Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holy Crap!

KFAM 302315Z AUTO 34011G22KT 10SM SCT050 SCT070 OVC080 14/08 A3002
KFAM 302255Z AUTO 34014G20KT 10SM FEW050 SCT070 OVC080 18/11 A2999
KFAM 302235Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM BKN070 19/11 A2997
KFAM 302215Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM BKN070 20/11 A2997
KFAM 302155Z AUTO 26003KT 10SM FEW055 BKN070 21/11 A2995

It has been gusty for the last two days. Late this afternoon, I noticed that the winds had died down. So I went to the airport and went flying.

I was in the air at 2245Z. As I was flying around, it seemed kind of bumpy. I chalked it up residual turbulence. And then I tuned into the AWOS and heard that the winds were gusting to 22 knots.

I got back on the ground as soon as I could. Landing wasn't too bad, but taxiing was a bit of a trial. Turning the airplane away from the wind took quite a few stabs at the left brake to get it going where I wanted to. I shut down pointing into the wind and then towed it into the shade hangar, where I very quickly tied it down.

It was a short and interesting flight.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Heat is Off

KFAM 151415Z AUTO 12006KT 10SM CLR M04/M07 A3038

I've been trying to fly at least once a week and shoot a few landings in the process. But not so much, now. When it gets cold, preheating is necessary. Standing a safety watch while the preheater runs isn't my idea of fun anymore, especially on days when it takes 45 minutes of heat to warm up the engine enough. I'm getting too old for that shit.

But on cold days, it has to be done. If it's been below freezing for any length of time, I preheat it. Not preheating an engine when it's cold is a sure way to speed up the need for an overhaul.

The airport manager mowed out a grass strip almost the full length of the paved runway.

Grass runways are terrific, if they're reasonably smooth. Lots less wear and tear on the tires and the tailwheel tends to have a little more braking effect.

Anyway, a few months ago, I took a friend to breakfast at KDXE's Skyways Cafe. I had coffee last week with his father and stepmother; they were in the coffee shop when I went in for some joe after an early morning hearing. The dad said that his son had way too much fun on that flight for it to be legal and he thanked me for taking him up.

I've owed 33C for almost a quarter of a century, now. Sometimes I forget how special and how much of an adventure it must seem to climb into a small airplane and fly wherever you feel like going.