Monday, October 28, 2013

Flights Like Night and Day

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." Steve Martin
Saturday afternoon, Bob, Turbo, my sister in law, Dana, and I packed up the company Cessna 172 for a flight to Doylestown, PA (KDYL) to visit Bob's side of the family for the weekend. The 172 shot into the sky, loving the cool air. The sun was shining very brightly and there was not a single cloud in the sky, the constant heating of the earth created gusty winds and turbulence for our flight. With the help of a 15 knot tailwind, we made it to our destination in exactly an hour.
Peak gusts were at 25 knots as the in-laws watched me come in for landing. I could almost hear them praying for our safety. It was bumpy and the Cessna was tossed about on final. Luckily the wind was just 10 degrees off the runway, so not much crosswind correction was needed. Maintaining airspeed and a level attitude was my concern. I got slow as we crossed the numbers and the airplane literally hovered for a few seconds before I landed and stopped the aircraft within 20 feet. It wasn't as smooth as it could be, but considering the bumps on final and that we landed before reaching the first taxiway, I was satisfied.
Saturday was for relaxing. Turbo got spoiled by his grandma while we enjoyed many good eats, reading by the fire and a movie. On Sunday we brought Turbo to the Montgomery County Bark Park in North Whales, just 15 minutes from KDYL. It was a nicely shaded bark park and Turbo enjoyed playing with six other dogs and smelling and exploring the perimeter of the fence. The day ended with a fun filled monthly meal with Bob's mother's side of the family.
The flight home Sunday evening was like night and day compared to Saturday's arrival. Well, that's because it was night and day! The sunshine was replaced with darkness, the sun was done heating the earth and the air stood still. We had a headwind and reached a top groundspeed of only 95 knots as we passed well lit highways and airliners from PHL and BWI. I was high on final, using up half the runway in my descent ending with a smooth landing. I love how both flights this weekend were completely different, keeping me on my toes in an aircraft I hadn't flown since May. I left with smiles as usual...and the urge to pee!


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