Aviation Lessons – Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Lessons Learned in Aviation – What to do, and what not to do

There is a mysterious, hidden truth to be found in “From Woodstock to Eternity”… it is a book about aviation, cleverly disguised as a counter culture epic. Even though all the aviation stories in the book are grossly distorted applications of aviation in no way takes away from the conclusion. Interwoven through the wild escapades of Dustin Morgan’s airborne adventures are solid aerodynamic principles that are common to every flight a pilot makes.

Right Wrong Switch

Let me first issue a disclaimer that in no way do the aviation escapades in “From Woodstock to Eternity” represent proper, legal or moral uses of flying skills. Alternatively, look at them as examples of what NOT to do with your airplane.

With that said, here is a sample of the Airplane maneuvers and procedures that are alluded to in this adventure story.

Slow Flight

Otherwise known as flying “on the back side of the power curve,” Morgan had to configure the Navajo for slow flight during every air drop. Flying at 100 MPH at tree top level was definitely flying slow. However, one of the many rules of flight that he broke during this phase was to breach obstacle clearance limits of 500 feet in uncontrolled airspace.

Short and Soft Field Landing

The strips in Columbia and were certainly short and the grass was soft. Each of these conditions required specialized maneuvering to perform.

Short and Soft Field Takeoff

Perhaps one of the most frightening episodes in the book is the takeoff from Tommy’s strip in the Bahamas. The airstrip was short, the grass was long, and heavy gross weight increased the takeoff roll.

Emergency Descent

In order to evade the Customs jets who were trying to “make him into a sandwich,” Morgan had to get everything he could out of his heavy, slow, propeller driven beast. The mad dash descent was not simply a matter of pointing the nose down. It was a calculated maneuver with many components that enabled the Navajo to hurl down at a high rate of descent.

Aviation Related Articles Are Coming!

Sometime in 2018, the Lord put in me a great desire to return to aviation. This endeavor was nothing short of re-inventing myself at 68 years old. I am grateful to say that all the work and study I put in has resulted in returning to work as an Aviation Ground Instructor. I am having the time of my life teaching and mentoring new flight instructors and watching them achieve their dreams.

That being said, look forward to a new series of blogs on aviation related topics. For those of you who could care less about flying, I hope to at least make them entertaining. For those of you who do fly, or have a little seed planted deep down inside, they should mean something special to you.

Happy Trails!

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