Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall foliage from the Cub

Plane: Cub, 85 hp
Route: 40I, Local
Weather: High overcast, 74 degrees, wind 010 degrees at 5 knots

We were out of town last weekend for yet another wedding (that makes six or seven in the past year for us!) so I was stuck on the ground during some of the best October weather you'll ever see in Ohio. Even though some high clouds had moved in I wanted to get up ASAP to see the fall colors, as the leaves have already started to fall. This afternoon worked out for both Gina and me so I reserved the big Cub and we headed down to Stewart after work.

Takeoff was smooth and I headed south, roughly following the Little Miami River at about 1,000 feet AGL. Gina had the camera and took a bunch of photos (posted below) of the colorful foliage as we lazily flew over top with the Cub's door hanging wide open. I took us past I-71 to about 12 miles south of the airport before turning around and following the valley back home.

I entered the pattern at the Caesar Creek Gliderport (2OH9) and brought us in for a low pass over top of their grass runway, flying about 50-100 feet off the turf. Fun and a great way to get a close-up look at the trees before pulling back and zooming back into the sky after we were about 2/3 of the way down the runway. Shortly after climbing back up to 1,800 feet, I made a midfield crosswind entry into the pattern at Stewart.

Little Miami River Valley and Caesar's Creek Lake in the distance

Gard Road, about a mile south of the Caesar Creek Soaring Club

Jeremiah Morrow Bridge - construction just began to replace it with two new spans

State Route 350 near Fort Ancient State Memorial

Murphy Pond and Middleboro Road

Flying along the valley near Morrow

Small valley along the Little Miami River, just south of Oregonia

Crossing Elbon Road and leaving the Caesar Creek Gliderport behind

Looking across US-42 after takeoff at Holly Hills Golf Club

Another shot of the golf course across the street from Stewart

I first tried to make a power-off 180 approach but touched down quite firmly about 200 feet past my aiming point. The second landing (also a power-off 180 attempt) wasn't much better - I ran out of airspeed about a foot too soon and slammed down on to the turf. I opted for a regular landing on the third try but things got hairy and I was a little sideways as the wheels touched so I poured on the throttle and went around.

Just to have a little fun, I made a low pass over the runway before a climbing turn back to the downwind leg to set up the final landing. I was on the ball this time and my approach was much more stable. I landed long intentionally and the wheels all touched for a nice three-point, full-stall landing just as I brought the stick all the way back into my stomach. With the leaves quickly dropping, I'm hoping to go up again on Saturday for one more look at all the great fall colors!

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 0.8 hours
Total Time: 177.7 hours


  1. "as we lazily flew over top with the Cub's door hanging wide open"

    Sweeeeet......sounds like a fun fall foliage run...great pics Gina!

  2. Yeah, it's darn near impossible to beat the Cub as a fun + photo platform!

  3. Nice pictures...good work, Gina! Oh, and you too, Steve... :)