A Gorgeous Day in Texas

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JimP
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:52 pm

A Gorgeous Day in Texas

Postby JimP » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:59 pm

Today dawned clear and cool here in the Dallas area - one of our first real "fall" days. A perfect day for flying. So after church, D'Ann and I drove to Aero Country (T31), pulled our beautiful red and white '75 Grumman AA5 Traveler out of the hangar. After watching a Bonanza, a Vargas Katchina, and a pair of Pitts take off (the latter two in formation, one with smoke on), we finished our pre-flight and climbed aboard. We got settled in, and after several tries, finally got the engine started. This engine normally starts on the first try, with only one shot of the primer. In the cool weather, it took four attempts (and four shots of primer) to start. After a few deep breaths, we took off to the North into a slight headwind.

With the cool weather, the climb rate was "brisk", and almost before we cleared the pattern, we were at 2500 feet, winging towards Cedar Mills, a private airfield right next to Lake Texoma. We had decided to fly to Cedar Mills and walk to the marina to eat lunch at Pelican's Landing, a restaurant overlooking the lake. Winds aloft were straight out of the North - a direct headwind. But even so, after a short 30 minutes flight, we were looking down at a manicured grass landing strip, one end right out on the lake, the other surrounded by pine and cedar trees. The windsock showed about 15 knots of direct crosswind, and since we were the only ones in the pattern, I chose to land towards the lake, figuring a go-round towards the lake would be preferable to the trees at the other end.

The landing was pretty good, especially considering the fact that it had been more than 30 years since I last landed on grass. We back-taxied to the parking area, tied down, and strolled a half-mile or so to the restaurant. We ate lunch, watching the boats sail by on the lake, the water fowl play in the marina, and a couple of fishermen feed bait to the fish... Nice meal, good service, and a pleasant conversation matched the mellow mood of the day. A short walk back to the plane, a quick pre-flight, and we were soon on our way home.

Climbing out over the lake, we circled a couple of boats to get a better look (or to give them a better look - he he), then flew the magenta line home. As we neared Aero Country, we could hear a lot of other folks in the pattern, but most of them were departing, and it pretty well cleared out before we got there. We entered the pattern on the 45° entry, and just as we turned crosswind, we heard the Varga call downwind entry behind us. A really nice Piper Warrior was holding short of the runway, completing his run-up. On final, we heard the Bonanza call pattern entry. I landed a bit long (on purpose - to avoid having to taxi the full length of the runway), and let the nose wheel down a bit too early - resulting in a bit of shimmy. Pulled it back up, and managed to hold it off while the airplane slowed, then taxied back to the hangar.

Beautiful afternoon spent flying, a nice meal, and the company of my favorite girl (my wife). What more could you ask for?
Jim Parker
N5842N - 78 Commander 114 Hot Shot (Turbo Normalized)

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champguy
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: A Gorgeous Day in Texas

Postby champguy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:10 pm

Fall flights are special. They give you something to remember when the days turn cold wet and windy.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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jackhodgson
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:07 pm
Location: Lookout Point, Nottingham, NH / Nashua Airport (ASH)
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Re: A Gorgeous Day in Texas

Postby jackhodgson » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:32 pm

JimP,

A nice story about a great day of flying. Thanks.

// Jack


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