Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Clear, 75 degrees, wind 180 degrees at 6 knots
I convinced a few coworkers to go flying this evening. We're still in the midst of some great flying weather. Lorraine, Joe, and I have all chatted about flying in the past. She was on board first and convinced Joe at some point throughout the day. We left work and met at the airport around 5:30pm. Sidenote - I'm sure our boss is happy I didn't take out half the Kodak color science and workflow team with any stupid pilot tricks this evening. ;-)
Getting the trusty 172 ready
Explaining the trim wheel prior to taxiing
While preflighting the airplane we all chatted and I explained a few things and answered their questions. Then I got everyone situated and strapped in. Engine running, before takeoff checks completed, and everyone ready to fly, I departed to the west on Runway 26.
Pardon the long video, but I captured some great moments with tonight's cockpit POV!
View out the back just after takeoff
Passing over the fields on the west edge of the airport
We first flew north, passing over Centerville, Lorraine's house, and the new Costco development next to I-675 before passing over the office. Then we circled over Oakwood, the University of Dayton, and Joe's house. I looped around downtown Dayton then followed the Great Miami River south past Moraine Airpark.
Costco and a Kroger under construction in Centerville
The Greene in Beavercreek
Great Miami River and downtown Dayton
Carillon Park and the Deeds Carillon
I-75 construction downtown
The center of downtown with the Oregon District behind (in the top-left)
The new Water Street District under construction along the river
Fifth Third Field
Visibility was great; we spotted downtown Cincinnati from roughly 40 miles away. Joe caught sight of a combine plowing crops below and snapped a photo. I pointed out more sights near Miamisburg as we passed alongside some hot air balloons out sharing tonight's splendid conditions. As we passed the last balloon, I rocked the wings to say hello.
Cruising south above the Great Miami River
We passed over this huge combine harvesting the fields
The farm was rather scenic from above in the lingering twilight
Most of the balloons we saw were down close to the farmland
This balloon was up much higher, between 2,500 and 3,000 feet
Continuing south we passed over Mason. Lorraine is seriously into tennis so I made sure to point out the site of the Cincinnati Masters. Across I-71 from the Lindner Family Tennis Center is King's Island; we all enjoyed the view of the amusement park from above.
King's Island is a regular waypoint on my sightseeing tours
Before returning to Stewart I asked if they'd like to try some steeper turns. Both were up for the challenge so I banked over to the right then then reversed course and went back to the left. They thought it was fun so I descended in a steep spiral. I failed to remind Joe to look out the front during that final maneuver so he didn't feel 100% by the end, though he was still doing alright. I really felt bad about that; though they were both eager and willing for more than straight and level I certainly never intend to leave any passenger with a bad feeling in their stomach. Fortunately I was entering the pattern at that point and he was fine by the time we landed.
Entering the pattern to land back at Stewart
Everyone was grinning when I landed softly, directly into the blinding sunlight and approaching sunset. So I think it was another successful sightseeing flight despite a couple degrees of excessive bank. Lorraine and Joe both appear ready to fly again sometime and said they had a great time tonight, so that's all I can ask for. Taking people for their first flight in a small plane is still one of my most favorite piloting privledges, no question.
Thanks to Joe for nearly all the photos in this post, too!
Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.1 hours
Total Time: 336.7 hours