Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday Night Flight

Last night, after days and days of "no fly" weather cleared up for a brief spell, we went back out to the airport again. For a few hours, the skies were clear and the wind was gone. More weather's on the way this week-end but Friday night...time to fly.

As we walked out to my plane, we saw this nifty little classic on the transient parking ramp.
It's a slick Beechcraft V-35 Bonanza, circa 1965.'s as old as my plane. Sure doesn't look it.

Of course this one probably got a new paint job after it's 1980 gear-up landing in Detroit. Pesky internet...all that stuff's out there forever now.

My next plane may well be one of these, though. One of these or a Mooney. I feel the need for speed. Indeed.

And naturally, the ramp queens across the field were all in attendance.
Gotta love them C-5s.

We lifted off at dusk and flew down to Winchester, VA. It was nearly full dark on landing there, so we waited a few minutes and launched again for some proper night flying. We headed down to Front Royal, Virginia and made a landing there--not one of my best though. I cut my base turn too close and came in too hot and too high on final and then I tried to "help" the plane land when the runway started getting short, resulting in a pretty significant bounce. I bounced high enough that I could probably have logged it as TWO landings in my log except for the fact that they both sucked. But I still got down and stopped well before the last turn-off, glad that the airport was already shut down and vacant for the night so at least no one saw my Captain Kangaroo impression.

Taking off again, we flew around the area for a while, looking at all of the lights below. We watched cars and other aircraft, circled the Charlestown, WV race track and watched the horses run a race, then chased a police car's red and blue lights up into Harpers Ferry just because he was so easy to see and moving so fast that it wasn't a problem staying slow enough to keep him in sight. Then we crossed the Potomac River into Maryland for a bit before heading back to the home field for three more night landings, all of which were pretty good. Then it was time to put the plane to bed and go home.

On lights like this, I really hate switching off. The air is calm, no one else is out, and the plane just wants to fly forever. But there are always other things to do and other places to be. Sigh. I really look forward to the day when I'm rich and all I have to do all day is fly my planes, shoot my guns and try to keep track of my harem...


  1. Good idea to fly when you can, landing at night IS a perishable skill...

  2. My Dad had a 'forked tail doctor/lawyer killer' (with a couple of partners) - actually he'd had two different ones.

    It was always a treat to take off from north Texas on a November Friday afternoon and be in northwest Kansas pheasant country 2:40 elapsed later, while our friends who were driving had to leave about 8-9 hours earlier.

    Unfortunately, as his interest moved more to flying around the patch, he hadn't the need for an IFR capable cross-country machine, so he sold his interest.

    Ex FIL finished a beautiful Starduster II that was a blast - I never flew if from the rear seat, but even from the fore cockpit, it was great fun.

    If you wanted to combine class, cross-country, and double wings - how about a Staggerwing, certainly one the most elegant general aviation designs ever?