Saturday, May 12, 2012

Another Runway Dinner

What we stated with
Windy. Unusually breezy weather with gust well above my comfort level have kept me on the ground. So we spent some time working on the hangar. Satisfying, but not flying.

I thought if I could get up early I might be able to get some pattern work in so arranged to have Friday off. I was at the hangar by 7:30 taking the covers off and starting the preflight. When I did the cockpit check I found the master switch on. Ouch. I don't know if I left it on after configuring my PFD or bumped it on attaching the gust lock, but the result was the same. I had enough power to see the displays, lower the flaps and turn on lights, but didn't know if I would be able to start the engine. I pulled her, finished the preflight and got comfortable. Two props and a click.
Cleaned up after 3 bags full

The airport owner was working and stopped by to chat. Business is down. Few visiting airplanes and the golf business is way down. Once I told him my problem he offered a charger and an extension cord. (He has lots of chargers...for the golf carts.)

Ever put one of these together?
So I put her back in the hangar, unbuttoned the cowling and disconnected the battery. After attaching the cables I went over to the restaurant for breakfast. Next I took a little hike to check the runway, then made my way back to the hangars to see if Harry was in. He wasn't but his friend George was and we chatted for awhile, solving the problems of the world until Harry arrived. I made a 'soft appointment' for next week to get the oil changed. So, after about 3 hours I took the charger off and buttoned her up.

The ramp at 1N7
The forecast for Saturday was 'sunny and mild', but brisk winds arriving in the afternoon. Kathy decided to go with me for a $100 Breakfast, and after consulting FLY2LUNCH we decided on Blairstown (1N7).

Once the covers were off, Kathy took some time to clean the canopy and tidy up the cockpit. She hadn't flown in awhile, not at all from N47, and probably not since the last time we tried Blairstown after the October snow last year. So the set up was a bit strange for her. After I pulled Sally out of the hangar, time was spent getting the headset to work right, adjusting the volume, seat belts and all of the items she might need during the flight. We decided I should create a check list for her. After we were all settled in I told her that I hadn't tested the battery since the recharge and the engine might not start. "She'll start" was all she said.

Sailplane operations
Sally started normally. Butter Valley had some traffic on this pretty Saturday morning so we got a front row seat watching a few come in for landings as we did our run up. I tried to explain all of the items on the checklist, but after awhile she said I talk too much.

We took off and headed over to the church to take some pictures, then flew over our housing development to take some more. Steep turns and light choppy air wasn't good for someone prone to air sickness. So I climbed to 3500', contacted Allentown Approach  and flew direct 1N7.  A little hazy, a little bumpy and a rough ride for Kathy. She was glad to get her feet on the ground.

We had a light meal, watched the gliders do their thing, enjoyed the traffic and felt comfortable under the trees just watching the show. I noticed the wind was starting to pick up.

We departed about noon. I tried 4500' but before we got close to ABE we were getting bounced a bit. I requested and received 1000' lower but was still in a bit of a chop. (Later I found the Queen City had reported gusts to 16 kts.) I balanced a max cruise versus a smooth ride and did the best I could to make gentle turns. Kathy was uncomfortable but did well. A straight in to RWY 34 (nice landing) and then back to the barn. It was great to get out in the plane together.

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