Monday, May 30, 2016

Buffalo Wing


As I did the previous two years, I flew rides in a club Cherokee for the public during the Williamson Flying Club's annual Apple Blossom Festival Fly-In Pancake Breakfast on May 22. My steed for 2016 was N701DT, a 160 horsepower Cherokee 140 that was completely new to me. My checkout on the day before the breakfast was brief. We flew some 60° steep turns to demonstrate that, indeed, the onboard g-meter indicated them to be 2g maneuvers. Who puts a g-meter in a Cherokee, anyway? Back over the Williamson-Sodus airport, Mike pulled the power and instructed me to put the airplane down on the runway's 1000 foot markers. I did and that concluded my checkout.

Though I performed a few solo touch and go's with One Delta Tango in the rain after Mike moved on to his next appointment, I did not really develop much finesse with the airplane. This was apparent the next morning as I gave rides; every passenger who flew with me experienced a firm arrival.

Reunited...and It Feels So Good

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
30 May 2016 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - 9G3 (Akron, NY) - SDC 2.0 1547.4

A week later, it felt good to be back at the controls of Warrior 481. Everything was in the right place, everything hummed correctly, and the airplane behaved exactly as I expected it to. I was en route to Akron Airport for their Memorial Day pancake breakfast.

While in the landing flare on runway 25 at Akron Airport, I coaxed the yoke aft until the wheels rolled onto the pavement in a landing so good that it (mostly) erased my bad feelings over my (poor) performance at the controls of One Delta Tango.

Ah, that was cathartic.

My only heartbreak of the morning was The Bear, who originally expressed interest in joining me only to decline when faced with the prospect of an early departure from the house. Fly-in breakfasts are always more fun when shared with other people, but there was no time to round up any friends. Nevertheless, I wanted to get some time in the airplane and Akron still made for a good destination, so I flew there solo.

After breakfast, I roamed the ramp and looked at all the airplanes.

This Navy SNJ advanced trainer belongs to the Buffalo Heritage Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force. Believe it or not, Akron hosts its own CAF organization! The data plaque on the engine of this beautiful warbird is stamped with the date: 6 December 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese.

While most CAF units around the country seem to be called "wings", I assume this group uses "squadron" so as not to be known as the "Buffalo Wing". This would be inappropriately silly.

How to tell when a photo was captured on an iPhone? Schmutz on the lens.

This Stearman lives at the field and she's a beautiful specimen.

I have not seen many orange Piper Cubs, but there it is.

A beautiful 1953 Cessna 170. The Cessna 170 next to it had the words "The Older Woman" painted on the vertical fin.

The Spam Cans were parked on the main ramp, including Warrior 481 at far right, though the Navion was relatively unusual and interesting.

"Hot Pastrami" was among the collection of homebuilts on display. I could not help but wonder about the story behind the nose art.

A close-up of the vertical stabilizer on another RV homebuilt. I just thought it was cool.

I thought this American Champion Scout looked familiar. These were the first bushwheels The Bear ever saw.

Take the Long Way Home

To say that I took the long way home would be an understatement, but I wanted to put more hours on the overhauled cylinder. From Akron, I flew southeast to Perry-Warsaw Airport, then overflew the falls at Letchworth before following a serpentine path dictated by terrain to Dansville (above and below).

Hemlock and Canadice Lakes

Seeking a smoother ride, I climbed VFR above the clouds and flew a (mostly) direct route back to Sodus.

A turf equivalent to a Class Bravo airport? No, of course not. This is Bristol Mountain Ski Resort and those "runways" are a little steeper than anything I would care to use.

I have not landed at Canandaigua many times, but the airport is noteworthy in that I have used it twice over the years as a alternate for bad weather. I suppose it makes a good port in a storm.

It was good to see green across the landscape again.

It was also good to be back in my airplane and feeling like I knew how to land with a level of finesse commensurate with the number of landings (about 2854) shown in my logbook.

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