Saturday, July 13, 2013

My sister's first Cub experience

Plane: Cub, 85 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Few clouds, 81 degrees, wind 100 degrees at 6 knots

My sister and her boyfriend drove down from Michigan yesterday to visit for the weekend. She's flown with me a couple times before - in the 150 and 172 - but never in a Cub. I believe she actually requested a Cub ride. Smart little sister, she is.

We drove down to the airport after a nice afternoon. It was perhaps the most beautiful day since spring - warm but not hot, almost totally clear skies, light winds. No better evening for a flight in a J-3 with the door wide open!

Assuming the typical pilot/passenger positions

Fun in the Cub - no further explanation required

Jamie propped us - which took a few extra tries, as the big Cub is prone to do when the engine's hot - and I taxied down to the end of Runway 8. Joe was in the other Cub with a student; it appeared to be a new student, as he was busy explaining something. I taxied around them and we were soon climbing briskly away from the grass.

Passing over Caesar Creek Lake and Harveysburg

Preparing for some fun...

Rolling shutter artifact aside, this is a great shot!

Lauren's always up for some fun so I wasn't in super-gentle-airline-pilot-like mode. I did a steep turn and nailed it; we bumped across the wake with a solid thump as I rolled out on my original heading. Then I sliced through an unfurling roll of toilet paper (usual disclaimer here) dropped from 5,000 feet a few times as we made our way back towards the ground.

Scott (who I took up in the Cub three years ago) elected to get in nine holes of golf while we flew. Incidentally, the golf course is literally across the street from the airport. We passed overhead and actually spotted him on the green.

My sister's other half was across the street at Holly Hills

Flying over the Little Miami River valley

I made a low pass over the runway at the gliderport. The pattern was empty since they'd long stopped flying but a couple old-timers were sitting under the pavilion, waving as we flew past. I returned the hello, waving our wings at them and then climbed away to enter the pattern at Stewart. Skydivers had been jumping but they were back on the ground so I crossed midfield and entered a left downwind for Runway 8.

The sun was getting lower on the horizon as we flew back to Stewart

Landing with the sun at our back (tongue out = concentrating)

Short final from the front seat

Once clear of the road and power lines, I descended low and skimmed over the corn right before the start of the runway. I held the plane there, making a low approach, and then climbed up and circled back around to land. Coming in high to land intentionally long, I held the plane off, off, off... and touched down very softly (a solid 9.5/10!) well down the runway. After a short taxi, I turned the plane around, shut down the engine, pushed her into the tiedown, and buttoned everything up.

Walking back to the office after our flight

As with most Cub flights, there was no plan tonight. Just take off, have fun, and enjoy the view of the everything below through the open door. Lauren had a blast (and took all the great photos in this post) and I think she now understands why I love these little yellow airplanes so much.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.7 hours
Total Time: 274.9 hours


  1. What's it with you boys and the tongue out concentration faces? :P

    1. Um, it's what all the best pilots do, ok? :)

  2. Looks like a great evening, Steve. Love the effect of the sun behind you two.

    I don't know if I've ever done the tongue thing while flying, but I used to catch myself with tongue out while concentrating on delicate work with a soldering iron. That's analogous to landing a Cub, right?

    1. My only conclusion from this is that I'm glad I don't have a camera pointed at my face more often.

  3. Wow! What an experience must it have been for your sister. I kind of envy you both, hehe! Traveling by air is a privilege bought to us through years of technical advancements and being able to pilot an airplane is such an asset. Have you thought of working for a private jet company?

    Shawn Holstein @ Holstein Aviation