Saturday, June 16, 2012


I received an email from the North East Flyers Group that there would be a fly-in to benefit the Duchess County Community College Flying Club and the NROTC. BBQ and Aviation Art sounded like a good event on a pretty Saturday morning.  But the alarm went off too early and I was tempted to roll over but didn't. The weather check was good but my own inertia was problematic. I started the coffee pot, played with AOPA Flight Planner and stalled for awhile. I had to drag myself to the airport.

Then I pulled open the hangar doors and the excitement stated to grow. Sally needs another cleaning, but otherwise the preflight was good. 60 pulls for the burps (no improvement with the official ROTAX filter), and all other checks were satisfactory. I pulled her out of the barn into the sunlight. Lights, flaps, sumps and control surfaces all good. I put my gear in the back and climbed into the right seat. It felt good. I started to taxi at 9:00.

With all the ground checks complete I took the runway and was quickly airborne. What a beautiful day! While climbing to cruise altitude I contacted Allentown Departure to ask for Flight Following. They were busy! Seems that others may have overcome their inertia and were out enjoying the beautiful views. Lots of traffic calls, some I saw others I didn't. It made the flight all that more interesting. How good can it get? Hot coffee and a granola bar for breakfast at 5500'. All of the gauges were green and Sally was doing the hard work of maintaining course and altitude, just sweet.

Kingston is a nice airport right near the bridge over the Hudson River. Landing was to the south today and when I arrived there was one in the pattern in front of me and another following me in. My pattern was a little wide, but good corrections lead to a nice landing. (Good thing, as I had an audience.)

A "Follow Me" golf cart came out to lead back to the party and I secured her close to the fuel pumps. The linesman was very impressed and I gave him my nickle speech about LSA and some of Sally's features. Then I walked up the hill and sat at a picnic bench to wait for the food to start, but the grill hadn't arrived so people were in a holding pattern. (BTW, BBQ is not shredded pork or brisket, it only means that an outdoor charcoal grill is being used.) Eavesdropping I heard some compliments so went over and introduced myself. Turns out I gave my nickle speech about a half dozen times. At one point I was asked if I was a dealer, and I explained merely an owner. It was a nice day to show her off.

I stayed on the ground for about an hour, bought a Pepsi and made a donation, got 5 gallons of Avgas and prepared to depart. I had pilfered the round sun shade from my wife's car and it worked well to keep the summer heat from Sally's avionics. Everything was working well. Took off to the south directly over the bridge climbing on course to Butter Valley.

Weather was still good, and I had to double check my wind indication. The first time I had seen 'light and variable' at 4500'.  ATC reported traffic over  Blairstown that turned out to be a glider.  Simply beautiful to watch from above. I flew over my old friend at "High Point" and the park looked empty. The skies were not. Two flying low south of Queen City and to my amazement there were 6(!) waiting to take off at 7N8. I circled a bit to allow them to get airborne, then set up for a rare landing on RWY 16. (Land on the grass or go around.)

A wonderful flying adventure. I'm glad I overcame the inertia.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward." - Amelia Earhart

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