Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Morning

 Clear, cool, and good visibility. Winds were light to moderate, but I was sure they wouldn't stay that way very long. A weather check confirmed everything to be within my tolerance so I grabbed my bag and headed south.

Just less than 100 pulls, the oil was at the top of the flat, the fuel was dry, the tanks sloshed and the rest of the plane looked great. As I started the interior checks a pretty Piper Cherokee (lime green) pulled into the ramp area, shut down and the pilot departed. The plane effectively blocked my way out of the ramp area. I continued with my start, let the oil warm up and waited a bit. After awhile I called Joe on the radio and asked for the owner for some help. Immediately the pilot came out, started the plane and moved it.

Ground operations were normal. No one was in the pattern. I took off and departed to the north. Extra caution is required on weekends, especially on a nice day in the middle of winter. I heard lots of traffic calls but didn't see anyone. As I approached my house my wife was leaving the driveway in her little red car. I descended a few hundred feet, followed her for a bit south on RT100, then departed north for a landing at Butter Valley. It was quiet there as well, so I departed thinking I would go over the Quakertown, but as I looked at the timer it was getting time to head back. (Weekend appointments get in the way sometimes.)

I made a normal entry on the 45 to RWY26, again all by myself. Winds were picking up bit in an over shooting crosswind. I added just a touch of power in the flare to cushion the landing. That was fun, so I decided one more circuit was in order. Just before turning crosswind I saw a streak about ten yards off to my right. (Really the only traffic I saw all day. Good for an adrenalin rush.) Just a bit of red tail on an otherwise brown bird diving straight down. Wow! The downwind required a bit more correction as the winds were growing stronger. Base leg was eliminated as I turned it into a "Navy" pattern. Another nice landing and my time was up. A great way to spend a morning.

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