Saturday, August 10, 2013

S37 - 2013

"Rex, you gotta get an LSA!"
Community. Camaraderie. Fellowship. Friendship.

It was an early start. Kathy's alarm went off before 6:00am, too early. But the early morning light was streaming in the bedroom window encouraging me to get up and play. I made my way down to the computer to see if we had "Go" weather. All the charts and graphs, NOTAMS and TFRS said: yes. We got ourselves ready to go fly.

I had done a thorough preflight the night before so we did cursory checks now. Kathy did the checklist and the engine start. I taxied around the barn and chased some waddling geese as we got to run up area. All the ground checks were good. We were airborne a little after 8:00am. As we climbed we monitored the RV Flight frequency to see if they had departed KPTW. They were about 10 miles ahead of us so we leveled at 2500', set the autopilot, and completed the cruise checks. Pennsylvania looked pretty good this morning.

Ten miles out I switched to Smoketown's CTAF to listen for traffic. Very busy. So as we spotted traffic and listened for position calls I was distracted enough not to see the airport until almost directly overhead. We flew outbound  about three miles before reversing course to enter on the 45. I saw two on downwind and took interval behind the second. There was also another making his base to final turn making us number 4. We did the landing checks, but I kept the speed up keeping my interval on a C172. When we turned final there were at least two more behind us. I was requested to land long, complied and expeditiously got off the busy runway. (I hope Kathy didn't wave to the photographer this time.)

The ground support was OUTSTANDING! I felt very comfortable as we were directed to our parking spot. Kathy shut her down and we both took a minute to catch our breath. The RV group had already landed and David came over to welcome us.

A little after 8:30am and already good attendance. David counted 80 - 100 planes with at least 13 LSA's. After picking up my FREE T-shirt we got in line for a very good pancake/egg/ham/donut breakfast. As we ate Rex came by and we talked about airplanes and freedom and all of the stuff pilots talk about. I think we sparked his interest in LSA's and when David showed him his beautiful RV the poor man was hooked.

So after a lot more talk and looking at a lot of gorgeous airplanes we climbed back into Sally and prepared to leave. Once again Kathy did the checklist and the start. It was an easy takeoff and departure to the north, the weather still nice with a high overcast to keep the sun from getting us too warm. After awhile I clicked off the autopilot and let Kathy get a feel for the controls. We talked about airspeed, and trim and...airspeed. She did quite well.

So after awhile I took the controls and descended down to enter the pattern at 7N8. Yucky landing.

We buttoned everything up and went over to the Runway Grille for lunch. This was already a very good day and it wasn't quite 12:00pm.

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