Monday, February 17, 2014

Phase Changes

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
17 Feb 2014 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - local 1.3 1245.0

With the protracted cold of the 2013-2014 winter came the inevitable freezing of excessive portions of the Great Lakes. Kent, Ellie, The Bear, and I went aloft to investigate this much ballyhooed ice coverage for ourselves.

The Bear saddled up with her new camera at the ready; a scientist prepared to document her findings.

Evidently, I was one of her first findings. Note the expert handling of this equipment. No fingers in shot for this Little Bear.

With Ellie along, even the staunchest scientist must be prepared to indulge in some goofiness. Today I learned that little girl squeals can actually exceed the frequency response of my aircraft's audio panel. Thank goodness for whomever invented the isolation switch!

An impressive swath of thick ice followed the shoreline.

The character of the ice differed significantly with distance from shore. Even the darker blue surface of the water was frozen, just not quite so obviously.

There was clearly not much boating going on from Little Sodus Bay these days.

The east end of Lake Ontario was entirely covered in ice. I have not seen anything like this in twelve years of flying; it was vaguely awe inspiring.

Ellie and The Bear really enjoyed the view out the windows. Sometimes, The Bear requested turns to get better photographs.

The icy covering of Lake Ontario somehow reminded me of dry skin. It was eye-catching, but made me itch.

For the return flight, Kent took the controls. far as the eye could see.

The ice covering Lake Ontario exhibited a fascinating morphological diversity. And it looked really cool, too.

We returned to the Williamson-Sodus airport where the pattern was literally abuzz with club members exercising themselves and the club airplanes (even poor, forlorn, Six Echo Sierra).  We left the ice on Lake Ontario behind to contend with the ice encrusted ramp outside my hangar.

Kent got his flying fix and the girls showed their pleasure by bestowing some enthusiastic high fives on my outstretched hand. And me? I was just happy to be along for the ride.


  1. Those frozen shoreline shots are just spectacular. Like you, I can't wait for this frigid winter to be over.

    Of course, the flip side for me is thawing means a soggy (read: closed) runway; I might try and get up sometime this week since it's going back below freezing!

    1. Thanks, Steve. I think that was a particularly good set. The day's lighting and the blue sky made it just about perfect.

      Better for the runway to be proactively closed when it's soft than you finding out the hard way!

  2. Hi Chris, I've enjoyed reading your blog very much (which I stumbled upon by accident!). I'm currently training in a Warrior II for my PPL, and it was so nice to see one of its kind up in the air in all your photographs. Congrats on your trips, and on your aircraft ownership, and I look forward to seeing more of your posts! Juan M.

    1. Hi Juanin - Thanks for writing! Good luck on your PPL training. The Warrior is a good, honest airplane and I'm sure it will treat you well.