Dolly had never been to Manhattan. We were in New Jersey so I gave her a ride up the Hudson River Corridor at 1,500 feet while in contact with NY aproach, Laguardia and Newark towers. She took a video and I set the music to it. Click here and enjoy!
Triple Tree is a unique place created over many years by Pat and Mary Lou Hartness. From undeveloped land they wrestled out a beautiful airdrome in South Carolina.
It’s centerpiece is a 7,000 foot grass runway of Bermuda bent grass that is irrigated and maintained like a golf course green.
For one week each year the private airport is opened up to all things airborne. All persons are invited provided they can show a pilot’s license or some other direct connection to aviation.
Facilities include the pavilion shown above, plus showers, wet and dry camp sites, an educational center, aerodrome control tower, a museum/hangar, pilots lounge and other necessary infrastructure. Pat’s prime aviation interest has been model aviation although he also has a full scale mirror polished Spartan Executive and a P51.
These two birds put on an airshow Saturday afternoon.
Shade from the sun and hangar flying conversation – Triple Tree hospitality.
Food at TTA is plentiful and delicious. There is a different menu for the cookout every evening. Thursday is “pick out and grill your own steak” night with tasty fixings and chocolate cake. Yumm!
On Saturday we lined up for a pulled pork dinner near the top of the hill by the hangars. A quartet played old songs and friends caught Dolly and I dancing. We had worked as volunteers all week; Dolly helped in registration and I drove six person courtesy golf carts.
Try it next year?
EAA chapter 791 today held its monthly meeting at the Pasco County (Florida) Sheriff’s helicopter hangar. We had a wonderful two hour session touring the hangar and the adjoining parking yard for the emergency response (SWAT and other) vehicles.
The Department has four operational jet ranger helicopters on a staggered 100/200/300 hour maintenance schedule, plus two other JRs that are scavenged for parts. They have one civilian mechanic who handles everything other than instrument repairs.
All of the helicopters were military surplus and have been rebuilt, renovated, reconditioned and painted by the County. Several were previously used by the Columbian military.
We heard a story about the time this officer while on a SWAT team support flight was repeatedly hit by a red laser beam – ground patrols were all tied – he set the helicopter down in a parking lot – ran five blocks and caught the perp. He could identify the person as the helicopters have FLIR (infrared cameras) and the pilots wear night vision goggles.
Then we watched a video (Click to see it on YouTube) that shows the performance of the FLIR camera. It is so sensitive that if a person spends time standing next to a wall and then moves on, the camera can read the heat that was transfered from the person to the wall. Similarly, automobile exhausts leave a heated trail on the ground showing their direction of travel, even on hot nights.
Finally, we toured the emergency response vehicle parking yard. The vehicle electrical systems are plugged in all the time. The department also has a large command system truck that keeps its air conditioner running while stored here awaiting a call.
I was Impressed that several of the vehicles and a canine training building were donated to the Department by an individual citizen and a community leadership association. Others were acquired from the military at nominal cost.
The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1298 held a rally for Young Eagles. The EAA Young Eagles program offers free airplane rides to children ages 7 through 17. For many this is their first airplane ride, particularly in two to six seat General Aviation planes. In addition to the rides the kids receive a logbook signed by their pilot, and vouchers for an online private pilot course from Sporty’s Pilot Shop.
Dolly and I worked with other members who arrived early to be part of the ground crew. We are members of three EAA chapters, two in Florida and one in Michigan.
Paul Bryant built his Lightning ten years ago. N82PB is registered as an AB or Amateur Built Aircraft. The Lightning cruises around 150 miles per hour.
I have no photo of Tom Longo’s aircraft. He made several flights today in N137JM his Vans RV9A, another Amateur Built Aircraft.
Five pilot members had their planes ready on the ramp and taxiways outside the EAA hangar. The pilots donate their time, aircraft and fuel to give the youngsters their first small airplane ride.
An hour before the visitors arrive the pilots hold a briefing session where they agree on flight routes and review communications and other procedures necessary for safe operations.
While they wait for their flight the visitors are invited to look around the EAA hangar and watch a video from EAA national. The photo on the right shows the fuselage of a Vans RV10 that is being built by one of the chapter members.
Many parents bring cameras to Young Eagle events to record the children’s reactions following their flight.
The Ground Crew members register the children, escort them to the aircraft and introduce them to their pilot. The pilots spend some time giving a preflight briefing and describing what to expect on the flight.