Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Seven years later

Plane: Cub, 65 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Overcast, 56 degrees, wind 050 degrees at 5 knots

While it required a last-minute schedule change I managed to spend yet another birthday evening behind the stick of a Cub. Weather was moving in a bit faster than expected this afternoon so we bumped up my reservation - and, in the process, swapped from the big Cub to the little one. I left work around 4:45 to arrive at Stewart in time to fly at 5:30.

Prior Years: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

Much has occurred during my most recent trip around the sun:
The radar actually showed precipitation very close but a scan of the regional METARs appeared to indicate none of it was falling to the surface at the leading edge of the front; this turned out to be correct - the skies didn't open up until about 15 minutes after landing. Gina hopped in front and I propped the 65 hp Continental to life.

We were soon airborne, without any plan for what to see, really. So I flew north. 

Looking north where Wilmington Pike and I-675 met

Looking east over the new development 

Up in Centerville they've turned the historic Dille Farm into a Costco, amongst other things. It's a bit of a sore subject around here, as "saving many trees" on the property apparently meant they saved a corner with about 25 of them. I drive past every day on the way to/from work but was curious to see what progress looks like from above, so we circled overhead to take a look.

Before and after - looks almost the same, right? Or not.

Development concerns aside, it is interesting to see such transformations from above. I took some photos (as you can see above) and then flew back south towards the airport. We didn't have a ton of time before the rain moved in and I wanted to log the usual three landings to extend my Cub currency.

She puts up with my extra time in the pattern like a Champ (ha!)

I made two normal landings before coming a final power-off approach. Needless to say, I can tell that I've spent more time flying solo this year; the wings consistently were done flying when I still had the wheels about 6" above the grass. Cubs do float less with someone up front! I never did get it quite right, though I improved by the final landing - a rudder-to-the-stop turning full slip from downwind directly to touchdown. 

At this point, it's quite satisfying to have managed to keep this tradition alive for so long. Only one year has been postponed due to weather. Today's weather was probably the closest I can recall to my first flight at Stewart back in 2008, unseasonably cool and cloudy for mid-May. But no matter, as it's always a good day when you're in the back seat of a J-3.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.6 hours
Total Time: 329.1 hours


  1. Like a Champ? In a Cub? Oh, most dreadful mixing of metaphors!

    Happy birthday, glad you got to keep the tradition alive!

    1. Heh, I was hoping someone would catch that... and thanks!

  2. Good deal on another birthday flight!