Chicago to Orlando

Southern Skies and Florida Flies.

The first leg of this journey was six weeks ago, before Master PPG 1 was out and before I got my life back, for a while at least. Thus the lack of a log. It was a great trip with the last stop being at Chris Bowles place in North Carolina. It was a whirlwind trip, too, including visits to family, flying random places and working on shots for Master PPG 2 through 4.

Chris and Tammy Bowles are always fun to visit and have a spectacular property, now with an airplane runway marked out. In fact, Chris did a fly-by in his airplane which is a high wing, sport pilot speedster. He's building another one in his shop, a well-equipped affair with shelves and shelves of mostly Fresh Breeze paragoods and even frames hanging on the walls. Evidence of Chris's engineering acumen dot the place including some huge radio control craft.

We finished in Raleigh, NC, where the Enterprise hibernated until Saturday, Nov 6.

Raleigh to Orlando

The next segment, spanning 5 days, took us from Raleigh to Orlando, FL with some of the most intense flying I've ever done. Working on Master PPG1: Advanced Ground Handling was a lot of work but was done mostly without a motor. These next three videos, though, always involve motoring and that's what we're working on.

After arriving in Raleigh, cold weather convinced us to immediately head south. What's up with that cold, anyway? Isn't this why I left Chicago? Alas, it was just a spell but still enough not to want anything to do with being outside. I don't do cold. Se we kept driving.

The next morning it was calm, and would have been gorgeous, but I didn't have my space suit with me to brave the even-colder conditions. So we played tourists and visited Patriot Point, going through their WWII aircraft carrier and submarine. The carrier was actually my contemporary, given its 1970 decommission date. That was an amazing time with incredible sacrifices from so many kids who never got to see the incredible world we inherited through their efforts. You have to wonder what drives someone to choose submarine life. That was a particularly dangerous choice albeit a very effective place to serve during the war.


We met Leslie Britt, Chris Montgomery and Ben Miller at their haunt north of Jacksonville, where I got to try out the new SD2, a 51" Black Devil tandem machine with electric start. I have to say these electric starts sure are spoiling me. When my machine gets recalictrant, as it does every now and the, I'd sure rather be pushing a button. Yes, yes, I know, if it doesn't start on the first few pulls there's something wrong but e-start can put off the inevitable. As much as I enjoy working on carbs, exhausts, redrives, ignition circuits and so on, it's nice to button push the thing to life. The SD was smooth, comfy, and extremely powerful. I flew it in Rod's configuration which leans my 145 pounds back quite a bit which means lots of torque twist, enough that I was unwilling to go to full power. Then Leslie moved the hook-ins two holes aft on the J-bars and the torque was dramatically less. And full power was fun.

That afternoon Steve was kind enough to show us to a soft-sand beach where we hoped the off-shore wind would turn around. In spite of the forecast, I flew probably 20 launches and landings to a full stop. Plus, many of them were power-off affairs over a fence onto a close target--basically just like what I did in the boxing ring.

With Eric Dufour, Christmas FL

The next afternoon we finally arrived at Paratour's base in Christmas, FL. Eric, Elisabeth, and company were on hand along with an instructor helper, Alain, who is also quite handy with woodworking. What a blast. It was great to see and fly with Eric and old friends, meet new student Jim who is progressing nicely, and fly some new gear. I've now flown the Pluto II 18 and Ultra 130, too. Hopefully I'll get some quick impressions of those up on the reviews shortly.

Kudos to Steve Coffey who, when I was last there, flew his 100th flight a year ago and is now at 300+, doing spot landings and nailing many of them.


Eric Dufour alights on the mud boat's engine housing.

One series of shots will replace or add to some others that we've got where I'm landing on top of the motorhome. Wind makes this much easier, but there's not enough wind to hover so it requires very high level skills to pull this off.

2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!