Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Foliage in the autumn twilight

Plane: Cub, 85 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Clear, 59 degrees, wind 160 degrees at 6 knots

After last Thursday's flight, I made sure to reserve the Cub again - soon. It was obvious that we were quite close to peak colors and I didn't want to miss out. I haven't timed our fall sightseeing flights very well the past couple of years; I've been determined to do better in 2012!

Gina and I took off into the crisp evening air, leveling off a little more than 500 feet above the sparse farmland and rolling hills. She handled the camera and took all the great shots you can see below. I flew a random, meandering path... pointing the nose towards whichever bright colors caught my eye.

Eventually, I entered the pattern at Wright Brothers. Not to land but simply because Gina wanted to see some foliage near the airport and it was the safest way to fly over the area. I made a low approach and then we climbed up to around 3,000 feet while flying back to Stewart.

I did a couple steep turns for a little practice and then, after allowing a 182 in the pattern below us to land, steep spiraled down for the landing. Unfortunately, I tightened up my spiral a bit too much. Combined with the strong southerly winds (at pattern altitude) it left me in too tight on short final. In went the throttle for a go-around as I set up in a wider pattern. The second approach was much more stabilized and resulted in a decent landing.

Normally I'd land in the other direction with a direct crosswind; a headwind on base helps reduce the tendency to overshoot. However, the 182 was landing Runway 26 and I followed suit. So, mental note for next time... widen up that spiral or even offset it slightly south of the airport in a similar wind situation.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.9 hours
Total Time: 246.8 hours


  1. Nice pictures! We had a beautiful sunset tonight...or so my safety pilot claimed.

    1. The joys of training, eh? You're in the home stretch now!

  2. Home stretch? Hardly. But progress.

  3. Awesome colors! It appears your area is peaking about now, we are still green here in Delaware.

    1. Yup, it's been looking good lately. I need to see about getting up again this weekend to take another look.

  4. Stunning photos! Fall is my favorite time of the year to fly.