I flew up to Lima Allen Co. this morning to pick up a guy that recently divested himself of his half share of a store-bought plane and decided to find, and hopefully buy, an RV-4. We were flying down to West Virgina to take a look at one he had heard about. The forecast indicated that the weather should be suitable until at least 2pm, so I took off right around 8:00, thinking that would put me in Lima at 8:30, and we'd make it to Parkersburg between 9:30 and 10:00. We'd have a couple of hours on the ground before we needed to head back home in time to beat the weather.
The interesting thing about the way I read forecasts, particularly on short-ish trips, is that I tend to concentrate on the departure weather and the arrival weather, and sometimes get surprised by slightly more inclement weather enroute. That happened to a small degree today - about halfway to Lima I flew through an area of light rain. This is kind of a pain, actually, because counter to conventional wisdom, flying at 170 mph through rain does not actually make the airplane cleaner. Rather, it finds all the accumulated crud in gaps, nooks, and crannys and washes it all down the sides and bottom of the plane.
One of the large landmarks between Columbus and Lima is the Honda test track just outside of Marysville:
Google found the following regarding the test track:
...around 1975 the State of Ohio built a 4500-acre proving ground called Transportation Research Center (or TRC) north of Columbus, hoping to cash in on all the federally required auto testing. The property became part of the successful effort by Ohio to persuade Honda to build its first U. S. automobile manufacturing in the buckeye state in 1988. Ohio State University actually operates the testing site with Honda merely the number-two customer after the NHTSA, even though the Japanese firm is the landlord. Other auto companies also rent the facilities, with OSU somehow ensuring that secrets are maintained.
I also noticed this round barn just south of the airport:
Amish, I suppose.
The ride from Lima to WV was nice and smooth, and as my passenger was the one footing the bill for the fuel, I let him do most of the flying. Typical of a lot of West Virginia airports, the approach can appear somewhat intimidating, particularly if you have the habit of landing slightly short of the runway:
While we were down there, we ran into Rick Gray, who it seems can never have enough pictures of his airplane. Well, we were there, and we both had cameras, so we were happy to oblige:
More rain on the trip back to Lima, but it cleared up by the time we got there, albeit with a 10 knot direct crosswind which I handled with my usual lack of aplomb. That wasn't the situation back at Bolton, though. I landed in a light rain, and actually got a bit wet getting out of the plane and getting it pushed back into the hangar. It was pretty light rain, though, so I was only mildly moistened.
The plane was put away wet, of course, so I will have to go back later to clean off the inevitible water spots. I was able to get the bugs off before they took a set, though, so it's not really time critical that I get over there for a cleaning. All in all, it was 3 hours of flying, every bit of it enjoyable.