Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I still remember how to fly a plane!

Plane: Cub, 65 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Scattered clouds, 74 degrees, wind 360 degrees at 11-12 knots

We returned home from our amazing vacation this past weekend and, amongst many other things on my welcome-back-to-reality checklist, I didn't exactly want to let my currency expire. I kept looking out the window at work this afternoon since it was downright beautiful outside; I called Stewart when I left the office and snagged an hour in the Cub.

It was a little windy down at my favorite grass strip but I figured that would just enhance the knocking-off-the-rust experience. I did a more thorough preflight than usual to ensure I didn't forget anything then Jamie came over and to give me a prop. Having flown earlier in the day, one swing of the blade it all it took to bring her to life.

As I took off the wind was a nearly direct crosswind. Ailerons into the wind, stick forward as I pushed in the throttle and began the takeoff roll. That first liftoff was decent and the airplane quickly weathervaned into the wind as I climbed away. With skydivers jumping, I continued straight out until crossing the road west of the field before turning crosswind.

It's rather difficult to dislike this view

My first landing, frankly, felt about like you'd expect your first landing in two months. Safe but not completely coordinated; I don't think I bounced, though. It also felt like tailwheel was a bit more willing to break loose compared to the big Cub so my feet were doing some extra dancing on the rudder pedals.

The next takeoff was better and the landing was downright perfect. The right wheel touched first as it should but all three grazed the grass so smoothly there was no clear transition from flying to rolling on the turf. I made one more circuit and both takeoff and landing were again very good. Three up, three down - I called it a success and headed home.

One final thought related to our aforementioned trip, which I posted on Facebook after I got home this evening. While there are very many things I love about very many countries, ours is the only one where you can so easily enjoy the magic of personal flight. Today was a perfect day to hop back into the pilot's seat after two months spent as a mere passenger.

Today's Flight: 0.5 hours
Total Time: 332.5 hours


  1. Of course you still remember! Rust is one thing, but at this point, it's in your blood. You also clearly haven't forgotten how to take great photographs, either (goofy prop blade artifacts aside). I really like that one.

    1. Thanks! There really is something about a yellow cub, blue sky with a few white puffy clouds, and green grass/trees below that combines to make a nice photo.