Saturday, September 28, 2013

Landing on Every Runway

Turbo and Kyle after the flight
It was finally time for one of my boss' famous Hangar E7 cookouts! Bob got called to a satellite truck job, so dropped off Turbo with me and the pooch and I headed over to the airport after work. My boss had mentioned that there would be a surprise, so I immediately knew something special would be flying in. Sure enough, soon after setting up a sleek, black MD500 helicopter buzzed by and came in for landing on the grass across from the hangar. We knew it was a start of a good night.

Like most hangar cookouts, new and old friends chat about aviation, the dogs ran around chasing each other on the grass parallel the taxiways and good food is greedily eaten up. As the sun set, Turbo took in more and more attention from those at the cookout. Things were slowing down and our friend Kyle, mentioned it was a perfect night for a quick night flight. I agreed and quickly volunteered Turbo and I for the back seat of his Rans S7. 

The Rans is a great aircraft and I enjoy how Kyle flies it. We departed runway 23 and turned just after the tower and were in a slip for landing in what felt like an instant. Another landing on 23 made Kyle decide to switch it up and he called downwind on 5. We landed on 5. Ok, next we were downwind for 30. We landed on 30 and departed. Look at that, now we are downwind for 12. Let's land on 12! After landing on all four runway options at FDK we did a casual buzz down the length of 23, made a steep climb at the end and came in for the final landing. 

Usually Turbo sleeps throughout our flights and wakes up when the landing stage starts. Well, since we were in the landing stage almost the whole flight he actually stayed awake and looked out the window! The constant climbs and descents did not seem to phase him in the air, although he was happy to hop out into Kyle's arms when we were back at the hangar. 

Just when you would think we were ready to call it a night, we rounded the corner of the hangar row and my boss and several other pilots had made a horseshoe of chairs and were enjoying friendly banter. Kyle, Turbo and I grabbed some chairs and closed in the circle. Turbo quickly grabbed in some more attention before falling asleep upon my lap.

It's funny how aviation can bring people from so many different walks of life together. Nothing does that better than a good ol' evening hangar cookout!

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