Saturday, March 19, 2016

By Sky to Houston

Repairs in progress.
It's time for some "By Sky" to Houston, TX to have a meeting with an astronaut.  Being a teacher now, I have a long spring break, and so instead of flying commercially when my astro contact said to come down to visit, I am flying Freddy (N7202G) a 1970 Cessna 172K Skyhawk that's been in the family for at least 30 years.  The details of the story have to be saved now for a potential story for Popular Mechanics, but here are some of the memorable bits so far...

Crossing Delaware Bay
The test flight to VT to see Chad play a show proved the carburetor heat cable needed replacing when it came off in my flight.  I landed safely but had to work a fix to get back to my local airport and mechanic that involved a nearby ACE hardware store and a few hours of trial and error.  In Delaware I was told to keep clear of the restricted airspace where aerial gunnery practice was happening.  Then saw two fighter jets dead ahead about to practice their gunnery on me...then I realized they were sea gulls.  In North Carolina, I stopped for some surfing with two of the other three Crazy Horse guys.   In Mississippi, I landed at an airport that was staffed from the prison across the street.  (It seems to be a very strange prison, but the hospitality from Terry (serving 10 years on a crack cocaine dealing charge - he's served 8 years, 2 months so far) was outstanding.  And then there is landing at Ellington Field in Houston which did not disappoint.  Vectored in for landing traffic, I was told I was number two to land, following the F-16.  I love this airport, and am now in one of their pilot sleeping rooms.  No charge for pilots.  Amazing.  Freddy is parked near a T-38.  The same jet trainer that the astronauts use to keep up their proficiency.

Three days, 16.3 hours of air time.  Over 1500 miles flown.  One weather delay, two surf sessions.  Flying is unreal.  It is amazing that I can throw some switches, turn some dials, press some buttons, pull and push some levers and end up in Houston!

Tomorrow to be a NASA tourist and Monday to have a meeting that may (or may not) impact my future...Very happy to be in Houston!

Sunset as I arrived in Houston.


  1. Wow! Exciting trip. Hope the meeting goes well!!

  2. Love reading this Benny!