Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday Morning Fly-about

Cleaned up
The Labor Day weekend weather didn't look to be all that great. As I checked the maps early Saturday morning there were NEXRAD returns to the south and east, visibility was poor to the north with 4 miles in haze and further west had a convective sigmet with some ugly red and yellow returns. But right  around here it was OK.
Preflight completed

Ready to climb in.
I arrived to find my hangar neighbor's Aeronca Champ sitting out on the concrete and he and his wife were preflighting. They were planning a breakfast run down to The Flying Machine Cafe and in a short time they were up and on their way.

Sally looked pretty good with the bugs cleaned off her canopy, leading edges and wheel pants. But she needs more than a quick cleaning, some dirt still shows on her fuselage and empennage. The belly could use a wash as well...but not today.

We took off to the north heading west of the ABE airspace toward the mountains that define the northwestern edge of the Lehigh Valley. No rain, but haze and low ceilings made it a poor day to take pictures. The CTAF is also used by University Park and I heard a few planes checking in for the opening game at PSU. I turned left and headed down the ridge toward Reading while following the Lehigh River. Lots of little hilly knobs protruded from the dark green Pennsylvania farmland. I made another left turn and overflew Kutztown. The Runway Diner was very busy this morning, even though there isn't a runway anymore.

I headed over to N10 to see if anyone was home but the CTAF frequency was quiet. I punched 7N8 nto the GPS, turned on the autopilot for the first time this flight and let Sally take us home.

Butter Valley was quiet and my first landing was just "OK". I back taxied and prepared for another turn in the landing pattern. The next one was nice, however I'm not as consistent as I would like to be. hmmm, maybe I need more practice.

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