Taylorcraft Daze

The history, diary, thoughts, and opinions of an Iowa Taylocraft pilot. The postings will be heavy in the areas of flying Taylorcraft Aircraft, Formation Flying, Flights throughout the Great United States, and other flying activities.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Enter the “Third Dimension,” and
Join the “Realm of Flight”

By: Lee C Bowden, Taylorcraft Owner / Pilot
Independence Municipal Airport (IIB)

Casey enjoys people and is at home instructing. He is a great instructor with his quiet, easy going, and laid back manner that makes it easy to learn and remember what has been taught so your are ready and eager for the next lesson. Casey has the experience with well over one thousand hours to his credit in a variety of aircraft. He has experienced flying by the seat of his pants with stick and rudder to the modern multiple glass cockpits with the latest instrumentation, GPS, Auto Pilot, and Radio Navigation Systems. Four pilots have successfully completed their training program and one more will be finished very soon.

Casey was influenced by the many quality Independence Air Shows as a youth.

Casey has advanced quickly through about one dozen ratings/licenses including: student, Private, Instrument, Commercial, Instructor (CFI), Instrument Instructor (CFII), Multi-Engine, Tail Wheel Endorsement, Type Ratings, Complex (Retractable and a Constant Speed Propeller), High Performance (200 Plus Horsepower), Basic Ground School Instructor. His future goals of Advanced Ground Instructor, with an additional five students for a total of ten students will earn Casey the “Gold Seal Award.” Casey jokes that he has earned a rating for every two years of his age of 21. That is indeed a remarkable accomplishment.

Casey’s instructors are Jim Connell of Independence, Mike Connell (Jim’s son) at Decorah, Rick Hannen of Center Point, and Tommy Tomkins the FAA Examiner at Burlington.

Aircraft Flown by Casey include approximately 20 different aircraft of a half-dozen different brand names including the Cessna’s 120, 150, 170, Skyhawk II 172-N, 182, 182 RG; Piper’s Colt, Archer, Arrow, Cherokee 140, Cherokee 180, Cherokee 235, Tri-Pacer, Senaca II (Twin), Senaca V (Twin), Navaho (Twin); Beechcraft Duchess (Twin) and King Air 200; Mooney J 201; Tail Draggers: Taylorcraft, Aeronca Champ, Jodel, and Piper Cub.

His favorite aircraft to fly are the Mooney 201 because it is fast at 175 knots or 201 miles per hour, very well designed and engineered. It has a great history backing it up. Casey also enjoys the Taylorcraft for just the plain “fun of flying.”

Probably one of my best trips was into South Bend, Indiana with the Cessna 172. The scenery was very neat around Chicago, and it was neat talking with Chicago Air Traffic Control (since I had only had my license for a few months). I find all flying to be interesting; unless, I am just babysitting an airplane on autopilot. I do not enjoy that for the most part. I guess I just like being in complete control!

Casey’s travels currently include flights throughout the United States on a regular basis. One of his longer flights was taking vendors to Wal-mart headquarters at Bentonville, Arkansas and another flight to the state of Alabama. He regularly flies in and out of Iowa’s commercial and regional airports with passengers and students.

Casey responds to: “Why Choose Flying?” This is a hard question to answer in general because it is different for so many people. I would guess one of the best reasons to choose flying is simply because one likes it, and has a passion for it. I have not yet met a pilot who did not simply breathe aviation one hundred percent. Aviation provides personal challenges as well as awesome experiences to make for a very rewarding career/hobby, and I am not sure many careers/hobbies can offer all of the various experiences that aviation can. I love aviation because there is nothing like being in the air and being free to go wherever you want, as fast as you can (or as slow!) and simply enjoy the view.

Probably the most rewarding experiences I have had come after the completion of students successful check rides. It is a lot of work to get them ready and to help them get finished with what is usually a very personal experience/challenge, and the grin on their faces after successful check rides, and realize they are licensed pilots is something that cannot be beat.

The Manchester Air Shows in 2003 and 2004 were planned by Casey with the help of The Manchester Airport Committee, Jim & Karen Connell, Aerobatic performers were: Joe & Cheryl (announcer) Dooley, with their Pitts and Piper Cub and Daryl Massman with his Panzl.

He attended “AirVenture” Oshkosh, WI international air show with his family in 1999.

Casey is currently serving on the Manchester Airport Committee, and he is a Member of the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilots Association (AOPA) that is a national organization. During high school Casey was a member of the National Honor Society, and very active in the music program. He was heavily involved in band, choir, show choir, and almost all the other music activities.

His education includes ratings/licenses at the Independence Municipal Airport, Upper Iowa University, with a major in public administration and a minor in business.

When asked about future goals he states that he enjoys instructing, flying charter flights, and would like to manage an airport in the future. In the very near future Casey would like to move up to flying a Beechcraft King Air (twin) and up to the jets perhaps a Cessna Citation Jet.

His fiancée, Amber Ling, age 22, graduated from the West Delaware School District, Manchester, then attended Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, majoring in vocal music and also instrumental music. She is currently employed by the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District teaching elementary and middle school vocal music. There are plans to be married June 9, 2007; after Casey graduates from Upper Iowa University. Amber’s grandparents live just east of Colesburg, at the east end of a pleasant valley that Casey flies over on occasion.

Casey’s father, Mark Hansen, is taking lessons and can now land well. His parents are teachers at the Ed-Co Community School District, Mark teaches vocal music (7 – 12) and the knowledge of computers; his mother, Arlys, is a librarian at Ed-Co. Brother, Kyle, is planning to attend Iowa State University and pursuing a double major in computer science and engineering. Casey attends the Catholic Church in Manchester with his family.

He provides numerous airport tours for various groups, aviation ground schools, and seminars. Casey provides the opportunity for annual airplane rides at the Manchester Municipal Airport during the summer months.

Casey helps with operations at the Independence Municipal Airport. Jobs include: fueling planes, moving aircraft in and out of hangers, mowing and rolling grass, plowing runways, and etc.

Casey collects metal airplanes and utilizes the computer a great deal in connection with his work

You may find Casey at his E-mail address: casey@aviationgeek.com,
his Aviation Geek, Web Site at: http://www.aviationgeek.com/, at the Independence Airport: 319-334-4000; or his Cell phone: 563-920-8490. The best deal is to pay him a personal visit at the: Independence Municipal Airport, (IIB) and go for an introductory flight.
Casey is also available for speaking engagements at local schools, businesses, and social organizations.


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