Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Partly cloudy, 70 degrees, wind 330 degrees at 5 knots
This is my favorite personal tradition. Back in 2008, on my birthday, I flew at Stewart for the very first time in Cub N98286. Every year since, I've flown (as a certificated pilot!) the exact same airplane up on my birthday. Gina and I both took today off work and enjoyed a beautiful morning flight off the very green grass in the venerable J-3.
As I recap each and every year, in the past 365 days I have:
- Flown completely around Lake Michigan on our giant summer adventure
- Given my first Young Eagle flight
- Participated in my first Young Eagles rally (I flew 6 kids)
- Taken two coworkers (Joe and Ahmed) and a business friend up for their first flights
- Traveled to Japan, South Korea, Spain, and the UK for work
- Experienced the crazy fun that is cutting toilet paper in a Cub
- Finally flown to Sporty's for their famous hot dog Saturdays
- Started trying to lose a little weight and get in better shape
- Been to a ton of weddings to celebrate with friends and family
- Spent a lot of time planning our very own wedding and honeymoon!
Enjoying ourselves in the J-3 like usual
Takeoff from Runway 26
Turning crosswind after takeoff
Flying over US-42 while departing the pattern
I climbed up to 5,500 feet over Caesars Creek Lake with the intention of having a little toilet paper fun. Unfortunately, we had a TP malfunction - it didn't unroll properly so there was no streamer to cut. It was quite cold up there so I elected to use a steep spiral to quickly lose 2,000 feet and get down into warmer air. Then we just flew around for a little while, screwing around and having fun - steep turns, pushing on the stick for a little weightlessness, etc.
Up high above the haze layer
Some of the fun we had in the Cub this morningAfter that, I descended and followed the shoreline of the lake for a few minutes. The water has certainly receded from when Rob and I went flying last month but there are still signs of the flooding. The beach is clearly stained brown where it was underwater and some areas of the park are still closed off. You could see the water rushing out the dam's spillway, which the Corps of Engineers must have finally opened now that the intense rainfall has subsided.
Looks like quite the nice house down there...
I headed back to the airport, keeping my eyes to the sky while entering the very busy pattern. Emerson was up in the Stearman, practicing his aerobatic routine for an evaluator to renew his ICAS card for the coming airshow season. There were also two Champs up practicing takeoffs and landings. Every airplane NORDO, of course. A pretty standard day at Stewart but I'm sure it might scare off some unfamiliar pilots!
Emerson doing acro in the Stearman as we approached Stewart
In usual fashion, I wanted to log three takeoffs and landings today. The first landing was good but I didn't fly the most stabilized approach; I was staying out of the Stearman's way while Emerson flew some of his routine over the airport. The second was better but I still hit a little bump on the runway and lifted a few feet back into the air before settling down on the grass. My final time around I did a simulated engine-out approach and used a healthy forward slip on short final over the house and power lines. Touchdown was again smooth but I still caught that darn bump.
Downwind leg in the pattern
Your happy pilot for the (birth)day
There's no better way to spend a birthday in my book...
Today's Flight: 1.0 hours
Total Time: 188.5 hours