Showing posts from April, 2007

Ice on the airway

We left the KBMG airport around 3:30 headed for home, KJGG. During our Lancair test drive an hour earlier we saw that the clouds were from about 8,000' to 10,000'. Our trip back was planned for 9,000 but we requested 11,000 right away, since we wanted to get "on top". We took off and pointed ourselves eastward, on the direct course we had been cleared for. Climbing out we felt a few bumps as we entered one or two clouds, but it was looking good that 11,000 would get us on top. It took a while to get cleared to that level, since we had to be handed off to Indy Center at 10,000'. By the time we were cleared to that height, we were entering some building clouds – their tops were starting to get into the 12,000' or higher range. We asked for 12,000' and were cleared for that, but soon we were entering a cloud with major updrafts in it. The ride was bumpy and maintaining altitude became a bit of a chore. Since the pilot needs to be using oxygen at 12,50

3 hours to Indiana

Early this morning we took off in Jim's Cirrus SR22 to check out a Lancair Super ES in Bloomington, IN . John, Mike, Jim and I were airborne around 7:30AM and headed to KHTS for a refuel stop (we were fully loaded with 4 guys in the plane and had to fight a headwind). After getting the "local's price" for gas (Jim's folks live nearby) I took the front right seat for the leg to KBMG. Mike flew left seat and did a great job of coaching me through the taxi, takeoff, cruise, and landing. We all learned a lot about the Garmin 430s from Mike. And the flight renewed my appreciation for the Cirrus - it is a roomy, comfortable, stable platform and easy to land (the trick seems to be "stay on top of the airspeeds during the approach" - not unlike many airplanes). Arriving into KBMG we taxied to parking and saw the Lancair Super ES on the ramp. The Super ES is and kit-built airplane provided by Lancair International Inc. You start with the kit (which includes

The Good, the Bad, and the (Plane) Weird

The Good One of the most memorable flights I ever had was one fourth of July night a few years back. My friend (who was working on his IFR ticket) flew left seat while I sat up front in the right. We took off from 29J (now KUZA) and just flew around for about an hour that night, around 3000' AGL. It was a blast. We watched fireworks rocket up from the ground below us before exploding into brilliant colors in the night sky. At any given moment we had our pick of a dozen different fireworks shows as we could see for miles. None of the "missiles" ever made it higher than 1500' AGL - before the flight we wondered how high they might go. We were ready to climb if we needed to, but never had to. :) The Bad One summertime flight that gave me a "never again" moment was my first time flying into a short grass strip solo. That same flying buddy needed to go there to pick up his Piper Cub so I flew him over. It was a really short hop from my airport in the re

$100 Hamburger in Delaware

K flew me up to Georgetown DE on Saturday for lunch and a visit to the museum on the field. She made a more detailed post than I will but I can sum it up as one of the best trips I've taken - it was part of a perfect weekend! Here's the GPS track (we started at the bottom and went east first, which is to the right on this image): And here's my video from the trip:

Flying with Air Combat USA

My friend Maciek and I went out for some friendly dogfighting at nearby SFQ airport today. Air Combat USA was in town so my wife gave me the flight as a birthday present (the big 3-0). The plan had been to fly the Cessna down there from Williamsburg, but a major wind storm (25kts - 35kts) kept us grounded. In fact, we went out to the airport to double check the tie downs and I think if I had removed them the Cessna would have started sliding sideways. So we drove the 1.5 hours down to Suffolk. The trip is a classic case of flying being more efficient as that same drive would have only been a 30 minute flight (when driving you have to go out of the way to get to a bridge over the James river). With the winds as they were, the Air Combat flight was - hmmmmm, what word to use - memorable. I'll get into details on that soon, but for now here's the first part of the flight in video form:

Local flight with new Tach

The parents were in town this weekend so my Dad and Father-in-law braved the freakish early morning cold (32 degrees in April - we had snow Saturday) to go for a short local flight. The new tachometer has now been installed and looks good. The needle is very sharp and the markings are nice and clear. The coolest thing is that the odometer read 3.1 when we crank up. John (who flew those first few hours on the new tach) said he felt like he was in a new airplane. :) We just flew over the neighborhood and down the James river. Then we went back to PHF for a quick landing with a taxi-back in order to depart a few minutes in front of an Airtran Boeing. My landing at PHF was so-so but I had a nice touchdown back at Williamsburg before the winds started picking up.