Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees, wind 080 degrees at 4 knots
Such. Nice. Weather.
I really can't overstate how immensely beautiful the weather has been over the past week. And the current forecast shows roughly the same perfection for the next week. I always love September and October flying but this current spell has been downright amazing.
Long story short, I posted a message on Facebook a few days ago calling attention to this meteorological fact and asked anyone if they wanted to aviate this week. The first friend to take me up on the offer was Tyler; we've talked about going flying for what feels like forever but tonight was the first opportunity. Both he and I travel quite a bit for work and out schedules finally aligned.
I picked him up at home after work and we got to Stewart around 6:00. He snapped some photos as I did my preflight and pulled the airplane out of the hangar. Once everything was set, he climbed into the front seat, I into the back, and I taxied down to the west end of the field.
She's a good old bird - I have 56 hours (and counting!) in the 85 hp Cub
Checking the oil...
Out of the hangar and ready to take to the sky
We took off on Runway 8 and I pointed the nose towards the lake. Visibility was as good as it's been lately; at less than 1,000 feet AGL both downtown Dayton and Cincinnati were easy to see on the horizon. We flew to the middle of the lake, then turned west towards Wright Brothers.
It was quite the night to fly over Caesar Creek Lake
Tyler's clearly got a great eye - love this one
Tyler and his wife live near Wright Brothers; I checked for traffic then carefully circled overhead just east of the airport traffic pattern as he snapped some photos of their house. Aerial photo run complete, I headed towards downtown.
As we made our way north over the Great Miami River we were treated to an awesome sight. It seems the USAF pilots were also taking advantage of the nice weather to shoot some practice approaches at WPAFB. While circling around the city both a C-17 and a KC-135 flew directly over us, probably 500 to 1,000 feet above, on straight-in approaches to Runway 5L at KFFO. Another advantage of a Cub - the big skylight in roof that let us see both jets pass overhead.
Requisite flight over the front passenger's house
Although we could have kept flying around taking photos for hours, the dwindling sunlight meant it was time to land. Tyler was up for a little fun, however, so I climbed up and did a couple steep turns and a power-off stall. Having enjoyed both, I finished with a steep spiral back down to pattern altitude. He was still grinning so it's clear we need to spend a little more time in the sky doing maneuvers - I may manage to convince someone else to start taking flying lessons before all's said and done here!
Cruising back to Stewart at about 2,500 feet
The very advanced Cub Tug™
Returning to the hangar after another great autumn evening flight
We came in to land behind one of the Champs, which took its sweet time to taxi off the runway. I could have easily landed safely but there's nothing wrong with a go around, so around we went as he cleared the runway. Within a couple minutes we were back on short final and I touched down rather softly and taxied back to the hangar.
Tyler had a blast. I'm glad we finally got in the air together and certainly hope to fly together again soon. Thanks to him for all the great photos in this post, too - it certainly never hurts to take a friendly professional photojournalist flying! :)
Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.1 hours
Total Time: 342.6 hours