Sunday, September 20, 2015


Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
20 Sep 2015 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - 5G0 (LeRoy, NY) - SDC 2.0 1470.7

2015 has been a year of much cross country flying and very little drilling on fundamentals. So, with a bit of a squirrely crosswind afoot, I decided to polish up on landings. I am glad that I did. The first two were borderline embarrassing, though not so bad that I left any Piper parts on the runway.

I waited my turn behind two club Cherokees. I was not the only one looking to hone his landings that day. As I made landing after landing in the mild, but variable crosswind, I found that the touchdowns became smoother and the runway distances used became progressively shorter.

Before my last trip around the pattern, I waited for Cherokee N9855W to launch. I flew rides in this airplane during the Williamson Apple Blossom Festival Pancake Breakfast back in May. She is a nice flying, smooth running ship. My only tense moment at the controls of this airplane came during my final passenger flight of the day. On take-off with a full load of passengers, I reached tree-top level only to have a gust impart a powerful, rapid, and entirely uncommanded roll to the right. I countered with full left aileron, bringing the unfamiliar bow-tie style yoke down on my own knee hard enough to leave a substantial bruise. My heart was racing for the remainder of the flight after the abrupt, near-upset. My passengers, on the other hand, seemed not to notice, laughing and chattering throughout the short flight along the Lake Ontario shore and thanking me for a great flight once we landed.

Once I decided that my landings were dialed back into their normal envelope of proficiency, I departed on a short cross country flight. With nowhere in particular to go, I contacted Rochester approach and requested flight following to my old home - one of many at this point - in Le Roy, NY.

Fall is an unmasking, a withdrawal of chlorophyll that reveals the hues underneath. As I flew to Le Roy, fields were starting to transform in a foreshadowing of full-on autumn. This is my favorite time of the year.

On the ground at Ray's "fine establishment". I think the Warrior liked being back. I had a nice chat about ADS-B solutions with an old friend. I find it a shame that the genuinely exciting ADS-B upgrade options involve more expense than I can actually justify. Nevertheless, I am finally narrowing in on a plan for compliance with the FAA's latest "pay to play" boondoggle.

Within seconds of pitching skyward from Le Roy, still below tree-top level, I noticed a bit of movement in my peripheral vision. I instinctively reached out with my right hand, palm up, just in time to catch the Warrior's compass as it fell out of its holder on the windscreen. That could have been messy.

Looking north along I-390 toward Rochester from over the NY-15A interchange. I was about to (inadvertently) fly over the site of my new job.

Fairport, one of several Rochester-area ports along the Erie Canal.

I returned to the Williamson-Sodus Airport, my need for flight satisfied for the time being.


  1. Always good to scratch the flying itch!

    I can't believe its time for the leaves to change and shorter days.....where did the year go.

    1. I don't know, Gary, but wherever it's going, it's getting there REALLY quickly!