Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blue Skies

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
10 Jan 2010 N21481 5G0 (LeRoy, NY) - 9G5 (Gasport, NY) - 5G0 0.9 786.7

What a difference clear skies make!  The landscape may still be black and white, but brilliant blue above the horizon gives the world an entirely different look and feel.  While taxiing for takeoff, I heard Ed on Unicom announcing his approach into Le Roy and asked him about his ride.  "Pretty bumpy around 2000 feet, smooth above," came the reply.

I set off for Royalton Airport in Gasport, NY (airport #101).  On a northwest heading out of Le Roy at 3500', I was indicating 120 knots with the GPS showing a ground speed of 85.  That's quite a headwind for such a low altitude!

Pictured above is I-90, the New York State Thruway, heading east toward Albany.  Warrior 481 virtually crawled to Royalton against the invisible tide.  Despite it being my first time there, I found the airport easily, even though the runway was covered with 1 to 2 inches of snow.  On final approach, I could see patches of asphalt under the snow and shallow tracks from other airplanes, so I deemed it safe to complete the landing.  As I rolled out, I needed to add some power to taxi to the ramp through the crusty snow.  

Inside the main building, I encountered the two guys who run the place and wound up spending at least a half hour chatting with them.  It was a good conversation and a delight to discover kindred spirits at another airport on a blustery winter day.

Psychedelic, huh?  I think this is a water treatment plant of some kind near Sonyea, NY.  For scale, there are some pretty big trees at the bottom of the picture.

The bumps Ed warned me about were clearly caused by wind shear and as the winds increased, lenticular clouds began to appear; a good sign that it's time to land the airplane.

I discovered that my camera has a "self portrait" mode.  So I tried it out.

Despite the bumps, it was nice to be out flying under blue skies again.  "Blue skies, smiling at me.  Nothing but blue skies do I see..."

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