Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Days of '85

I just got back from another trip in the airplane and got a chance to try some new things that I thought I would share with you.  First and probably the most exciting is I got a chance to take the airplane up to 17,500' for the first time.  On the trip to Oshkosh I got it up to 15,500' but I didn't stay up there very long.  This time I was alone, had oxygen on and the winds looked a little better up there so I took it on up.  All I can say is WOW!  That wing loves the altitude.  I was doing 155 knots TAS burning 6.2 gallons per hour and had a 50 knot tailwind!  I took a picture of it which you will find below.  You will also see a pretty spectacular picture I took on descent from that trip....

I also got a chance to do a few family member flights and I also got to land in the town where I was born.  That doesn't sound too exciting on its own but to me it was a big deal because I also met up with a childhood friend who was part of the reason I love to fly so much.  I remember sitting in class (grade school) drawing airplanes with my friend Bob whose dad would occasionally fly his bright orange nosed Cessna overhead.

Oh, I also got the rest of the interior installed in the airplane.  I am getting very close to calling it done, interior wise anyway.  :-)

Finally I have to say that this summer has been a summer of dreams.  I've got almost 200 hours on the airplane at this time which is a ridiculously large number.  I've checked many items off of my bucket list and now I need to add a few more.  I am very close to getting my IFR rating which will allow me to safely fly in the clouds.  So many exciting events, but it's now coming to point where I am ready to shift gears a little.  I'm officially unemployed now and ready to start on my next big adventure.  I've seen a few interesting possibilities and am really excited about getting back into a more normal groove of life.

Anyway, on with the show....

Here is the interior after I finished the pilot side panels.  I really like the look and the added storage pockets is really nice.

I took this picture as I was headed East to Ekalaka.  Beautiful day to fly above the clouds.

Ok, this is the picture I mentioned above.  I was near Helena Montana headed east.  203 knots ground speed is awesome but wait until the next picture...

225 knots Ground speed!!!  Obviously I was in a descent at this time and I actually had to be careful not to go too fast as you can see by the red markings on my airspeed tape.  I actually did go a little faster but didn't get a picture of it.  This is pretty darn awesome at 225 knots though!  Look at the wind speed!  60 knots of tailwind!

Here she is, all tied down and unpacked in Ekalaka.

I took this picture on the return flight home for my Aunt who packed me a lunch.  :-)

The fires in the area were causing a lot of haze as you can see from this picture taken on my return trip near the Montana Idaho border.

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