Monday, October 6, 2008

Fly-in cookout at Morin's N7K7

We had our first and hopefully not our last fly-in at one of our members private airstrip.

Phil Morin's field is about 9 miles south of our clubs' home at Hamilton (H30). Running N-S it is 1200' long by 60' wide. Landings are made to the north with the approach flown over the Chenango River. There is an 80' wide gap between the trees bordering the river which turns 90 degrees at the runway end to align with the approach for about 400 feet.

I was the first off from Hamilton behind our tow pilot Jack Hosp. With a northwest wind we arrived in the vicinity of Morin's much faster than I expected. Never having been to this airport I had some difficulty spotting the field while on tow. With some help from Jack I realized I was looking too far ahead. We were already there, and the airport was easily visible about a mile and a half just off the nose.

(In this picture the field is in the extreme lower right. Our tow plane off to the left)

I released and spent some time soaring in the weak lift and taking pictures before letting myself drift down pattern altitude. My trailer was still back at Hamilton and I didn't want to hold up the party too long while someone drives me to get it.

On approach the field looks quite short. With some crosswind I was hesitant to fly between the trees on final and decided there was enough runway to stay at treetop level until over the river. Well, when I got to that point the runway looked REALLY short. I put in a slip and lowered the nose to get down fast. Kicking the nose straight and beginning the flair I hoped I wouldn't float far or bounce loosing precious turf. Fortunately I had maintained good airspeed control and the Libelle touched down softly after only a short float. Using moderate breaking until realizing there was sufficient runway remaining I then let her coast and stopped before the 3/4 runway behind marker. Whew...

First ever aircraft landing at N7K7!
I've made history and joined a list of others that were first. Lindbergh, Armstrong, Hernandez.

Unfortunately while retrieving my trailer, I missed Jay landing his ASW-15B and later Jeff in the 2 place Lambada motor-glider. Jay experienced the same thoughts as I did on approach. The gliders were relatively easy. The Lambada required a bit more effort and Jeff demonstrated that he had the skill needed for the task. After a couple approaches to feel things out he set her down and safely stopped.

Aircraft that flew in. Libelle, ASW-15B and UTM Lambada.

Two gliders and one motor-glider. Ten people in all came for the cookout. Phil provided snacks, beer and cider for everyone. Steaks for pilots, ground and tube steaks for the rest.

Then another first. Jeff made the first ever take-off from N7K7. Another name to the list of firsts. Shingleton!

Phil's airport is on 38(?) acres of triangular shaped land bordered on 2 sides by the Chenango River. It was peaceful spot for a relaxing evening and dark skies for stargazing when the sun goes down.

Thank you Phil for hosting the club in what we all hope is an annual event.

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