Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Six years later

Plane: Cub, 85 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Scattered clouds, 77 degrees, wind 250 degrees at 8 knots

My annual tradition lives to fly another year. Today made it six out of seven Cub flights on my actual birthday; I've only had to delay once for weather. Not bad for springtime!

Prior Years: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Some of my favorite bullet points from the past 12 months:
It's a nice mix of things that extends well beyond my time behind the stick. There's no doubt that I was stressed and busy at times (I tend to want to do too many things) but the past year was certainly a good one. I completed a couple Python programming classes. Work has even been rather enjoyable; I've gotten involved in some interesting new projects and activities.

We had a bunch of fun - as usual - during our relatively short flight this evening

Today turned out to be slightly less than totally beautiful (the original forecast) but was still great Cubbin' weather, especially with the door open down low and slow. Gina and I drove down to Stewart after work. She sat in the cockpit at the controls and I hand-propped the plane. Propeller spinning, I walked around, climbed into the back seat, and taxied out to the runway.

I flew east over the lake and climbed up to 5,000 feet. Things actually got a tad chilly (rough pilot calculations say 77 degrees on the ground equates to about 63 degrees up there) with the door open. I did a few steep turns then cranked and banked to have a little fun.

Insert vintage-looking photo of the Cub on the grass at Stewart here

With that out of my system, I throttled back and tossed a fresh roll of toilet paper (for you, Gary!) out the open door. My dogfighting skills are a little rusty (requisite disclaimer here) and I only managed to cut it on about half my passes. Still, we chopped through the white streamer at least three or four times on the way down. Leveling off, I flew the length of the lake and then headed down the valley to see the progress on the replacement spans of the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge.

We re-entered the pattern from the southwest after a brief detour over Lebanon. I left the throttle resting comfortably at 1500 RPM, carb heat on, as I turned from downwind to base to final. Pulling it idle as I rounded out in ground effect, I held the wheels off until all three softly started rolling across the green blades.

Freshly-mowed grass is a beautiful thing in a taildragger, that's for sure.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.8 hours
Total Time: 306.3 hours


  1. Of all the airplanes I have flown over the years one of my favorites is a Piper Cub. Lucky for me my wife owns one and lets me fly it from time to time!