Saturday, January 28, 2006

To The Islands!

(With apologies to the Freight Dog; I didn't mean to steal the title from your post. I guess good things just stick in my craw....)

The third Saturday in January in Cleveland, and it's 60 degrees. Kid you not, kids. 60 degrees -- above zero. The sky is clear, the winds are down, and the IFR Pilot's going flying. MS got dragged along too. 'Bout time he did some flyin in 78S.

We got a bit of a late start, so it looked like the typical chicken wing run to PHD or MFD.

Then, lo and behold, MS says, "Let's go to Put-In-Bay."

Ever the skeptic, the IFR Pilot sagely observed, "It's the middle of winter. Nothing's open on the islands in mid-January."

A quick cell phone to the Skyway Restaurant proved the IFR Pilot wrong, so we blasted off with 3W2 as our destination.

The weather was as forecast, and we had no troubles at all -- other than a bit of headwind that promised to lengthen the IFR Pilot's leg to the island, and shorten MS's leg home. We headed northwest, under the watchful eye of Cleveland Approach. Instead of proceeding direct to Put-In-Bay, we headed towards Sandusky to minimize our total overwater flight time. Got a nice aerial view of Cedar Point, which remarkably resembled a ghost town.

Departing Cedar Point, it was a quick descent into a left downwind for Put-In-Bay's Runway 21. The only trick here is to make sure that you turn base before the Perry Memorial, which you're not supposed to overfly. Flight Guide cautions to expect turbulence on final if the winds are in excess of 10 knots. We were below that, though not to much, and had a keep a bit of crab angle in while we on final. No problem, the runway's 500' longer than the home base and considerably wider, so if the IFR Pilot can't get in here, we've got real problems.

After taxiing to park, we paid homage to the airport administration and paid the $10 landing fee. We were told that a couple of places in town were open, but we were not offered use of the airport golf cart, nor were there any others available for rent out-of-season. So, we huffed it around the perimeter of the airport to the Skyway.

Unfortunately, Skyway's cook was also working the "front of the house." Clearly having spent too much time on the island, his pace of service was pretty sllllooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww, and he was challenged in the operation of the cash register and the credit card machine. Fortunately, he knew how to cook a burger and the IFR Pilot was able to savor his delish Black 'N Blue Burger!

After the IFR Pilot slayed MS on the video bowling game (30 points suckah!), it was back to the apron to pick up 78S and head home. MS had to be beat into submission actually to fly. That task done, the IFR Pilot handled the radios and did the sightseeing.

A nice landing ensued and we were home for the day.

And that's the best way to spent a Saturday in January in Cleveland!

(N.B.: Sadly, the IFR Pilot left his camera at home, which explains is why this is not an illustrated story.... But Flight Aware did manage to pick us up, even though we didn't file a flight plan for our VFR adventure.)

1 comment:

Neil said...

Wow, I didnt realize flightaware would pick you up squawking 1200 with no about that.