So this morning, I turned the Lair and it's canine denizens over to the house/dog sitter, gathered up Proud Hillbilly, and flew off to the northwest. We both have family up in the Detroit area so it made sense to travel up together to visit them.
The flight usually goes as smooth as pie, but this time, the gremlins came out right after take-off. First I lost my airspeed indicator, and then, despite talking to my departure airport on both radios without difficulty, I noticed after a bit that it was suspiciously quiet out over the mountains, even for a week-day. The intercom between us was working, but I couldn't hear any other traffic, not even AWOS or ASOS broadcasts. So I set down at the closest airport that looked like it had a shop--the Joseph A. Hardy Airport in Connellsville, PA--and enlisted the help of the field mechanic to troubleshoot the problems. Fortunately he was willing to help me out despite having a plane up on jacks in his hangar already, and it took us about ten minutes to trace down a loose plug on the radio where the headset jacks linked in. I was broadcasting just fine, but I couldn't hear anything until we found and fixed that. The airspeed indicator came back right and proper after a bit of pitot tube probing with a length of wire; something probably got lodged in there on take-off because it's never been the least bit troublesome before. So we were back on course, albeit running even later than we had been.
A windmill ridge, west of Cumberland, MD.
Somewhere in Pennsylvania: Cool quarry with a massive portal to what is probably a fascinating underground space.
Here's a towboat on the Monongahela River.
Interesting old building complex in Fremont, OH.
Bridges across the Maumee River, south of Toledo.
Maumee River in Toledo, looking out onto Lake Erie.
nearly bloodless war over the strip of land between this river and the present-day Michigan border. Ohio was granted the land by President Andrew Jackson (likely because Ohio was a state and had voting delegates and Michigan, a territory, did not) and Michigan was given the Upper Peninsula as a "consolation prize". My take is that Michigan actually won, both because Ohio had to keep that worthless chunk of Toledo and because the Upper Peninsula was soon discovered to be rich in timber, iron and copper. Suck on that, Ohio!
Here's downtown Toledo, and the stadium where their famous minor-league team plays. Anyone care to guess the team?
I shot landings at both Toledo Express Airport and Suburban Toledo Airport (actually in Michigan, just across the border) and then it was north towards our destination airport, with just a quick flight over Willow Run Airport, location for an airshow this week-end. (Coincidence? NOT!!!)
Look--A C-17 is already there.
And here's a B-24 Liberator and a Beechcraft AT-11 bomber.
Let's zoom in a bit on that B-24, "Diamond Lil", of the Commemorative Air Force.
And last but not least, a lone two-seat F-16 belonging to the Thunderbirds is already there.
A few minutes later, we were on the ground and the day's fun was done. It wasn't my quickest flight, at almost 4.5 hours, but it beats driving or waiting around at the commercial airports for TSA to feel you up while anything valuable gets swiped out of your luggage. Plus, PH and I both flew armed so muslim terrorists with bombs in their underwear were no threat to this aircraft.
It was a good day.