Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sky Acres Airport (44N)

Sky Acres Airport is an airport in Dutchess County, NY. It is popular because it has a restaurant that is open from Thursdays through Sundays (7:30AM to 3PM). In the summer, there is also an ice cream stand that is open from Noon until 8PM.

The airport has a bit of a reputation for being difficult to land at, which is, to my mind, rather undeserved. The runway is almost 4,000 feet long, 60 feet wide, which seems adequate for almost everything not powered by a jet engine. But the runway has a few tricks to keep in mind.

First off, about 60% of it is sloped. Runway 17 slopes up, so you have to account for that in setting up your landing to ensure that you are not fooled by the visual picture and that you flare properly.

Second, Runway 17 has trees off to the right. If you are dealing with a right-hand crosswind on 17, it will die off as you begin your flare.

Third, Runway 35 begins as a flat runway, then slopes down just after the first turn-off (there is about a 50' difference in the elevation of the two thresholds). The flat area is at least 1,400' long. I cannot stress this enough: If your wheels are not fully on the pavement by the time you reach the first turn-off, go around!

Finally, and this is for those departing on Runway 35, you cannot see to the far end of the runway. If someone has landed and doesn't make the first turnoff, you won't be able to see them to verify that the runway is clear. Hopefully they have a radio and are polite enough to report clear.

Sky Acres is nowhere near as challenging an airport as, say, Marlboro, but if you are used to 6,000' x 150' runways, you may want to step up your game before flying in.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No, I'm Not That Crazy

It's a nice day, temps in the mid forties. Blue sky, no wind to speak of. At my home airport, they've fixed the runway lights.

It occurred to me that this would be a good day to get in a little night VFR.

Then it occurred to me that I have less than three hours of flying time on a repaired oil cooler, one that blew out in flight.

I thought better of going for a little night VFR. I'll stay home and read a book.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Aftermath

An oil and filter change was done after I brought the airplane back to my home airport. Nothing was found, no metal bits or flakes.

I flew it yesterday. The wind was a little bit brisk and I debated with myself about going flying. Then it came to me that my reluctance to fly was based on the fun of putting the cabin cover back on when the wind is up. The wind was maybe 10 degrees off the runway centerline, so a crosswind wasn't a factor. Not wanting to mess with the cabin cover was a pretty lame excuse not to go flying, so I took 33C up for an hour. I did notice that I scan the oil gauges a lot more frequently than I formerly did.

I'm hoping that they fix the runway lights before it gets too cold. I'd like to get a spot of night flying in.