Around the Pattern

Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Category: Sport Flying (Page 5 of 32)

Sightseeing with a New Friend

Swift parked at Auburn (KAUN)

Swift parked at Auburn (KAUN)

Last month (Mar 2016) I had the opportunity to take a new friend for a flight in the Swift. He lives near Auburn, CA so I flew down there and met him.

We talked about the flight for a while and then got ready to go. Ron had not been in a small plane in years and was enthusiastic about the flight. He had his camera so this would be a photo flight. We took off from Auburn and flew my standard IFR (Interstate 80) route back toward Reno. We circled around the north end of Lake Tahoe and Incline Village. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy over the Lake that day but it was still a beautiful view.

Swift-Auburn-Takeoff

The Swift on Departure from Auburn.

Then we made our way back to the Auburn area found his house between Auburn and Grass Valley and circled there for a bit before returning to the Auburn traffic pattern.

The scenic flight was about 1:15 total time. Then we sat down for lunch at the airport restaurant (Wings Grill) and talked about the flight and flying in general.

Now we’re trying to come up with a good time between our series of Spring storms out here to schedule another flight that will concentrate more on flying than photography.  We’ll be filling out the appropriate paperwork and designating it as an EAA Eagle Flight.  I’m looking forward to it.

To top it all off, it was a beautiful flight back over the hill to Reno.

Great day for flying!  Total flight time for the day – 2.9 hours.

[Photos are courtesy of Ron Arnall.]

A Late Report on a January Flight

Contrary to popular opinion, I have been flying the Swift a bit over the last 3 1/2 months. I just haven’t had taken the time to write about it. Back in January I took a short flight around the local area just to get the plane and me a bit of exercise. My logbook says that after I toured the area I ran around the pattern 5 times. It was good to blow the dust off for a while.

We’re Finally Getting an Average Winter

Snow-and-FogToday I was supposed to be on the west side of the mountains at a Swift formation practice day. It had been planned for a week or so but the entity in charge of the weather up here in the mountains apparently didn’t get the memo.

Things didn’t look so bad when I got up this morning – other than the temperature of 22 Deg (F). Ninety minutes of preheating with my home-made preheating rig could have taken care of the engine start. But the forecast for the local area just didn’t look that firm. There were too many little things that could make a flight to California for a few hours turn into a 3-day ‘vacation.’ So, I sent my regrets and stayed home to do some computer work.

Now at 2 pm the Stead AWOS reads KRTS 122215Z AUTO 33008KT 5SM -SN CLR 00/M02 A3004 RMK AO2

In English that translates to clear below 12,000′ light snow and 32 Deg (F). Humidity is 86%. Until that report there had been a FEW cloud layer at 1600′.  Oh, now a half hour later it is saying 4800′ few, 600′ Broken, Light Rain and 32 Deg F.  Might pick up some ice in those conditions (if the plane is out of the hangar).

The winds tomorrow are forecast to be gusting to 50-60 MPH on the valley floor with heavy snow in the mountains.

We seem to be getting a steady stream of storms this year. Maybe some of the lakes and reservoirs will fill up again – I’m sure the folks in western Oregon would appreciate it if we took some of the storm load away from them.

The closest I got to flying this week was an FAA Safety Meeting on Tuesday night. They covered winter operations and survival. Pretty good timing.

I have a couple of magazines to read (AOPA and Flying) so I guess that will be my ‘fix’ for this weekend. Only two more weekends left in the year. Are you planning on flying in 3 weeks – the right way to start the year off? Weather-permitting I will be…

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