Friday, August 02, 2013
Murphy and I took off this morning after turning the Lair over to the Lair-sitter, heading off towards the Northwest. As I have the whole day to make this flight, I planned to hit a few new airports and just sight-see a bit along a route I've plotted but never flown before.
First stop--for gas--Johnstown, PA, at former Congressman John Mutha's "airport to nowhere". I got a fill-up and Murphy stretched his paws a bit then popped into the pilots' lounge and helped a couple of charter jet crews eat their donuts.
Here's the place over our shoulder as we go.
Here's a small dam on the Allegheny River, with a lock for ships on it's far shore.
So naturally I had to drop into Youngstown, just because it was there.
Out of Youngstown, I flew on until I was turned over to Cleveland Approach. I intorduced myself to Cleveland then begged their indulgence while I dropped in and shot a touch-and-go at Geauga County Airport in Middlefield, Ohio. Nothing really noteworthy there, but as I was flying out over the downtown, I looked down and saw these: Amish horse and buggies at the Save-a-lot drug store!
There were other ones on the city streets and even in a local McDonalds parking lot, but I was a mite busy getting back on course to take more pictures.
Cleveland Approach dropped me into my fourth airport of the day--Lost Nations at Willoughby, Ohio. I wanted moore gas, but thhey were self-serve and I didn't feel like pumping my own, so I just took a picture of thhis Amphibian and took off again:
Next stop: Airport #5--Burke Lakefront in Cleveland.
They turned me onto the taxiway and told me to be alert for a helicopter that was landing.
I found it!
Off we went,est along the lakeshore, past USS Cod (blogged previously here) and the museum Steamship William G. Mather. (mentioned in same post.)
Next stop: Kelley's Island in Lake Erie.
I just dropped in to hit it and git since it was enroute. It's Runway 27 was my sixth landing of the day.
Back-taxi and off again, heading for the mouth of the Detroit River.
Here'e a bulk carrier, coming from there.
Then the rain started. Not a bad rain, but it was enough to make me put the camera away, especially as I had to focus on remaining below Detroit's Class B Airspace. I called up Detroit Approacdh and checked the winds, and they came back with a wind spaad of 13 knots gusting to 22 coming out of 240 degrees. Yikes! My chosen airport at Canton is a single north-south runway and this wind from the direction makes landing there a no-go. Fortunately I planned ahead, figuring this might be the case after my conversations with Flight Services throughout the morning, so I had a back-up plan ready. I dialed up Willow Run Airport to the west of Detroit and got cleared for a landing there on their runway 23--right into the wind. No issues, and I greased it in smooth as silk on my seventh landing of the day. The longest taxi I've ever had took me right up to AVFlight, the FBO, and they graciously parked and secured my plane, unloaded my baggage, and gave Murphy some water. They even waived their overnight fee since I was only in due to the weather. (And a good call it was, too. While I was waiting, the wind gusts topped 25 knots at 250. That's well beyond what my bird could have handled as a crosswind at Canton.
A phone call brought my mother and my nephew, The Spud, down to pick me and Murphy up, and here we are--spending a few days with the kid, and Aaron of The Shekel. More posts, pics and tales will follow this week as it's expected to be an activity-filled one.