)

There is something both exciting and serene about flying in a smaller plane.

I'm pleased to know you did not divulge the ordnance used agains the errant aircraft that got too close. lol

Are you sure you saw the 'chute open?

Great views, even for a hazy, lazy day. You've got to go up again when it gets clearer.

Did Tony do better in the air than on the ground in a Camaro?

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

dag! just when we had a to get your coordinates!! nice day off bogshond!!!! try the ultralight next. it wont feel like your floatin' ! thanks for postin the photos. enjoyed it.


Jack K. said...

Btw, you make a good photo subject, too.

infinitesimal said...

hey, I am counting on you leaving a well thought out comment on my blog post today.

hoping you will, anyways

this is a cool post, sounds like a lot of fun indeed!

infinitesimal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pete Bogs said...

aunt b - it was indeed awesome... btw, I took a picture of your place from up there, too... what's with all the goats in the front yard? ;-)

jack - my pleasure... we think the chute opened, but it may have been a weather balloon... I probably won't be flying again anytime soon, btw, as Tony's leaving town... but he did a fine job in the air... he was under strict orders from me not to play any games up air... no pretending that we're in trouble or anything... lol

k9 - I actually want to do a helicopter ride sometime, and maybe a hot air balloon... and I'm not a "heights person" either!

Contessimal - when have I ever been thoughtful, and why should I start now? ;-) I'll check it out...

Mr Q said...

So that is why I was not able to book at the Don Cesar, huh. You flew over my "secret" getaway destination, now people will no where the Q likes to unplug. Nice photo story Bogs. I still retain my Crystal River, compound retreat, muahaha!

Pete Bogs said...

Q - Crystal River... ain't that that nucular place? :-)

Bird said...

hahaha - ain't flyin' grand?

cool pics bogs.

i was in a propeller plane recently muself (my wings got worn out from crossing the pacific, so took a propeller plane from thailand to laos).