Sunday, February 22, 2015

Old Haunts

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
22 Feb 2015 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - GVQ (Batavia, NY) - 5G0 (Le Roy, NY) -
DSV (Dansville, NY) - SDC
2.2 1376.0

February 2015 has been tough on local aviators. It has not just been the snow -- don't get me wrong, there has been plenty of that. But the surface temperatures have been absolutely brutal. When surface temperatures are stuck in the single digits (Fahrenheit), even completely covering the Warrior's oil cooler fails to develop the desired oil temperature.

Today, the ceiling opened up and the surface temperature climbed above 30°F (time to break out the shorts!). Taxiing was tricky. Though the plow crew at Sodus did a fantastic job this morning, many of the snowbanks were higher than the Warrior's wings and her 35 foot wingspan put airplane bits quite close to them. This translated to a rather long and painstaking journey from midfield to the departure end of the runway.

In flight, the engine oil temperature nearly reached 180°F, a significant improvement over my last time aloft. I decided it would be best to continue running the engine for a while. I did some airwork (mostly steep turns), then undertook a short round robin flight to some of my old haunts from the days when I was based at Le Roy.

En route to Genesee County Airport in Batavia, I flew directly over downtown Rochester at 3,500'. After a nice full stall landing at Genesee County, it was a quick trip to Le Roy. I broke off the approach to landing at about 50'. I could see no hint of pavement through the pristine snow on the runway and thus had no way to assess how deep it actually was (so much for that restroom break I was hoping for). From Le Roy, I ventured southward under the overcast and landed at Dansville for lunch. Then it was back into the air for a VOR check off the Geneseo VOR before returning home.

Driving home from Sodus, warmed by intense and direct sunlight, I popped the sunroof partially open and allowed fresh air to circulate through the car. After a long stretch under the influence of arctic air near 0°F, today was practically like spring. Except, of course, for the huge piles of snow everywhere.

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