Thursday, July 12, 2012

Short Flights

An information card to help us answer questions
Following the trip home from the Outer Banks, I still needed to complete the autopilot checks and give her a test flight.  The temperatures were forecast to be hot, so Saturday morning I got an early start out to the airport. With ground checks complete, I took off and climbed to 7500' engaged the autopilot and cycled through all of the modes. Convinced all was well, I engaged the heading mode, altitude hold, and reached for my coffee safely stowed behind the other seat. 10 degrees cooler than on the ground with fantastic ambiance, it was the perfect place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

The weather has become good for flying, but I needed to spend some time in the hangar cleaning her up. I used my new creeper to clean the belly from spinner to tail light and the bottom of each wing. She needed that. I also removed ratty decals on the wings with new replacements provided by Donato. I was worried on how to do this job, if I would scratch the paint getting the old off, how to clean the adhesive residue, how to align the new decals properly. It turned out to be very easy with no tools (except my fingernails). "Goof Off" did a great job of removing any residue and the rest of the job was just press on letters. I used nail polish remover to clean up ink marks on the seat and sidewall (remember to close the pen after talking to ATC) with no discoloration noticed. Finally, I did all of the upper surfaces with Waxall, including the vertical stabilizer. My shoulders will be sore for awhile.

But it all paid off last night. We were invited to attend the Lehigh Valley Flying Club monthly meeting so that their membership could take a look at an LSA. They are in the middle of a decision process and a Sport Cruiser is on their short list. Kathy and I flew into KABE prior to the business meeting to show Sally and answer any questions they might have. Following our trip to Sentimental Journey (where we were bombarded with questions before we even got out of the airplane), Kathy had suggested I make up post cards to provide some general information about our plane which could be used as a reference for follow up information. I handed out about two dozen to the flying club and they seemed to be a hit. I received a nice call from the club sponsor this morning thanking me for our visit. He said he had received email this morning with very positive comments about Sally. If they eventually decide to go in another direction, at least we helped to give them some solid information.

It was good for me to fly into a Class C airport. Using the communication procedures, understanding instructions and finding my way at a "big" airport is not something I do much anymore. We had fun.

Coming home to Butter Valley I misjudged my distance to the field. The airport is hidden by a line of trees when coming from the north and by the time I had maneuvered for a straight in approach, we were high and fast. I told Kathy I was going to use a slip, and she called it "an E ticket ride" (contact me if you don't know what that means). I opted to go missed and came back around for a normal landing. The 'go around' is easy, its the decision to do it that is hard.

Today I went up...just because. You know, there is a lot of pleasure in doing that...just because.

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