Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday flight. Now with more cool stuff on the ground!

Out to the airport this morning, both to check on my plane after the recent storms and to fly it a bit, 10kt winds be damned.

The first thing I found: My cowl plugs had fallen out and the birds had gotten into the engine compartment. The straw on the ground there is most of a big nest that they built among my cylinder heads.
Glad I checked and caught that, but I feel bad for the birds nonetheless.

Up and off. West over the first mountain ridge, and then south, down the valley to see what I can find. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

Hey, it's a shooting range. A big one. I'm over Peacemaker National Training Center.
They've got a three-gun class going on today, according to their website. Wish I'd known in advance--I might have been down there today instead of up here.
I made a couple of orbits for pics, but it was too turbulent to stay and play, so I bugged out back to the south some more.
My latest GPS upload added a new feature to the GPS that makes it flash the mountains on the screen along with the words "Caution: Terrain" over and over. It's actually kinda distracting and a bit unnecessary as I can see the mountain ridges just fine just by looking to my left or my right. This is West Virginia, after all.

What's this? A grass runway I didn't know about? Nothing on the charts about that. And wow--look at all the people there. Something's gone on.
Oh, you know what that is? It's the North-South Skirmish Association's camp, and they're having their Nationals this week-end. This is where all of the Civil War re-enactors come out to play, dressed in their period costumes and shooting everything from black powder revolvers and muskets to cannon and mortars.

A lot of them have trailers that they keep on site here all summer or even year-round so that they can come out and play "Johnny Reb" on any given week-end. And all of the campsites are broken down by state and unit of the re-enactors. My crazy cat neighbor has one down there somewhere.

And here's the firing line, and as you can see, there's lots of black powder being touched off down there right now.

Damn, I feel like Stuart at Gettysburg. Oh wait--he was off screwing around when he should have been scouting the Union forces, wasn't he? Pity that General Lee didn't have a couple of Cessna 172s available back then.

Here's the firing line, and beyond it, just over the creek, and to the left of the parking lot, is a bunch of little stores that sell pretty much any period or reproduction gear that a good Union or Confederate soldier could need.

Bye guys. Have fun. I hope that my Francis Gary Powers re-enactment wasn't too annoying. But you know what? Even if it was, I'm up here and you're down there and you can't touch this!

Yee-hah.

By now, I'm getting tired of getting beat like a rented mule by the convective currents tossing me around so I'm going to start heading back north again.


Here's a neat little neighborhood off some storm-swollen river.

Still flying. Note to self: Put airsick bags in the plane. I'm doing ok, but then again I'm flying it. Any passenger getting jumbled around like I am today would be understandably queasy, though. It's rough.

Hey look--a grass airstrip just across the road from the baseball field. I could land there, play ball and leave again, or at least I could if I had my mitt in the plane. Second note to self: pack baseball glove in plane.

Semi truck graveyard.

"Right turn, Clyde!" Swinging back to the east.
Over the last ridge and set up perfectly for a right downwind approach to Runway 26, Winds 320 at 10.

It was a bumpy day but fun, and another hour and a half goes in the logbook. Yay.

22 comments:

  1. Hey, saw this, and thought you might be interested:
    http://denton.schultzairshows.com/performers.html

    If you fly in, we'll put you up, kennel too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Darn, Mike. I'd love that, but it's a bit far for my Cessna and I've already got a commitment that week-end. I'd like to get to Denton though. I'd always meant to go there to visit Ed Rasimus. Curse me for waiting too long.

      But the offer is appreciated, by me and by Murphy and Belle.

      Delete
  2. How about some specifics on your picture taking? Those are a little too good for cell phone. Is there a mount you use? Or have you learned to fly via view finder? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. The camera is a NIkon L810, but it's about to be replaced as it's wearing out fast. I don't use a mount though--whichever hand is free at the time (usually the throttle hand) just points the camera and hits the fire button a few times whenever I see something I want pictures of. I usually get one or two that can then be cleaned up on the computer when I get back to the Lair.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you do get to Denton sometime, put it on the blogpost in advance - I'll drive up and buy you a burger & beers. I graduated college @ Denton, just live about 30 minutes south of their airport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a deal, right there. Same applies if you get up Harpers Ferry WV/Washington DC way.

      Delete
  5. Nice flight report.

    Good catch on the nest. Sounds like the birds are trying to keep the sky for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice day, and it's good to get some work in turbulence... Never know when you'll need it...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good stuff, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I sometimes wonder if some of the small plane crashes I hear of are caused by critters that have moved into part of the plane and messes something up.

    Everything on the plane that is supposed to work SHOULD WORK. And it don't need critters to make them work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I hadn't found and removed the nest, it'd made for a great engine fire.

      Delete
  9. Fantastic pictures! Nice perspective to have on the world, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great photos, and as you know, you get that kind of clear air when it's rough below the cumulus. Almost worth the bumps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I know. I had broken cumulus at 5000, but it was the best flying weather I've had on a free day in weeks and next week's not looking good either. I had to take what I could get.

      Delete
  11. That is an awesome range! You're gonna have to down there for a match or I'll tease you forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had out first blogshoot there three years ago. Not really satisfying but the range has improved since then--they're trying to make the place world-class. Give them time and I suspect that they may get there or come close.

      Delete
  12. Nice view! At our new home we live on top of a hill/ridge at the end (or beginning) of the flight path, so we see lots of 172's and Cherokees and Bonanzas - the runway is short so no "big" stuff - except the occasional Texan. I like it a lot! Maybe instead of a motorcycle I should get a plane?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely. Get a plane.

      Delete
    2. My wife is gonna flip-out...!

      Delete
  13. If you get out to CA you can fly-in to my town, I'll wave from the deck as you go over our house. :-)

    ReplyDelete