Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cubbin' with Mike

Plane: Cub, 85 hp
Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Partly cloudy, 90 degrees, wind variable at 4 knots

After riding in his right seat for multiple Pilots N Paws flights (in February, May, and June) I finally had a chance to take my friend Mike up in the Cub. It had already been close to two months since the last time I flew the J-3 and I was very thankful for the wide-open door on such a hot summer afternoon. It honestly feels the exact same here as it did down in Florida last week - the air is so thick you can practically swim through it!

Enjoying the scenery from the pilot's seat

Approaching Caesar Creek Lake

We hopped in and got the engine turning as quickly as possible. Mike knows how to hand-prop so that helped speed things up. The winds were kind of shifty but slightly favoring Runway 8, so I taxied down to the west end of the field. Those extra 20 hp were nice to have as we climbed straight out towards Caesar Creek Lake. I leveled off around 4,500 feet and we had a little fun with a roll of toilet paper (hit it once - not my best effort) before descending down to about 2,000 feet for a low and slow scenic flight.

The requisite photo of our path through the hot, sticky air

Our shadow on the water

Approaching the main beach at Caesar Creek State Park

Boat ramp - it was quite busy

I followed the valley down over top of I-71 and over towards Kings Island. Mike shot some photos as we flew along and I think he got some good ones of the roller coasters. I'll post some on here when he sends them my way. Edit - photos now added on 7/22!

Someone was up in the Citbria practicing acro as we approached the field. The winds were pretty variable and I was going to land on Runway 8 again when I saw the Citabria start to approach to land the other direction. So I quickly turned right onto a downwind and followed them to a pretty smooth landing on Runway 26.

King's Island was also pretty packed

Construction work on the new Jeremiah Morrow Bridge on I-71

You probably know by now that I always try and get in at least three landings when tooling around at Stewart so I can extend my passenger-carrying currency by 90 days. We made two more laps around the pattern, each time with a simulated engine-out landing. The first was a bit bouncy and the second was better, though I wouldn't write home about either of them.

While rolling out on the final landing, the tailwheel caught a divot in the runway and came unlocked so I quickly managed brakes, power, and rudder to re-lock it and avoid a ground loop. We had to roll off to the north side of the runway (usually we go south - the airplane didn't feel like it) as I got things under control but it was otherwise uneventful. I haven't had that happen since I was flying the Champ a couple years ago... always a good reminder that you've never stopped flying a tailwheel airplane until it's tied down!

Mike had a good time and it was nice to get up high where the air was a bit cooler. I can't even imagine flying in the 172 on a day like today - at least not below 5,000 feet. Hopefully I get to fly the Cub some more soon so I can feel a bit more proficient again.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.2 hours
Total Time: 201.9 hours

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