Sunday, October 1, 2017

Grass Fix

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
01 Oct 2017 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - 6B9 (Skaneateles, NY) - 7G0 (Seneca Falls, NY) - SDC 1.7 1717.3

I asked myself: what do I want to do this morning?

The answer: I want to land on grass. I had not done so since my tailwheel endorsement in June and all of those landings were in a Cub. When was the last time I landed the Warrior on grass? The trip to Basin Harbor a year ago?

I departed the Williamson Sodus Airport on a beautiful, chilly Autumn morning bound for the turf runway at Skaneateles Aerodrome (6B9). I have landed at Skaneateles many times, but never on the grass and it was time to rectify that. Along the way, I practiced some landings at home and in Seneca Falls. Here is what I saw that morning:

Home base: the Williamson Sodus Airport.

There's nothing better than a crisp, freshly-striped runway.

North of Cayuga Lake near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Wing view.

Skaneateles Aerodrome (6B9) looking northeast along the grass runway.

Over Skaneateles Lake while on a 45° pattern entry for grass runway 22.

Waiting for the fuel to settle before departing Skaneateles.

Looking southwest along the grass runway at Skaneateles Aerodrome

North end of Owasco Lake

Lock 4 on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in Waterloo, NY

Erie Canal Lock 28A in Lyons, NY


  1. Beautiful pictures, as always! Love the dry dock basin shot at lock 28A. I imagine the flood gate doors are huge. It's the odd things that grab my attention.

    I haven't landed on grass, maybe someday.

    1. Thanks, Gary. The entire Erie Canal infrastructure is pretty interesting and it was quite a marvel for its time. It's pretty rare when the canal gets used for any serious shipping anymore, but there was big news earlier this year when a local brewery received new tanks that were made overseas. They made their journey from eastern NY to Rochester by way of the canal. People were hanging out all along the route to watch barges carrying the huge tanks go by on the canal.

      OK, Gary, time for some tough love: you owe it to yourself to get serious about this and find some nice grass to try. You've been talking about it for years! Talk to the local pilots and find out where the nice local grass strips are. Make sure that you check surface conditions first - a call to the FBO or airport manager will usually suffice. Here, I'll throw some fuel on the fire for you (as an example, Katama is a little far for a quick jaunt out of OXB):

      The next time you're in Pennsylvania, check out Grimes (8N1) and visit the Golden Age Air Museum: