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TEAM ANJ and Elke Robinson
Friday, February 12, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
The morning began very wet and very grey, and the plans I had made the previous evening to take my Mum flying today seemed like they would have to be cancelled.
After the rain stopped, I decided to check the METAR's and TAF's to see if this drying trend would continue into the afternoon. Thankfully, the conditions were forecast to improve and our proposed flight to Rowena's would be a go.
I picked up my Mum and I drove us out to CAK3 (Delta Air Park). We pulled the trusty Jodel out of her hangar and quickly got acquainted in the cockpit. "Clear!" and she roared to life.
The winds were relatively strong and from the SE. This necessitated a runway 07 departure and proper crosswind control inputs while taxiing to the end of the runway; the taildragger really wanted to weathercock into the wind.
Transponder on, take-off time recorded, and throttle full. Here we go! We made quick use of the grass runway and were on our way eastbound. We climbed up through Boundary Bay Airport's airspace, calling them before entering of course, and then leveled at 2000', just below the base of the broken cloud layer. There was a very noticeable wind from the south and I was easily able to demonstrate and explain to my mother, the concept of crabbing into the wind, which was essential today. Besides the wind, there was also a fair amount of light turbulence with the occasional heavier chop.
We touched down, parked and secured the airplane, then walked over to the Rivers Edge Restaurant where we enjoyed some earl grey tea and a lovely apple pie.
On the recommendation of my friend Daniel, we decided to have a look at the airstrip at the top of Stave Lake on our way home. But as we walked back to the plane it was starting to rain very lightly, and by the time we got into the Jodel it was raining quite healthily. We took off and climbed out the same way we came in and were faced with mildly reduced visibility from the rain, but nothing too bad, and we could see beautiful sunshine breaking through the clouds to the west so we pushed through.
As we passed Hatzic Lake, my Mum and I both looked north towards Stave Lake and it did not look welcoming at all. Lots of dark grey clouds and rain helped us quickly decided not to even bother trying to get up to the top of Stave Lake, so westward we continued.
|The view up Stave Lake. No thanks!|
On our way home, we said a quick hello (from the air) to Daniel and his little girl who's turning four tomorrow! Happy Birthday! And then, we joined the circuit for King George Airpark for a touch-and-go, which has become a fun little habit that tests my obstacle clearing and short field abilities in the Jodel.
From King George it was a straight out towards Delta where I was faced with a decent crosswind. I set up for a wheel landing, carrying a little extra speed and a wing low into wind. It worked perfectly, as our into wind wheel touched down first, then both wheels down while holding in greater and greater aileron inputs into the wind, and using opposite rudder to maintain our track. As we slowed, I let the tail down and slowed to a speed that I could safely turn and clear the runway. Down and clear, we taxiied back to the RAA hangar where the Jodel has her roost.
We opened up the big sliding hangar doors, pivoted the Jodel, and pushed her back in the hangar. I had joked to my Mum about how nice it was that the rain was cleaning the Jodel as we flew home, but just like a freshly washed horse, or dog, as soon as we touched down back at Delta Air Park, the Jodel got covered in mud that was kicked up from the main gear tires. On top of the wings, underneath them, on the sides of the fuselage, and on the tail. This animal seemed to relish in its own filth.
My Mum and I then spent the next 20 minutes cleaning up the Jodel and making her presentable before tucking her in for the night.
Sadly, it was just a single airplane adventure, but none-the-less an enjoyable opportunity for some mother-son bonding.
Until next time, fly smart and fly safe!
Written by: David McIntosh (The Author)