Flying Stories for October 26, 2012

by on October 29, 2012

Stampede Reservoir

Stampede Reservoir Near Truckee, CA..

I only have one article this week – about model airplanes. But I do have a few photos I took while flying this weekend. While the east coast is getting hammered we are having beautiful weather. Near calm winds, moderate temperatures and clear skies. I had no choice but to take advantage of the great days and  got into the air both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday I just flew around locally for about 45 minutes – nothing exciting. On the way back to the hangar I stopped and topped off all the tanks figurine that I’d be flying again soon.

Sunday I flew down to Minden for a late breakfast. I took the ‘lake route’ down and the ‘valley route’ back to Stead. Both routes stay out of the Reno Class C airspace, one to the west and one to the east. I don’t have anything against talking to them (other than it’s NORCAL Approach rather than Reno Approach) I just like the longer flights and different scenery.

As I said, it was a beautiful day – the water was glass-smooth on Lake Tahoe.  I was surprised that I only saw one boat on the lake. It’s definitely too cold for water-skiing, but renting a power boat for sightseeing would be fun. It was a good day for watching contrails, too…

 

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe looking southwest from near Spooner Summit Pass  on the east shore.

Genoa, Nevada

Genoa, Nevada at the base of the Sierra Range just west of the Minden Airport( KMEV).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an article that you may have missed this week:

Model aircraft take to the skies at show
This is from DelmarvaNow dot com in the Delaware/Maryland area. The Mid-Atlantic Radio Kontrol Society had their annual RC Air Show recently. The article is a nice overview of the event with a little video thrown in for good measure – when I read it there was a single comment submitted concerning the article – a good one…

Cedarglen October 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Hi Tracy. What a fun post. Glad to hear that you (finally) got some good weather and two days of flying. The pix are wonderful. (For those who may not know, a click on the image will zoom it to Full Screen, usually in a new window, for even greater pleasure.) Very nice pix!!
Your comment about ‘Topping off all tanks,” raises a question: Full tanks suffer far less condensation, but… fuel does not last stay in prime condition forever. How do you decide between keeping them full and leaving them as-is at the end of a short days flying. To make it more simple, we’ll leave current and projected fuel prices out of it for now. The question is mostly practical stuff and looking after the interests of an airplane that may not be flown on a weekly basis. Any thoughts? Thank you and, as always, best regards, -C.
P.S. What beautiful geography! I’ve not looked it up, but I suspect that your home field is 4,000 – 4,500 +MSL. Flying around at 3k – 5k AGL is low enough to keep you breathing well and a perfect altitude for great pix. We too have lakes and trees and – a bit higher, some wisps of snow. When one begins at 4k+, it is a whole different display – and I never tire of those pix. Thanks.

Brent October 30, 2012 at 3:16 am

Beautiful scenery! I love it out West. I’m a desert rat stuck in Central Ohio (where it is currently snowing)!

Great blog, keep up the good work!
Brent

Tracy October 30, 2012 at 8:16 am

Craig,

Reno-Stead field elev is 5050′. The photos of the reservoir and of Tahoe were taken at about 9000′ While the peaks I passed going into and out of the Lake Tahoe area were a bit over 9200′ The surface of Lake Tahoe is at about 6200′. The Minden Airport elev is 4700′. We got a good slug of snow about a week and a half ago that enticed some of the ski areas to open up for a couple of days. I believe a couple are still open.

As for filling the tanks or not – I am more concerned about the loss in octane rating of gas that sits for too long more than I am about water condensation in the tanks. I wouldn’t say that if I lived where you do, though. Our daytime humidities are usually less than 20% right now and will get lower as the temperatures drop this winter. I am not too concerned unless the airplane sit for a couple of months. On the unfortunate occasions that I have let that happen I have noticed a temporary roughness after switching to an Aux. tank from the main. It usually clears in less than 30 seconds. Sumping the tanks before flight doesn’t reveal any water in the fuel, so I can only assume that it’s the fuel breaking down. I found that adding fresh fuel before the flight allows it to mix and reduces or eliminates the problem. Solution: Fly more often!

I too have always read that you should always leave your fuel tanks full to reduce condensation, but I wonder how long you would have to let the plane sit before there would be enough condensate to make a noticeable difference. I have always felt that sumping the tanks after fueling and before flight was more to catch contaminated fuel coming from the supply tank. I would imagine that overnight temperature swings and relative humidity coupled with the efficiency of the fuel tank venting are the important variables.

Tracy

Tracy October 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

Brent,

Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you like the photos. I usually carry a small camera with me in case I find something of interest to snap. I use a Panasonic Lumix (DMC-ZS7) but when I picked it up to take photos this time I found the the battery was dead. I carry an iPad (3) with me and use ForeFlight so I decided to try using the iPad camera and see how it turned out. It was a bit awkward selecting the camera, holding it up and hitting the shutter button but obviously it worked just fine.

I spent 5 1/2 years in Dayton, OH, so I know what you mean about the flatlands. It’s not a really great place for a polished airplane, either. The environmental conditions back there required a lot more work to keep the plane looking good. It looks like hurricane remnants are now giving you a mix of rain and snow – Good day for playing inside…

Tracy

Jim November 3, 2012 at 8:28 am

Beautiful country you have there in Nevada! Thanks for the pics.

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