Wednesday, May 30, 2012

And yet another way to get airborne . . . .

Although it may seem like I'm taking it easy these days (ok, flying a hammock is easier than running a flight school) I am actually working. Sort of. I have seven agents who have requested my book and so I am perfecting every word before I send it to them. I am thinking about printing a short run to sell on my own. Anyone interested in buying one if I did so? Email me at or just reply here if you would buy a copy (it is mystery/thriller with a strong aviation element and bits and pieces of the airport we all know and love).

P.S. Stiff wind on the hammock that day - required some cross wind landing technique to avoid falling into the river!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Well, this may not have wings, but that doesn't mean I can't try to fly it, right? This is SO much more practical than that gas-hogging SUV I've been driving forever. Yep, practical and environmentally friendly, that's why I got it . . . .

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I loved Belize! I awoke at 4 the first morning to a continuous loud growl/howl noise that sounded like it was right outside my cabana door. Either there was a jaguar on my veranda or Darth Vader was breathing in my ear (it happens). Behind the noise, a chorus of screams, yelps, whistles, groans, squeaks, moans made me feel like one of those 19th century visitors to the Amazon - something they might have described as hell broken loose and the demons escaped.

Gradually the ominous howl seemed to move further down the river. So what did I do? Get up to investigate of course! Braving the possible tarantulas and scorpions on the dimly lit floor, I threw on some flip flops and snuck out the door, careful not to awaken my cousin. Making my way cautiously along the raised boardwalk in the early morning light, I came across a short Mayan man. He was the only other person awake (security guard) and, when I asked him about the noise, he offered to take me to see them - Howler Monkeys! Of course, I accepted. So, in tank top and shorts I followed him further and further away from the compound, to the edge of the dense jungle. Still he pressed on. Not one to quit (those of you who know me are laughing about now), I rushed to keep up - not so easy (or smart) wearing flip flops and shorts in the jungle! I  kept thinking about the 15 species of poisonous snakes in Belize and began to envision my own personal entry in the Darwin awards  . . . .
But eventually we found them. In fact we got so close they got angry. They apparently defecate into their hands and throw it at intruders. Fortunately none of it hit their target (me!), just plunked nearby.
These are not cute little monkeys. They are big, black ape-looking creatures that spend their days swinging on their arms. I'm just glad all they did was throw stuff at me!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Landing in the Jungle

Been traveling the world for the last month. This picture is of our fully-loaded caravan landing at a tiny unmarked strip at Belmopan in the Maya Mountains of Belize. Although flying is strictly VFR there, we were in and out of clouds traversing miles and miles of trees - not too many emergency landing places!

The only controlled airspace in Belize is at Belize city, where the 737s land and back-taxi to the terminal. Although it may seem rustic they still enforce protocal - We rolled our own bags across the tarmac, then had to yeild them to the "baggage handler" who placed them on the conveyer belt which carried them four feet into the building. We then walked a couple steps through the door and picked them up (the only two bags) off the conveyer belt. Very officious!