Sunday, January 3, 2016

January Flying

Saturday was the first sunny day we have had all week so we went for a ride in the Decathlon
After a few preliminaries we were loaded up and got our clearance to taxi to the active runway.
180 hp and crisp below freezing temps, makes for a quick climb to pattern altitude still abreast the commercial terminal.
We are soon over the Maine Mall packed to the gills . . .Yes, the sheeple go there voluntarily. . . god only knows why.
It is winter out there.
We head west for a spell and after bucking a headwind for about a half hour we are over a dark and gray Lake Winnipesaukee.
We check out some of the summer rentals along the shoreline.
Past the old runway now turned in to a failed residential development by the Hiltons.
 Cold and dark.
A swanky place with a big boathouse.
Kind of hard to see ahead from the back seat.
Over Wolfeboro.
A bit easier to fly from the back if the front passenger scoots over to one side allowing you to see the instruments.
Some of the smaller lakes are starting to freeze over, no doubt some will tempt fate by going out on the ice before it is thick enough, and Darwin will win. He always does.
Headed back east with a strong tailwind makes for a quick ride back to Portland and the plane wallows like a boat riding in following seas.
We are soon back in the downwind leg for RWY 29 when the controllers ask for a a 360 turn to allow more spacing for a landing Cessna Caravan on a long final, so we oblige with a turn over Rigby Yard.
On our base leg we get a good view of the Portland harbor and the Casco Bay Islands on our right.
And the Calvary Cemetery at Cash Corner in South Portland on our left side.
Another shot of the harbor.
The tank farm with barges unloading fuel, and runway 29 up ahead.
On short final we pass the new Mercy Hospital on our right.
And about 400 ft on final when the camera battery gives up the ghost.


  1. Congrats! One of the best ways to start the year. Beautiful landscapes, despite the snow -or may be due to...

    1. Winter flying is always nice, cold dense air makes for excellent performance. If the plane is kept in the hangar like this one, it eliminates 90 percent of the work in making it ready to fly.

  2. Love those aerial photos. It looks REALLY cold. I'd love to get an airplane. I'm betting we could make the trip from here to the land in a half hour or less!

    1. Hey mark, this plane with the 180 hp engine is doing about 120 mph through the air. Your results may vary over the ground depending on headwinds. You do have some decent open space with great open approaches on your property to land on. It would be a matter of scouting it first, picking a good spot and making sure it is smooth and clear of boulders and obstacles.

  3. Hi Mike, great photos, I miss all the trips I took during my lodge caretaking days. Seeing Alaska by air is the bomb. You can still see mountains, rivers and land that has no human footprints. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi John, seeing the world from above like that as well as the travel and time elements are some of the neatest things in the world. Even a one hour ride can just change your perspective on things.

  4. Outstanding photos. I used to love flying over the mesa and over Albuquerque in the early 1970's. Everything looked so clean, and the snow made it look like a painting.

    1. Glad you enjoyed them Harry. As a pilot you know how good it feels when you can get away from the world below and view it from above.