What is That Yellow Ball in the Sky?

Yesterday we experienced what has been this winters rarest of weather events – a sunny day. Not only did the sun shine but, for what seems like the first time in months, it happened on a weekend. Most remarkable of all, I had an airplane reserved for a couple hours on this sunny day. Yes, it’s true, I flew for the first time since December 6th. Georgia and I thought about going to lunch at the CAVU Cafe at Janesville but, ended up just doing a little winter sightseeing.

The Skyhawk I had booked was in an unheated hanger and, I had trouble getting it started. With some help from CFI Sandy, we finally got it running though. I decided I didn’t want to shut it down at Janesville and leave it out in the cold while we went in for lunch. Instead, we got a birds eye view of the snowmobilers on the Chain-O-Lakes, the skiers on Wilmot Mountain and the ice fisherman on Lake Geneva.

Back at Waukegan, I stayed it the pattern for a couple extra landings to maintain my currency to carry passengers. I must say that, even after a two and a half month layoff, they were very good. I had been worried that I would be too rusty and would scare Georgia with a firm one or tw0. On the first one, she said she wasn’t even sure when we touched the ground. The second one was also a greaser but, on number three I felt just a slight bump. Not a hard landing by any means, just not feather light.

Looking at the long range forecast back on Thursday, it seemed that Sunday might be the better day of the weekend. I almost changed from Saturday to today but, I decided to wait and see. It is a good thing I didn’t change. The forecast for today is for sleet, rain, freezing rain and snow. In other words, back to more normal weather.

I finally got back in the air and accomplished what I wanted to, which was to knock off the rust and get in three landings. Georgia and I are leaving for a Caribbean cruise the end of the month. Hopefully, spring will be close by the time we get back. It has been a tough winter for Chicagoland pilots.

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7 comments
chris says February 18, 2008

What sort of temperature are you talking about?

Even in the middle of winter here (Australia) if a plane is left out overnight it will still start up easily.

Reply
Tom says February 18, 2008

Chris

It wasn’t as cold as other nights we have seen lately. About 24 F (-4 C). It had been quit a bit colder overnight though. The oil was very thick when I checked it. I think the battery just wasn’t up to turning it over fast enough until it loosened up a little. It probably would have started OK if I had shut it down at JVL but, it wasn’t important that we go there so I didn’t have a good reason to take the chance.

Tom

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Gary says February 18, 2008

Tom,

Had that same high pressure system keeping the mid-atlantic area in blue skies also. Good to see you got some left seat time. After a few days I get that “I need a flying fix” attitude, Mary has learned to deal with it 🙂

Mary and I went north to visit KMGJ – Montgomery, NY and Orange County Choppers (OCC) 3.1 in the log and a fun day!

Good deal on the cruise! I hope you and your Bride enjoy the warm weather!

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Zach says February 18, 2008

Sweet! Glad to hear you got to fly…I’m waiting to read the post that says…”I bought a plane today.”
😎 – z

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Georgia says February 19, 2008

Ha Ha, Zach!

signed, Mrs. Tom

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Tom says February 19, 2008

Gary,

Glad to hear you and Mary got in the air too. I enjoyed your blog post about the flight.

Zach,

There is no airplane in our immediate future. Maybe someday…

Tom

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Caribbean Cruise says November 16, 2009

Nice post, I liked it. I hope you had a happy vacation in Caribbean. When I was there last year thorough ECT, it was fine weather and good conditions to relax. Good Luck!

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