Weather: Overcast, 70 degrees, wind 020 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 16
I originally had the 150 booked tonight to fly up to Wapakoneta for one of my friend Marty's famous BBQs. However, that got postponed and I was left with a few unplanned hours in an airplane. A quick glance at the weather - or trees, for that matter - got the gears churning in my head and it wasn't long before I figured it would be a great evening for some crosswind practice.
Late in the afternoon I glanced over my Sectional and saw that Butler County Regional Airport in Hamilton had a perfect runway alignment, oriented directly perpendicular to the winds. Although I've flown over top of HAO before, I never had landed there. Crosswind practice and a new airport? Sounds good to me!
A good workout under the semi-low ceiling (about 1,000 feet above pattern altitude)
It was a quick flight over from Stewart, especially with a slightly quartering tailwind. I was entering the pattern on a 45 for a left downwind to Runway 11 less than 15 minutes after takeoff. There's a hill just NW of the airport that you sort of fly around during your base-to-final. With the strong winds out of the north, this made for some good bumps and swirling air currents on final.
Practice complete, I departed straight out for the short flight home. I actually passed through some light rain in two spots while cruising at 2,000 feet. The clouds looked pretty low but I checked the local AWOSs and they were indicating ceilings around 3,000 feet. It's fun to cruise along relatively close to the clouds, though - gives you a nice sense of speed. Nobody else was flying at Stewart so it was a quick entry into the pattern followed by one final crosswind landing.
Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.2 hours
Total Time: 221.8 hours