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Thanksgiving flying

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Dana

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Apr 3, 2007
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CT, USA
I had a couple of hours free yesterday, after the turkey was in the oven and the rest of the family was doing other things. 60°F, CAVU, near calm winds... as perfect a day for ultralight flying as you'd ever get in November in New England, so naturally I went to the airport. I was only surprised that nobody else had the same idea... I had the usually busy airport to myself, so I could play.

I wanted to burn off most of the car gas in my tank before filling with avgas for winter storage, so I spent the time in the pattern, just shooting landings... and with nobody else around to get in my way, I shut down my engine on downwind each time, deadsticking it onto a short bit of grass alongside the paved runway, rolling to a stop in silence with a big grin before yanking on the starter rope to taxi back and do it again. All in all a delightful interlude before the overeating we Americans are known for on this day of the year.

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all!

-Dana
 

StarJar

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Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
1,723
Location
El Centro, California, USA
Dana,
On this this website people only talk about airplanes, and sometimes build on airplanes. How dare you actually go out and fly an airplane. But we'll forgive you on this occasion.:gig: (Wish I could have helped you make the airport twice as busy!"
 

Monty

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Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Messages
1,294
Location
Fayetteville, AR / USA
No pictures...and nothing too exciting. Flew down from KFYV to KTKI. Weather was nice. Slight head wind. The Boston Mountains, Arkansas River Valley, and the Kiamichi mountains provided a nice view.

ATC couldn't get my call sign straight, and flight following was a pain. I thought it might be prudent flying into the DFW area on a holiday weekend. They couldn't see me on radar most of the time. Finally just canceled radar services and squawked 1200 for the last leg of the trip. I was close enough to McKinney to just call the tower anyway. Got sequenced into one of those long shallow approaches that I hate. Kept the power on and speed up until close to the threshold. Cut the power, pulled up to VFE and put the flaps out. Misjudged a bit due to the headwind, and due to the shallow approach had to commit the mortal sin of adding power. Landed on the numbers, and could have just about stopped by the other side....hit the first taxi way, after a bit of a taxi on the runway.

Cutter aviation gets my recommendation. Friendly professional service. Good airport. Flying back tomorrow. Normally a 5 hour drive. The traffic and roads are terrible, so we take the back roads which is a 6 hour drive, but it doesn't take a year off my life like the other route. Flying is about 2.5 hrs. Even in my boring C172.
 

Monty

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Jul 15, 2010
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1,294
Location
Fayetteville, AR / USA
Return trip-2.2 hrs. Had a nice tailwind. Got stronger as the day went on. Flew at 3500 because the winds were favorable, and the view was spectacular. Deviated from course to keep close to the valleys in case of engine failure. FANTASTIC....burned about 6.2 gallons per hour...total of 13.8 gallons. Filled up with 91 octane mogas. Couldn't have done it for that price in a car. Squawked 1200 all the way. Didn't bother with ATC except for departure and arrival.

Followed another Cessna on downwind. I was a bit high and hot....but made the taxiway that takes me straight to the hangar-no problem. Flaps and slip, properly applied do wonders.

Never worried about overshooting downwind, flying VFR, loosing the engine etc.......Had fun. Hope others can do the same.
 

208Caravan

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Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
99
Location
GA
I had a really good flight Thanksgiving afternoon, me and my son took off from my strip about 4Pm. Clear skies, not even a slight breeze. It was one of those days where you fly Low and Slow, flew the Flint River just above the tree tops. Buzzed my house, wife said I was low enough to trim her Rose plants.:gig:
 

Topaz

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Jul 29, 2005
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14,112
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Orange County, California
I wanted to get out and fly, but I kept checking the soundings, temps, and winds to no avail. The air here lately has been abysmal for soaring - stable lapse rates and nary a breath of wind (to get the ridge working). All I would've gotten were sled rides. Beautiful skies, though.

Awesome for you guys that got aloft! :gig:
 

Toobuilder

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Jan 19, 2010
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Mojave, Ca
I flew several days on and around T-day. The weather was drop dead perfect - not a breath of wind (which is very rare for this area). I took the opportunity to practice landings and really see how slow I could drag the RV in for landing. with no gust to worry about I could get it right on the edge with confidence. My normal across the fence speed is 60 knots - I was able to get that down to 48 knots and still have some AOA margin for flare. Fun stuff!

The following day I took my wife out for a quick morning recon mission to see the results of a small brushfire near our home. Afterwards and approaching the airport, #4 cylinder quit. EGT plummeted, so I figured it was a blocked injector nozzle or a broken injector line. Then I smelled the raw fuel... OK, no time for any semblence of a normal pattern entry - need to disipate about 100 knots of speed while configuring for landing and making the base to final turn. After some fairly aggressive low altitude S turns to bleed energy, I rolled out of the turn and got the speed nailed just as I crossed the fence for an uneventfull landing and rollout. Cowl off a few minutes later and sure enough, the injector line broke right at the nozzle and was spraying raw fuel all over the head and upper spark plug boot. Thank God that didn't happen at high altitude over the middle of the desert!

So that was my T-day flying adventures...
 

Head in the clouds

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Mar 11, 2012
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1,983
Location
Gold Coast, East Coast of Australia
I flew several days on and around T-day. The weather was drop dead perfect - not a breath of wind (which is very rare for this area). I took the opportunity to practice landings and really see how slow I could drag the RV in for landing. with no gust to worry about I could get it right on the edge with confidence. My normal across the fence speed is 60 knots - I was able to get that down to 48 knots and still have some AOA margin for flare. Fun stuff!

The following day I took my wife out for a quick morning recon mission to see the results of a small brushfire near our home. Afterwards and approaching the airport, #4 cylinder quit. EGT plummeted, so I figured it was a blocked injector nozzle or a broken injector line. Then I smelled the raw fuel... OK, no time for any semblence of a normal pattern entry - need to disipate about 100 knots of speed while configuring for landing and making the base to final turn. After some fairly aggressive low altitude S turns to bleed energy, I rolled out of the turn and got the speed nailed just as I crossed the fence for an uneventfull landing and rollout. Cowl off a few minutes later and sure enough, the injector line broke right at the nozzle and was spraying raw fuel all over the head and upper spark plug boot. Thank God that didn't happen at high altitude over the middle of the desert!

So that was my T-day flying adventures...
Cool - the previous day's practice would have been a boon, for extra-recent familiarity. Did you cut the engine when you smelt fuel or no time for that?
 

Toobuilder

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Debated it, but there was a bunch going on and I didnt want to remove the option of a go around without compelling evidence of a fire. I was very much spring loaded to cut the mixture, but as a power pilot I have a hard time cutting the engine even when the runway is made. Even now, I'm still 50/50 on the decision.
 

Head in the clouds

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Mar 11, 2012
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Gold Coast, East Coast of Australia
Debated it, but there was a bunch going on and I didnt want to remove the option of a go around without compelling evidence of a fire. I was very much spring loaded to cut the mixture, but as a power pilot I have a hard time cutting the engine even when the runway is made. Even now, I'm still 50/50 on the decision.
Yes, I can imagine, it's a tough one.
 

bmcj

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Apr 10, 2007
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13,496
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Fresno, California
I've practiced engine off landings (both ways... prop stopped or windmilling). Also did the same when flying ultralights. In fact, when teaching in ultralights, I made my students do well more than half of their landings engine off, after killing the engine at various locations in, around, and out of the pattern.
 

Head in the clouds

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Mar 11, 2012
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Gold Coast, East Coast of Australia
I had a strange event with leaking 'fuel' in 2004. It was my old C172 1960 A model. It had recently been re-built from the ground up and was in 'like new' condition. The world's easiest plane to fly I reckon.

Anyway we'd not been able to fly for ages due to non-stop rains and the old girl was a bit stranded, parked on the grass outside as I'd flown in and then it started to rain and didn't stop.

I'd arranged a new hangar up near Brisbane so when there was a break in the weather we leapt aboard and departed Gold Coast International. We were cruising the beach not far north of Surfers Paradise when Brisbane radar started calling me which was unusual for a non-planned VFR flight in the corridor, so it's one of those things you immediately worry about. I had mode C code 1200 so maybe they'd spotted an impending collision. I rubber-necked furiously looking for traffic while responding to them. They said I had fuel streaming from the wings and lower fuselage.

I mainly flew Jetrangers before then so my blood ran cold the next second as I realized it'd be Avgas and the exhaust tailpipe just under the cowl (lower fuselage). I think I even saw the fireball...

Anyway the mixture, mags, pump and master were off before I thought about actually doing it and I established glide for a beach landing then remembered that Heck field was just a mile or two to my left so headed straight for that. It was a weekday so likely to be abandoned except the caretaker. I'd never been in there before but quickly spotted it and it looked straightforward. Checked the pump was off and then put the Master back on, told Bris radar my intentions and then broadcast inbound. I'd be over the fence in about a minute.

Annoyingly I got a response from an RV on short final. I let him concentrate on the landing, it's a narrow strip, and then told him I was dead-stick and could he expedite clearing the runway. There weren't any taxiways unfortunately and the only turnaround was at the far end of the runway. I hoped he'd hold there but it turned out he was afraid I might over-run so he turned around and then backtracked at take-off speed. He cleared just as I passed over him and the rest was uneventful.

I made a good friend in that gentleman and ended up renting a hangar from him, much closer to home than the Brisbane one I had been going to.

It turned out the report of streaming fuel was from someone at my departure point much earlier and I can only guess it must have been water accumulated after all the rain but I never found any blocked drains so it's still a mystery.
 

Nickathome

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Sep 29, 2009
Messages
758
Location
S.E. PA
I went up for about 45 minutes on Thanksgiving morning. Surprisingly there were alot of others at our airport who had the same idea. Many people coming and going and several of us just up doing pattern work. By lunchtime though it started to thin out and by 1:30 when I packed up it was a ghost town.
 
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