Saturday, October 8, 2011


The weather in Pennsylvania has been horrible. Seldom have we seen even a patch of blue peeking through a solid overcast. Grounded.

Suddenly it changed. A series of cold fronts pushed through leaving crisp morning air, cloudless blue skies and unlimited visibility (CAVU). So Thursday afternoon I escaped from all of my earthly responsibilities and headed out to the airport. The PiperSport was filthy. The birds and the weather had left me with quite a chore, but even in this state she looked beautiful to me. I did a leisurely preflight making doubly sure that everything was as it should be.Coolant level was good, engine oil in the middle of the flat and she burped after about sixty pulls. I still get a thrill when I turn the ignition. All is well.

As the oil warmed N123GT came home after a morning flight making a nice three point landing before rolling up the hill. I taxied out as he was putting on his sun shade. A very nice Cessna 180H.

I departed to the west over the power lines and the rise of mountains that parallels Rt100 and stayed north of the Reading airspace. Once I spotted I78 I flew further north and used that as my ground reference. GPS showed a parachute drop zone around Grimes but nothing was in the air. I felt that I could see forever the visibility was so good.

Indiantown Gap (a significant gap through the Pennsylvania mountain) is home to a small Army Airbase, and their restricted area (R-5802) was active. I stayed to the east and monitored tower frequency as I toured the area. The tress are just starting to turn although no bright fall colors yet. The farmers have been busy and most of the corn has been harvested.

Dad died on October 5th. He had been suffering with Lewy Body Dementia, but the cause of death was congestive heart failure. A World War Two Veteran, he was a gunner/ordnance man on PBYs out of Jacksonville. He will be buried with Military Honors at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetary next week. It looks like a nice place.