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.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sunday Flight to Hamilton, Beck's Grove and Airlane Enterprise Airports

With only light and variable winds forecast for Sunday's sailboat race I decided instead of sailing to fly over to Hamilton and see what my old soaring club was up to. Of course, looking forward to taking a few pictures of the activity while there. 

It's been about 5 years since I sold my Libelle 201B, so I'm out of the loop with Iroquois Soaring. With a BLIPMAP forecast for very good soaring, there should be a good chance that someone will be out to soar.

While readying the plane I turned on my Ham radio tuned to Unicom just in time to hear John Kellogg turning base for 33 at Marcellus. Of course, I have to get him a few new screen savers for his computer...

Skirting the edge of Syracuse Class C airspace to the south I fly from Marcellus to just north of Lafayette before heading direct to Hamilton.

To the north of my route I pass Cazenovia. Here is where I started my Monday walks along the North Country Scenic Trail. Walking out and back, I've worked my way almost to Rome passing the east end of Oneida Lake seen here in the distance. 

Entering the pattern on the downwind leg I can already see there isn't any soaring going on at Hamilton today.

Israel Galaxy

I stayed at Hamilton for about 20 minutes wandering around.
This is where both my Pilatus B4 and my Glasflugel Libelle 201B were based when flying with Iroquois Soaring Association

Cirrus SR-20 on take-off

Heading north towards Beck's Grove I passed just to the west of the Turning Stone Casino

The North Country Trail crosses the Erie Canal at this lock. My most recent walk covered this section of the trail!

On Final to Beck's Grove (K16)

Not very pretty or fast. the high lift slotted wings, tundra tires and horsepower will get this 'off-road' Zenith homebuilt in and out of practically anywhere

These trees were intimidating! For take-off, I began my run in the grass about 200' before the end of the runway to make use of all the available space. With only me and 1/2 tanks there was no problem and plenty of room over those tall trees at the end of this 3,000' runway.

Sylvan Beach


Oneida Lake looking east

Airlane Enterprise Airport (1H1)
Circling the field I could see Ray Florczyk, the airport owner, waving so I stopped in for a visit. Ray keeps an Aeronca Champ in his back yard airfield.

I landed to the south and took off downhill to the north. The N-S runway on the left is about 2,200 feet long. The Cessna was off in just over 1/3 the runway and was able to easily turn and stay within the airport boundary while climbing with 10ยบ flaps

Heading back home I can see it was a pretty quiet day on the lake...
Onondaga Lake from the north

Onondaga Yacht Club on left with Syracuse in the background

Lakeview Amphitheater on Lakeview Point.

Onondaga Yacht Club and marina

Syracuse with Solvay in the foreground

Monday, July 11, 2016

Warbird Airshow at Geneseo

Low clouds, and light rain kept us from flying to Geneseo. MVFR and even IFR near Rochester left me with little choice but driving. Better weather was on the way, but wouldn't arrive in time for us.

If we flew, we needed to be on the ground by 9:00 so a 7:30 departure time was planned. Since we were driving we had plenty of time to stop for a breakfast in Waterloo and still arrive with time to spare before the show started at 11:00. This gave us the opportunity to wander around the museum and hangar then make it to the out to the show line for the start of the show.

Dad with Memphis Belle

F-4U Corsair "Korean War Hero"

P-51 Mustang

Dad with T-6 Texan

Watching approach of C-47 Whiskey 7

Jumpers from Whiskey 7
(W-7 took part in the Normandy invasion)

Show start!

P-51 and B-25 "Panchito"

L-39 Albatross

Aichi D3A Japanese Dive Bomber 

Shortly after the start of the show, veterans were called to the Veterans Tent. There was a special viewing area reserved for us with snacks and drinks provided. We were all brought out onto the flight line to honor us for service to our country.

P-51 Mustang

Rob Holland in his MXS-RH

F-4U Corsair "Korean War Hero"

Russian AN-2

C-46 "Tinker Belle"

Mig-17 pulling up to 11,000 feet

A very nice day...