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hydroguy2 02-06-2017 10:32 PM

It's been fun
To build something with your own hands from a vision is special as any builder knows. We've flown to see the kids, Oshkosh a few times, Fly-ins and SARL races in Texas, Washington, Idaho, and all over Montana. Commuted in it while building our retirement home 1hr flight vs 4.5hr drive away. Never planned on ever selling it...until life hands you a new plan.

The last 10+years have been a lot of fun, education, thrills and stress.but mostly fun. That all came to an end on Friday when I took my last flight in Aurora. It was an emotional day 2 weeks ago, when I said "Sold" to the offer on the table.

Finished up some todo items and checking the weather for a path to the Chicago area. Friday was the day to deliver. Hope I can make it all in one day, with a stop in Billings for transponder check.

It was -2*F when I blasted out of 8U8 early Friday morning trying to beat the snow engulfing the mountains. 10 minutes after launch, I was thinking I missed the window and had to find a path through the pass.

A few minutes weaving around and there's the hole. Looks like sunshine!

Power up and aim for the light. Picked up a good tailwind after rounding the Crazy Mtns. Pointed to Billings for a transponder check.

Andre at Aerotronics got me in and out in quickly. 1st leg done, no time for fuel....Now where's that tailwind I've got ground to cover. Here's eastern Montana for 11500

Approaching Powder River MOA, Center called and said "5BK, powder riviera MOA is hot" ok thanks, thinking I know it ok to be there.. 5 minutes later a new controller calls up and repeats the MOA is active warning. I don't cross a lot of Restricted type areas, so ask him...."do I need to do something different."
"No, just letting you know there military aircraft operating in the area."
Aurora is running as strong as ever, we're smoking across the prairie. So I told Center..." I think we can hold our own today"

It was -16C at 11500 but with a tip up canopy and the sun in full glory, I had to throttle the heater and even took off my down coat


hydroguy2 02-06-2017 10:35 PM

Made it to KABR Aberdeen SD in 2.3hrs. Not too bad for over 420nm. Quick fuel stop, 1/2 cup of coffee and a piece of jerky. Back in the air with a new flight plan.... KABR- KENW.

Some where over Minnesota I think.

I had good tailwinds the whole day.

At Aberdeen, I shed a layer of fleece and put my down back on. That was a mistake, because the sun was now lower and moving to the rear quarter.

Time for the hat after almost 4hours at altitude sucking O2.

I was getting cold soaked by the time I started my descent into to Kenosha KENW

Landed in the setting sun. 1050nm+ detours, 5.5hrs including taxiing and 3 climb outs, total fuel 46.5gals.
I averaged over 220mph getting 25mpg due to some good tailwinds all day. But also Aurora was running like a top too. The cold smooth air was fantastic.

She's been a great plane, always better than I as a pilot. Hope the new owner enjoys her as much as we have.

Side note...
Yellow, Purple, and Green has always kept us safe, so i find it comforting that Kris's radiation mask/armor is yellow, purple and a little green stripe.

We will be back once we win this battle. Life is good.

Mike S 02-06-2017 10:45 PM

Brian------feel for you buddy, but you are doing the right thing---no question at all about that.

Praying for your wife.........

hydroguy2 02-06-2017 11:40 PM

Thanks Mike. Some things are replaceable. But some are not. We've been together since high school. 38 years. She was feeling good this weekend so we took a drive a few miles down the road to Great Lakes Naval Training base.

22nd street gate...we had no car when we lived here, so we walked through this gate many many times.

Our first apartment was upstairs in this house 1/2 mile from base.

Today was day 5 of her daily radiation. She endure this for 6 more weeks. Her chemo is weekly so 6 more sessions of that too.

mayo3808 02-07-2017 04:02 AM

Yellow RV
Private message sent. We're praying for you and your wife.

David-aviator 02-07-2017 04:16 AM

Tough story Brian.
Prayers and thoughts it all works out good.

Michael White 02-07-2017 04:46 AM

Sorry you had to let Aurora go...your buyer got a screaming nice airplane, but I agree it was the right thing to do. Kris is priority #1, everything else can be caught up later.

Give Kris a big hug from all of us at the VAF Forums, and let her know she has a world full of people pulling for her. It won't be easy, but it can be beat. My 87 year old father just finished his radiation sessions for a neuroendorcrine spinal cancer...his last scan came back clean, no sign of the tumor at all, so we're hopeful. It can be done!!

P.S. Take care of yourself too...cancer is hard on everyone in the family. We're just a short shout away if you need us.

vic syracuse 02-07-2017 05:07 AM

Wow. There really aren't words. We are all thinking about you and your wife and hoping for the best.


Brantel 02-07-2017 05:35 AM

Prayers for you and Kris my friend! I will help with the panel on your next one!

Bob Martin 02-07-2017 06:02 AM

Thanks for sharing your story and pictures.
All the best to you and your wife.
Sending prayers for complete recovery!

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