Friday, September 7, 2012

Squeezing in some flying before the storm

Plane: Cub, 65 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, wind calm

I'd originally had the Cub scheduled for 5:00 tonight but it was nice out, weather was moving in, and I decided to move it up a little bit. As I was checking the radar before leaving the house, I suddenly wasn't sure if I'd even make it into the sky. Still, I figured it was worth a shot and quickly hopped in the car and drove down to Stewart.

The radar about an hour before I took off...

You could certainly see the storms moving in from the West but I knew they were at least a half-hour away. That's plenty of time to make a couple laps around the pattern! I figured that I could quickly get the airplane parked and pushed into the hangar if the weather seemed imminent after any of my landings. Still, my goal was three to reset my tailwheel currency another 90 days.

I was the only plane in the pattern (not surprising) so I was able to make quick work of those landings. Rain was visible in the distance, falling from the clouds, but I had plenty of room. Takeoff, crosswind, downwind, base, final, landing... each sequence only took a couple minutes. The air was actually smooth and the landings were even pretty good!

...and right when I landed - zoom in to see the marker over the airport

It was just a simple few minutes of flying. Three quick laps around the pattern and I had the J-3 pushed back into the hangar with time to spare. Ten minutes later, however, there was seriously impressive cloud-to-ground lightning all over the place. The clouds soon opened up - extremely heavy rain, some small hail, and 40-knot gusts. It was quite the show! And I enjoyed it the best way - inside the office, watching out the windows. Good times.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.4 hours
Total Time: 236.1 hours

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