Category Archives: Carroll “Lex” LeFon

Solo

By lex, on March 6th, 2010

So, it ’twas to be a CrossFit drill after work yesterday, but Ominous Weather (rain showers) loomed over the weekends threatening the flying fix. CrossFit, it turns out, is perfectly acceptable during rain showers, so long as performed indoors. Flying VFR aircraft, no so much. The choice, she was easy.

If it hadn’t have been for the government time I was on, I’d  have slipped away maybe a half an hour early from work to avoid the rush hour traffic on the way to Horrible East County. Had I done so, I’d have made it to Gillespie Airport in remarkably good time, congratulating myself on my wisdom and promising to make up the time at some future date.

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Morning Pr0n

By lex, on March 2nd, 2010

T-28 Trojan was an outgoing primary trainer when I started flight school. It hosted a Wright R-1820-86 Cyclone radial engine with 1,425 hp under the cowl, and was thought to be a real handful for your first flyer. You could volunteer for T-28s, but I went with the simpler T-34 as more sedate and “jet-like.”

MorningPr0n

Photo Courtesy of FlightAware.com

Trojan students told us that if you reached the airplane for preflight and it wasn’t leaking oil, the machine was down.

It could only mean that there was no oil left.

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In the Supe’s Words

By lex, on February 24th, 2010

VADM Fowler addressed the diversity issue at the US Naval Academy to a receptive audience at Diversity.inc recently. His comments helps  illuminate the mindset, and represent as well something of a potential row-back from previous comments that “diversity was the number one goal” at USNA:

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Discretion v. Valor

By lex, on February 21st, 2010

So, today was the day I had chosen to attempt my first tailwheel solo in a club Citabria, the like of which I was first checked out in on Tuesday after work. It was with some degree of trepidation that I made the trek down to Gillespie Field, for a ground loop with a CFI in the back seat is regrettable, but balling one up all by yourself is a disgrace.

Still, you’ve either got to light that candle eventually or else dwell in the darkness of paid instruction, so it was down to the airport that I putted.

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Inflection Point

By lex, on February 20th, 2010

So, I got checked out in a club Citabria on Tuesday. It had been a few months since I got my tailwheel endorsement, and then there was that Stearman flight in late December, which I hardly count. CFI Dave treating that machine as though it was his first born, and providing me more or less continuous – if tactful – guidance on how to not crease his baby.

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Honest Debate

By lex, on February 16th, 2010

So, some of you are maybe members on http://www.linkedin.com/, the social media network for working stiffs. I am.

One of the groups I belong to is the US Naval Academy Alumni, and I posted a brief link to the blunt smoking midshipman case. There are nearly 4000 members of that community, and we had a pretty good discussion about the issue in the group’s “discussion” section. It went on for a good two weeks or so, until someone came in and posted the ‘Supe’s rebuttal.

Which is when things got interesting.

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The “Possible” Turn

By lex, on February 15th, 2010

Yesterday we briefly touched on the issue of the “impossible turn” back towards a runway after a low altitude engine failure. AOPA has pretty much endorsed the notion that turning back to the field from which you recently departed is, in fact, impossible using the sterling example of US Airways Flight 1549 and Captain Sully:

Pilots seeing images of US Airways Flight 1549 floating in the Hudson River probably shared three thoughts: those pilots did everything right; I hope I could do it right if I ever had to; I hope I never have to.

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