|Gathering of Eagles 2011
Descending further and entering the downwind and base legs brought me into more turbulence. I worried
about the wind rotors coming off the treeline bordering the runway. Sure enough, on final and now down to 50
feet it was like rafting the Colorado River during spring thaw. Squirley doesn't describe my flight attitude(s). If I
had a machine gun and was shooting at a target, it would have been safe! Touching down just past the runway
threshold I pulled on the brakes (the AirBike has a hand brake on the stick) only enough to slow quickly but not
enough to put the prop in the dirt. I needed to kill the airspeed fast, least a gust of wind toss me airborne, it
easily could have done so when my landing speed is only 30 mph.
Taxiing to the hangar door I shut the engine off then rolled backwards a few feet when its thrust no longer
equaled the ramp's incline. Dropping my feet from the rudder pedals to the ramp, I sat there a few minutes to get
my land legs back. While doing so, I looked at the sky and said “I'm glad to be down here looking up than up
there wishing I was down here.” It was just a little more than 24 hours ago that I left this field. I thought, what a
great experience I have had covering 320 air miles while flying a total of 5 hours. What marvelous activities this
little airplane has exposed and taken me to. I am satisfied for now---that is, until another neat fly-in pops up on
my schedule. Fly for fun!
Paul D. Fiebich
a.k.a. AirBike Ace
Below are a few more photos of my trip.
|AirBike on ramp in front of hangar while
storm I just passed brews overhead