Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Clear, 80 degrees, wind 120 degrees at 7 knots
It's been too long. Since I flew a Cub with the door wide open. Since I flew in general, really.
Since my last flight, I've spent nearly two weeks out of the country for work in Canada and Switzerland. Not that I'm complaining - I do love to travel, after all. Work's been kind of hectic besides the travel, too. We're also still in the middle of a kitchen remodel. Needless to say, the flying has been rather sporadic thus far in 2015.
Tonight was absolute perfection in terms of flying, however. Relatively calm winds, great visibility, and plenty of warmth to facilitate said door-ajar aviating. Gina and I headed down to Stewart after I got home from work for our first flight together since the first day of the year.
She's relatively well-versed in Cubs and tailwheel procedures by now, so she sat in front at the controls while I hand-propped the 65 hp Continental to life. Propeller-turner turning, I climbed in the back seat and ran through my preflight. We taxied to the end of Runway 8, did a run-up, and I pushed the throttle in. We were soon rolling down the soft grass and quickly airborne.
Circling back around, I made a landing to check my level of rust. Initial reports came back negative, as I completely greased it. Don't worry, I don't always achieve such aerial prowess; read on. We took off again and I flew east to check out the lake and do a little sightseeing.
I swear she enjoyed tonight's flight more than this photo appears to indicate
Flying over the northwest edge of Caesar Creek Lake
As I mentioned after both the New Year's flight and in March, they've drained Caesar Creek Lake in order to build a new marina. It seemed even lower tonight as I was able to spot more remnants of its before-it-was-a-lake past. We spotted a couple old roads and even an old bridge that normally lie well beneath the water's surface. The old road / old infrastructure geek in me was quite satisfied with these findings.
Crossing over OH-73 in the middle of the lake
Old roads and a bridge that usually lie under the water
They've clearly brought in some fill dirt to help construct the new marina
Leaving the lake behind and flying west, I made a low pass over the gliderport, then briefly flew down the valley before climbing up to 2,500 feet. I did two 720-degree steep turns, one to the left and another to the right. Neither were perfect but I held altitude within 100 feet and speed within 5 knots, so I was relatively satisfied. I think Gina was more than ready to be done at that point, too, so I didn't attempt any further refinement.
Heading south down the valley after sightseeing over the lake
I came back around one more time and gave a better performance for the nonexistent airport bums. Going for a power-off 180, I went full right rudder and left aileron to make a turning forward slip from downwind all the way to landing. I lost the altitude perfectly but rolled out with about 5-10 knots of extra airspeed. We touched down smoothly but bounced slightly as the wings weren't quite ready to stop flying. Sort of the opposite of landing numero dos, I suppose.
All in all, having not flown a Cub in two months (!!) it was a successful evening behind the stick. If my travel schedule and free time stop conspiring against my logbook, I certainly hope to fly much more in the near future. Either way, both of us sure as heck enjoyed the warm breeze through the open door at 1,500 feet this evening.
Cubbin' is the way to go. Especially when it's warm out. Trust me.
Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 0.8 hours
Total Time: 327.8 hours