Sunday, August 23, 2009

Flying with my dad

Plane: Cessna 150
Route: 40I-MGY-40I
Weather: Overcast, 65 degrees, wind 320 degrees at 6 knots

My dad came down from Michigan for the weekend to go with me and Gina to a Dayton Dragons game sponsored through my work. If you recall, he and my sister came down to visit back in June for a similar game. That last time they visited I was able to take my sister flying but he didn't want to go up. Now I'm never one to force flying upon anyone but I casually asked him if he wanted to fly this morning and he said yes. I called Stewart and they said 3718J was available, so we quickly hopped in the car and headed to the airport.

My dad took video of the flight and I edited it together - enjoy!

I went through the entire preflight with my dad, explaining exactly what I was looking at and what things were for. We pushed the 150 down to the fuel pump, filled up, and then I showed him how to get in. No way around it, climbing into the tiny two-seater is a squeeze for most people the first time they try. But he managed to get in and I showed him the seatbelt, how to open the window and door, and then walked around and got in the left seat. Engine started (well, after I remembered to turn the key on - this plane has a pull starter instead of the key starter I usually use in 60338) and preflight checks complete, I taxied on to Runway 26 and off we went.

Anyone who has read this blog for some time is well-aware of my usual sightseeing route right now. If you're new, just click on the 'Passengers' tag at the bottom of this post or under 'Categories' over in the right-side navigation to find similar flights. After we were out of the pattern we flew over the lake, down the valley to the bridge, and then headed direct MGY at 3,000 feet. My dad asked to land there and to fly over my house so I passed by the airport and circled over the house before flying towards Moraine Air Park and beginning a descent to 2,000 feet. We entered the pattern at Wright Brothers behind a Cessna that flew a pattern a Boeing Captain would be proud of, so I ended up extending my downwind much more than usual. It did at least make for good video as you could see the runway for a long time on final. The landing was relatively smooth but I've done better.

After a quick taxi and takeoff I turned back towards Stewart and asked if he wanted to do a few steep turns. He said yeah (since he likes rollercoasters, in his words) so I climbed back up to 3,000 and made one to the left followed immediately by another 360 back to the right. Honestly I thought they sucked so I did another one to the left that felt a good deal better. Note to self - time to go up and practice the basics again! We were over the lake and I went into a forward slip to bring us down to 2,500 feet in a heartbeat and show him how to make a quick descent. Then I flew us back to Stewart, setting us up for a short field landing. The winds were shifty the last ten feet above the ground so my feet were all over the pedals right before touchdown to keep 18J straight. I set us down firmly but I'd still call it smooth given the conditions.

Today's flight - Google Earth style

So what did my dad think of the experience? He had a great time and even said my landings were good, so I must have done something right! Back in college he and some friends went up and it was real bumpy so he was hesitant about going up at first. Thankfully today's conditions were good and even though there were some light bumps as we passed beneath the clouds he thought it was really smooth - especially given the size of the plane. While it was overcast the visibility was still great; we could see the Columbus skyline at the edge of the horizon, over 50 miles away. I'm really glad we had the chance to fly together and that he had a fun time taking in the sights and using my camera to record the great video that's included in this post.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.3 hours
Total Time: 122.9 hours


  1. Nice airwork as usual, and kudos to your dad for the awesome videography! No shakiness at all.

  2. Yea it was neat to see the video from his perspective in lieu of my usual mounted-on-the-glareshield location.

  3. Congrats on a nice flight. It is always special when you fly a family member for a first time.

    I loved watching the landing back at Red Stewart Airfield. I miss flying there.

  4. Well fly on down here and re-live the glory days! :-)

    Loved your video from the Extra by the way. Color me very jealous.