Saturday, August 6, 2011

Grimes with the girls

Plane: Cessna 172
Route: 40I-I74-40I
Weather: Extremely hazy, 84 degrees, wind 220 degrees at 8 knots

Sarah, one of our great friends from college, came down to visit this weekend. I actually took her and another college friend flying a couple years ago in the 150. This time, considering I was seriously overdue for a $100 pancake run, we headed up to Urbana in the Skyhawk.

Here's video from the flight home - Urbana to Stewart

I had been thinking about Columbus, IN or Mt. Victory, OH as possible breakfast destinations but the less-than-desirable weather nixed those options. Instead, we'd head to the always-good Airport Cafe at Grimes Field. I've made that flight plenty of times and know the terrain and landmarks like the back of my hand... so I don't mind making the short 41-mile hop in MVFR conditions. The clouds were plenty high this morning but it was extremely hazy and forward visibility was definitely in the 3-5 mile range on the flight up.

One of the neighborhoods near Stewart, shortly after takeoff

Sarah riding comfortably in the 172's back seat

Gina sitting up front... I think I was adjusting the intercom squelch?

I departed straight out, then turned on course towards Urbana. We eventually leveled off at 3,700 feet so I was clear of WPAFB and Springfield's airspace. Along the way we passed by Adventure Acres, which I have learned while writing this is the largest corn maze in Ohio. The haze was very thick but I could see all the familiar landmarks and we were abeam downtown Springfield when I first spotted Urbana and the airport. Lots of planes were headed there (as is usually the case on a weekend morning) and I entered on a 45 for Runway 20 behind a Cherokee.

Adventure Acres near Bellbrook, OH

I always love seeing corn mazes from the air

Breakfast was thoroughly delicious as usual. I had a couple eggs over easy with home fries, bacon, and toast. Gina has sausage biscuits and gravy and Sarah had two of the largest pancakes I've ever seen - they were at least 1/2" thick each. The only bad thing is they were out of peach pie so we couldn't bring any home with us. Gina's got bad luck with that... next time I want pie from the Airport Cafe, she's gonna have to stay home and let me fly up there solo!

Visibility improved as we flew home and was a solid 10 miles by the time we were close to Xenia. We were level at 2,500 feet and the ride was very smooth punctuated by only the occasional light bump when we passed under a forming cloud. Entering the pattern I first didn't see the Champ, so my midfield crosswind entry turned into more of a midfield S-Turn entry that let me follow him onto downwind. I ended up with an extended final but it was helpful since the winds had really kicked up. I slipped down final and touched the left main softly with the stick all the way back into my chest - easily one of my best crosswind landings in a long time.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.4 hours
Total Time: 204.1 hours


  1. Very cool shot of the corn maze. I've only seen one and that was with Rob heading to Windwood last year. I think it was a Boy Scout camp or scout reelated.

    Yummmmm...peach pie. Wish I could have some but I have hit the diet pretty hard. Sugars are no-go along with everything else good, but I have to loose the fat gut.

    Sounds like you all had a nice flight, love the GA breakfast "loved them".

  2. Oh yeah...great tunes on the video!

  3. I understand the diet concerns - I really need to watch what I'm eating with the wedding coming up soon! :-o

    This was a fun day for a local-ish pancake run. Definitely wouldn't have wanted to venture out into unfamiliar territory, though.