Friday, February 26, 2016

Flying Lesson #42 - KHAI There Snow!

This morning was a beautiful day to fly, if you discount the tons of white stuff on the ground and on the airplane.

I was flying with Will for a cross country and he suggested a trip to Three Rivers Airport, KHAI.

First we had to dig out the plane and get a combination of snow and ice off the control surfaces. Ice on the wings is very bad, and needs to go before you can go.

Snow was about calf level in places from the 11 inches that fell plus the mounds from the plow, and I had to clear a path around the plane for the preflight. We got the vast majority of it off.

So we cleaned N73455 off as well as smoothed a path onto the taxiway.

At least the plane was fully fueled and my pre-flight showed no issues. We also briefed an aborted takeoff in case the remaining bits of ice posed an issue, but since it was quite small Will figured it would be ok. The plane started right up and we managed to get through the snow and onto the taxiway without any real problems.

So we were cleared to taxi, this time to Runway 27L, and we were cleared to take off.

Lined up on the runway, full power in and we took off as I carefully read airspeed, RPM and oil pressure to Will. We were at takeoff speed with no issues and I kept careful watch on the climb to ensure we had a positive rate of ascent and good airspeed, which we did. Good to brief the aborted takeoff, even better not to use it.

We then headed out to the west staying at 2,500 feet to keep plenty of separation from a cloud layer at 4,400 and so we could see things as we went on by passing Brighton and Jackson airports on our way. Past Jackson it began lightly snowing around the airplane which did not present any issues as we had no icing.

Then the sun came out, melted any remaining ice off the plane and it was a beautiful flight indeed.

We then got to KHAI and then headed back.

On reaching 12 miles outside of KPTK's I gave them a call and they wanted us to do an expedited left downwind for 27L as we had some faster traffic behind us (most traffic is faster than a 172, and a Piper Archer is quite a bit faster).

So we kept the speed up and only slowed down right abeam the touchdown point where I reduced the throttle, put the carb heat on and slowed down to get the first notch of flaps in. I did a nice landing with no issues.

That's a solid 2.5 hour cross country flight that was very nice indeed, and two more landings and a nice 218 nautical mile round trip.

1 comment:

Murphy's Law said...

Just remember on cold days--don't bring the RPMs up for taxi until the oil temp is nicely in the green.