Last summer I donated a sight seeing flight to a charity auction a friend was running. That, of course, was before my gear was stolen, and before I started spending all my time kayaking instead of flying. Since coming back from Oshkosh in August, I’ve only logged 1 hour of flying time.
But I got a call from the winner this week, wanting to go. The weather forecast for this weekend wasn’t bad, if a little colder than I’d like, so I decided to go up Saturday and practice flying a bit and do my three landings for currency requirements, and then take them on Sunday. It actually worked out well – both days I got there just as somebody else was finished with the plane, so it was well warmed up. Both days the wind was coming from the east, which is a bit unusual here, and that caused some mechanical turbulence from the hills in that direction.
On Saturday I went out to Batavia to do some landings (and incidentally stop for $3.79 gas instead of the $5.40 gas at Rochester) and then visited my old sight-seeing favourites like the Perry wind farm (which has grown immensely since the last time I was there), and the trestle at Letchworth, and Irondequoit bay. I was surprised to find some open water in the south end of the bay, but of course still lots of ice fishers still out on the frozen part. Oh, and the entire creek looks like it’s open, so I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to paddle!
It was strange to be out flying again. It was nice to feel that feeling of accomplishment again. But by the same token, just buzzing around the same old sights just isn’t all that exciting. I think I need to find something new to do in the air – maybe organize a trip to the Air Museum in Dayton, or something.
Sunday I actually managed to find the guy’s house. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to, because as a non-pilot, he wasn’t really good at answering questions like “are there any nearby water towers” or “can you recognize that school over there”? But his brother in the back seat said “isn’t that it right underneath us”, and sure enough it was. They’re actually just outside the edge of the Rochester class C airspace, so the controller asked what we were doing as we were circling around. Fortunately the traffic was pretty light and it wasn’t bothering anybody. After that, we headed down to Letchworth, and then back up to Irondequoit and Sea Breeze. Then we headed back in to the airport, giving them a good view of the downtown and U of R. And as usual, my approach wasn’t great, not all that well stabilized, but I made a very smooth touch down.