Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sporty's, Stalls, and a Sunny Saturday

Plane: Cessna 150
Route: 40I-ISZ-I69-40I 
Weather: Scattered clouds, 86 degrees, wind 190 degrees at 3 knots

Freshly checked out in the Cessnas again, I decided to waste no time in hopping in one and going somewhere. Originally I had planned on flying down for a glider course that Sporty's was offering for WINGS credit, but I realized it was an all-day (9 to 5) course... and I simply didn't have time to be gone that long. Still, the weekly free cookout is always reason enough to stop into Sporty's and I decided that would be today's mission. I texted Jon (who I first flew last fall) to see if he was free yesterday night; he was, and thus I had a passenger for today's adventure.

Highlights of the flight, including the infamous wooded taxiway at Blue Ash

We left Stewart shortly after 11 and first headed towards King's Island. I figured Jon would enjoy the view of the theme park from above and he did. As he said, "it's like RollerCoaster Tycoon!"

After passing over the park, I pointed the nose towards Blue Ash Airport. Although it's very close to Stewart - only 20 nm - I had never landed there before. Unfortunately, due to ongoing squabbles between the cities of Cincinnati and Blue Ash, there is a good chance the airport will soon be closed. While I certainly hope that outcome can be avoided, I also wanted to be sure to land there before I no longer had the opportunity.

A twin was departing Blue Ash as we approached, so I entered the pattern in an upwind over Runway 24 then flew right traffic for a smooth landing. I enjoyed the long journey back to the runway down their well-known, very wooded taxiway before we continued on our way. If you're interested in helping to preserve this great local airport, visit

It was another short hop from Blue Ash to Clermont Co. Airport, home of Sporty's. Traffic was light; we were the only plane in the pattern. I touched down just past the numbers and taxied to parking, where a lineboy was waiting to push our little 150 into a parking spot. Gotta love that kind of service!

We definitely flew all over the general Dayton/Cincinnati vicinity today

We spent 45 minutes or so on the ground, filling our stomachs with the always-delicious free hot dogs and brats and re-hydrating with something from the vending machines. I got the fan turning as quick as possible to stay cool in the heat and soon we were taking off on Runway 22. We continued out of the pattern from the downwind, headed north, while climbing to 3,500 feet.

Jon is quite interested in flying and I think he'll eventually get his pilot's license after he graduates from college. He flew the 172 for a while when we went up last fall and did a great job. After we left Sporty's he asked about doing some maneuvers so I handed over the controls for a bit. Then I asked if he wanted me to demonstrate and explain a couple things. He was all for it, so I showed him some power-off stalls and a forward slip - you can see both in the video below. I'm certainly no CFI but I think I did a decent job!

I demonstrated power-off stalls and forward slips to Jon on the way back to Stewart

Once the educational part of our flight was over, we made a scenic detour on the way back. Jon's a student at the University of Dayton so he wanted to fly over campus. I obliged - we flew up towards downtown Dayton, circling over campus. He really enjoyed the view and I'm glad I was able to play tour guide.

As a final way of showing him something new and different, I set up for a short field landing upon our return to Stewart. I explained the differences - slower airspeed, using more power, etc. - and managed to touch down a couple hundred feet past my aiming point. Darn thermals on short final for Runway 26! Regardless, it was a great day of flying... I always get the most enjoyment out of showing other people the many cool things aviation has to offer!

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.8 hours
Total Time: 218.2 hours


  1. Glad you finally made it out to Blue Ash, such a neat unique airport. It is a shame it is being closed. I actually flew down there on Saturday from Chicago (KPWK) to land there once more before it closes (need to publish a post soon). It had been more than six years since I had last visited and eights years since I soloed there. It was great to taxi down the wooded taxiway.

    I should have made the short hop to Red Stewart, maybe next time.

    Safe flying!

    1. Glad to hear you got in a (possibly final) visit, too.

      Definitely let me know if you're ever in the area again - I'd love to meet up for a quick hello!

  2. Steve - Thought you might enjoy a post from Al Waterloo who flew down to Blue Ash with me on his perspective of the closing (

    1. I finally had a chance to hunt down the post - nice trip report. Glad you guys had a chance to get down there one last time!

      Direct link: