Saturday, May 24, 2014

One final BBQ at Neil Armstrong

Plane: Cessna 150 
Route: 40I-AXV
Weather: Broken clouds, 76 degrees, wind light and variable

Good pilot friend Marty is moving back to the west coast and his birthday's tomorrow. I've flown up there quite a few times - both with friends and solo - to enjoy tasty grub outside his hangar. Today we decided to stay the night so I could finally enjoy a few adult beverages with dinner.

Gina and I headed down to the airport after a busy morning/afternoon spent buying plants and supplies for the yard and garden. We intended to be up there by 5:00 but that ended up being the time our wheels left the grass at Stewart. It wasn't too warm but the air was slightly bumpy most of the way up.

Landing on Runway 26, I taxied over to the large assembly of cars and people and shut down. It seemed like the entire small town showed up! A bunch of Marty's friends - and quite a few of his students - were there to wish him a happy birthday and safe move.

He pointed out a couple kids (the son and daughter of one of his students) who were eager to go for an airplane ride. Having just arrived, I was probably one of the few people legally allowed to fly! He asked if I would mind taking them up for a quick spin around the pattern and I happily obliged. It's always fun to take kids flying.

The little boy was first. He was rather quiet but definitely enjoyed the view. We flew around the pattern, landed, and I walked over to get his sister. She was a few years older and much more talkative. We briefly left the pattern, flying out to the edge of Grand Lake before turning back towards the airport. I let her "fly" a little bit and we made a couple shallow turns, followed by a couple steeper ones. She said she loved roller coasters and I'm not surprised - she was giggling all the way through those last two turns.

I felt like my little trainer didn't deserve to spend the night in such luxury!

This plane almost certainly hasn't seen a hangar this clean in decades

I landed and we pushed the plane into Marty's now-empty hangar. He flew his beautiful Bonanza out to California a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, the 150 looked highly out of place.

Everything secure for the evening, I wandered back over to next row the T-Hangars and grabbed a cold beer. I proceeded to stuff my face full of far too much food and chatted with a bunch of fellow pilots. Pretty much the ideal summer evening at any small, local airport.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.6 hours
Total Time: 307.9 hours


  1. Sounds like one of those "end of an era" type visits. Good luck to your would be tough to leave that beautiful hangar behind!

    1. Yep, you hit the nail on the head. Definitely sad to see this chapter close.

      On the flip side, however, now we'll have a place to stay next time we want to visit wine country!

  2. Just catching up with your flying and blog ... love the "clear" photos of our surrounding communities. Do I seen a new category starting? Look out Google Streetview ... here comes Steve's Skyview. :-)

    1. Yep, it's a nice area to fly over - perhaps not as scenic as rolling hills or mountains, but I still enjoy the view. Lots more emergency landing sites than walls of granite, too! :)