Friday, 30 January 2015

The glamour of general aviation

In short, there isn’t any.

Longer version:

If someone is good enough to offer you a ride in their pride and joy (and FTLF is all kinds of beautiful!) then the least you can do is attempt to be vaguely useful.

I try, in some areas I’m more successful than others. For example I’m useless at pushing a plane into a parking spot on an icy apron because I can barely walk on it myself. However I’m not afraid to get under the belly of the plane when we are putting the plethora of covers back on. I’m short, It’s easier for me.

When I got down to the FBO before our flight, we had to spend a little bit of time getting her ready. The weather forecast that week had been off and surprised us all with a bout of freezing drizzle leading to some frozen stuff in places it wasn't meant to be.

D had scraped the worst of it off before I’d got there and parked her in the sun to sublimate the rest off. I assisted him in manually removing the few remaining bits of clear ice. This was actually more interesting than it sounded. A quick cursory visual glance and you may have missed them. In some places I thought that I was looking at a bubbly paint job, but a bit of heat from your fingers and the “bubbles” moved. It occurs to me that this is yet another thing I didn’t encounter in my training. The flight schools planes are hangared at night. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a contaminated wing surface before. On a high winged plane like the C172, it would be easy to miss.

Once you are airborne, winter air is actually fairly sweet to fly in. The plane performs like a dream with a fantastic climb rate. We happily cruised along to London, at one point reaching 176 Knots. The landscape below you is phenomenal. We get distinct snow belt zones in this area of Ontario and the differences in snowfall were very noticeable as we zipped along.

In D’s sporty little Mooney it’s a mere 40 minute trip back from London, despite Google’s concern that there was heavy traffic on the highway ( it was predicting an hour forty for the ride back! I love f#cking with Google’s location services)

The only problem is on your return, where after a 40 minute flight, it takes 3 of you an hour to turn the plane into this.

Still not a fan of winter!

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