Saturday, January 02, 2010

Featured on another blog!

Happy New Year, Friends.

On this second day of the new year, Christian writer, and friend, Kathi Macias has posted a piece on her blog about the book. Check it out at:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving and Hagerstown Hometown Holidays

Going to visit Angie and family and see their new house. We may enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel since they are packed and ready to move in a couple of days, but that's fine with me! Can't wait to pinch some chubby cheeks!

Then on Saturday I'll be in Hagerstown, Maryland for the "Mega Book Signing" event. Check out

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jessie's Wagon

Last night I met my dear friend, Cheryl, for dinner. We were sort of celebrating our October birthdays, a bit late. During dinner, Cheryl told me about the times when Mycol would bring the kids over to her house as he helped out with handy-man type things. Often Jessie would sit on Cheryl's lap, but the one thing she always loved to do was take this little wooden wagon with teddy bears in it, and pull it around Cheryl's house. Around the living room, down the hallway, back up the hallway, around the living room again. Cheryl told me, "She loved pulling that little wagon, and it was just her size."

Cheryl put the wagon up after the fire, but now, she sensed it was time. And so, on the eve of Jessie's 11th birthday, Cheryl presented that very wagon to me as a gift.

She also gave me a souvenir we had brought back from our trip to Alaska, an Eskimo figurine. "I figured you didn't have anything from Alaska, and you gave me two things, so I wanted to give you this," she told me.

Once again, I am so deeply grateful for such incredible friends and family. Cheryl not only gave to me something that was special to Jess, but she gave me something that holds stories and memories of times I was not there; when I was at work or in class. I have yet to find words that come close to expressing how much this means to me. All I know to say is that I am so very grateful. Thank you, Cheryl.

And Happy Birthday to my precious baby girl.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sky Writer

My friend, Brenda, told me last night at church that her grand-daughter came home from school all excited about an author who read one of her books and gave a presentation at their elementary school. Brenda said, "Her name is Masters. Do you know her?" No, I didn't recall meeting someone by that name. Then Brenda said, "She does skywriting." Aha! So I had to find out!

What a cool lady! I look forward to meeting her someday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Book is Here!

"When We Move to Heaven: A family love story" is now available via a new website, Or, if you would like to order a copy, email me directly at, and I will send an invoice via PayPal and ship the book as soon as I receive payment. You do not need a PayPal account to order through PayPal. Alternatively, you can purchase the book through or - see links below.

I am excited about what this book will do, where it will go, who it will touch. It is my prayer that all who read it be blessed.
~ Linda Street

Friday, July 03, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #10

From the newsletter of the Texas Aviation Association:

News About
General Aviation

2009 Air Race Classic Complete;
Local Woman Among Contestants

Celebrating 80 years of women's air racing, the only all-women transcontinental air race has logged another race for the record books. Begun in 1929 as the First Women's Air Derby, Will Rogers dubbed it the Powder Puff Derby upon seeing the lady pilots powder their noses before taking off.
Air Race Classis Awards Banquet
Air Race Classic Pilots at the awards banquet

Operating today under the name Air Race Classic, this year's winning team flew a 1962 Beechcraft Bonanza 35-B33. Kelly Burris, the airplane's owner, is a mechanical engineer and patent lawyer from Michigan. Her co-pilot, Erin Recke is a regional airline pilot residing in Atlanta. Second place went to one of the seven collegiate teams, Jessica Campbell and Victoria Dunbar, of Indiana State University. The first-time racers also won the collegiate trophy. Another Bonanza scooped up third place, owned and flown by microwave engineer, Sandy St. John of Dallas, accompanied by her co-pilot, Linda Pecotte, a Silver City, New Mexico resident.
The route changes every year and is not always truly "transcontinental" although the total miles for the race is usually in the 2400 nautical mile range.
Two pilots per team are requi red by Air Race Classic, Inc.; at least one pilot must have either 500 hours or be Instrument rated, although the race itself is restricted to day time flying, under Visual Flight Rules only. One passenger may ride along, but must be either a pilot or student pilot with a current medical certificate.
Stock, or minimally modified stock airplanes ranging from 145 horsepower to 570 horsepower are eligible to compete because each airplane is handicapped; both single and twin-engine non-turbo powered airplanes are allowed. Points are tallied from the amount flown above handicap, minus any penalties along the way, the winner determined from the total. The goal is to have the actual ground speed be as far over the handicap speed as possible.
Air Race Classic preflight inspection
Preflight inspections take place with race officials
Authors, school teachers, grandmothers, moms and daughters proved fierce competitors in the wild blue yonder, and good friends on the ground. This year's contestants ranged in age from 19-88. Jessica Miller, who just graduated from high school, borrowed her uncle's Mooney for her first race. She and partner Athina Holmes, the only black woman in this year's race, finished seventh, just ahead of Mooney Airplane Co mpany's former CEO, Gretchen Jahn and her partner Dee Bond, of New Zealand. Among the five women in their 80's. 88-year old Bee Haydu who served as a WASP during WWII, found one of the stops extra special: Sweetwater, Texas, the home of the WASP Museum. Two mother-daughter teams also participated.
Participating cities are chosen based on several criteria, including community support for aviation. This year's race covered several states, beginning at the Denver Centennial Airport, with mandatory timed fly-by's at Liberal, Kansas, Sweetwater, Texas, Lufkin, Texas, Russellville, Arkansas, Grenada, Mississippi, Sparta, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Illinois, Racine, Wisconsin, and ending finally in Atlantic, Iowa. The last leg was the longest: at 332 nautical miles; the shortest was Russellville to Grenada, for 184 nautical miles.
Racers hailed from several states, and even some other countries. Texas was well represented with 10 racers, including 17th-place finishers Linda Street-Ely of Liberty, and her race partner Jodie Perry of Austin. Official standings are available on the ARC web site at

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #9

Results are in!

And the good news is: out of nine legs in this race, my partner and I earned a 2nd-place in two of them; Leg #3 and Leg #5. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get us even in the top ten - we finished 17th - but man, what a race, and improvement for me over last year. Still, I don't race to finish anything but first, so I'm considering what airplane might be the best to race in 2010.

There are probably articles in several cities' newspapers, especially in towns Racers call home, but one of them is at this link:

The team which placed 2nd is from Indiana State University, so they also won the Collegiate Trophy. These are really neat young ladies. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with them during dinner one evening. Turns out, they both took aerobatic instruction under Billy Werth, who I met last year in Indiana when he stopped at the Hendricks County airport in his Pitts for fuel. Billy is now engaged to a gal who lived just acouple doors down from us growing up. Small world! Anyway, Jessica and Victoria and I had a good time talking about what a good instructor Billy is, and a good person. I know he must be very excited for and proud of them.

The first-place team, Kelly Burris and Erin Recke, are two very good pilots. Their first race was last year and they were disqualified for going "into the soup". This race is VFR only. But these ladies have integrity and a great sense of humor. This year they put up a blog titled, "No Clouds For Us".

The host cities were outstanding. I heard that some of the take-offs from Denver Centennial can be seen by following a link on the ARC website for the '09 race.

Atlantic, Iowa is an impressive city. Population 7,000, and it has what real estate agents might call "Show Case" quality. Its evident that leaders of Atlantic know how to get the most for their city. They also know to invest in their airport... hint hint. The city is clean and neat as a pin, with tree and lamp post lined streets in the down town blocks and several blocks of well kept historic buildings that are occupied and doing business. Atlantic is one small town that obviously has leaders with vision; forward thinkers. Its a great example.

As for Amelia Bearheart, well, she's seen some interesting places now. We took her picture with an Iowa cornfield in the backdrop. Not just any Iowa field though - one where the real Amelia Earheart landed once. We also took the bear's photo in front of the historic Whitney Inn, where Amelia stayed, and at the Iowa Aviation Museum, along side framed pictures of the woman who taught Amelia to fly. When we get the pix downloaded I'll post a few here.

The race is a close one every year. Comparing the handicap speed between first and second place was only 0.933. At 17th place (out of 34), we were only 8.600 from the first-place finishers. Interestingly, even the winners had a bad leg. The time they flew for Leg 7 was 29th fastest.

I appreciate the work and dedication of all those who volunteer to keep this race going. I think it would be very cool if there were more races that would be open to all, male and female.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #8


We crossed the final time line in Atlantic, Iowa about 1:00 pm local time on Friday. Results won't be in until Sunday evening, and we hear several teams incurred penalties... including us. Penalties are given for various infractions, such as flying the time line too low or too high, but ours was more bonehead than that.

While the FAA does not require a flight plan to be filed when flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules), the Air Race Classic Organization does require racers to file a flight plan with the Chair person of whatever city we're in each morning, giving the departure and en route times, and number of race legs expected to complete for the day. That has to be handed in to the chair person before taking off for the first flight of the day. We spent a night in Sparta, TN and were so focused on getting to Jacksonville, IL that we realized when we arrived in Jacksonville that we hadn't handed in our flight plan in Sparta. Five knot penalty. That's going to hit us hard, because usually less than one knot separates the top few spots.

But that's okay, we'll take our punches. As long as rules are consistent and enforced fairly, its all a part of the challenge. Lots of teams have penalties, and it just makes the whole race experience that much more interesting. Next year, or whenever I race again, I can promise I won't ever forget to file a flight plan with the Stop Chair. Its really disappointing when you're flying a decent race, which I think we did.

I'll post again after I find out the results. Meanwhile, the fine city of Atlantic, Iowa is throwing lots of parties, being a great host. The town, population about 7,000, sure does know how to promote and welcome people. I'm impressed with a town this size that doesn't have its head in the sand and really wants economic growth and development. Putting in an airport and encouraging private development has been one of the very smart moves they've made. Kudos to Atlantic.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #8

Late update for today:

We flew one leg today. Not because we were tired from over 9 flying hours yesterday, but because we weren't willing to risk the running into the thunderstorms around the Chicago area. Sure looked mean on the radar screen. Majority of the teams headed out to Racine this afternoon. We're hoping our choice to stay the night and do the last two legs tomorrow will prove to be the better choice.

We launched out of Sparta, TN at 7 this morning, arriving in Jacksonville, IL a couple hours later. Vacuum pump is still working, cylinders staying cool. Nothing really notable other than seeing the country from just above the tree tops in close proximity to other planes all heading in the same direction.

Almost had to pay a ransome for Amelia Bearheart, as I left her in the back seat of the truck of the man who shuttled us to and from the hotel last night. Competitor, Mary Wunder, thought she could get some green out of me, but we retrieved poor Amelia and she is safe and sound with us.

And by the way, I wasn't going to mention that the same Mary broke her ankle in Sweetwater while running to push the airplane, but since she tried to kidnap Amelia, all bets are off. Watching Mary hobble around the airplane doing a pre-flight with her foot and ankle wrapped up is quite a sight!

And I'm sorry, Tiffany York, News Director of KSHN Radio, that you cannot track us on, but we're not filing flight plans with the FAA. When flying VFR (which this race is), its not required. Filing a flight plan VFR is only used if they need to come looking for you. We're not filing because there's no need to, and besides, why would we want to give away to our competition where we're flying? The good news, ladies and gents, is that after seeing Team #33's awesome website ( - and they're in a Citabria), Tiffany has committed to getting a tracker for my race plane next year. Thanks, Tiff! Is the radio station paying for it? Does that mean we'll get a cool site set up? I'm game!

My partner, Cubbie, skipped dinner tonight, opting to veg in the hotel and blog instead ( I dined with four other teams. The table full of chick pilots was a bit rambunctious, but it wasn't my fault. And I'm not the one who thought up the idea to sing verses on the chat frequency tomorrow, 122.75. Nope, not me. That was the mother of an astronaut and a retired United captain who thought that up. Nancy ("Captain Grandma") Aldrich asked if we all knew the song that goes, "When peeking through the knot hole of grandpa's wooden leg, who put the shore so near the ocean...." Yes, I know that one. But I ain't singin' on freq! Ya, we think we're pretty witty, but the poor family seated near us probably thought that was half-right... They had read about the air race coming through Jacksonville and had lots of questions, as have folks we meet at all the stops.

Each of the host airports is unique. In Russellville they spoiled us by cleaning our windscreens when we pulled up for fuel. Water is the most coveted item, but we've been spoiled with great treats, sandwiches, cookies, souvenier bags, and most of all really friendly folks. Most wanted us back (but maybe not all at the same time), some didn’t want us to leave.

Here in Jacksonville, IL we we've been treated like celebrities. Autographs, photos, curious kids, questions about being a pilot and war stories with the older fellows. We met Zachary, who was very proud of his WWII B-17 pilot brother.

Oh, and remember that part I mentioned from the fly-by briefing in Denver before the race, that when we get to Jacksonville be sure to stay at least 1000 feet above the prison? Well, we did, and had no problems, so now Cubbie can tell her folks about it.

Meanwhile, my partner was thrilled to see the Mississippi River for the first time. We also enjoyed watching a couple of crop dusters below us at 15 feet above the ground. The hot air balloon near Bowling Green was cool, and the blanket of ground fog over green Tennessee hills was picturesque.

So on to Racine tomorrow (I remember Kilbourn Gardens there), and then the finish line in Atlantic. Mike is on his way there and I look forward to our reunion. We have been taking photos but will have to upload when we're back home. Meanwhile, I hear there are some on the ARC site -

Airport people ready to bend over backwards to accommodate. We'll have lots of Thank-You notes to write.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #7

Trying to catch up on news from yesterday and today. We're super busy and its getting kind of late to be blogging - have an early start in the morning, but will just briefly mention a few things...

The start was exciting. Our friend, Denny, was one in the crowd in the special viewing area. Jodie flew the first leg and did a great job. She did her first fly-by, flying the timing line in to Liberal, KS, and did a great job. The folks in Liberal were great. Lots of volunteers waiting with cold water and snacks and very friendly faces. We filled up, were on the ground a little longer than we wanted to be, but that's how the first stop usually happens; then later on the airplanes start to space out more.

Jodie flew the second leg as well, in to Sweetwater. About 65 miles out of Sweetwater we lost the vacuum pump. Jodie saw the "vac" light, I saw the suction gauge dump to zero, and soon after the two gyro instruments - attitude indicator and directional gyro - were tumbling. Okay, we're VFR, no big deal, we can continue, but we can't take back off until its fixed. There's a rule about having required equipment working.

John Howard is the airport manager in Sweetwater. He's also an IA (mechanic). He was also fueling all the race planes. And unfortunately he didn't have a vacuum pump in stock. Abilene is 40 miles away, and Sue Johnson, who happened to be in Abilene, went to Abilene Aero and picked up a vacuum pump and brought it to John, and he put it in. Sue's husband, Bill, is a volunteer with the WASP Museum in Sweetwater, and he was really put to work with this air race. He was busy transporting people and helped us out arranging the vacuum pump.

We were hoping John could get the pump in so we could make Lufkin, but we ran out of time, so spent the night in Sweetwater. With the weather forecast Thursday, we've been concerned about how far we could get, so the pump failure wasn't great news. We made the best of it though.

A couple of other teams have had electrical problems. Another team staying at the same hotel in Sweetwater, the girls from Indiana Technical College, happen to know an aerobatic pilot I've met. They have both trained under Billy Werth, so we had some things to talk about. I told them about how Billy recently proposed to his fiance, Haley, while performing his act at the Indy Air Show, "bowing" his Pitts on one "knee" and popping the question in public. Funny thing is, Haley grew up just a few houses down from us and I remember her as a cute little two year old with blonde pigtails.

Anyway, back to the air race.

There's a stuffed bear named Amelia Bearheart, who is the official Ninety-Nines bear and apparently she travels extensively. She was supposed to be transferred from the San Antonio 99s chapter to Houston, so when we landed in Lufkin, someone from the Houston 99s grabbed her and handed her to me. Now my partner, Cubbie, and I are responsible for taking Amelia's picture at every stop.

Speaking of Lufkin, the compass rose looked great, and efficiency of the folks marshalling/parking, and fueling was outstanding. EAA Chapter 1219 and the Houston 99s did an outstanding job in Lufkin.

The folks in Russellville, AR and Grenada, MS were very friendly also. In fact, Russellville really wants the business, so go visit there; its a great town with smiling people and has a park with a landing strip.

Cubbie and I had to make the tough decision whether or not to go on to Sparta tonight. We'd have to make it in before 8:02 Central time. The forecast winds looked better for tomorrow morning, but we didn't feel that would leave us enough time to get to Jacksonville, IL before the weather caves in, so we took off for Sparta, accepting the fact that we'd have higher headwinds and probably a slower leg.

As it turned out, the headwinds weren't nearly as bad, but we did notice the #1 cylinder getting hot. 1650 is max, and it was climbing to 1950. Getting rather concerned, we enriched the mixture and soon the temp went back down, and then everything was normal from then on out.

I flew the first two legs today, Cubbie flew from Russellville to Grenada, and I flew the last one in to Sparta. Over eight hours flying time... Gotta get some shut-eye now....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #7

Race eve and as we used to say in auto racing, when the green flag drops, the "nonsense" stops. Formidable competitors are putting on the game face. Briefings all day, watching the weather closely. Thursday might be a wash, and right now it looks like headwinds for most of the course, so we'll look for the altitude that gives us the least amount of headwind. This race will mean more fuel and slower speeds. Density altitude affects how we start and take off here in Denver, leaning the mixture much more than we do at nearly sea level.

Its been a busy, intense day of briefings; safety, weather, regulations, procedures, cockpit management. One can sense the change of mood among racers, who are displaying more of a quiet resolve now. But the day has not been without some comic relief. After discussing the new, strict rules about dual fly-bys a few seasoned race veterans shared 'war stories' some of which they admitted were their own, others were good lessons to be learned, such as not getting interrupted when checking your fuel so you don't forget to put the fuel cap back on.

We're told there's a web cam at one of the stops, one we may reach by Wednesday, in Russellville, Arkansas: http:\\ When you get to the screen that says "Log In" just hit "Submit" without filling anything in. It'll still work.

Web cams may be at other locations too, but nothing compares to the warning we got not to fly over the prison near the Jacksonville, Illinois airport. The prison, about 5 miles southeast of the airport and right on the route, apparently employs a very eager guard who will shoot at airplanes. We'll keep plenty clear of the zealous prison guard. Jodie did say, however, that if he were to shoot at us he'd have more to worry about than prisoners: He'd have to deal with Mom!

Centennial Airport is graciously allowing friends and family to meet at the base of the tower at 7:30 am to be escorted to a special viewing area for the start. The start is really something to see. All 32 race planes will be off the ground in less than half an hour.

I hope to be able to update as the race progresses, but no promises. It'll depend on time and Internet access.

So till next time, blue skies, tail winds, and shiny side up!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #6

What day is it again? Jodie and I have both had to ask. At least we know we're still in Colorado.

After worship with one of my competitors at a nearby church I joined Jodie for lunch, and we were soon joined by Gretchen Jahn, who came in from New Zealand. Gretchen is one pilot I was really looking forward to meeting. Not just because she's won the race before, come in second place twice, and has just tons of experience, and not just because she has run airplane companies, including a stint as the CEO of Mooney Aircraft Co., but also because this accomplished pilot is so humble and generous with information, and is a real asset to aviation.

After a delicious tuna melt sandwich we joined the other racers for the first briefing. In an overall briefing touching on flight plans, fuel management, start procedures, fly-bys, cockpit resource management, safety, and race rules, we learned of two important changes. Every airplane will be equipped with an electronic tracker, a new device the ARC organization will be experimenting with as a back-up for timing. Dual fly-bys will be the other change. I undertand this is a return to the way the race used to be run a few years ago. This should be exciting.

Speaking of exciting, after the general briefing a Take-Off banquet became a tribute to the history of women in aviation, with the introduction of Bernice Haydu, an accomplished pilot and WASP. Slender and healthy looking, still able to wear her uniform, this is her first Air Race, and she'll be part of Team #26. When it came time for her introduction, she received a Standing O - everyone honored just to be in the same room with her. She goes by the nickname of Bee. I leaned over to Jodie and whispered, "Bee is a WASP!" I think that makes her a double-stinger.

Its an impressive list of racers, including one gal just out of high school.

Tomorrow will be the dizzying four hours of briefings - more specifics on weather, fly-bys, and safety - but we're ready. Bring it on!

Meanwhile the weather forecasts have our attention. Wondering how far we'll get each day. Sparta, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Illinois, and Racine, Wisconsin look particularly interesting.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #5

Today was aircraft inspection day and the good news is: we passed. Not that there was any doubt, you know.

Being scheduled for the last inspection of the day gave us time to participate in the ARC "Youth Meet the Racers" activities. Like last year, kids were taken to see a race airplane, sit in the pilot seat, and learn a bit about airplanes. Other activities included making paper airplanes and some other creative crafts.

My partner, Jodie, and I were asked to handle the air traffic control game. With multi-colors of chalk, we sketched runways, taxiways, a windsock, ramp, and compass, and then played airplane with the kids. Explaining the numbers on the compass and how they correlate to runway numbers, how wind plays an important part in which way we land or take-off, and what a traffic pattern is, we had the kids "fly" the around the airport, arms outstretched.

Retired air traffic controller, Mary Wunder, a fellow racer, joined us with explaining the controller's job, and when she had to leave for her date with the aircraft inspection crew, I "retired" her again, and we taught the kids how to fly in to an uncontrolled airport.

As Jodie says, it must have been our colorful chalk drawings that landed us an interview by 7-year old Lexi and her publisher dad, Paul, for Airport Journals ( It was an honor to be interviewed by this young, up-and-coming journalist and FWP (Future Woman Pilot). We had to skee-dattle after the interview to make our inspection time, so Paul and Lexi gave us a ride back to the inspection hangar. Lexi and I shared the back seat, along with her babydoll which rode on her lap. Lexi interviewed a number of race teams so if we make the cut, Paul promised to send us copies.

A reception this evening gave us a chance to meet other racers, some old-timers, some first-timers.

The volunteers here are terrific. Guys from the Colorado Pilots Association, and some who I think are 49-and-a-halfs (meaning they are married to a Ninety-Nine), have been shuttling all these chick pilots back and forth between airport and hotel. A good-humored bunch of men and its nice to have their involvement.

So now its time to tuck in for the night. Tomorrow we have the first of many briefings, with more on Monday and first thing Tuesday morning.

The pool of contestants is interesting, from college girls to grandmothers, real estate agents, teachers, engineers, farmers, full-time moms, professional pilots, and various other backgrounds.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Arrived in Denver

Jodie and I arrived in Denver this afternoon. We left Burnet, Texas about 7 a.m. and had to divert around some storms but eventually made it here. Stopped in Perry, OK and gave the weather some time to dissipate. Visited a cute old cafe with some interesting history - "Kumback Cafe". It was started in 1926 and only now has its second owner. Pretty Boy Floyd stopped there in Perry at the Courthouse square in the 1930's, waiving his gun around, he demanded the Kumback Cafe lock their doors - not because he was going to rob them, but because he wanted a hamburger! Then it was in Perry where Charlie Hanger arrested Timothy McVeigh.

The cafe was a cute spot and we refilled our own tanks, then had 65C filled, and off we went to Garden City, KS. A quick turn-around there and soon we were landing at Denver Centennial.

We have a busy schedule before the race begins Tuesday morning. Airplane inspection is tomorrow, along with pilot registration, which is an inspection of our log books, etc. Then an event set up for youth called "Meet the Racers".

Looks like storms forecast for this area this weekend.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #4

Countdown! One week to go!

We'll post a pic of N8765C soon.

You can follow us by clicking on the "Follow" tab, or just check in on the blog during the race.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #3

One week from today Jodie and I will be in Denver attending safety and pre-race briefings, social events, and tweaking our strategy.

Meanwhile, its a good thing that Kennedy Airport in New York is not on our list of stops!

For ten minutes of humor, click here:

And, the next time you're flying a U. S. airline, this short clip will help you feel safe:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #2

June 6 was the date to meet in Lufkin for the painting of the Compass Rose. In preparation for the Air Race (Lufkin is Stop #3), the Ninety-Nines Houston Chapter and EAA Chapter 1219 members, about 35 folks in all, spent several hours in the hot South Texas sun, measuring, drawing chalk lines, and painting the 60-foot Compass Rose, with the 99s symbol in the center.

I look forward to seeing our friends from Lufkin when we make this stop.

Looks great from the air!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #1

Here we go! Gearing up for this year's Air Race Classic, just around the corner!

This year I have a new partner, Jodie Perry, from Austin. I was in Burnet, Texas last fall getting my Tailwheel endorsement with MCFI Ken Wittekiend and he introduced me to Jodie. She keeps her Piper Archer there in Burnet.

We met up in Brenham in the Spring and charted a triangular course so we could fly both airplanes - her Archer and our Cheetah - to see which one fared better against its handicapped speed. The planes flew about the same, but the handicap for the Archer is lower, so we knew we'd have a better shot with her airplane.

Once the aircraft was chosen, the registration packet was sent, and we began discussing strategic plans for the race. Jodie had her mechanics go over the plane in painstaking detail to smooth out any rough places.

Mike and I tacked several World Aeronautic Charts to one living room wall and charted the course. I bought all the Sectional Charts we'll need and Jodie ordered matching shirts for us to wear during the race.

The Air Race Classic sent out press releases and soon we were giving interviews and saving newspapers for our moms.

This year we have tough competition! Seven collegiate teams and some long-time veteran air racers will give us quite a challenge, but we're up for it!

The race begins at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado. From there, we fly to:
Liberal, KS
Sweetwater, TX
Lufkin, TX
Russelville, AR
Grenada, MS
Sparta, TN
Jacksonville, IL
Racine, WI
Atlantic, IA

Total distance: 2359.0 nautical miles/2714.7 statute miles

Several competitors will be keeping blogs during the race. Check out and click on "2009 Race" and then "Race Teams" to check out other blogs.

This is a super fun adventure and we're going to have a great time. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to Build a Model using Flight Path Data

Our precious neice built this model of our flight from Texas to Indy as she watched our track on Flight Aware. Take a look at all the detail - Is this cool or what!!!!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Destined to be an aviator

At least I get it honestly!

This is my grandfather. My sis found this from a Google search just the other day. I think the copyright belongs to Corbis, so credit to them, whoever they are. Anyway, it was quite a surprise. Still don't know whether he ever flew, but its a great picture!


I'll be entering the Air Race Classic again this year ( I have a different race partner this year and I hope to improve our finish over last year. We compared airplanes a few weeks ago, flying each against its race handicap and have agreed that with the handicaps assigned, her Piper Archer will likely fare better than our Grumman Cheetah. I'd sure like to get that 1st Place trophy!

The race route changes every year; this year we start in Denver, at Centennial Airport. The Archer will perform better there too. I have a few friends and family around Denver so should have some good "fan support".

Other than that, I'm still going round and round with the "publisher", still working at the same job as a paralegal, flying as often as I can, building time, trying to find time to take the check ride for my Commercial Certificate.

I have a new grandson, Liam - #4. Looks like I'm going to be able to squeeze in a quick trip up that way to see baby Liam this weekend. The other two grandsons are here in Texas. I took them to the zoo during their Spring Break... just "Nanny" (that's what they call me) and the boys, ages 6 and 3. I was a good grandparent. I returned them tired, dirty, and full of junk food.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Boy, the Car, the Muslim

Today my son would be 12 years old. Thanks to all who have kept that date and have taken the time to recognize it.

On this day, at 12:08pm on a busy road in Houston, I gave birth to my son in the front seat of my mother-in-law's car. (I call her Mamacita; the kids called her Gwanny)

She pulled over to the side of the road when it was apparent we would not make the hospital. Out he came, I put him on my lap, and off she drove the rest of the way to the hospital. Everything turned out fine. Mycol was behind us in traffic. Missy was very excited.

Three years ago today I was in Africa on his birthday, in the 10/40 Window, Muslim territory. That was significant for me and if you read the book (when its finally out) you will see why.

Last June I was driving that same car from work on I-10 when traffic stopped up as usual, but the guy behind me wasn't paying attention. He slammed in to me so hard it bent the frame and broke my seat. The car was totaled.

Sure, its just a thing. But I don't have many things. I wanted to keep it.

So I had it towed to the house and put away in the carport.

Then in September we were visited by Ike. Ike took down the carport, leaving a heap of mess on top of the damaged car.

I knew I could not keep the car any longer, regardless what it means to me. I've had to let go of much more precious than that.

So we called the local junk yard to send a wrecker. What we didn't know was that the junk yard was recently sold to some Middle Easterners. And they don't have their own wrecker. They contract with others.

A wrecker driver came to the house. He was wearing a different looking kind of hat, was Middle Eastern, had a beard, so I asked what his religion was. "I am a Muslim."

My heart sank.

He was loading this important but smashed car onto his wrecker. Thoughts of 9/11 flew through my head as I asked myself, "How can I give this car to a Muslim?"

He handed me money for the car. It felt dirty to me and I did not want to touch it.

Mike held me close as the wrecker driver continued to secure the car.

Before he drove off, I said to Mike, "We need to pray." We went to the back porch and sat down on the steps and Mike prayed for us. He prayed specifically for that Muslim man.

I still felt dirty, or wrong, or something. I wondered if I had done something to offend God. I told Mike I cannot keep the money, but that it must go to the church.

The next day I handed over the money to the church secretary and requested it go to the orphanage in Africa. Later that afternoon, the Youth Group arrived to help us with clean-up of the hurricane damage, disassembling the carport mess and hauling off debris.

I poured out my concerns to a mom and dad of one of the members of the Youth Group. The mom said, "Linda, you are probably the only ones who have prayed for that man specifically. We don't know God's ways, but God put him in your path yesterday. Without crossing paths with him, you would never have known to pray for him, and maybe no one has ever prayed for him."

Wow. She was right. I had to look at it from God's point of view.

So today as I honor my son, with a deep ache wishing I could host a 12-year old birthday party, I would like to honor God also. I would like to ask that all my Christian friends and family pray for this Muslim man, the wrecker driver. That would be an awesome way to celebrate my son's birthday.

Our Brother in Christ, Marshall, added this:

The Holy Spirit has been pressing this verse upon me and I believe I need to share it with you. It is the entire 55th Chapter of Isaiah.

Isa 55:1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Isa 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Isa 55:3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

Isa 55:4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.

Isa 55:5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor."

Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Isa 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

Isa 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isa 55:10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

Isa 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isa 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isa 55:13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."

Jesus said “With God all things are possible.” I believe Isa 55:7 speaks directly to your Muslim friend. Jesus died while we were still sinners. He died for all; the sexually perverted, Muslims, Liars, Thieves, and Murderers. As I draw close to Him, I see myself in all those transgressors. We thank You for Your amazing grace O Lord!

May Jesus Christ bless and keep you in His perfect peace!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Stimulus Package Explained

Stimulus package explained:

"Sometime this year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

"Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
"A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

"Q. Where will the government get this money?
"A. From taxpayers.

"Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
"A. No, they are borrowing it from China. Your children are expected to repay the Chinese.

"Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
"A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

"Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China?
"A. Shut up."

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.
If you spend it on gasoline it will go to Hugo Chavez, the Arabs and Al Queda
If you purchase a computer it will go to Taiwan.
If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, Chile, and Guatemala.
If you buy a car it will go to Japan and Korea.
If you purchase prescription drugs it will go to India
If you purchase heroin it will go to the Taliban in Afghanistan
If you give it to a charitable cause, it will go to Nigeria.
And none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America. You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic ONLY), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.

Monday, January 26, 2009


We've all heard about the homecoming celebration for Capt. Sullenburger... but have you heard...

The Seaplane Pilots Association is presenting Sullenberger with an honorary lifetime membership in the association. The group is also offering him "a complimentary seaplane rating course" at Jack Brown's Seaplane Base in Winter Haven, Fla.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Compressor Stalls

I'd heard the A320 that landed in the Hudson River (notice I said landed, not crashed; as it was definitely a forced landing, but a controlled one!), might have had compressor stalls two days prior. When Mom asked me about that I sat down with Mike to see if I could explain it in an email. Then I figured why not post it for others?

So, in case you're wondering whether a compressor stall would have anything to do with a bird strike - the short answer is no.

And while I'm on the Airbus incident, the pilots certainly did do a great job and it is nice to see that they are reacting to the attention as professionals. It reflects well upon the aviation industry as a whole. Good to get positive media attention. But make no mistake, airline pilots (and charter and corporate, etc.) receive training, called "recurrent" every year. Airline pilots also take a check ride every six months. So their job is on the line every six months with an FAA-designated examiner. Anyway, back to the bird strike and the whispers going around about earlier compressor stalls

It seems the media is reporting "previous compression problems" which is something I have not heard was being investigated. I have heard however that this particular airplane had experienced compressor stalls two days prior to the bird strikes. But the two are not related and a compressor stall does not bring down an airplane. Here's a little bit about jet engines:

Compressor stalls happen in low power settings or going in reverse (reverse thrust is used when landing).

First of all, anytime you hear the word "stall" related to aviation, it is most likely going to refer to aerodynamic stalls. An aerodynamic stall is disruption in air flow that affects lift. We practice stalls all the time. But that refers to the airflow over the wings. We slow the airplane down to idle and as the speed slows, at some point lift is no longer generated because air is not flowing over the wings at the speed necessary to generate lift. To recover we lower the nose, add power and get lift back.

In a jet engine, compressors are used to compress the air prior to mixing with the fuel. It is regulated by computers. Air goes through various "chambers" or "stages" reducing the space, compressing more and more as it is moved through. Picture a shaft that turns little fan blades. Several sets of fan blades lined up down the shaft, descending in circumference so that as air passes from one to the next, the circle of fan blades is smaller and smaller. These are called axial compressors. After the air has compressed through this series of axial compressors, it then enters a centrifugal compressor. Centrifugal force. Spinning so that the air goes out to the sides, making room for more air, thus compressing even more just before mixing with fuel.

Now, at the point where the air is just at the end of axial compressors and just about to enter the centrifugal compressor, at low speed or at reverse thrust - and remember these are run by computers - sometimes the computer doesn't keep up with the exact air flow. Now there is a relief valve there to let out air that just doesn't fit. (Picture filling up a trash bag. There's only so much room. Fill, fill, fill, and pretty soon it's gonna pop.) Well, the air is forced through compressors, more, more, more, and a computer is supposed to open the relief valve when there is too much air. However, if the air gets to be too much before the computer can get the valve open (could be just a split-second), you will hear a "bang" noise. Basically, its a sonic boom; a shock wave is created. Nothing more.

Once the computer catches up, the valve opens, everything goes back to normal. Normally no damage done, just need to adjust the computer and possibly an adjustment to the valve.

When they hit the birds (about 90 seconds after take-off) the engine was turning at about 20,000-30,000 RPMs and when the birds hit those same axial compressor fan blades, the blades disintegrated. Compressor stalls don't happen at those speeds. They happen at low speeds when the computer is trying to regulate the valve in a quick-changing environment.

Let me know if that explanation is clear enough.

Mike assisted me with this explanation, but I have studied jet engines a little bit, some in my classes and some with my private tutor.
;-) When we visited the American Airlines museum in Dallas I was able to see a cut-away of a jet engine. That was really helpful to my understanding.

I suspect that non-aviation media has misunderstood "compressor stall" and has translated that to "compression problem". I haven't heard a thing about that airplane having any compression problems.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The AP published a short article by a Jesse J. Holland this afternoon, titled, "Black churches celebrate Obama's inauguration". Um, why? The churches referred to in the article claim to be Christian churches. The one coronated does not claim to share their faith. I've always heard that supporting someone based solely on skin color is racist. Someone tell me what this is called.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Look through the sunroof - there's the ground!

My formal aerobatic training began Sunday, Nov. 16 at LaPorte Airport. I flew Debby Rihn-Harvey's Super Decathlon and practiced the most basic maneuvers, loops, barrel rolls, and spins. This is the same airplane I used to compete back in May.

The Jan Jones Memorial Scholarship for aerobatic training is made available to one female each year who has a private pilot license or higher and who wishes to pursue aerobatics. The scholarship is kept up by Jan's parents and other donors. I applied for the scholarship and received it, contributing to the cost of this training. I really want to honor the memory and life of Jan Jones, and will give this training my very best effort. I am grateful to her parents for providing this opportunity.

I love doing aerobatics and really didn't want to come down. Looking forward to the next flight!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Celebrating Jessie

Today "our little Jester" would be celebrating her 10th birthday. I wish she was here for us to do that. I know she is celebrating much more than that in heaven, but for those of us left here, these days are hard.

But today I received some wonderful gifts in honor of our baby girl. Several emails and messages from people who remembered and took the time to say so; a very special lunch date with Missy ("baby of the first litter"); and this evening, in honor of Jessie's birthday, I submitted the manuscript to the publisher.

Throughout the Bible are instances where God has picked the youngest child, or one not assumed to take on a certain role, as with David. When I began writing the book, I thought the title would be, "The Courier," as inspired by Mycol, who worked as a courier when we met.

But things changed and God showed me that He picked the littlest one to title the book and to give it it's cover design. The book is now titled, "When We Move to Heaven: A family love story" and the cover was designed by Jessie.

I'm told this publishing company takes an average of 90 days or so, so in a few months I should have the news that it's finally available. There will be a website too that will have that information as well. But for now, I'm just missing our little Jessie, yearning for us all to be together again, and asking Jesus to tell her Happy Birthday from us.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


For some strange reason I am suddenly bombarded with thoughts of Veggie Tales' Chocolate Bunny story....

Good Answer!

The next time someone asks me why I like flying upside down and doing spins, I have a new answer:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

The next time one of my older daughters rolls her eyes and says, "Oh, Mom, you're so 1980's," I'll reply:

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the heck happened.

And the next time I get the crazy urge to stand on a scale, I'll remind myself:

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out, but I can usually shut her up with cookies.

Thanks to my sister Barbara for reminding me of these good answers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In the Comics

Thought I'd post these four comic strips that mention my grandfather, Percy, who was a race driver.

I remembered having seen these and fortunately Diane saved copies and had them available.

The family story is that either Frank King, the creator of "Gasoline Alley" and other comic strips, or the creator of "The Gumps" was a good friend of my grandfather's. Whoever it was would poke fun at Percy now and then. These comics appeared in the Chicago Tribune and were quite popular. This first one says:

"It would have made an interesting story if I'd kept a diary of that car of mine, Walt. It's seen life."

"That car is its own diary. That fluted fender tells the tale of the day in 1912 you tried to beat Percy Ford to the corner."

"The transmission could tell you about turning turtle if it hadn't lost most of its teeth!"

"That cubist rear tire is a chapter on misplaced confidence and nine stops for repairs on a July day last summer."

The next one says, "But I've got an account at the 10 cent store and I know Percy Ford and everything!"
"Just the same I've got to have CASH!"

Then the two comic strips that appear together:

The Gumps: "Gee the old motor sounds swell today - and pep - you don't have to step on it - just pat it with your foot - it responds to the slightest touch. If a fly landed hard on my foot it would shoot up to 100 miles and hour-"

"Who does that guy think he is? Percy Ford tuning up for the Big Race? That guy has as much respect for the law as a bootlegger has for the 18th Amendment -"

"Pull over - Pull over - You were going 45 miles an hour"

"WHOA!!" "Get out! I haven't been driving an hour-"

And Gasoline Alley, which pokes fun at both my grandfather, and his race mechanic, George Rowell:
"The bearings must be nicely worked in by now, Sleezix. Let's step on it!"
"George Rowell warned me to stay off the speed for the first 500 miles - but it's gone more than that!"
"There I guess Percy Ford can't do any better on the Indianapolis track!"
"Jiggers, Skeezix, a speed cop! I hope he didn't see us!"