Monday, September 04, 2006

A quick out and back

The clouds finally lifted enough to get some flying in today. Not only that, the surface winds were just about nil, so for my first takeoff and landing in three weeks I wouldn't have to contend with a lot of wind.

I launched for Darke Co. at a little after 10am, and enjoyed a 175 knot cruise speed (or slightly more than 200mph for you landlubbers) at 2500 rpm. I had the AnywhereMap plugged in and working and although the weather was completely not-threatening, I saw the METAR blocks in action for the first time. These blocks are positioned over every weather reporting airport, and as long as they are all white I know that there is at least VFR ceilings and visibility. In theory I could simply head for an area of white squares when confronted by bad weather, but the blocks don't give any indication of wind speed so there's a bit more to it than just aiming for the white. To be 100% sure of the weather, I can click on a box with the stylus and it will bring up the full METAR text.

I had a good landing out at Darke Co. for a change, but I was using runway 9 rather than the dreaded 27 so that surely helped. There's just something about 27 that causes me fits on landing.

The landing back at Bolton was another good one, so perhaps a few weeks layoff acted as a tonic for the bouncy landing slump I was in before the unanticipated sojourn as a groundling. Still, I'd rather be flying than not, so I hope for some lasting nice weather so I can get that Cleveland trip in.

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