Ponca City Breakfast
Flight
November 1, 2008
There is always something special about early morning flights.  The plane's wing
collects a haze of dew soon after being pushed from the hangar and the tires glisten
black from the pre-dawn moisture after rolling through the grass.  A brilliant orange
sun quickly rises over the horizon creating stabbing shafts of sunlight that highlight
the ground fog as they pierce the hedgerows.  The air is still and the windsock hangs
limp while in the distance I hear birds chirping, horses whinnying, chickens crowing
and dogs barking.  It is peaceful and I just know a beautiful morning flight awaits me.
Fifteen minutes after
sun-rise I have completed
my FSS call and filed a
flight plan.  The Rotax
engine had briefly
4-cycled then settled
down to its raucous
2-cycle staccato exhaust
note that shattered the
morning calm while it
warmed up.
Five minutes later I was rising off the sod field's 40 degree temperature and climbing
into the 50 degree air at 4000 feet.  In addition to being warm up there Flight Service
said I would have a tailwind, they were right, almost 20 mph!  I cruised along at 75
mph while the engine churned at an easy 5800 cruise rpm.
The Kansas countryside was
beautiful, fog lifting, sun shining
through the haze and the trailing
wind was constant, no bumps.  
Black smoke could be seen
puffing from the stacks of diesel
tractors being started in fields and
farmyards.
My AirBike's little 2-stroke Rotax engine ran smoothly and the carbon fiber prop is
almost invisible when spinning.  Occasionally it would catch the sunlight and create
one of those shiny prop-long "lightening bolt" reflections that rotated slowly.  The
normal vibration of the fabric, flying wires and engine was very comforting and
confirmed a pleasanat flight was in progress.
Because of the haze
and low lying fog, the
morning sun's shine
bounced off the small
ponds and watersheads
causing sunbeams to
reflect upwards in
various sizes like
angled light sabers
from a Star Wars
movie.
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