City of Columbus

Today was a fun day in the airplane. Had about one more hour left of flight time until I reached the hours necessary to qualify to for my private pilot check-ride. Which, as it turns out, is scheduled tomorrow.

To burn some time in the air, I decided to fly a low approach at Port Columbus (soon to be John Glenn Columbus Intl.). Approach cleared me into the class C airspace and then tower authorized a touch-and-go. If you look at the first picture in the gallery below, I have a picture of the airport as I’m on my base leg. You can see a Southwest Airlines jet and another commercial jet behind it on the taxiway waiting for my slow little sport plane to touch down and clear the area.

Since I had people waiting on me, I skipped the touch-and-go and just did a low approach, buzzing the runway at a breathtaking 100 knots and putting on a show for the morning passengers. Then I bugged out to circle the city once and get a few photos.

There’s a couple great shots showing the city and the Scioto river and the nearly completed park. Just before I took the airplane back home I got one decent shot of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s campus.

Columbus Zoo & Zoombezi Bay Waterpark

The Columbus Zoo was very busy today, or maybe it was the connected waterpark. I don’t know, but look at those cars in the parking lot!

The colorful section of the photo is of course the water park. I’ve been there, it’s a ton of fun even for adults. I mean, if you’re an adult that likes water slides. Or even if you don’t, nothing wrong with hanging out in the lazy river with a cocktail.

The Zoo next door is of course the famous Columbus Zoo, once proudly directed by Jack Hanna and consistently rated as the #1 (or close to it) zoo in all of America. Not too bad.

The road along the bottom left of the photo running bottom to top is Riverside drive and it follows the Scioto river along its east bank. The golf course is the Safari Golf Club which is also owned by the zoo.

O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

Today I was up dodging small thunderstorms. Good thing there’s a huge fan at the front of the plane to blow all the water off the windshield.

O’Shaughnessy Reservoir is our #2 go-to destination for wakeboarding which we use as a back-up whenever Grigg’s is going to be too busy. Today we saw one rider but on the south side of the reservoir we got a decent view of a sail boat race. Based on what I saw, it looks like we caught them at the turn.

The Horseshoe

I flew over campus today for the sole purpose of taking pictures of The Shoe. That puts the plane directly in the departure/approach path of the big boys landing at Port Columbus Intl. (KCMH) so I had to work with Columbus Approach to make sure no one knocked my wings off. Got one full circuit around the stadium before bugging out to farmland to the west.

The Olentangy River is running north-to-south along the west side of the stadium and 315 is the highway just to the west of that. There’s a dark block-O on top of a roof just to the south-east of the stadium. (Slightly above and to the left) Maybe someone can comment on exactly what building that is. I think maybe the RPAC?

There’s a lacrosse game going on inside the stadium at the time of these pictures; only moderately attended. If there were another thousand people or so in the stands I would have had to fly another 2,000 feet higher.

Sycamore, Ohio

A lot of small towns that I see are located next to something of economic value. I couldn’t find a thing with Sycamore. No river, no lake, no quarry or visible mine. Probably a true Midwest farm town. And let me tell you, if you’re not familiar with this area of Ohio, you will never accidentally go to Sycamore. There are no main highways leading to or from any of the Three C’s or even Toledo or Dayton from here. You’re more likely to get stuck behind a tractor than a tractor-trailer. I wonder if their high school football team is any good.

Carey, Ohio

Until I started flying, I never knew how many quarries there were in Ohio. They seem to be everywhere! From about 3,000 ft., they are gorgeous. This is Carey, Ohio. Population of about 3,600 in 2010 and this quarry outside of town is one of the larger ones I’ve flown over to date. It’s about halfway between Columbus and Toledo as the plane flies, but you probably wouldn’t ever see it driving unless you were headed there on purpose… which apparently a lot of people are, according to the all-knowing wikipedia: there is an annual gathering of Catholics, mainly from the Middle East, who come from around the country on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. During this gathering, chanting can be heard even from across town, and thousands of people camp in public parks and empty lots to attend the religious procession. Interesting.

High Banks Metro Park

It looks so much flatter from 2500 ft. I remember sledding here as a kid but from the air I don’t even know where the hill might have been.

I do like taking my dog off leash (which is against the rules, so don’t do it) in the wooded sections. She loves romping around the trees. Once she ran through a patch of burrs and it took hours to pick them all out of her fur.


Mad River Mountain

The mighty Mad River Mountain, home of the finest snow sports in Ohio. This is where I like to spend a lot of time during the winter. It may not be the Rockies, but it’s close to home and keeps you from becoming too rusty if you are going to make big winter trip to a major ski resort.

It has a vertical drop of 300 ft. so sometimes it can feel like you’re running laps, but they have fantastic entertainment at night and a fully stocked bar so there’s always a warm and friendly place to take a break between your runs.

This shot was taken in mid-March so there’s a bit of (artificial) snow on the ground. I’m looking forward to them replacing the loft that they lost in a fire last summer and taking some pictures of the place in operation.