Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flight Log: Trip to Lansing

This trip consisted of taking our kids to KIGQ to drop them off with Beth’s parents for the week while we went to Hawaii. It also was an opportunity to give Beth’s mom a ride in the plane. We left at 2:30 pm for the short 18 minute flight. It was the hight of the afternoon bumps with gusty winds so the ride was a little bumpy.

Winds were forecast for 300 gusting to 19 - 22 depending on the reporting station. Actual winds were anywhere from 290 to 320 with a peak gust reported at 28 knots. Most gusts were 19 knots. Steady wind was around 12 knots. Lansing has both a 27 and a 36 runway so I could pick depending on the winds at the time of arrival. I ended up using 27 for both landings. The first arrival landing was a little squirrelly but we made it.

I took my mother-in-law up for a ride with the warning that it would be bumpy. We headed west and made it out to the intersection of I-80 and I-355 before turning back. I got the ‘I’m ready to go back when you are’ from the passenger. That means go back now. I setup for a landing on 27 again and a King Air was nice enough to wait for me on 36. Not sure why he was launching on 36. The distraction made my pattern a little messy but it ended in a nice landing.

Beth and I then headed back for LL10. Beth was a little queasy from bumps but I was able to take her over our house. Back at LL10 I planned on landing on the grass 27 runway. I had to wait for a helicopter coming in from the west to hover down 27. I was coming from the east and had to maneuver for the 27 downwind so I waited outside the pattern or the helicopters more direct approach. We landed on the grass and taxied back to the fuel pumps.

Putting the plane away is a workout in itself. We have to fuel the plane for the next person. Put the plane back in the hanger which involves moving 3 large sliding doors and hooking an electric winch up to the airplane to pull it in the hanger. Then we wash the bugs off of the leading edges and the windshield. Naper Aero just installed some new fuel hose reels which wasn’t working properly for me. The reel wouldn’t lock into position after pulling the hose out. I eventually got that working. Then one of the wheels on the stairs we use for fueling the plane kept falling off. I fly a high wing Cessna so we need stairs to fuel the plane. I was exhausted after all this. It makes you wonder if short trips like this are worth it. In the end though the plane is ready and clean for the next pilot.

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