Friday, March 8, 2013

Three Wheels (Two Wings)

It’s not often you wake up on your morning off in Tucson, AZ only to find an inch of snow and ice coating your motorcycle* and hear on the radio that even humble Gates Pass is closed, but when the unthinkable happens, well, what’s a girl to do?

Leave the snow behind and go riding in the air, that’s what!

Pilot Chris** does Important Stuff while I stay out of the way and document the day.

Piper Cherokee

Piper Cherokee Cockpit
My seat!

The pre-flight check feels remarkably similar to a motorcycle pre-flight check.  There are other familiar tasks, too…

... like grabbing the keys on your way out the door...

… man powered reverse out of the parking spot...

Piper Cherokee Reverse

… and fueling up. 

Fueling the Piper Cherokee
Okay, yeah, surely the price of this part of the day bears no similarity at all to motorcycle riding.

By this point, I am hopping up and down with excitement.  And I really do hop up and down (and clap, too!) if I’m excited enough.

Piper Cherokee Pilot
Hm, now what?

We’re ready to roll!  I’m a little nervous, but as we pick up speed and the nose of this little Piper Cherokee levitates into the air, it’s nearly impossible not to joyously cry out the obvious:  “We’re flying!”
There’s a lump in my throat.  It’s so, so beautiful.

Snow on Tucson Mountains

The lump goes away, but I am still speechless.  I even decline the chance to fly the plane myself. There's simply too much magic outside my window today for that.

Snow in Tucson Santa Catalinas

And only now does the obvious question occur to me.  Could a small motorcycle fit into a small plane?  The answer, it appears, is a definite maybe

Can a Burro Fly
Li'l Burro and I contemplate entry into a Bellanca Super Viking.  Thanks to Pilot Guy for this shot.

Imagine the long weekend possibilities, oh my!

*Really happened!
**Not to be confused with "Pilot Guy."


B0B said...

Nice post and pix.

What! You passed on the opportunity to play pilot? (I didn't)

Whatever you do, don't read this.

Eating On Two Wheels said...

I declined the opportunity to with the fairly safe assumption that I'd get another shot on a day when we didn't have historic snowfall in the desert!
I know all about the motopod - in fact I linked to it in this post. It offers quite an expansion to the weekend range, no? Dreaming, dreaming...

B0B said...

D'oh! It's obvious now. How did I miss that link? (blush)

Eating On Two Wheels said...

I like your link better. I knew about the motopod, but didn't realize it was designed around a Half Pint!
More applause for our little machine.

Ken said...

I had imagined the plane would be Ducati red....
Still, it looks like a ton-O-fun!

Eating On Two Wheels said...

I've been spending most of my aerial time in the Bellanca rather than the Piper, but it isn't red either (as you can see). It is, however, habit forming! Whale Petting in Baja, Sedona for lunch, tomorrow Santa Monica... Keeps me even further behind in the blog!

Eating On Two Wheels said...

Interestingly, both motos and little aeroplanes have a max lean angle of approximately 60 degrees. In the plane, I can't stay oriented and tend to fall over! Guess I gotta work on that.