I think it's time for a new banner, or maybe not. I thought I'd let you vote, so just let me know what you think in the comments. So, here are the candidates:
New banner #1:
New banner #2:
New banner #3 (provisional winner):
And Rick, don't be voting for #1 just because you're in it.
I took these this morning at Urbana Grimes. Urbana is pretty neat as you never know what you may find there on any given day, and it is a matter of historical record that the "always take your camera" rule was initially conceived on the day I landed there and missed the chance to get some pictures of a transient B-17. It's nice to arrive to the presence of a B-25 on the ramp, and it's doubly pleasant to arrive and find two, as we did today. Having not violated the camera rule today, I was able to get these:
I'm not sure why all of my pictures this morning seemed to be of guns, to be honest. I hope it's not some kind of subliminal warning thing, although I guess I could live with a Freudian type of thing if it comes to it!
The trip over had been nice, with clear, clear air and a cloudless sky. Just the kind of morning that gets your spirit up, and may even induce you to try something a little out of your routine, like landing on Urbana's grass runway. Besides the fun of announcing that you're landing on runway 1 when simply everybody knows that the runway at Urbana is 2 and smirks in their headsets, you get to land on grass, which is just cool. So, that's what I did. And bounced it. To the degree that I needed a wee bit 'o power to smooth it out. The result of pranging the wheels down on the rock hard dirt of rain-starved Union County was evidenced after breakfast when I pulled the plane forward out of my prime RV-only parking spot right outside the restaurant windows.
There's always a little bit of noise from the brake pads lightly riding across the discs, but this time the sound coming from the left wheel was much louder than normal. I crawled under the wing to take a look and found that the lower inside part of the wheel fairing had been broken and pushed up inside the fairing where it was rubbing against the tire. The 'tab' pulled out easily enough and rested nicely on the outside of the wheel opening, so it was easy enough to just go back to Bolton and remove both of the wheel fairings. Darn things are more trouble than they're worth if you're landing on grass, I suppose, but I'm going to miss the extra 8 - 10 knots.
Next stop was Coshocton (I40), and other than the nicely priced gas ($3.55!!), there really isn't much to talk about. Fellow RVers were in and out, so we enjoyed visiting for a couple of hours, then headed home. Here's another quiz before we're done, though: true or false, is it possible to get in to this airplane, fasten the belts, lower the canopy, start the engine, and be just moments away from trying to taxi without having removed this chock?
Sadly, the answer is 'true.'
Piloting tip #32: if you find yourself in this situation, save face thusly: shut down the engine, walk all the way back across the ramp and tell everyone that you just had to come over and say hello to [insert most recently arrived RVer] before you could leave. It works, trust me.