|Gage, Oklahoma Flight
February 7, 8, 9, 2015
|A total of 12 airplanes
were eventually tucked
into the community hangar
and locked up for the night.
|Because I would be
leaving in the morning
and Ron Cox would be
my wingman for 25
miles, we were parked
nearest the door.
|I lodged two nights with an Airbike pilot Ron Cox and his wife Nelda, both are
about my age. Flying is fatiguing, I slept well. Nelda made a nice Sunday dinner
for us, I took Ron out for breakfast the morning I left. His wife was still
employed, he is retired.
|The chart shows my flight path in both directions. I like to make the first leg of a
cross-country flight the longest as I am fresh then.
When I left Haysville Saturday noon, the temperature was 60 degrees, as the day wore
on and I flew south, the temperature rose. By the time I reached Gage and landed, the
temperature at ground level was 85 degrees. Being dressed for cold weather traveling, I
soon became overheated and started shedding some clothing layers.
The trip home was just the reverse. It was 70 degrees at 11:30 when I left Gage on
Monday morning, climbed to 3000 feet altitude where the temperature was again 60
degrees. It was downhill from there. By the time I reached Haysville I had reduced my
altitude to 1000 feet AGL to stay in warmer air but even there the temperature had
dropped to 55 degrees. Higher was colder. I was dressed almost but not quite enough to
ward off the chills. The "biological stick shaker" was activating.
|Grain elevators such as these at Conway Springs are a navigation aid. They reflect the
sunlight and serve well as targets to aim for along my flight path. Every western town has
at least one elevator, these are located along railroad tracks, the combination helps to
match them with the aviation chart and identify the town.
Water towers aid tremendously in verifying a town's identity. This one belongs to the town
of Conway Springs shown in the above photo. A low pass over one is comforting
confirmation of my location.
|The small airports I land at for fuel often are unmanned which means I have to figure out
how to get to town for fuel or call the police to come and unlock the pumps. Fortunately, this
one, at Anthony, Kansas had a fuel pump operated via credit card. I position the plane so I
can see the pump dial from a ladder as I simultaneously meter in fuel and oil. I mix it at a
ratio of 50:1 (gas to oil) for my two-stroke engine.
Fueling is a touchy operation. Balancing on a ladder, thick 3" diameter stiff fuel hose draped
over my shoulder, one hand operating the heavy massive dispensing valve (much larger
than those at Quick Trip) while I gradually pour oil into the tank from a container in the other
hand. Sometimes I think I should work for a circus!
After fueling my plane, I took the airport courtesy car and drove the three miles into Anthony
for lunch at a McDonald's restaurant.
|Upon landing at my home airfield, I taxied up to the hangar door then let the engine idle for
several minutes before shutting down. This allowed it to cool properly and gave me some
time to savor the trip. Once I flip the master switch to off, the trip is over.
This trip totaled 8.1 hours of engine run time. A positive boost past the 1000 hour mark set
just two weeks earlier. It was a wonderful weekend, my little plane has carried me through
to completion of another adventure. Yes, each flight IS an adventure!
My AirBike ain't no hangar queen! For me, flying is a phenomenally satisfying and
confidence building activity. It is how I get my "high!"