Bouncing and Splashing with Herb & Liza

Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Flight Training, Promark News, Student News | Comments Off on Bouncing and Splashing with Herb & Liza





Liza Kummer and Herb Scott were here last weekend for some “Adventure Training”. We flew the Super Cub first on Saturday. Since both Liza and Herb already had their tailwheel endorsements we concentrated on some advanced techniques including landing really short and exploring some of the remote ranch strips in the Texas Hill Country. On Sunday, we moved to the floatplane. Neither Herb or Liza had flown floats before so they had a great time splashing around in the area lakes. It is always fun to introduce pilots to the thrill of landing in the water so I had a great time as well. As we move into the cooler fall weather pattern, some of the best flying conditions of the year will prevail. We have a busy schedule for both airplanes, but I am looking forward to all of the training activity.


It’s “take a Kid Swimming” Time

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Flight Training, Promark News, Student News | Comments Off on It’s “take a Kid Swimming” Time



Son Jeff is home for a few days and wanted to check out the float plane so we did a few splash and go’s before finding a great swimming spot. He took to it like a….well you know the rest.


Alberto finished his training today and is scheduled to take his ASES checkride next week. We did emergency procedures, step turns and mooring practice this morning. We even found a concrete ramp where we dropped the wheels and taxiied out of the lake, turned around and taxiied back in. Hah! Great fun.


Float Plane Fun Times Two

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Flight Training, Student News | Comments Off on Float Plane Fun Times Two


Alberto Morales from Monterrey, Mexico, began his float plane training today, learning to perform “splash & goes”, step taxi, etc. After almost three hours, Alberto was done for the day, so I took Jeffrey Heyman who is instructing for me, and started his float plane training as well. We got to work on some glassy water as well as all the basics. Both students are doing great.

More training scheduled for tomorrow including some time for swimming. It almost doesn’t seem like work….almost, I said.

Float Plane Training Begins!

Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Flight Training, Promark News | Comments Off on Float Plane Training Begins!


Tomorrow morning we formally start the new Float Plane training course. Alberto will be here from Monterrey, Mexico as our first “victim”. The forecast is favorable so hopefully all will go well and he will be ready for his checkride by the end of the week. The Examiner is already scheduled so we need to make it happen. It should be fun!

The last of the Alaska “No Reservations” seminars wrapped up last Friday in San Antonio. I had over 50 pilots attend the session and everyone had lots of kind comments and many questions. Thanks to Gary Stamper, FAASTearm Manager of the San Antonio FSDO for hosting Friday’s session. We may do a couple of additional seminars later this fall, but in the meantime, I have promised to update the Alaska Blog with some more of the stories, photos and videos from the trip Also, I’ve promised to include some posts on “lessons learned” and a few thoughts on the risks and rewards of our amazing adventure. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank all the pilots who took the time to follow our progress, attend the seminars and who cared enough to call and e-mail with thoughts, ideas, suggestions and comments. All of you added immensely to the joy we experienced. I look forward to continuing the discussion and the adventure.

As we move into the fall flying season, there are many events on the calendar. The AOPA Summit is coming to Ft. Worth next month. The Redbird Skyport Migration happens in October as well. Fly-ins and Camp Outs are planned as well. It should be a great time to get in the air. Let’s go fly somewhere with no reservations.

“No Reservations” Resources

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Alaska 2013 | Comments Off on “No Reservations” Resources

Here are some of the resources and links that I found useful in planning the Alaska adventure:


“No Reservations” Reference and Resources:

Alaska Seminars are Coming!

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Alaska 2013 | Comments Off on Alaska Seminars are Coming!


Now that the Alaska trip is done, it is time to share the experience with friends, family, clients and anyone else who might find the information useful and interesting. If you would like to join us for a seminar and learn what goes into planning and flying an Alaskan adventure, please see the schedule below.

Tuesday, August 27 Spicewood Airport 6:00 PM

Friday, August 30 San Antonio Hallmark College 7:00 PM

Thursday, August 29th. Faulkner’s Air Shop Burnet, TX. 6:30 PM

Note: additional dates will be added if needed.

The seminar is free, but I do need to know which session you will attend and how many guests you will have. Space is limited and it always works best if we can keep the group size small enough to allow plenty of time for questions and discussion. The seminar topics will include how to prepare the pilot & airplane, risk management, border crossings, lessons learned, gear requirements and much more.

Although the presentation is geared to pilots, anyone is welcome to join us.

Remember to let me know if you plan to attend. I hope you can make it!

Fair Skies,


Seaplane Splash!

Posted by on Aug 3, 2013 in Promark News | Comments Off on Seaplane Splash!

Now that the Alaska trip is done, it is time to start putting together a new training course featuring the Piper PA-12 Amphib. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and all the stars are finally aligning so stay tuned.

Home Sweeeet Home

Posted by on Jul 20, 2013 in Alaska 2013 | Comments Off on Home Sweeeet Home

After a 3 hour and 20 minute cruise from Lubbock, I landed in Burnet at 2:30 PM today. I spent some of the flight making notes about the trip in order to put together a few more posts to share lessons learned, highlights, things I would do again or not, mistakes, must do items for any future trips and insights that might help others who are considering a similar trip.

There is still a great deal of cockpit camera footage to review as well. I had no way to see it during the trip, so this will be a fun “look back”. I did take a quick peek and some of it is spectacular.

Tomorrow, I’ll clean the airplane, schedule it’s 100 hour inspection and get ready to resume flight training and checkrides.

I have many folks to thank, starting with my wife for supporting and encouraging this adventure. Then, our clients and students for being patient with my absence. I can’t forget Fritz for building such an amazing airplane and Dale and crew for the prep work.

Then there are my friends and traveling companions, Lou, Dawson and Mike. Their enthusiasm and sense of adventure added immeasurably to the experience. I look forward to our next trip!

And, are all of you who have offered best wishes, thoughts and prayers. Many have followed the trip via the InReach tracker, making comments that added further encouragement. I truly am humbled by all the interest and kind words, so thanks again.

Although this trip is over, hopefully others await. I saw a tee shirt in Seward that summed it up nicely. The printing on the front said “don’t confuse living a long life with an interesting one.” Works for me!


Almost Home

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Alaska 2013 | Comments Off on Almost Home

Off the ground at Gillette, WY by 7:00 AM. I had to dodge rain showers and thunderstorms for the first few hours before breaking out into clear skies just past Kimball, WY after a fuel stop.


This area is booming with energy exploration and development. Check out the enormous coal mine and shovel. There is agriculture on a colossal scale as well. This photo of a wheat harvest gives you some idea. There was much more to be harvested than the photo captured, but this farmer needs some helpers.


I stopped quickly at Lamar, CO for gas, then jumped back in for the (almost) final leg for the day. I hoped to make Lubbock, but the winds were less helpful, and I simply couldn’t make it non-stop with adequate reserves, so I dropped into Plainview for a few gallons before the 30 mile flight to Lubbock.

Judy, Steven and Ruby are in town to get him set up to begin law school at Texas Tech next month so we have a chance to visit and share some Alaska stories.

One more (hopefully) easy day tomorrow should complete this journey. I have enjoyed your comments, support and interest more than you know. There is more to share soon, so stay with me as we bring this flight to a close.



Back in the USA!

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Alaska 2013 | Comments Off on Back in the USA!


Here is a look as N9496D is crossing the border. I flew from Lethbridge, Alberta to Cut Bank, Montana for the first leg. Clearing Customs was surprisingly pleasant (thanks Officer Norris) and after refueling, I launched for Billings. I had hoped to make it to Sheridan, Wyoming from Cut Bank but the fuel would have been down to 30 minutes remaining so Billings became the destination. After a quick refueling stop and a look at the chart, I jumped back in for one last leg to Gillette, WY. I landed at 6:30 PM, put the airplane to bed and borrowed a crew car. After checking in to the Best Western, grabbing a burger and beer, I am ready for an early start tomorrow.

There is a big high pressure weather system to the west so I have been riding the isobars, enjoying a wonderful tailwind. The ride is moderately bumpy including a fair bit of mountain wave activity. This causes the airplane to gain or lose around a thousand feet of altitude over a few minutes. You just learn to let it go, hold a fairly constant attitude and grind out the miles. 25 MPH makes a huge difference in my ground speed, so I hope it holds for tomorrow.

Before leaving Red Deer, I took some photos of some of the Buffalo airplanes. You may have seen episodes of a television show called Ice Pilots featuring their operations.