Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Going in Reverse

Day 23...?

Today turned out to be an interesting one. We are supposed to have four aircraft here. So far it is just one other and myself. The last couple days has been horrible weather in the PIttsburgh area. They haven't had the opportunity to relocate. That leaves six days of work still to do. Excellent. We have been stealth camping just north of the airfield. That is, well outside the fencing of the airport. I am not interested in one of those pesky federal fines. As far as we can tell, however, this is unmarked land. Most likely private. There isn't any trespassing signs posted as there are in other areas. Perhaps it is just a city owned easement. Anyhow, it has been a blessing for saving. By the end of this trip, all of my fancy camping gear will be paid off and I will have placed myself on a firm footing of leaving this season with enough to fulfill those dreams I ramble on about.

So what is so interesting about today? Woke up to some blissfully perfect weather. Clear skies. 60 degree weather. Excellent weather to roll up the tent covers and really get a good airing/drying of home. Took off. It was quite turbulent at lower levels but luckily we were heading up to do high altitude mapping. Heading north, climbing to 8500 feet, noting that my ground speed was only 45knots. A knot is based on nautical miles, which is 6000 feet as opposed to 5280 in your traditional mile. Horrible. Turned out we were unable to work because of excessive wind blowing us in the wrong direction to take photos. Instead I decided it was a perfect moment to see if I could fly her in reverse. Pull the throttle back. Hold altitude with a little back pressure on the yoke. Add in a notch of flaps. AS she slows down, add in a bit of power to hold it. Voila. Slow flight with 40 knots indicated on the airspeed indicator. Checking my super duper GPS system notes that I slowed down to zero and then up to 7 knots but I never changed directions. MEANING. Add flying in reverse to my back of experiences! Well, not quite done to call it a day, turning the plane around, retracting the flaps and heading back to the airport. I had to loose several thousand feet so decended at 120 kts indicated. Which is a nice safe speed in non turbulent air. Noted by a safe feeling green arch. ;) So what did Te gps give me on my fast decent back? 176 knots! Very impressed for a skyhawk.

There was an airliner that passed by in front of me by a few miles. Im sure he had to do a double take seeing this small plane and noting how fast I was going without being a ball of fire. LOL

Take care everyone!

Ps. We were so bored from the last days at the airport not flying and not wishing to spend another long on there today, we walked ten miles just because.