22 January 2007

Flyin’

Legacy's engineFriday was moving day for my brother, Simon, and his wife. Thankfully they didn’t have too much junk (at least by American standards,) and many hands indeed made the work light—in fact we were done in a few hours. So, Micah—my other brother—asked me if I want a ride in his new airplane—a Lancair Legacy. Of course I jumped at the chance; he has been building this high-performance airplane for a couple of years now, so obviously I wanted to experience what it is like to ride in this “sports car in the sky.” As you can see from the battleship gray color, there are still a few cosmetic tasks that need to be completed, but nothing that would affect its air-worthiness (despite the ominous “passenger warning” on the instrument panel.)passenger warning In fact, he had just modified the oil door on the cowling, which allows us to appreciate the throaty six-cylinder engine (it did sound like a sports cars when he fired it up) in the picture at the top—it certainly doesn’t need any help from a hypothetical MTV “Pimp my plane!”

We taxied to the runway, checked the engine, and then Micah released the brakes. I was immediately impressed; the plane pushed me back in the seat in a way that I’ve only ever experienced in a jet.

Legacy and CassuttMicah’s friend, Eric, was also ready to fly, so he got into his little plane and joined us in the skies within a few minutes. He also built his own plane—a Cassutt, which is a type of aircraft that they race around pylons in Reno, Nevada; needless to say it is fast. Never the less, Micah was able to blow his doors off, as we say in the American vernacular for racing past another vehicle. We flew to the Pelion airport for fuel, and I learned just how expensive this hobby is—avgas is over $3 a gallon!

Tim and Eric over Lake MurrayOn the way back, we came across Micah’s neighbor, Tim, who is an aerial photographer. Of course, we had to get some more pictures (I had been taking many from our perspective, but needed some of us.) So, we flew to Lake Murray to snap some air-to-air photos: in the picture above, Eric is on the left in his Cassutt, and Micah’s Legacy is on the right (if you blow it up, you will see Micah in the left seat—looking toward the camera, and I looking forward—starting to get a little queasy from all the steep turns.) Photo credit: Tim French. I made the final picture here: silhouettes of Tim’s plane on the left and Eric on the right captured over the lake at sunset.
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