Friday, October 10, 2008

Why flying is the greatest thing on (off) Earth

Plane: Champ
Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Clear, 75 degrees, wind 080 degrees at 5 knots

The air is crisp, the sky is blue, and I'm at the airport with time to spare. With a day like today you just can't pass by a chance to lift off into the Fall sky. So I get the keys to the Champ and pull her out of the hangar. Taxiing across the green grass I can't wait to get airborne to enjoy aviation in its pure and simplest form.

Window wide open, no headset or mike, I open the throttle and watch the ground quickly roll past - oh what a sight. Climbing up over the fall colors and trees down below, I turn north towards Waynesville where (I do not kid here, my friends) they are having a sauerkraut festival and the street's filled with tents. Now off to the East where I can see Caesar Creek Lake. I fly closer and closer as I level the plane. The air is smooth and still and I trim the plane just right such that I don't even gain 5 feet as I motor around here tonight.

Now I'm over the dam and I follow the creek, twisting and turning over the valley below and loving what I see. I continue to the South towards I-71 where a beautiful bridge spans the gorge in front of the quickly setting sun. I turn back towards home now and descend slightly further, to again follow the valley carved out by years upon years of running water. Into the pattern I turn, feeling one with the Champ and the controls. Abeam the numbers now, I throttle back and lower the nose.

Downwind, base leg, and now it's short final. My descent is smooth and I'm almost in denial. Days like this are when you have to pinch yourself to realize how lucky you are. The ground rushes up as I round out and flare and I make one of those landings that only happen when no one is there. A total greaser, smooth as silk, my best ever I think. I taxi back and shut her down, pull out my logbook and enter point five. This is just one of those days where you feel blessed to have experienced something you'll remember the rest of your life.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 0.5 hours
Solo/PIC Time: 14.6 hours
Total Time: 46.0 hours


  1. Sounds great, Steve. I love flying, too... Just yesterday I spend 8 hours in cramped seat 27K of a KLM jumbo jet. I saw the sunset, at least!