|Email Ken Stallings||General Aviation|
This page shares some of the love and experiences I have for General Aviation. To break the surly bonds of earth in either your own airplane, or one you can rent from an FBO, is a cherished freedom that people can enjoy. This webpage is dedicated to helping folks understand the joy of General Aviation and to help keep it vibrant for future generations to enjoy!
Famed aviator Charles Lindbergh summed up my views on aviation with this famous quotation:
I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.
- Charles A. Lindbergh, 'The Spirit of St. Louis.'
The beauty of General Aviation today is that it retains all of the "wine of the gods" exhilaration Lindbergh refers to. However, aviation today is vastly safer than it was in the Roaring Twenties when Lindbergh practiced the art.
The key point is that becoming a pilot is not a dream. It is within the reach of people of all walks of life and income levels. All that is really needed is the desire.
To ensure the future of General Aviation, I ask that you read through the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) website. This organization is dedicated to making aviation as safe, enjoyable, and freely available as it can be. And, it can be a most valuable resource to launching your own piloting career for personal fun, augmenting your business, or achieving a professional flying career.
In addition, if you live in the Portales or Clovis, NM area, you have a great opportunity to scratch that pilot itch! Back in 2010, recognizing the lack of quality aircraft to rent for personal use and training in this area, I started a company named Fly Portales. I rent my 1977 Cessna Superhawk, which is far better equipped than most aircraft available for rent.
The company features online aircraft scheduling, plus scheduling via your phone, through our partnership with Aircraft Clubs.com. You can access our website once you have applied for a pilot's account by contacting me directly.
If you have any interest in flying, please contact me by either calling me on my cell phone (850) 865-6053, or emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
My company is fortunate to have the finest General Aviation instructor pilot in the area in Ed Widener. Ed works independently for the Holloman AFB Aero Club, plus with Fly Portales. Fly Portales also features the services of Bill Groth, who in addition to being a USAF Instructor Pilot, also holds his FAA CFI-I, and can help you earn your instrument rating.
On 28 April 2013, the family attended the Clovis Municipal Airport (KCVN) Fly-In. It was a well done show and one of the local radio stations advertised it very well with on-scene broadcasting. One of the students renting my Skyhawk, and his instructor, competed in the spot landing and flour bombing contests. The instructor won the spot landing event on his first effort!
My wife and I stood for this photo. I designed the logo for my aircraft rental company, Fly Portales. Vista Print did the hats and polo shirt.
Jessica and me (click to enlarge)
My children and I boarding N5077J before flight (click to enlarge)
On 22 February 2010, I was able to realize a long time dream of mine and purchased a high performance multi-engine aircraft. Best of all, it is the aircraft I have considered the best piston twin ever designed, the Cessna 310R. The aircraft will primarily serve my Grace Flight missions and other personal cross country flights such as family vacation trips.
The Grace Flight support didn't take long to materialize as I was able to fly a patient non-stop from El Paso, TX to Houston, TX in only 3 hours and 10 minutes of flight!
The family went on a Christmas vacation to visit our folks in North Carolina in 2010. This slideshow features the eight inches of snow on Christmas Day! It also has some photos of family as well as some in flight photos my wife took flying to North Carolina and on the return flight home.
We got about a foot of snow across the Northeast area of New Mexico on 28 January 2010. On Sunday, 31 January, took my two sons flying over the area of Portales, Tucumcari, and Clovis, New Mexico.
One of the coolest things is owning an aircraft and getting a chance to renovate it either on the outside or inside. After several years of ownership, my aircraft finally got an interior renovation completed on 7 August 2009. Click the link to check out the photos!
From July 1st to 7th, 2009, and for the first time in about 1.5 years, I was able to take a vacation! I flew my two boys from our home in Portales, NM to my family in North Carolina. The high point was a trip flown with the boys and my father to Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. Fittingly, the trip was conducted on July 3, 2009 -- the 146th anniversary of this pivotal point in American history. There is a really nice VFR airport at Gettysburg (W20) so it makes for a very convenient flight.
I've seen many photos recent and historic of the area, but having seen it in person gives it true magnitude. Little Round Top was a humbling site. Until you see it firsthand, one cannot have a true appreciation for the battlefield conditions.
The second link features some family photos plus a few in flight shots of the NC State University campus, including the highly upgraded Carter-Finley football Stadium and the RBC Center where the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State basketball team play.
This is a link for a slideshow flown over Monument Valley and Lake Powell in southern Utah. Monument Valley achieved fame when director/producer John Ford chose the site to film his classic movie "Stagecoach" staring John Wayne. Even as the photos are impressive, they cannot do this place justice. It is an awe inspiring location filled with wonders of nature, and to fly over it is simply the best way.
My family took a 10-day flying vacation in my Skyhawk. This was our first cross-country flight taken as a family and came just a week after earning my Private Pilot's License. We started at Slidell, LA and then flew to North Carolina to enjoy many sites and family at home. The flights in Lakefront International in New Orleans was in support of the Ulster Project, flying kids from Northern Ireland. Really enjoyed that!
A slideshow of the Heber City and Salt Lake City, Utah area. These were taken during Thanksgiving of 2006 while visiting a good friend from my college days and his family.
A slideshow for a flight over the mountains of Western North Carolina. It shows Lineville Gorge, Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, and Banner Elk ski slopes.
Here is a link to a slideshow of a recent flight over Yosemite National Park. It features El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, and Mono Lake area.
Slideshow link for photos taken on 4 Mar 07 over Lake Mead, western Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Meteor Crater.
Cessna Skyhawk Installations
Rich Murray (Real Old Salt) has rendered a wonderful custom livery for FS2004. This re-paint is in the authentic colors of my own 1977 Cessna 172N (N733CZ). This download is for the Flight One Cessna 172R. You must have already purchased this payware aircraft. To install, put the texture folder into the main aircraft folder and then copy and paste the flightsim section to your F1 aircraft.cfg file. Be sure to change the sequence number of the section to match the sequence of your F1 file.
Also available is the modified livery that works with the default FS2004 Cessna Skyhawk. Installation procedure is the same.
Click here for the F1 Skyhawk N733CZ livery (8.79 Meg)
Jerry "Sparks" Beckwith has created a marvelous airfile and configuration file set for the Cessna 172 in FS2004 and it works equally well in FS-X! Because of the differences in the way files are handled, I needed to create a different installer for FS-X from the one Jerry created for FS2004. What they do are to create a Cessna 172N Superhawk folder in your Airplane folder in FS-X and one in the Aircraft folder of FS2004. Just point the installer to the respective main game folder. It defaults to the C-drive. If you installed your game to a different drive, be sure to change the path as required.
Click here for the installer for FS2004 (1.4 Meg)
Me standing next to the real N733CZ (click to enlarge)