Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Cross Country of the New Year

Since we spend Christmas at my parent's and New Years at home, it was time to pay Bob's parents a post holiday visit. We had intended to fly out to Pennsylvania Saturday morning and return Sunday. However, looking at the mid-day forecast on Friday, we knew that it was unlikely. Freezing rain and snow had been predicted for early Saturday morning, onward. So, it was determined that we would leave once I finished work Friday night.

I left work a bit early, to go home and pack. Soon Bob, Turbo and I were off to the airport. Unfortunately, in our haste, I forgot the ham that I was supposed to be bringing up for Saturday's dinner. Oops. There was quite a chill in the air and I was happy that we got the airplane packed quickly, hopped in, and were ready to go. I flew most of the way and enjoyed the smooth ride with city lights below. As usual, I had a hard time finding the runway at DYL, but kept an eye on the tower and aimed for where it should be. Eventually, it showed up, although dimly. It had been a long while since I landed the Glasair. I had gotten used to the Cessna again and the controls felt so unusually mushy to me on final. But with a bit of help from Bob, we made it on the ground and quickly unloaded in a hustled to our warm and awaiting chariot. The flight was a total of 45 minutes.

On the way home, it was not so fast. It was a murky morning, and we kept waiting for the skies to open up beyond minimums back home. That time turned out to be 3:00pm. We were prepared to fly IFR and slowly. The winds were howling at 65 knots at 6,000 feet and higher. When we departed, we were cleared to 6,000 feet, but knowing how windy it was we requested lower at 4,000. Our request was accepted, but it did not help our time too much. We were facing a 60 knot headwind. The flight back was about an hour and 15 minutes, a half an hour longer than the trip there. Luckily, it wasn't bumpy at all. After looking at area TAFs and METARs, we assumed we were in for a bumpy ride in and out of the clouds. To our surprise, it was smooth and we never touched a cloud. It was clearing quickly to the West. 

Turbo slept like a good pilot in the back both flights. We listened to some old school Linkin Park music on the iPod, and enjoyed each other's company in the air. Not a bad start to the new year.

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