Thursday, June 8, 2017

This father can still fly an airplane

Plane: Cub, 85 hp 
Instructor: Jamie
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Few clouds, 73 degrees, wind 350 degrees at 5 knots

I can still fly an airplane! I mean, yes, you're technically always a pilot once you receive your certificate. And I didn't exactly think I'd forgotten how to fly. Nonetheless, after 8 months (by far the longest hiatus since my checkride) without flying and nearly 10 months since my last Cub excursion I finally got back in the cockpit this evening. I didn't even break anything.

Why such a lack of flying? Well, as I mentioned in my sole post thus far this year, we had a baby on the way. Well, she was on the way - our daughter Mariella was born back in April and is adorable, healthy, and altogether a pretty darn good baby if I do say so myself. We hope to take her on her first flight sooner than later! Anyway, between the major life changes, work, and my usual downturn in flying during the cold, dark winter months it simply took a while to get myself back down to Stewart.

Could tonight have been any more perfect for Cubbin? I vote no.

Given the painfully long gap in aviating, I of course needed to fly with an instructor. Jamie was available and he met me a bit past 7:30. By the time he walked over to the hangar, I'd already completed a very thorough preflight and pushed the plane out onto the soft, green, almost-summer grass.

We chatted for a few then I climbed in, he hand-propped the engine, and I taxied over to top off the fuel tank. Propeller turning again, I ran through my pre-takeoff checklist then pulled onto Runway 26 and managed a pretty soft and smooth takeoff to the west. Jamie had me climb out over the lake and we first went through some turns. Then he just let me fly around for a bit and do some sightseeing before eventually re-entering the pattern.

Landings are usually where rust is most apparent, at least for me. I reminded (warned?) Jamie that, in my experience, I usually either grease the landings or totally muck them up after an extended break. He, in turn, said he'd be happy to laugh at me if I really screwed the pooch.

Fittingly, the first approach and landing were exceptionally smooth. Jamie said he was upset he didn't have a chance to laugh. Nice guy. I was cautiously optimistic. Two more laps around the pattern fortunately did nothing to temper the optimism; I nailed all three landings and my takeoffs became smoother each time.

Cubs, grass, and blue sky just belong together, don't they?

Maybe the giant break served to erase my mental sight picture so well that, with the luck of nailing it that first time, I had no bad habits and instantly re-established good ones. Or maybe it's just that Cubs are easy to fly. Either way, there's still nothing better than a Cub with the door open on a warm evening.

Well, except perhaps being able to fly a Cub solo with the door open on a warm evening again.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.9 hours
Total Time: 372.9 hours


  1. Like there was any doubt! Welcome back to the sky.

    1. New goal: fly again before June is out!

      Baby steps...

  2. It's like riding a bike....

  3. A Cub is easy to fly, but hard to fly well. I'd say you're just a natural and Stewart trains their pilots well. And yeah, it really is like riding a bike.

    Thanks for the writeup for those of us barely better than you as far as flight frequency. :/