Weather: Partly cloudy, 58 degrees, wind 230 degrees at 6-8 knots
I still haven't had much time to fly lately. It's hard to be on the ground and miss this the fall colors this year but I watching the budget and planning a wedding tends to keep one out of the sky. Thankfully I have pilot friends and today Mike and his girlfriend Elizabeth had me tag along on another Pilots N Paws flight.
Today we'd be transporting Laurel, a very sweet and almost completely deaf Husky girl, from Waverly, OH to Fort Wayne, IN. We left Wright Brothers around 1:15 for the short flight down to Pike County Airport (EOP) in Waverly. The weather this fall has been windy and wet around here so a lot of the leaves fell off the trees before they had a chance to show their peak colors. Still, we passed over some pretty terrain as we left the flat farmland for the rolling hills of SE Ohio.
There was a little color left in the trees near Bainbridge, OH
This tree farm stood out against the rest of the trees
Passing over Waverly, OH
Entering the pattern - you can see the airport in the top-right of the photo
Turning final at Pike County Airport
As we taxied in, it was clear that quite a crowd had assembled to see Laurel leave in an airplane. One of the volunteers from the Pike County Dog Pound told us they were pretty new to transporting dogs through Pilots N Paws. I believe they said Laurel was the second dog to fly out of Waverly.
We talked both to the adults and kids for a few minutes. The kids seemed really excited to look in the airplane and everyone there was incredibly nice and friendly. Mike eventually loaded Laurel into the airplane with the help of one of the volunteers. It was clear she'd be a great passenger as she quickly got settled in the back seat.
Elizabeth talking with one of the volunteers
Laurel wasn't too shy and seemed happy before getting on board
A bunch of volunteers came out to see Laurel off!
Mike and one of the volunteers helping Laurel into the plane
Securing her harness to the airplane seatbelt
One last goodbye before we took off
Poking her head between the seats to say hi to me and Mike up front
Cuddling comfortably with Elizabeth while we taxied
Looking around the airplane before takeoff
The flight up to Fort Wayne was just under an hour. There were occasional light bumps but otherwise it was a perfect day to fly with great visibility. Laurel didn't move around too much and we all enjoyed the view out the windows. Surprisingly, we only saw one or two other airplanes - ATC called them out both times as we were on flight following.
Smith Field Airport was a bit interesting to approach. They have two crossing runways and the taxiways are closed for construction. So you have to back-taxi down an active, crossing runway. We didn't have any real issues but Mike and I thought the place might be a bit fun when he pattern gets busy.
A lot more green in the hills down near Waverly
One of the few times she stood up or moved around during the flight
The new Timber Road Wind Farm near the OH/IN border
The trees were a bit more colorful up in Fort Wayne
We were met by Kurt in Fort Wayne. He flew down with his dad in his Cherokee. They were taking Laurel the rest of the way to Grand Haven, MI to be with her new family. All of us talked for a couple minutes, then the loaded her into the airplane and were on their way. We grabbed a snack from the vending machine in the FBO (home of EAA Chapter #2!) before loading back up to fly home to Dayton.
Loading Laurel in the Cherokee for the second leg of her journey
On the way to her new family in Michigan
It was a beautiful day to fly over downtown Dayton
It's nice to fly in an airplane that cruises at 145-155 knots. With the decent tailwind we were enjoying, the flight home went by real fast. Mike flew the GPS Runway 2 approach to MGY, which took us right past downtown Dayton. We were back on the ground around 5:00. Not a bad way to spend a weekend afternoon!