Thursday, September 6, 2018

Sunsets and Plow Trucks

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
06 Sep 2018 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - 5G0 (Le Roy, NY) - SDC 1.6 1848.6

Part of being a competent aviator is rolling with the unexpected. Certainly, we plan and calculate and consider Plan Bs in an effort to minimize or mitigate the unexpected, but any activity so dependent on weather as flying is still subject to unforeseen circumstances.

Meaning to refresh my night currency, I launched at dusk and flew southwest toward my former home airport in Le Roy. As I transited the Rochester Charlie airspace, the sun was setting spectacularly.

When I arrived at Le Roy, I encountered Ray and we talked until well after dark. That day would have been his mother's birthday and we found ourselves talking at length about moms.

Before I went aloft to do my night take-offs and landings, I rode with Ray in his plow truck to the far end of the airport where the lawnmower required a jump start. Once the mower was running again, I drove the plow truck back to the hangar while Ray followed in the lawnmower. It was not something I expected to be doing that evening, but that’s fine. Although driving a plow truck on a hot August night at the Le Roy airport makes for a funny headline, the underlying story is kind of boring.

It was a dark night without a moon. I did my required full stop landings at Le Roy while Ray graded each one over the radio (no pressure!), then turned back toward the lights of Rochester and home.

Sometime the next day, I yawned in a meeting and was asked if I stayed out late. "Yeah," I said. "I was driving a plow truck at the Le Roy airport about 10:00 last night." I conveniently ignored the questioner's puzzled reaction. Why spoil the mystery?

It was just another day in the life of a private pilot.

No comments:

Post a Comment