Sunday, July 3, 2011

6b6 and back

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Another first, well sort of. I had been assigned two weeks of work in Concord, Massachusetts and driven up and back for the first week.(about 7 hours one way.) Weather permitting 674PS would be used for the second week. The FBO at Minute Man Field was very helpful, but I found out the recommended car rental company was closed on Sunday, and the one trying harder would close at 2:00PM. My flight planning indicated about a 2 hour trip and the weather guessers said I should expect clear sky with a slight tailwind enroute. They lied.

I left Butter Valley with a 4000' broken layer of towering cumulus and was forced to weave my way around toward northern New Jersey to get above most of the clouds at 5500'. I picked up flight following as I was returning back to course and settled in for the journey. All systems were working normally and I enjoyed the luxury of having an autopilot coupled to the navigation system. Super duper cruise control. I found that I could switch to heading mode to steer around some buildups then pus the NAV button to return to course. After a while there were just too many deviations so we climbed another 2000'. This worked well and gave me a clear shot through the NYC class B.

Crusin' with the big boys! "4PS traffic 6 o'clock closing 7000 ft should be no factor." Just wonderful watching these beautiful machines highlighted against towering white clouds. Head on a swivel but comfortably watching the show.

The rest of the flight into 6B6 was uneventful. A nice little field (2700') with great service. When you want to visit historic Concord, this is the place to stop.

Friday morning I got up to beautiful clear blue skies. Weather planning again called for light winds with no issues. When I left work at noon I found a solid overcast with some dark gray imbedded cumulus in all sectors. The weather briefer promised better skies to the southwest so I took off and stayed below the layer at 3500'. True to his prediction the clouds started to break and I found a nice blue hole to pop through while passing through the Hartford area. 8500 put most the clouds beneath me. Again, I recommend flight following is a great resource and they were very helpful pointing out traffic during this long holiday weekend. Traffic around NYC was busy and it must have taken me 10 minutes just to check in! Beautiful views of clouds and airliners for the next half hour.

As I approached Quakertown I called (approaching home plate) for my wife to hear on the handheld radio. I later found out that she had been tracking me on FlightAware, getting updates every other minute or so. I was pleasantly surprised to see her waving at me as I passed over the last tree on final. (Sub par landing, a little nose high and slow..I'll chalk it up to being distracted.) It was so great to have her there...and wonderful to have someone help me tie down the plane. A Great trip!

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