formerly "The View From Up Here"

Formerly titled "The View From Up Here" this column began in the Liberty Gazette June 26, 2007.

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November 25, 2008 Acro training, and Livingston's spruce-up

The Liberty Gazette
November 25, 2008

The View From Up Here
By Mike Ely and Linda Street Ely

Linda’s formal aerobatic training began recently at LaPorte Municipal Airport, home of Mickey Gilley’s two twin-engine Beech Barons, and 14-time national aerobatic champion Debby Rihn-Harvey, among others.

Linda: I’m flying Debby's Super Decathlon and we’re practicing the most basic maneuvers, loops, barrel rolls, and spins. Charlie Grabein did a lot of those in a Taylorcraft; there’s a get-together of T-craft flyers where they go up as high as they can, 16,000’-17,000’ and see who can do the most spin rotations on the way down to a floor of 1500’. But I digress. The Super Decathlon is the same airplane I used to compete at the Gulf Coast Regional aerobatic contest in May (when I beat Mike, but I don’t want to rub that in). The Jan Jones Memorial Scholarship for aerobatic training has made a valuable contribution to the cost. Made available each year through the International Council of Air Shows to one female who has a private pilot license or higher and who wishes to pursue aerobatics, the scholarship is maintained by Jan's parents and other donors. Jan was killed in an airplane accident, not doing aerobatics, but when something went wrong with the plane. It’s important to me to honor the memory, the life, the spirit of Jan Jones, and will give this training my very best effort in her honor. I’ve read wonderful things about Jan and have been told by some of her friends what a bright star she was. I am grateful to her parents for providing this opportunity. There are many scholarships available for all types of flying and experience levels.

Hopefully next week there will be an exciting story about flying my first Piper Super Cub on as many grass strips in the hill country as I can find. I’d ask Bob Jamison to come along with me, but he keeps so busy I can’t keep up with him.

Mike: Just up the road at Livingston the municipal airport is getting some new neighbors. The rejuvenated Lake Livingston Airpark has opened up more lots for sale. The airpark has been there for some time now but hasn’t seen any new lot sales until recently. Someone is getting things going again and the whole place looks like it has been revamped. The airport received a nice facelift last year due to some grant money from the FAA Airport and Airway Trust Fund and the city really improved its airport.

Looks like the Liberty Airport will soon have lights again, making it a much safer place to land, just in time for Christmas. And for the pilot on your gift list, be sure to check out,, or Their catalogs are chock full of fun and useful gifts, from jewelry and clothing to artwork, books and movies (like the incredible One Six Right), to navigation aids and an assortment of pilot gear.

By the way, I’ve heard the most spins in a Taylorcraft Spin-off was 54 rotations.

Mike and Linda can be reached at

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