Looking west from over Fred's Mountain in Northern Nevada


We had one day last week that was just too nice not to fly. Relatively light winds, no clouds and 70 degrees (21 C). With those conditions and an expired landing currency to renew I had no choice but to head for the airport.

I took my time with the preflight, checking everything very slowly to make sure that I looked closely and understood what I was seeing. (Yes, something you should do every preflight.) Then I pulled the plane out, started up and headed for the fuel island.

I small loan and 29 gallons later I was taxiing to the run-up area for the east runway. The magneto check was good and all of the engine instruments said that things were operating normally so I moved to number 1 for takeoff. After watching a C-206 land and turn off the runway it was my turn.

My takeoff roll was longer than usual because I was feeding in the power relatively slowly, making sure that my right leg was keeping up with all of the left-turning forces.

Liftoff was normal, the instruments were still saying to continue, so I retracted the gear, climbed out to pattern altitude and departed to the north for a tour of the area. It felt good to be back in the air again.

After flying around for a half hour or so I headed back to the airport to fix that landing currency problem. I ended up in the pattern with one other airplane, an SR-22 that was flying bomber-sized patterns. For the most part we kept out of each others way. A couple of times he called turning crosswind when he was turning base but I had him in site.

Five landings later I called it a day, put the plane away and covered it up again. I was satisfied with my landings but know that with more practice they will get better. Now, two days later, the wind is blowing blowing, it’s spitting snow and 38 deg (3 C). But in 5 days or so it’s supposed be be back into the 70s again. Nobody ever said the weather here was boring…

Fly safe out there.