Friday July 07, 2006
The newspaper reporter and photographer showed up at 7, and after an extensive interview I took off from the grass next to the taxiway (after clearing it with the tower) to do a few touch and goes and a fly-by. The wind on the surface was a steady 6 mph, so it was nice flying. As usual, as soon as I climbed over 300 feet, whack, there was a strong wind. Luckily I didn't have to worry about going anywhere today.
The FOX TV affiliate sent out a crew later, and we notched another TV interview. Now we're waiting to hear from the other TV stations.
Michael flew his PPC to another small airport to hangar it there for a few months. In the mean time he'll return to Fly By Ranch, and then drive back with a trailer to retrieve his plane. He was fortunate to find someone who had some extra hangar space at a great price - free. Then he returned to pick up his stuff, and he headed off to the "big" airport to catch a plane south. We're gonna miss him. He's an excellent pilot, did a great job with the weather, and has a unique sense of humor. Also, I learned a lot from him.
Not to despair, a new chase pilot will be joining us in about a week. I'll feel better about telling everyone about him as soon as he actually joins the team. So hang in there for the details.
The plan was to leave tomorrow morning and try to fly directly to Downtown Springfield airport (3DW). But a check of the weather showed a storm front moving in the next day. The decision was made at 4 (in the afternoon) to fly to Clinton airport (GLY), which is on the way to Springfield. The reason I decided to go to Clinton instead of Springfield was that it is 62 miles flight distance, and I knew I'd be fighting a constant headwind all the way. At 5pm I was in the air, and landed at Clinton 3 hours and 3 minutes later. Slow going indeed. Once again I had to hug the deck to make headway.
Rusty was there waiting, we serviced Voyager, made a run to Walmart for supplies, and then hit the sack. Tomorrow morning I plan on an early wheels up to outrun the weather front to Springfield.