Friday, November 30, 2012

A little more night from the right

Plane: Cessna 182 RG 
Route: MGY, Local (Approaches at I66)
Weather: High overcast, 47 degrees, wind 200 degrees at 6 knots

Mike sent me an IM this afternoon and said he wanted to brush up his skills under the hood. He hadn't flown since we went up three weeks ago. There was a high overcast but otherwise it was a perfect night with great visibility. We met at Wright Brothers around 5:30 and were in the air about 20 minutes later.

The indoor view, shortly after we climbed in

The approach lights were OTS at ILN, which is where Mike had planned to go practice. With that option off the table, he elected instead to fly a couple approaches at nearby I66. We came in once from each direction; the second approach was definitely more stable than the first. It really can be a bit disconcerting at night to see just how low you are when the approach levels you off to look for the airport!

Approaching the Dayton Mall

Dayton Mall again - that's I-675 on the left

Final approach for Runway 20 at MGY

Walmart and the Dayton Mall

 Passing over out neighborhood - my Christmas lights are quite bright! :)

We headed back to MGY after those two approaches and Mike shot the GPS into Runway 20 there. You can see from my not-great-but-still-neat photos above that we passed over some well-lit local areas on the way in. That and the fact that my Christmas lights at our house are wonderfully visible from above! Night flight sure does produce some awesome views.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.8 hours (SIC)
Total Time: 249.8 hours

Monday, November 19, 2012

An anniversary surprise

Plane: Cub, 85 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Clear, 55 degrees, wind calm

Gina and I spent last night celebrating the eve of our first anniversary about 35 miles south of home at a thoroughly fancy and delicious restaurant. When we woke up this morning, she said she had a surprise for me. Leaving the hotel, we made a quick stop at Micro Center and grabbed lunch before she told me to set the GPS for Stewart. To be completely honest, I wasn't sure if she had something crazy up her sleeve until we arrived.

Turns out it was just some time in our favorite Cub... which was a great treat. It's always fun, not to mention the "fittingness" of it all since that yellow airplane graced our Save the Date cards. We chatted in the office for a little while, then climbed on board NC98286 and took to the cool skies.

Passing over the Dayton Mall and the I-675 / I-75 interchange

Flying just north of Wright Brothers Airport

Since this was a completely unanticipated flight, I had even less of a plan in mind than usual. Not that one needs a plan. Flying a Cub is about as pure as flying gets. It's the perfect place to simply enjoy the view and revel in the glory of flying above this beautiful planet.

So that's what we did. I flew west, towards the school where Gina's currently working a long-term sub position. We circled overhead and then I headed back towards home. We passed over our neighborhood as I ascended above pattern altitude at Wright Brothers. Closing in on Stewart, a steep spiral made for a fun descent back down to 1,800 feet.

That's our neighborhood down below - our street's in the middle

Gina's always a good front-seat passenger!

The pattern was clear so I made one low pass over the runway before circling back around to land. We touched down softly on Runway 08, rolling past the cones, right up in between the hangars. Not a bad way to spend part of our day off together. She certainly knows me well.

Here's to many more wonderful years shared in the cockpit, babe!

Today's Flight: 0.8 hours
Total Time: 249.0 hours

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sitting on the right at night

Plane: Cessna 182 RG
Route: MGY, Local (Approaches at DAY)
Weather: Clear, 42 degrees, wind calm

Mike wanted to knock out a little hood time tonight. It was completely clear and the crisp fall air sure makes for some of the smoothest flying. Best of all, it was a chance to see the local area from above at night. It's been far too long since I last flew at night - 1197 days, to be precise.

We shot two ILS approaches to Runway 24L at Dayton International. Other than another Cessna (that appeared to belong to OSU's aviation program) also practicing an approach and two jets landing on Runway 18, the radios were all but silent. Following the second approach, we turned south and passed over downtown Dayton before landing back at Wright Brothers.

Our first approach into DAY

Long final on the second approach

Crossing over the Great Miami River and downtown Dayton

Looking back towards the city; Miami Valley Hospital is in the bottom-left

You'll have to forget the cameraphone quality of the photos. Still... it's a view that's hard to beat!

Today's Flight: 0.3 hours (SIC)
Total Time: 248.2 hours

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sucky steep turns

Plane: Cub, 65 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Broken clouds, 43 degrees, wind 330 degrees at 7 knots

It's been a few weeks since I had a chance to fly. So long, in fact, that I'm extremely glad Gina and I took the opportunity to go up and photograph the foliage in mid-October. All the colorful leaves are long gone at this point. Between cruddy fall weather and living in The Only State That Matters this election cycle (i.e. we've got TFRs all over the place!) the opportunities for aviating have been quite limited as of late.

Gina was working this afternoon (she works part-time in the office at Stewart these days - not sure if I've mentioned that on here yet) so I took the little Cub up solo. I figured it would be nice to get in some practice. With a moderate wind out of the north, I'd also be able to get in some crosswind takeoffs and landings.

Cold temperatures and flying solo made for some quick climbs today

I headed out over the lake to knock off a few steep turns. At least that was the plan. Usually I can polish off a couple with good precision in no time flat. I have no clue what was up today; I was all over the place. Not rolling out on heading, altitude fluctuating ± 200 feet, airspeed increasing... it was a mess. Determined to get it right, I probably did 15 or 20 before I got everything in check and hit my wake on the roll-out  Normally I make sure to do it one more time to confirm it's not a fluke but that one success was good enough for me this afternoon!

After pulling the carb heat for a power-off stall / falling leaf series, a steep spiral brought me down to 1,800 feet and I re-entered the pattern. The local skydive outfit was doing their thing so it was a typical day at Stewart - avoiding the human missiles plus seeing and avoiding a few other NORDO taildraggers. In the end, I did five circuits; three regular takeoffs and landings followed by two power-off 180 approaches. I flared about six inches too high on nearly every landing but, all in all, it was a decent afternoon behind the stick.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.1 hours
Total Time: 247.9 hours