‘Twas a Beautiful day to fly:

So we did:

Went out and saw Aaron yesterday. Flew to PTK then dropped off the 340 and got into his Piper Archer for another leg..

The flight out to PTK was sorta in and out of IMC., even the approach to PTK was really hazy until about 1500ft. From Indiana to Pontiac, it was just kinda-sorta almost but not quite Instrument Meteorological Conditions. Smooth though.

So once in the Archer (slower, but still fun to fly) we headed to Mount Pleasant Michigan to hit the Casino. The weather was Severe Clear with a touch of Smooth most of the way…once close, Aaron put on the Foggles and did an approach for his instrument currency with me a safety pilot….Now, like shooting, instrument currency and proficiency is a perishable skill. Aaron did OK but was, as all of us are, heavy handed at first, but them got it together and did a really nice approach and a smooth as butter landing under the foggles. and without an autopilot. All hand flown.

Currency is one of the hardest things for us non-professional pilots to maintain, But the  skills are there, we just need to polish them. And that was part of the reason we flew the Archer instead of the 340 (plus the Archer is fun to fly)

We then chocked the plane and called for the ride to the casino…Outside was a really nicely done crew car:

After giving our money to the casino, via Craps and Blackjack and a meal, we caught the bus back to the airport, preflighted the airplane, and took off for Pontiac. Aaron flew much better this time,….it shows when we haven’t flown for a few weeks and then get back behind the yoke,…..Just a tiny bit of flying polishes our skills .He flew a perfect approach into 09R at PTK. I’d consider the skillset polished.

We then put his plane away, drove around the airport to where my plane was parked, did a flight plan, and I preflighted the plane, filed the flight plan, and started the engines.  Got my IFR clearance and was told to taxi to 09R….but then Ground called and told me to do a 180 on the taxiway and proceed to 27L….they changed the runway.!? I asked if I had misheard the first time? He said no, they just changed the active runway after I got my taxi instructions.

Got to the runway, did a runup (mag check, cycle the props, all that) then got takeoff clearance and proceeded west(ish) into rising clouds.

After that is was pretty decent flying. Got just above the clouds and cruised for a while. I did ask for some course deviations for some rapidly building rising clouds, but they we easily avoided.

While I like flying at 100 knots, for making miles, there is nothing like burring fuel and cruising high and fast…190 knots makes for a faster trip.

After that it was a nice decent from ATC and a setup for the RNAV approach to my runway.. It was all thick haze (Not IMC but certainly not VMC either) on the descent until about 1600 feet, then clear to the runway…where I did an adequate (but only barely) landing. Glad no one else was in the plane to see (and feel) that. Some landings are better than others….

Taxi and hangar the plane and then home.

It was a good day:. flying, friends, a different plane, gambling, more flying….

Probably more like that today too.





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