Barry Takes a Flight

Barry, as I mentioned in the story of the flight with my brother Lon, is a childhood friend. Barry grew up two doors down from us. He bought his parent's house when they passed away. He was so excited when I told him that I had started flying and was now able to fly passengers in my trike. His mother had grown up on a farm with an airstrip and she earned her Private Pilots license when she was sixteen. Barry has wanted to learn to fly since he had heard his mother's stories when he was a small boy.

Our first flight was in the evening and it was as calm as it could be. We spotted a lighter-than-air aircraft to the west of us, so we went to check it out. At first I wasn't sure what it was but since it didn't seem to get any larger or smaller I finally concluded it was a hot-air balloon. It was a perfect evening for a balloon. Just as we started to get closer to it, it began to descend. It finally landed about the time we got within 500 feet of it. It looked like it landed gently in the field so we made a 180 degree turn and headed back to Luverne.

Barry smiling after his 1st trike flight.

The next morning we flew to Pipestone, Minnesota, a 23 mile cross country flight that I have been thinking about for awhile. I used to work with the airport manager, Rob, at the South Dakota Air National Guard. The wind on the ground was reasonable when we left and was predicted to stay that way but the flight seemed a little bumpy. The landing went good in Pipestone but I had to "get up on the bar." Once inside Base Ops, I found out that Rob was in a meeting with the Mayor and the Airport Board, so we didn't have a chance to exchange any lies. Barry and I hit the restroom and slugged down a cup of joe before returning to Luverne. The takeoff was fine and the wind was a little higher but nothing abnormal. We flew at about 1600 to 1900 feet AGL where the air was stable. As we descended into Luverne the air was a little rough and again I had to "get up on the bar." The windsock was still indicating about the same direction as when we started out that morning but now it was considerably stronger as we concluded our flight. I used a fair amount of runway but I settled the trike in with no problem. After putting the trike back in the hangar I checked the windspeed and it was 17 knots. That's the strongest wind that I have flown this particular trike in but it handled fine. The two websites that I had checked that morning prior to the flight, both predicted about 6 knots, hmmmmm. Anyway, we had another great flight and Barry was sporting a great big smile, Mission Accomplished.


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