Monday, April 04, 2005

Daylight savings time has it's advantages!

I contemplated this morning about going to the airport after work. With daylight savings time now in effect here, I have time to get in the air before it gets dark. I was tentative at lunch, but I brought my radio to work to charge. It started to cloud up later in the afternoon, but the satellite image showed it was clear at Ft. Deposit. I decided to go (was there really ever any question?) even though it was just a bit hazy.

I did a quick preflight because I had done a very thorough job yesterday and didn't fly. Everything was in order. It was about 75 degrees outside so I decided to leave the snowmobile suit in the car. I did have a couple of flannel shirts, beside the one I had on, and I ended up with 3 layers on my upper body. I started her up, strapped in with all my equipment, announced my takeoff plans and got airborne. It wasn't too cold at all, but I knew as the sun got closer to the horizon it would get colder fast.

We have had a bunch of rain in the last week or so. Some places received over 10 inches so there was lots of flooding evident. There was also a noticeable amount of bright green that had emerged. I flew a very non-direct route to my friend Don's house/airstrip, sightseeing and taking pictures along the way. He was out mowing the lawn and such. I was encountering a slight and varying headwind on the way to Don's, plus I was zig-zagging, flying over anything I wanted to see more closely. It took me about 45 minutes to fly to his house and I knew it would be close to dark once I got back to the airport. I circled a few times and headed back home.

As I expected, as the sun approached the horizon, the colder I became. I was ready to be back about fifteen minutes before I actually arrived. There was zero wind showing on the windsock, and I greased the landing and was warmed enough by the heat radiating off the asphalt, that I decided to fly a circuit and do another landing, which also was picture perfect. Much easier to make a great landing when there is no wind. I think I'm going to enjoy daylight savings time!


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