Monday, May 26, 2014

Morgantown, Deck, Grimes

Uncle George
The trip was planned. Always concerned about weight we packed lightly, sport coat and slacks for me, a light dress for her. Some traveling clothes and essentials, nothing more. I put precisely twelve gallons in each side. That would be enough for the trip and an hour+ reserve. My planner said the trip to Wooster would take less than three hours. Our weather window had to be good either Thursday evening or Friday morning. The service stated at 1:00PM so my ETD could not be later than 9:00AM.

It was an interesting weather system. The warm front came first and extended north of Allentown, the cold front following it merged there but trailed further south toward Reading causing a triangular section of unstable air right over Butter Valley. Reading reported hail the size of golf balls Thursday evening. I estimated a 50-50 chance of dense fog Friday morning. Not good enough. So we jumped in the car and started driving west. Seven hours later we were in Wooster to say Goodbye to Uncle George.

Sunday morning back in Pennsylvania was beautiful. 50°F+ temps, clear skies and gentle winds. I was at the hangar before 8:00AM. The preflight went well and all of the ground procedures were normal. Sally and I took off and headed southwest toward Morgantown (O03). Along the way we rocked our wings flying over Home Plate.  I chose this grass strip because it was close to the exit on the PA Turnpike we used coming home. The mist still lay in the hollows close to the airport. We did a low approach and admired the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside. It will be a great place to practice turf landings.

O04, 9D4, 8N1

We departed and headed northwest toward Deck (9D4). I often hear planes using the CTAF of 122.8 practicing there but had not taken the opportunity to check out the runway. Along the way I heard a PiperSport 4PS announce his intentions to depart Reigle. A twin sister. Deck is very nice, situated in farm country, it is in a beautiful setting north of Lancaster. Light cross winds were kicking up giving me a chance to play with a crab angle on final. We made a full stop and back taxi and watched a pretty red biplane fueling up for a Sunday morning excursion. We departed to the north.

I thought about returning to 7N8 for some landings but instead went in search of Grimes (8N1). This grass strip is just north of I78 and while I have looked for it a few times have never been able to pick it out from the surrounding fields. This time I found it immediately and made a low approach there. Very pretty, well maintained airstrip. I would like to go back during their annual Fly-in.

We departed back to the east and I pushed the buttons to let Sally take us home. It was an uneventful arrival at Butter Valley. As I was "buttoning up" the airplane Carl came by to chat. He drives the golf cart shuttle up the restaurant and we had waved at each other on most Sunday mornings. He asked some good questions, paid Sally some compliments then climbed into the shuttle to get back to work.

Video Here: Morgantown, Deck & Grimes 
 Video Here: Morgantown 2

The real world beckoned. A UHaul truck was on its way to be fed furniture from my garage.

Video Notes:
  1. I adjusted the exterior camera settings and mount but failed to turn it on following my preflight. Maybe I'll have to add "Cameras" to my checklist.
  2. I repositioned the "selfie" camera using the copilot's handhold as a mounting point. I can do better.
  3. Virb Edit crashed and lost some data. Fortunately I had learned NOT to remove video from the camera until all post processing is complete.
  4. I lost some of my GPS track (Morgantown to Deck) using the trim feature in Virb Edit.
  5. I still had some difficulty synching the two cockpit cameras. I had hoped adding the end cap which uncovered the microphone would help, but voice was drowned out by engine noise. I have some other ideas to test on future flights.

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