Sunday, January 28, 2018

Mid-winter flight to Lake Ontario

A beautiful mid-winter day. After an unseasonably cold first half of the winter, things have moderated  quite a bit. Our snow melted with heavy rain and 60+ degree weather a couple weeks back and since then there hasn't been too much on the ground. So, with a bit of a thaw we are able to fly!

Originally I was planning to fly to Watertown, NY to check out the ice on Lake Ontario, but as I approached the lake skies were hazy to the north along the eastern shore. Not very good for photography. Also, I discovered the ice was gone! So instead of going north along the lake, I flew west to Fair Haven then south to Skaneateles where I made a fuel stop.

 Phoenix, NY

Nine Mile Point on Lake Ontario

Oswego, NY

Sterling Creek to Fair Haven

Fair Haven


Ice Fisherman on the north end of Otisco Lake

East Hill School and ski hill in Camillus

Friday, August 18, 2017

Flight to Old Forge

With some beautiful weather after a very wet spring and summer I wanted to take a little adventure in the plane. In the next couple weeks the plane will go in for its annual, I will be finishing up work and retiring, then we will be headed to Logan UT for David and Kelli's wedding. At least through the middle of September, life will be busy.

I considered Rutland, VT or Mt Washington, NH but decided to save those for a later date to camp and do some hiking during the fall foliage season.

With my planes' leisurely 100 mph cruise it is under 45 minutes to Old Forge. From start-up to shutdown about an hour, plus any sightseeing added to that.

The air was cool and perfectly smooth both directions however, haze increasing to the north and east made photography difficult from cruising altitudes of 5,500 going out and 6,500 on the return. It wasn't worth opening the window to take many photos.

There was some fog along the route and on the Fulton Chain of Lakes that I could see in the distance but it was burning off quickly with the morning sun.

This is Middle Settlement Lake. On my birthday a couple weeks back I hiked from Route 28 near the Onieko Lakes to here.

Approaching Old Forge airport. It is visible from quite a distance back as it is the only clearing in the unending forest of the Adirondack Park. Just to the right of this image is the village of Old Forge only a 20 minute walk away.

Turning downwind I spotted a group of kayakers working their way up the Middle Branch Moose River. With all its meandering, it appears you will paddle at least 2 miles for each 1 mile made good!

Parked at Old Forge. There were 5 other planes tied down as well as several in hangars around this developing fly-in community. All the properties around the field have been sold to pilots who will build homes and be able to taxi from the runway to their house.

A short walk into town brings you to Main Street (Rt 28) on the west side of Enchanted Forest/Water Safari. I continued through the town for breakfast at Keyes Pancake house, then to Mountainman Outdoor Supply and onto Thendara.

Kayakers on the Middle Branch Moose River from Rt 28 bridge.

I returned along the Tobie Trail, a paved walking/biking path which follows Rt 28, then turns south to avoid the downtown section and turns back north to cross the bottom of First Lake and back along the road to the airport before heading off to Eagle Bay and Inlet on Fourth Lake.

So often I've said that the flying was the best part of any trip.  Now after 45+ years in the air I've finally gotten to the point where, while I love the air time, I really enjoy exploring new places and talking with all the interesting people I meet.

Mountain Air Painters

Route 28 looking NE from the Middle Branch Moose River towards town

First Lake, park with beach area and Enchanted Forest

Along the way back I just relaxed. Again haze made photography towards the south impossible.

Drivers village, Rts 81 and 481 Syracuse Hancock Airport

Hancock Internation Airport and the Post Office

A couple shots of Onondaga lake and Syracuse

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Olympia, Washington to Logan, Utah

A few shots from the three days I was with Kirk. Ignition and fuel system issues grounded us in Logan Utah and by the 3rd day I had to leave for home. 

With problems solved Kirk is once again headed east and making good progress.

Fueling up for the first leg down to the Columbia River

Mount Rainier 

Mount St Helens



Columbia River east of the mountains


Following iFly 700

High desert of eastern Oregon

Snake River at Twin Falls, ID

Landing Logan, UT

Glider landing at Logan

Kirk and Logan's Leading Edge Aviation mechanic Kim evaluating ignition system

Kirk modifying fuel system to reduce exposure to high temperatures in the engine compartment

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Flight to OK Slip Falls near Indian Lake

It's mid November and we have been blessed with warmer than normal fall weather. This pattern is about to be broken by a cold front arriving Saturday that already has snow warnings posted for the area.

Friday however, was a beautiful day. Heading to the airport late morning there were warm temperatures, clear skies, light surface winds and a very stable atmosphere. Planes were flying and the radio full of traffic. I think everyone realized we should make the most of this day.

Where to go? I considered heading down to the lower Hudson over the Catskill Mountains, but headwinds on the return would make for a long ride back and the days are now getting quite short. Winds of 15 kts aloft were forecast to be out of the west over western and central NY but turning sharply to blow from the north over the eastern half of the state.

I decided to go northeast towards the High Peaks to take a look at OK Slip Falls. CNY Hiking - OK Slip Falls. Previously located on private land this waterfall has only recently opened up to the public. It is one of the highest falls in the Adirondack park and has been on my list of places to hike, but haven't had a chance yet.

With the GPS coordinates of the falls entered into ForeFlight and after topping off the tanks I was in the air making a circling climb over the airport before heading east over the Syracuse Class C airspaces' 4,400 foot upper bounds. Until a couple months ago my transponder was out of service, so flying through or even over the Class C airspace was not permitted. I would always go under its upper layers or all the way around.

This gave me a rare look at Onondaga Lake and Hancock Airport. Even my workplace at the Syracuse GMF...
Onondaga Lake from the south at 5,500'

Carousel Mall

Syracuse Hancock International Airport

For all my Postal friends, the Syracuse GMF. 
(Sorry you guys had to work today...)

Oneida Lake

Cruising along in perfectly smooth, though not perfectly clear air, I settled back to relax for the hour or so it would take to reach my destination.

The engine rumbled alone happily until about 10 minutes later. Somewhere over the eastern portion of Oneida Lake while scanning the sky for traffic and enjoying the view, I was pulled out of my relaxed state of mind by a sudden and rapid decrease of engine RPM. Quickly looking at oil pressure, which was normal, I advanced the mixture to "full rich", turned on carburetor heat and turned towards the farmland south of the lake.

The engine returned to normal almost instantly. I continued in a gradual turn back towards home base  while checking to insure that it was simply carburetor icing. Eventually I turned back on course except now adding carburetor heat at regular intervals and there were no further problems. Engine issues over the farmland of Central New York is one thing, there are many, many fields to choose from. In the Adirondack Park there is only a choice of forest, wetlands or lakes. 


I thought this was interesting with both the old Griffiss airbase and the Erie canal in one view. Then I realized that the thruway and NY Central rail line was in the picture as well!

Hinkley Reservoir 

A few years back I kayaked around this lake with the CNY Kayak club.

Indian Lake and the High Peaks beyond

Village of Indian Lake with Blue Mountain beyond. Blue Mountain is a great hike. At the top there is a fire tower that gives great views for many miles around.

OK Slip Falls

ForeFlight and my Bad Elf Pro GPS put me right over the falls! A few turns around for some pictures before heading back to Piseco 30 miles back to the southwest. Because of the unforgiving terrain below I stayed at a reasonable altitude. For a closer look I will hike in someday.

Mountains and haze

Heading back into the sun all the shades of blue as the mountains fade away into the hazy air looked worthy of a picture.

45U on the ramp at Piseco

That is a house in the background with a built-in hangar on the airport side

Piseco Airport

All the way back to Marcellus the sun and haze made picture taking near to impossible. The mostly clear air over the mountains where winds aloft were from the north contrasted sharply with the hazy air in the valleys brought in by western winds.

Great late season flight. Three hours round trip.

As I write this Saturday afternoon the cold front is already entering the area dropping temperatures from the 70's a few hours ago to 50 degrees at 4:00 pm. Rain and snow are following right behind.