Weather - 40I: Clear, 63 degrees, wind 350 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 17
Weather - AXV: Clear, 70 degrees, wind 340 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 16
It may have been windy this afternoon, but that wasn't going to keep us from another visit to Wapakoneta for some delicious, week-ending (and birthday-celebrating) food on the grill. Besides, I've landed at AXV in 15+ knot crosswinds in a 150 before. It can be done!
I drove straight from work and Gina met me at Stewart around 4:30. We took off about a half-hour later; it took a few extra minutes to get airborne because I had to add air to all the tires. Sometimes low tires go unnoticed on grass but I made sure to check everything on the gear in detail since we'd be landing in strong winds.
We stopped at Greene County Airport (I19) on the way and met Sam, who also flies out of Stewart on occasion. He had rented Beaver Valley's Tecnam to fly to the BBQ with his brother. They took off just before us and then I followed them all the way there. We'd hoped to fly about 1/4 mile apart but that little LSA climbs way better than an old 150! He gained about two miles on us in the initial climb and we remained 1-2 miles apart for the entire trip north.
After a very respectable crosswind landing I shut down and we enjoyed plenty of delicious food and beverages for the next two hours. Well... Gina enjoyed the beverages. I enjoyed my can of Coke and bottle of water. One very minor negative of the whole piloting thing, right?
An unusual day - we arrived/departed on different runways at all three airports
It was nearly 8:30 by the time we took off. Thankfully, the strong northerly winds that held our groundspeed around 75 mph on the outbound trip were now providing a much-needed push on the tail. We quickly cruised back to Stewart at around 125 mph and hit 140 mph on the descent.
Moon rising over Wright-Patterson AFB (still captured from the video)
I touched down pretty softly shortly past sunset, having enjoyed a spectacular view of the moon most of the way home. It rose above the horizon shortly after takeoff and was vivid and absolutely beautiful in cruise above the haze layer. It was still shining bright in the sky as I shut the plane down and we climbed into our cars to drive home.
Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 2.0 hours
Total Time: 269.1 hours