Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hot Flying

KFAM 301155Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 23/18 A2993

Note that was about 73F at 0655 local time. Later on, it was considerably hotter.

KFAM 301855Z AUTO 19009G15KT 10SM CLR 39/16 A2989, or 102F.

Two days before that, it reached 108F.

I flew yesterday morning, I was airborne before 0700 and back down around 0800. Unlike last weekend, the air is starting to have the summertime "milk-bottle" haze that builds up when there hasn't been a front push through for awhile. The KFAM area has not had any significant rainfall in weeks. The city canceled its fireworks for the Fourth.

Around 0900, this bird showed up:

There was a forest fire in the next county. The governor came to fly over the fire.

Normally, KFAM on a Saturday morning is pretty quiet. There's not a pilot shop or a restaurant to generate traffic. But not yesterday. The helo disgorged a number of National Guardsmen and cops started showing up; first a state trooper, than more troopers and county cops, as well as a couple of photographers. A rather bemused transient stopped in for fuel and a bathroom break; he and his family got out of there as soon as they could.

I left about 0920 or so, long before the governor and his entourage arrived. There was a trooper outside the terminal building, smoking a cigarette. I told him that I was leaving before the circus showed up. He laughed and said that was a good idea.

When it is getting warm, oil temperatures are something I watch. Normally, I fly at cruise with the throttle wide open, enough carburetor heat to get a carb inlet temp of 5-10C and I control the engine speed with the mixture control. It is an efficient way to fly, but it does generate more heat in the engine. Using fuel for cooling isn't a terrific idea, but in these temps, it's what one does. (Or fly higher for longer flights.)

1 comment:

Frank Van Haste said...

Steph --

Friday afternoon, from KBDR to the DC area, most of the way down the OAT at 8000 feet was abt 64F. Down to 6000 over BAL it was 75F. Approaching the field at 2000, 88F. In the pattern at 1000 AGL, 96F. On the runway at 2233Z, 100F.

Yep, warm.