Sunday, August 31, 2014

Saturday aviating

Saturday dawned clear and blue, so we went out for a fly.
 For of bit of instrument practice

 As we depart Portland RWY 29 air was a bit bumpy but we had fun anyhow

Went up to Brunswick Naval Air Station where we shot a partial panel GPS approach
And stopped by at the old hangar for a chat with Scott at Kestrel Aircraft
The cavernous space never ceases to amaze me.  When it was an active Naval Air Station, they used to park P-3 Orion sub chasers in there. 
Right now it makes the Kestrel prototype look tiny
The Piper Malibu Meridian undergoing some experimental modifications
An expensive looking autoclave to cook composite aircraft parts.
Then a quick ride up to Augusta for some lunch at the airport takes us past the State Capitol building undergoing some renovation to the dome.
At Augusta we land up-hill on runway 17 
After lunch we make our way over the railroad trestle to Wisscassett.
 Where make a stop and we take on 85 gallons of 100LL
Then we fly down past Bath Iron Works where we can see two new Zumwalt class destroyers under construction and being made ready to deliver a case of whoop-ass to the despots of the world should we actually one day again have a president with the testicles to do something about it.
And back down to Brunswick
Where we take advantage of the facilities and pull the Bonanza in to the hangar ahead of the Citabria
And wash the Bonanza with the special P-3 Orion washing hose.
The scale of the place is overwhelming, and all we see inside is half the space as beyond the divider is an equally cavernous second half.
Clean and sparkly in the sunshine
We head back down to Portland and get a view of the Cousins Island power plant.
Getting vectors for an ILS approach to RWY 29 in the glimmering afternoon sunshine
We fly past Peaks Island and the Casco Bay islands
Over one of the sailing party boats
Over South Portland looking at the Portland waterfront with the gynormous 3000 passenger cruise ship at the dock.

The view of the waterfront as we fly by
Over the bridge on final
Just over the Casco Bay Bridge

Over the harbor looking back over my right shoulder give us a sense of scale of the cruise ship against the Portland East End Skyline.
Short final on a practice ILS approach to 29 we reach minimums and do the missed approach to do a second one.
Back around the city looking at the other side of the Portland peninsula
And back around for another go at the approach we get the East End view with the cruise ship.
Final approach and touch down


  1. thanks for the fly around! that was fun!

    1. Yes it was fun Jaz, it is every time I get the chance to go.

  2. It WAS a beautiful day, judging from the photos, and you certainly had the best seat in the house from which to enjoy it!

    1. Gorges: The front office is always the best seat in the plane, even on the not so beautiful days. With this time machine even on gray dreary days you can get on top of it and enjoy the sunshine.

  3. Ha! Call those approaches? THIS is an approach!

    I really,really want one of these, it'd be perfect for me here!

    1. Ha, you wouldn't catch me dead in one of those whirly birds, especially after my recent experience in a powered parachute. I know its just psychological but I need that 25 thousands tin box around me to keep me away from the abyss.
      But for Angola and flying low over the beach it might just do the trick. I'll stay with the fixed wing though.

    2. Just the ticket for elephant spotting, what!

      The only difference the tin makes, besides keeping you dry, is give the recovery team an idea of where to locate enough body parts to send home to yer mum...

    3. Tom: Indeed that is the case, but believe it or not I have a bad case of vertigo. So long as I have the false sense of security provided by the fuselage around me no problem. But I did not like sitting out in the open. Also fixed wing flying is a whole lot different than sitting there like a pendulum under a parachute or a set of whirling blades.

  4. That is amazing. I like the videos. So beautiful.

    1. Hi Yael, it is, and it keeps me coming back for more.

  5. I enjoy your pictures and videos. Brings back good memories, although it's clear flying has changed significantly since I was active.

    I agree 100% with your comment on the Golfer in Chief.

    1. Hi Harry, yes in the 30+ yrs since I started flying it has changed a lot, most of it in the last ten years. And like you I am still more inclined to steam gauges for regular pleasure flying. But for true instrument work the digital age has it all over the old gauges even though the learning curve can be quite steep. No squelchy radios, No mechanical bits to wear out or gyros to start tumbling on you at the worst moment. The redundancy is much improved. And the situational awareness is 1000% improved. Nothing like a little magenta airplane icon moving in real time over your digital approach plate to tell you where you are. No briefcase full of Jepps to lug around and update every month either. Its all digital on a thumb drive. When you need a frequency all you need to do is pull up the approach plate from the menu and activate it. Frequencies are loaded in to your nav/coms radio. Even loosing the main glass display as I simulated when we were procedure turn inbound, we were able to use the #2 radio CDI (no vertical guidance) to shoot the GPS approach to 100 ft higher minimums like an NDB approach but with a proper CDI. In a real situation it would have been a successful outcome.
      The Zumwalt destroyers are just the most impressive and futuristic things you have ever seen. Totally clean outside, with no protuberances at all. Guns are all retractable and hidden. No crew on deck at all. The oblique angles provide for a miniscule radar signature when compared to the Aegis class ships.