Friday, May 18, 2018

A beautiful morning to fly up north

Plane: Cessna 182 RG 
Route: OZW-BFA 
Weather - OZW: Clear, 63 degrees, wind 070 degrees at 11 knots gusting to 14
Weather - BFA: Clear, 60 degrees, wind 110 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 17

After getting out of Dayton ahead of some weather last night, I awoke to a beautiful morning in Michigan. I had breakfast and talked with my dad for a bit, took a shower, and then he drove me down the road to the airport. Once the plane was loaded and I completed my pre-flight, we said goodbye and I taxied over to the fuel pumps.

First learning of the day. It's seemingly obvious, but I didn't actually think about how much longer it takes to fill up the Skylane! For the most part, I've flown the 172 and have never had to pump more than about 30 gallons. Well the 182 holds 88 gallons and I took off half-full last night; she took 61 gallons this morning.

It was a little windy and gusty on the field as I taxied to the end of Runway 13. I did my runup and the final pre-takeoff checks, then taxied onto the runway. Full throttle applied and I was quickly accelerating down the concrete at 10:23.

Second learning of the day. I raised the nose into the sky and was gaining altitude when all of a sudden I noticed the airspeed indicator was precipitously slow and going lower. But I was still gaining altitude quickly and the engine gauges looked normal. Fly the airplane. I did lower the nose a bit (out of instinct, I'd say) as I tried to figure out what was going on. Within about 15 seconds I realized the alternate static source knob didn't lock in position when I checked it before takeoff; I closed and secured it and the airspeed indicator immediately jumped back up over 100 knots, about 15-20 knots faster than my normal climb speed. With everything back to normal, I raised the gear and flaps and turned on course.

Comfortably cruising up north at 155 knots

A big wind farm just west of Midland

I leveled at 4,500 feet as the winds were less favorable any higher. On course for Boyne, I contacted Detroit Approach for flight following. They almost immediately handed me off to Flint, who later handed me off to Saginaw. Instead of passing me along to Minneapolis Center, the controller just cut me loose somewhere north of Midland / Bay City.

Houghton Lake - Roscommon County Airport (HTL) is on the east side

Higgins Lake had incredible color today

It didn't take long to cover the ~160 nautical miles to Boyne. The winds were even gustier up north but thankfully they weren't a direct crosswind. As I descended and approached the airport, the only other traffic in the pattern was a Chinook, presumably from the nearby Camp Grayling.

In the pattern at Boyne - you can see the whole resort behind the runway

As I turned final, the plane was getting tossed around a bit. That increased more on short final due to, I assume, the wind blowing over the mountain next to the airport. I wrestled the plane down just fine, however, and touched down smoothly on Runway 17 around 11:30.

It only took a minute to taxi to the corner of the tarmac, shut the plane down, and secure it for the next couple nights. Scott's friend Paul, who organized the bachelor party, picked me up right at the airplane, we loaded my clubs into his car, and we were on the golf course by noon.

Once again, GA turned an otherwise long trip into a quick, enjoyable flight. Slightly over an hour in the air compared to 3 1/2 by road. Sure, I left a day early and stayed overnight on the way, but I still maintain it's a great way to travel!

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.2 hours
Total Time: 392.3 hours

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