Kathy had places to go and people to see on Saturday. I had the morning to myself. Butter Valley was quiet. I wanted to make some adjustments to my Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) by ading a few minor display items. First, I had previously removed the altitude "tape" to declutter the screen. I added it back. Next I wanted to add a "bug" on the airspeed tape at 65kts (Vy). Finally, I wanted to change the roll indication to a more traditional view. I sat in the cockpit pushing buttons for awhile exploring the different menus until I had made all of the changes I wanted. When I finally lifted my head up I noticed the sun had gone and the hangar doors were blowing in the gusty wind. I checked my Android phone app and all the local airports were coded "yellow or "red" with winds or low ceilings. I closed her up and went over to the Grill for a bagel and a cup of coffee.
Kathy set her alarm early for Sunday. She saw the sky to the east was orange waiting for the sun to rise. My weather radio said is was 44°F out there. The heater had come on during the night but it was still cold in the bedroom. I forced myself to get out from the covers to check flight conditions. The hot coffee helped. I dragged myself to the car and adjusted the heater. The season has changed.
A thin mist lingered over the runway as I entered the airport. It was quiet, calm, and cold. The hangar doors seemed heavy. The prop was cold in my hand as I turned it over a few times to burp the engine. I banged my head (hard) on the open tailgate of my car as I reached in to get my camera and the travel mug of coffee. I climbed in the plane and immediately felt comfortable. Smooth start, we taxied around the silo to view the runway as the oil warmed up. It may be time to but the oil cooler baffle on for winter. OAT read 7°C.
Sally loves the cool air. The prop takes a deeper bite and wings generate more lift in the dense air. As we climbed to 1000' I could see two hot air balloons out to the east. I went over to play.I stayed well above them as I circled and even so Sally didn't like it much. She warned me with an occasional "Terrain" as I got close to a cell tower or "Altitude" if I descend to within 500' of my my target. I engaged the autopilot when I pulled the camera out.
The balloons had enough for the day so I wandered further east to fly along the Delaware River. I really enjoyed watching the low clouds laying in the valleys. Beautiful, calm, clear. I turned for home.
*Note: Mandy gave me her old IPOD Touch. I created a playlist for flying and have enjoyed this new sensation of listening to music while enjoying the scenery. However, you can't sing to the music (unless you move the microphone out of the way.) Its OK, it was a solo flight after all.