Saturday, April 7, 2012

Puddle Jumping

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
07 Apr 2012 N21481 5G0 (LeRoy, NY) - FZY (Fulton, NY) - 5G0 2.0 1030.6

This morning's mission was for The Bear to see her house from the air for the first time.  The secondary mission was a $100 hamburger run to "Puddle Jumpers", the new restaurant that opened at the Oswego County Airport in Fulton, NY.  Kristy, The Bear, my mom, and I all clambered aboard Warrior 481 for our excursion.

Cruising through Rochester's Charlie airspace at 2500 feet was a bumpy prospect.  Nonetheless, The Bear happily called out seeing the Erie Canal, the city, and "her favorite bridge" (the arched Freddie-Sue crossing the Genesee River in downtown Rochester).

As we bumped along closer to home, I spotted The Harley School where Kristy teaches and managed to get a decent photo between bumps.

Upon reaching Irondequoit Bay, the air abruptly stilled.  Nice.

We reported to Rochester Approach that we were over our photo site and smoothly circled our home as The Bear cried out "I see our neighborhood!  I see our house!  I see the bay!  I see the bridge!".  The Bear's chalk driveway art was clearly visible as well as evidence that I mowed the lawn for the first time this year.

The Bear decided that it was a lot of fun finding familiar things from the air!

We turned eastward and flew past familiar landmarks like East Bay (above).  At 5500', the air was so smooth and the airplane so well-balanced that the remainder of the flight to Oswego County Airport was conducted hands-free.

When I first moved to Upstate New York, Caroline's Restaurant at Oswego County was an institution.  The restaurant was even mentioned positively in a Lauran Paine Jr article in Sport Aviation back in 2006 or 2007.  But Caroline hung up her apron and got out of the airport diner business.  A few other brave souls tried opening up in the same space, but none of them lasted.

Puddle Jumpers had a simple menu.  My hamburger was good, though my fries were a little too greasy.  I really wanted to get the stuffed, half-pound mushroom-swiss burger, but after a big breakfast, I worried about weight and balance issues for the flight home.  We also filled up with fuel - Oswego still has the cheapest fuel around - so we were heavy on departure anyway.  Kristy and my mother enjoyed their sandwiches and The Bear had chicken fingers (which were probably not prepared on site).  Nice touches at the restaurant included coloring books for kids, a large renovated bathroom (the old ones were tiny), and treats in plastic eggs as a tip of the hat to Easter.  I am glad that someone opened up a new eatery on the field and I wish them luck.

The Bear insisted on the front seat for the way home because of the better view.  So we swapped things around and buckled her into place.  As we climbed away from Oswego County, we passed through some wind shear strong enough to sound the stall warning horn while indicating 90 knots.

The air calmed considerably over the lakeshore.  After days of being churned by wind, sand particles suspended in the water closest to shore formed a halo along the coast.

Strong winds made for interesting textural variations between Lake Ontario and water within Sodus Bay.

All it takes is food, sunlight, and a few bumps and The Bear goes out.  So much for enjoying the view from the front seat.  I sure hope Kristy and Grandma were comfortable in the back!

When we landed on runway 28 at Le Roy, the nearest station (10 miles west) was reporting winds out of 320° at 13 knots gusting to 23.  The landing was good and I was glad that I spent part of the prior day practicing crosswind landings.  The Bear did not awake until I gently removed her headset once stopped in front of our hangar.

Mission(s) accomplished!


  1. Love these!

    I need to pass your blog along to a couple we met on vacation. They live and own some cottages on Sodus Bay. I'm sure they'd love all your awesome local aerial photos.

    1. People from Sodus really seem to get around. Crazy!