Weather: Clear, 40 degrees, wind 250 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 20
The skies were finally clear after what felt like days upon days of precip, but a front was still moving through leaving behind some very gusty winds. I had hoped to fly down to Portsmouth (PMH) with Gina for a $100 lunch but we had to sit on the ground for a bit until the wind calmed down so that plan got scrubbed. Even though CFI Joe came in with a student from a lesson in the 172 and said it was pretty smooth, I went up solo for two laps around the pattern to check it out for myself before sticking anyone in the seat next to me. Aside from a few bumps it was indeed a decent day up there so I picked Gina up and we took to the sky for an hour and a half.
Seeing as how it was now about 2:30 in the afternoon (I had originally planned to take off around 1:00) there wasn't time to fly over to Portsmouth. While the strong tailwind aloft (around 30 knots) would have pushed us there in record time for the 150, we wouldn't have had time to eat and make the return trip. So in place of the XC hours I had hoped to log today, we just did some sightseeing around the local area and I got in some practice to boot. We departed Stewart and then flew over to Greene County Airport (I19) for a couple landings. I was waaay high on the second one (over-compensated for the winds and turned base too soon) so I kicked in 40 degrees of flaps and pulled the throttle to idle and showed Gina just how quickly that little 150 can descend when you want it to. I actually had to add in some throttle as we approached the threshold and I brought it in for a soft landing.
That's about 32 mph ground speed where the track is yellow!
After that we flew over top of my apartment and then over towards Caesar Creek Lake. She was curious what a stall was like so I climbed up to 3,500 and did a power-off stall. Her response was "wheeee!" which actually made my heart jump a second since I'm not used to hearing anyone say much when the nose pitches over, unless it's Dave yelling at me about something. But she thought it was fun and we did two more over the next couple of minutes along with some steep turns. I also chugged along in slow flight pointed directly into the wind for some fun - and it completely looked like we were hovering when you looked down on the ground below. Thanks to my new GPS (UPDATE: my review is here) I saw that I managed to get our ground speed down to a scorching 28 knots. Oh the things we pilots do for fun. In case you're curious, I also pulled 108 knots groundspeed in level flight flying with a direct tailwind. Not bad for a 1969 Cessna that cruises at 80 knots indicated. I then flew us back to Stewart and set up for a short field landing and had us stopped in under 300 feet once I touched down on the threshold. Chalk up another good flight - and my last of 2008. Certainly has been quite the year for me aviation-wise!
Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.5 hours
Total Time: 81.8 hours