Sunday, April 17, 2016

Stewart from the sky

While I may not be flying myself much right now I'm glad to see others are enjoying the magic of Red Stewart Airfield. I've said for a long time that there just aren't many places like it anywhere. A little grass strip, full of taildraggers, owned by the same family for 70 years.

It's definitely the kind of place hangar flying and vintage aviation came to exist.

Hope you enjoy this great video someone captured of the airfield - it really gives you a true feeling what the place is all about.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I flew myself for a change!

Plane: Cub, 85 hp 
Instructor: Tommy
Route: 40I-MGY-40I 
Weather: Clear, 40 degrees, wind 130 degrees at 7 knots

So that whole New Year's goal of working on the IR is somewhere off in the weeds at the moment. It's a drupa year at work, which in the printing world means we're all working crazy hours preparing for the big show. That's also led to a significant uptick in my travel schedule.

Although many to-do list items may be pushed aside at the moment, I'm sure as heck not going to stop flying completely! My statistics are significantly skewed towards the commercial variety at the moment - about 36.3 hours in aluminum tubes (and soon to be many more) compared to 1.6 hours PIC. Fortunately this evening was a rare spring combination of good weather and me actually being in Dayton, so I jumped at the opportunity to get Cub current again.

It's been so long since my last Cub excursion that I had to go up with an instructor! Thankfully friend-who-happens-to-be-a-great-CFI Tommy was available. We topped the fuel tank with 7.7 gallons of 100LL and launched off Runway 8 in the evening twilight.

Sunset from the pattern before my final landing

I first made two landings at Stewart, both pretty decent and the second after a simulated engine-out. Tommy then suggested we fly over to Wright Brothers. Considering I can't even recall the last time I landed a taildragger on pavement it was certainly good practice!

The result both times was something in between a wheel and three-point landing. Hindsight suggests I should have held it off a little longer (if going for the full-stall variety) to get the stick full back upon touchdown for better tailwheel control. As it was, it took a couple seconds after touching down before I really felt the tailwheel come alive on the pedals. All in all, not bad.

With the sun low on the horizon I flew back towards Stewart, quickly circling over the lake to check on the progress of the new marina. Then I entered the pattern and attempted a power-off 180 that ended in a few inglorious bounces on the turf. Tommy and I think alike - "that sucked, can't end like that, let's go around the pattern one more time!" I opted for a more standard approach; the second and final attempt was much better.

Tonight's route over SW Ohio

At this point it's hard to promise frequent flying updates. I certainly intend to fly as much as possible but the "possible" part is hard to define right now. However, daylight hours are longer again and I can usually find someone who wants to carve up the sky in a Cub. Especially once we're flying with the door wide open. I'll see what I can do.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.0 hours
Total Time: 349.1 hours