Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chad's first Cub experience

Plane: Cub, 85 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Scattered clouds, 70 degrees, wind light and variable

Pilot-in-training-on-hiatus friend Gary and I have been messaging back and forth for a few months. You may recall we've flown together a couple times in the past, the most recent being nearly two years ago already. Anyway, he wanted to surprise his avgeek friend and colleague, Chad, with a flight of some sort.

He's a thoroughly nice and gracious guy and left all aeronautical decisions, including type of aircraft, up to me. But regular readers know there really wasn't much of a decision to be made. Surprise flying fun for someone who appreciates vintage aviation? Cub. Period. Obviously.

Chad snapped this photo of our trusty steed prior to my preflight

I forget the full tale of how the surprise was revealed but they spent the day at the spectacular USAF Museum before we met at Stewart. Chad was geeked as expected and we chatted a bit about the Cub, Stewart, and flying in general before getting to the task at hand. Tommy propped the 85 hp Continental to life and soon we were up in the wild blue yonder.

For the most part, I kept quiet and let him soak up the experience. It's also fair to say that's the primary, logical option since it's a tad hard to communicate while flying NORDO with the door wide open. As a Cub should be flown, mind you.

We passed over the lake; on the ground I had noted the low levels of late and pointed out some of the visible foundations as we passed overhead. I remained low as we looked down on the boats and dam before the river dropped away into the valley.

Continuing southwest, I gently turned and kept the sun mostly in our eyes until turning left just as we reached King's Island so all the roller coasters and other thrill rides (that I have zero interest in riding myself) suddenly came into view. Chad found this to be particularly awesome and I agree - it's one of those unique perspectives only made possible with general aviation.

We flew back to the airport and I had quite a nice three-pointer, if I do say so myself. Chad climbed out with one of those aviation perma-grins and he and Gary switched places. We were soon rolling down the turf and set off on an abbreviated sightseeing flight. I remained closer to the airport, flying low and slow and doing the J-3 thing (I think that's the technical explanation).

Another satisfied passenger - Gary after our short hop around the local area

Back on the ground they helped me push the plane back into the hangar and we wandered around the field for a few minutes more. Both wanted to look at some of the other planes so they did just that and we all talked flying as the sun neared the horizon.

We celebrated the evening's fun at a local tavern over tasty food and beer. I personally had one of the better racks of ribs I've tasted in quite a long time. Eventually they had to hit the road (I think they still had a two hour drive home) but they thanked me again and climbed into Gary's SUV with smiles on their faces. As a pilot, you just can't beat the privilege (and fun!) we have when it comes to taking people on airplane rides. Never gets old.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.4 hours
Total Time: 332.0 hours

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