Friday, September 11, 2009

Around the pattern in the Cub

Plane: Cub, 65 hp
Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Clear, 70 degrees, wind 050 degrees at 8 knots

After a week filled with clouds, wind, and thunderstorms the weather gods rewarded us with a weekend full of beautiful skies. I also spent much of the week working very long hours at the office so I was glad to take off around 4:30 and head down to Stewart. I called this morning and reserved a Cub at 5:30 but was hoping it would be finished early. Sure enough, I was in luck and found it ready and waiting for me when I arrived around 5:00. I do have to note that I was hoping luck remained on my side, as things felt slightly ominous considering it's 9/11 and the Hobbs meter read 66.6 hours when I entered the start time in the book.

Someone else was on the fuel pad for a while (like 20 minutes...) so I waited around patiently and watched my friend Mike practice his takeoffs and landings with Dave in the other Cub. He's nearly ready to solo so I was closely watching after each landing to see if anyone hopped out of the plane. It wasn't his day apparently, although I caught a glimpse of some takeoffs and landings that looked real smooth from my vantage point. Once the guy in the 150 finally pulled away from the fuel pumps, I quickly filled my tank and got someone out to give me a prop.

Going in circles around Stewart

Since I had waited nearly a half-hour and had to be home by 7:00 or so, I elected to just stay in the pattern. There was a crosswind from the left that varied in direction and intensity throughout my short time at the controls. Takeoffs were smooth and, even with the smaller 65 hp engine, I climbed quickly to pattern altitude. A few other planes were in the pattern so I ended up extending my downwind a couple times and got to practice some forward slips to quickly lose altitude on final. Two of my landings were total greasers and the other three were respectable, if not with a slight bounce here or there.

Tomorrow is the Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In up at Urbana-Grimes so I intend to spend much of the day up there. I've got the 150 reserved all day and am planning on making two flights there and back. First I'm going to go up with Mike for the morning and then I'll hopefully fly up with Gina later in the afternoon. There's some interesting seminars I want to check out in the afternoon and then there's a dinner with a guest speaker who used to work on Air Force One in the USAF. Hopefully it's a great day of flying and I have the chance to meet up with some other pilot friends!

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 0.7 hours
Total Time: 125.7 hours

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