Pilot's Rainbow

Pilot's Rainbow

Rainbows really are round.  Leading Edge Aviation pilot Nick Stelter took this for me out his left-side window.  Over several years we did numerous photo flights together from the Grinnell and Pella IA areas to Red Cloud NE to Huron SD and the southern MN, northwest IA areas in between.  This was one of the more spectacular pilot’s rainbows we saw.

Husband Don was my first pilot.  He was terrific at figuring out cross-steering, keeping the wing out of my way, and being an extra set of eyes for what the client might want and/or need.  With photo flights it is necessary to schedule them when the weather permits, which wasn’t always when Don could take me.  Other multi-flight pilots have been from Spencer IA Leading Edge’s Jason Burkhart, Morgan Stockdale, Nick Plathe, and Steve Meisner; Sheldon IA Midwest Flying Service’s Lyle Vust, Elmer Mickey, and Jared Boden.  Excellent pilots make all the difference in capturing the right aerial images!  It’s a team venture.

I’ve also chartered flights in MN, WI, and eastern IN.

Planes are usually Cessna 150 or 182 which have high wings and can fly slowly.  I sit on the side where I can raise the window which the lift keeps open.  The spar messes with my field of view, though.  Don and Nick have suggested I use a Cardinal which has a high wing with no spar.  Sounds great to me!

We’ve also taken the back door off a Saratoga.  Because it has a low wing I had to sit backwards and photograph while we were flying away from the properties, a mental shift for me. 

Midwest’s helicopter was dy-no-mite! 

One of my favorites to use is a 1957 Tri-Pacer.  For that we also take off the back door but I can face forward.  With the high wing I have a great field of view.

Here’s to rainbow days!