Sunday, April 22, 2018

Flying - A Beautiful Flight To Hillsdale

The weather forecast for this morning was most promising: A nice high pressure area, clear visibility and mild winds. So it was to prove to be.

I had booked the plane from 9am-12pm to get a cross-country flight in. Flying Archer N3553M for the first time.

In addition to being in nice shape, N3553M recently received the Garmin electronic heading and attitude indicator upgrades, which were darn nice. Looks like they will be installing those throughout the DCT fleet.

They worked very nicely. Very easy to read at a glance, and they also provide airspeed and altitude information.

So after the preflight and run-up I took off from Runway 27R and headed southwest to Hillsdale.

On the way I passed over the Michigan international Speedway.

Moving along I flew over someone burning some brush to celebrate Earth Day. I was doing my part to celebrate Earth Day as well - burning 100 low-lead fuel at full rental power and enjoying the inventiveness of humankind while doing so.

I then arrived at the City of Hillsdale and overflew Hillsdale College.

Hillsdale College is a classical liberal institution. Receiving no Federal funding, it set its own agenda, which tends to be on the conservative and scholarly side. Very highly regarded its a definite gem of southern Michigan.

Then to Hillsdale Airport - right in sight of the college, the runway is 5,000 feet long and the winds were blowing nice and straight down the runway at 8 knots gusting to 15 on 010.

So I setup to enter the pattern for Runway 10.

The first landing was a tad firmer than I would have liked it, not bad, but a little hard pretty much a short field technique. So, I did the pattern again and had a much smoother and softer landing the second time around.

Then I headed back to Pontiac, deciding to fly a bit farther north rather than direct. This was good as the Garmin 430 for some reason lost its GPS fix for about 5 minutes after I took off from Hillsdale, but my iPad maintained its GPS without an issue. The 430W later went back to functioning properly, but it wasn't an issue as I had backups and paper charts available in any case.

I then flew near Livingston County Airport, a very enjoyable airport to fly. They were kinda busy so I stayed a good distance above and away.

Then I flew over the Chrysler Proving Grounds.

Then I did some IFR flying - IFR in this case meaning I Follow Roads - I flew above M-59 and headed east to Pontiac airport.

This set me up for a perfect approach to 9L, as the winds had picked up at Pontiac and were blowing from 090. I called Pontiac when I was 12 miles out and they instructed me to do a straight in approach.

From 5,500 feet it was easy to see the airport from quite a distance away, and you can see the airport in this picture ahead:

As I hit 5 miles out, they cleared me to land straight in, and I did a nice, smooth landing.

3 landings and 2.1 hours. I could not have asked for better conditions for this flight, simply perfect.


B said...

I dislike the airspeed and altimeter tapes....Prefer to have the needles.

Scott said...

I was in the vicinity of your home field on Thursday, at the Hertz office at 59 and Williams Lake. Thought about you as I saw a couple of planes take off and get jostled about by the strong crosswinds that afternoon.

Aaron said...

B: That was the cool thing about this setup, you had your choice of both. I especially don't like digital tachometers, makes tuning the RPM a lot more dificult than with the analog gauge.

Scott: Drat, you should have given me a call that you were in the neighborhood. Thursday was indeed a little rough day for flying.