Sunday, October 01, 2017

Flying - A Cross Country To Bay City

This morning promised yet another beautiful day for flying.

Some patches of mist on the ground but with calm winds and otherwise high ceilings. A good weather brief confirming what I already knew and making sure there were no surprises, and I was good to go.

I was flying N5337F today a Piper Archer II. It flew quite nicely but for the fact that the seat didn't rise at all from its lowest position so I needed a cushion to sit on, and the shoulder strap is starting to be a pain. I squawked those issues when I got back.

Takeoff from 27R in the calm and clear was uneventful, and I headed off to the north and the mist, practically a full on fog layer, could be seen hovering at ground level. Thankfully it had avoided the airport on this day.


First I went to Lapeer as I hadn't been there in a very long time and never solo. I did a perfect landing on Runway 18: Ruway like a sticker in the windshield, pitch and lock in the airspeed for final, and reduce power and then flat at hangar height and back-pressure just enough to stop it from descending until the airspeed bled off and I landed just past the numbers in a very smooth landing. I then happily taxied back to takeoff again.

Then I headed north again to Bay City.

I passed many windmills on the way.

I soon saw Bay City and the bay itself.

When I was 25 nautical miles out from Bay City, I called Saginaw Approach as their TRSA covers Bay City and its airport and I let them know I'd like to do some sightseeing and then land at Bay City Airport. They gave me a transponder code and I was good to go.

I had last been over Bay City in March 2016 and this was my first time by myself and I wanted to see something I had seen there on that flight.

So I meandered along the bay and inlet of the Saginaw river to Bay City.

I then found that which I had been looking to see again:

The USS Edson.

Then Saginaw approach asked me if after sightseeing I was still going to land at Bay City. I could take the hint and stated that yes I would and started heading to it.

I entered the pattern for Runway 18 at Bay City and did yet another beautiful landing.

Right after I did so a Cessna landed as well.

I had a nice chat with the pilot after heading into the lounge.

Bay City James Clements Airport is a rather historic airport in Michigan.

The admin building dates to 1930 and was built to commemorate Michigan Airmen who had died in the Great War.

The building has a nice lounge that also serves as a museum to commemorate Michigan aviators, including James Clements, who is featured with the large portrait, for whom the airport is named.

Pretty neat artifacts there, including flying club membership documents and plaques from 1913. I definetly enjoyed seeing all the early aviation history .

Someone had a nice Yak-18M parked by the admin building:

A very nice spot to visit, the pilot I encountered there was very friendly as was the airport manager who was in. I'll have to be back to really spend some time there and visit the Edson, indeed, I think a friend wants to come along to see it.

I then pre-flighted N5337F and took off on Runway 18.

I then called up Saginaw Approach and got flight following. I then was soon handed off to Flint, and the Flint controller was in a very cheerful mood. He was really happy and friendly to everyone who called him and he handled everyone with good cheer and courtesy.

I was told to fly and maintain 3,700 feet which worked until I got to almost over Flint Airport itself when there was a scattered cloud layer that I needed to descend to avoid.

The controller had no problem with my request but had me change my heading before descending for a bit to avoid traffic.

I got to be pretty close to the Flint airfield itself at 2,500 feet.

There was some light chop at 2,500 but it was no big deal. I then kept on heading to Pontiac at 2,500 until 12 miles out Flint terminated radar services and I was told to squawk VFR and was free to contact Pontiac which I did.

Then Pontiac had me let them know when I was 3 miles out and then they had me do a left base entry for Runway 9L and the winds were now 10 knots at 180, so a direct crosswind.

No problem, I let them know, setup my approach and did yet another excellent landing. I then parked the plane and brought in the clipboard and that was my morning adventure.

3 landings and 2.2 excellent cross-country flying hours.


Murphy's Law said...

See how easy it is when you just fly the plane?

Aaron said...

Indeed it is. With finally decent instruction, practice, and perseverance I got there, and now it's fun as all get-out.