Sunday, January 29, 2012


The alarm clock rang but I ignored it for awhile. Eventually I hauled myself out of bed, started  a pot of coffee and went into the office to check the weather maps. Not bad. The sun was shinning outside, temperatures were above freezing and the winds were moderate. Looked like a "Go".

I spent some time going over the charts to pick a destination. I would be solo today so no need to find a runway cafe'. I went out about 50 miles and drew an imaginary circle to see what looked interesting. I had gone south last time (WWD) so looked out west.  I haven't been to York or Gettysburg yet, and should be pretty flying over the Pennsylvania farmland. Nothing grabbed my attention to the north, but then I saw Hackettstown (N05). That rang a bell with me. I pulled out the old (original) logbook and found it. 11/27/70 0.6 to Hack, and 0.5 back to Slatington. My last x-country before my check ride. Time for another visit.

I loaded my gear into the car. It was time for some Mogas so I stopped at the Shell station with my two 5 gallon fuel jugs. ($3.77 for premium with 10% ethanol.) I also had a can of Seafoam additive to mix in with the gas. 10 miles down RT100 to N47, I arrived before 9:00am and began the preflight. It was cold. It was windy? The weather maps didn't indicate this kind of gusty wind. I removed the cowl and checked the engine. She burped after about 80 pulls and I almost lost my hat putting the cowling back on. Wind? I looked at the sock and it was straight out and flapping. The nearby flag for the airport was also waving briskly. I added the fuel but didn't take her covers off. Time to check the weather again. PTW was 8G18, UKT was 10G20, NXX - 12, RDG- 12G22. Decision time.

This is what I mean by "invested". Beautiful clear blue skies, visibility is probably a million miles. Cold, but not freezing. The performance will be great! I have an interesting mission plan. I got up early, got the fuel, made the drive and the airplane is ready to fly. I'M ready to fly!

No Go.

Maybe later but not now. My personal minimums say don't take off if winds are gusting greater than 18 in the local area. (I also decided not to go with temps less than 25 degrees.) Being invested makes it harder to say "no". It's good to have personal mins to help you make the decision.

As I drove up the hill to get home I could see a plane in the pattern over at Butter Valley. ...maybe later.

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