Off to fly on a windy, hazy, way hot day.
And my preferred aircraft was in the shop, so I got this one today.
It's actually newer and nicer than my usual aircraft...and it's got more gadgets. So I spent a few minutes familiarizing myself with this new panel and figuring out how the radios and other important stuff work in this one.
Here's Harpers Ferry, where the Shenandoah River flows into the Potomac. Like I said...hazy.So after I circled the town a couple times and went down to beat up some river rafters (while scrupulously abiding by all applicable FAA limits, because the FAA are our friends and have only our best interests in mind) I headed up the river.
Here's a quarry in Bakerton that I'd love to dive. See the caves in the wall? Old mine tunnels that go back in and down to a depth of 900 feet. They do allow swimming in this quarry but since a diver was killed here in 1994, it's off-limits to diving.
Here are the bridges crossing the Potomac into Shepherdstown.
And here's a dam on the Potomac. This is Dam #4, between Williamsport, MD and Shepherdstown.
On my return to the airport, I engaged in the usual game of "fuddle the tower", which is played by giving your location at 5 miles out, then waiting for the tower guy to call back and ask for your location again when he can't spot you. (Come on guys, they have this new thing called "Radar". You might want to invest in one. Just saying...) When they do spot you, or pretend to, they give you whatever pattern instructions will be the most difficult to set up for based on where you are. Fun!
So I made a couple of practice landings, just to keep current. I wanted to shoot five of them, but I got cut short on my third when a loud voice in my radio announced that "Decoy Zero Five" was at the hold-short requesting back-taxi and immediate departure. I was already cleared for the option but tower called me up on final (because I don't have enough to focus on already on a windy day final approach) and asked me if I planned to make this a full-stop landing. I knew that if I said no, they'd divert me away from the airport as soon as I lifted off again and make me stay outside the five-mile limit until Decoy 05 and any other Decoys that wanted to take off were clear of the field. That could take a while but there was no way that they were going to keep a C-5A idling at the hold-short line while a little Cessna shot touch-and-go approaches. So I told them that it'd be a full-stop, and on touch-down, I turned off onto the first taxi-way and headed back to the barn.
Here's Decoy 05, who started back-taxiing the second that I was clear of the active. Somebody's in a hurry.
But he's also bigger than me and he's probably doing something important, so I'm not arguing.
I love the feeling I get after a good day of flying, but it only seems to last until I watch those C-5 Galaxies fly away or I go inside the main terminal building and see all of the pictures of the F-86 Sabre jets that used to fly out of here. Once I see that stuff, I realize that I really didn't do a damn thing by way of comparison.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must now spend an hour or so looking for used F-86 jets for sale on the internet.