Saturday, November 9, 2013

Flight to Lake Placid and the High Peaks

I've been wanting to make this flight to see the peaks I've hiked for quite some time but each time weather, usually strong winds has prevented me. On a couple occasions when good weather aligned with my days off I was already in these mountains hiking.

On this day there was high pressure over the northeast and the skies were clear. The only possible problem were winds in the northeast portions of NY, but they were forecast to die off about the time I would arrive.

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Departing Marcellus just before 10 am I headed NE at 1,600' to remain under the Class C airspace surrounding Syracuse.

My first turn point was Syracuse Suburban Airport (6NK) near Brewerton. A few years back lots of taxpayer money was spent paving and refurbishing this unused field only to have it continue to be unused. Passing 6NK I was out from under the Class C and made an 80 mph cruise climb to 5,500'

Passing north of Camden and Rome marks from the last glacier are visible in the foreground with the large wind farm west of Booneville in the distance.

Mudhole pond and Pine Lakes just SW of Old Forge
Most of the leaves were gone from the trees once I left the lowlands of Central NY, but the endless  undeveloped forest of the Adirondack Park was beautiful none the less. Forest broken only by lakes, creeks, swamps and very rarely, a road.

Old Forge and the Fulton chain of lakes. To the left of center the Old Forge Airport is visible. In the distance just to the right of center is Blue Mountain a great afternoon hike with an unrestricted views from the fire tower on the summit.
Heading into the eastern part of the state skies became a little hazy, though visibilities were still 50+ miles

Approaching the High Peaks, Santanoni Peak in the foreground beyond Moose Pond on the right. Algonquin and Marcy white with snow and ice on the horizon beyond.

Marcy on the left, Skylight closer, Haystack behind. In the distance, Giant.

Hikers atop Marcy in this zoomed in shot

Indian, Algonquin and Wright.

My Cessna at Lake Placid. Whiteface in the background.

I was really surprised to find a Challenger tied out at Lake Placid. This is a single seat version of the two-place I own. Some day I want to fly my Challenger up here and spend a couple days photographing the hills and area where I spend so many of my weekends.

Cessna sizing up the next Challenge.

Whiteface Mountain and the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway. My son David and I hiked Esther and Whiteface again a year ago. We first hiked Whiteface almost 20 years ago when he was 6.

After flying over the KOA I frequent when in Placid, I followed Rt 12 to Upper Jay to pick up Rt 9N to Keene and Keene Valley. Marcy Field in the foreground.

From the right: Lower Wolfjaw, Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, and Gothics along the Great Range. (I hiked the latter 3 on one 12 hour hike in 2012.) In the distant center is Marcy. These mountains are even more intimidating when flying down low than they are when hiking. The view flying just above the peaks is breathtaking.

I didn't take too many pictures on the way back as the sun and haze made for very low contrast from cruising altitude.

Bald Mountain (Rondaxe) is just northeast of Old Forge. It is an easy under 1 hour hike to the tower for a great view of the lakes

Enchanted Forest - Water Safari in Old Forge.

Onondaga Lake and Syracuse with under 10 minutes to Marcellus.

Total flight time just over 4 hours. A very satisfying ride as we near the end of the season. A few days later as I write this I am already hearing the mountains calling me. Maybe I'll take another hike in the lower hills, before winter settles in and snowshoes are needed.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

International Cessna 120/140 Association

September 18 at Sky Manor (N40) near Pittstown, NJ

Phil called me Tuesday afternoon as I was readying my Cessna 150 for a local flight. He was online and had just discovered that the Cessna 120/140 Association's fly-in was starting the next day, and rather than some distant location it was only 1:45 from Hamilton where his 140 is based.

At first I said 'no', not wanting to take the time off or the expense of staying out of town for a couple days. But when he said it was just for the day I couldn't pass it up.

I worked the night before and even did some overtime in the morning before making the one hour drive from Syracuse to Hamilton. Phil was already at the airport when I arrived at 8:00 am. A quick change of clothes for me and with camera in hand I was ready to go.

The weather was perfect for the flight. A high pressure ridge over the eastern US kept skies clear and with light winds aloft the ride was smooth as glass.

Departing Hamilton we found fog filling many of the valleys through southern NY and into PA.

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Looking south over the nose with a direct path towards Sky Manor 139nm distant

Norwich airport was partially hidden

The skyline of NYC is visible in the distance on this cropped photo

Fog was slowly pouring through the Delaware Water Gap and evaporating.

Sky Manor airport was now only 25 miles distant and we covered this distance quickly in a well timed descent that brought us across the airport and right into the downwind leg.

On final for 29 at Sky Manor

Phil taxied up onto the grass parking area to join about a dozen and a half Cessna 120s & 140s already there.

Phil's teal and white Cessna 140

Phil at the Association tent

Only one person with a question?...

 A few of the beautiful planes that flew in for the event.



Panel of NC3600V

This aircraft was so shiny that from certain angles it was almost invisible.

I was surprised to find someone from Baldwinsville, NY was in attendance. B'ville is only about 15 miles from my home.

Not all the aircraft were as well cared for. This Cessna 170 tied out in the elements looks like it hasn't been touched in years
Lichen on the horizontal stabilizer...

and a toad on the wing!

A van carried a half dozen of us into Frenchtown for lunch. In town everyone headed off in different directions. Phil and I sat outside a small cafe for a relaxing lunch.

Arriving back at the airport we reviewed the line of planes one last time and watched a few take-offs and landings before climbing back in his 140 and heading north.

Our course took us across the approach and departure path for aircraft in and out of NYC. Departing aircraft were well above us, but one regional inbound passed directly under us. 

Settling into cruise at 9,500'. I began to get drowsy. Phil asked if I was getting hypoxic and wanted to descend to a lower altitude. No the altitude was fine, I'd been up for about 26 hours at that point. The smooth ride and relaxing drone of the engine was putting me to sleep.

We made good time and after about 1:45 flight time we were turning final into Hamilton

Phils Cessna 140 back in Hamilton.

Thanks Phil for a great day of flying!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fly-in at Anthonson Airport (NY28)

Every year Jack Haggerty has a party at his Anthonson Airport hangar. This was the first one that I have attended, and have to add that I wasn't actually invited...

I've never been one to crash a party, but that may have to change!

A couple days earlier at my airport when hearing of the gathering I was told that everyone was welcome, just bring a dish to pass. With a box of cookies in the back seat of my Challenger I took off on the 4.4 mile flight to Anthonson.

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Anthonson Airport (NY28)

Wanting to photograph arriving aircraft I arrived a bit early and was the first one in. Landing to the west I set up my approach to keep a safe height over the road, but on final could see that there was a pretty clear view around trees of approaching vehicles that would cross past the end of the runway.

My Challenger II parked

Parking the plane I was greeted by Seamus. Jack was preparing meat and I asked if there was anything I could do to help. They we all set and well prepared for the soon to arrive guests.

The hangar, ready for a party...

Food cooking in "Fat Man"

John Kellogg was the first to arrive in his Husky

Jack Briggs and his wife were one of the earlier arrivals. I hadn't seen Jack in almost 10 years.

Seamus, a student pilot, was with his instructor when he got to experience a partial power loss with the failure of one cylinder. Fortunately they were approaching an airport and when within gliding distance shut the engine down and made a safe landing.

Jim Murphy in his Super Cub

Jack recording all the flying action

Vinny and wife

David Lee in his Zenith

Lots of great food. 
I didn't eat a lot but took small amounts of a variety of interesting and delicious salads. 
In a couple hours I was to meet my son and his girlfriend down in Cortland for dinner.

Running late I took off and turn SE towards Marcellus. Afterwards I wish I had take the time to circle back around for another aerial shot of the airport at the height of the party. 
Next time...

Thank you Jack and Karen!
I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed meeting everyone.