Weather: Extremely hazy, 84 degrees, wind 220 degrees at 8 knots
Sarah, one of our great friends from college, came down to visit this weekend. I actually took her and another college friend flying a couple years ago in the 150. This time, considering I was seriously overdue for a $100 pancake run, we headed up to Urbana in the Skyhawk.
Here's video from the flight home - Urbana to Stewart
I had been thinking about Columbus, IN or Mt. Victory, OH as possible breakfast destinations but the less-than-desirable weather nixed those options. Instead, we'd head to the always-good Airport Cafe at Grimes Field. I've made that flight plenty of times and know the terrain and landmarks like the back of my hand... so I don't mind making the short 41-mile hop in MVFR conditions. The clouds were plenty high this morning but it was extremely hazy and forward visibility was definitely in the 3-5 mile range on the flight up.
One of the neighborhoods near Stewart, shortly after takeoff
Sarah riding comfortably in the 172's back seat
Gina sitting up front... I think I was adjusting the intercom squelch?
I departed straight out, then turned on course towards Urbana. We eventually leveled off at 3,700 feet so I was clear of WPAFB and Springfield's airspace. Along the way we passed by Adventure Acres, which I have learned while writing this is the largest corn maze in Ohio. The haze was very thick but I could see all the familiar landmarks and we were abeam downtown Springfield when I first spotted Urbana and the airport. Lots of planes were headed there (as is usually the case on a weekend morning) and I entered on a 45 for Runway 20 behind a Cherokee.
Adventure Acres near Bellbrook, OH
I always love seeing corn mazes from the air
Breakfast was thoroughly delicious as usual. I had a couple eggs over easy with home fries, bacon, and toast. Gina has sausage biscuits and gravy and Sarah had two of the largest pancakes I've ever seen - they were at least 1/2" thick each. The only bad thing is they were out of peach pie so we couldn't bring any home with us. Gina's got bad luck with that... next time I want pie from the Airport Cafe, she's gonna have to stay home and let me fly up there solo!
Visibility improved as we flew home and was a solid 10 miles by the time we were close to Xenia. We were level at 2,500 feet and the ride was very smooth punctuated by only the occasional light bump when we passed under a forming cloud. Entering the pattern I first didn't see the Champ, so my midfield crosswind entry turned into more of a midfield S-Turn entry that let me follow him onto downwind. I ended up with an extended final but it was helpful since the winds had really kicked up. I slipped down final and touched the left main softly with the stick all the way back into my chest - easily one of my best crosswind landings in a long time.
Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.4 hours
Total Time: 204.1 hours