Flew up to Mansfield, Ohio this morning with my pilot buddy Jared. It’s not a long flight there and back but then the weather forecast was not looking so perfect either. Nothing against Mansfield, Ohio, but we didn’t particularly want to get stuck there through a thunderstorm.
Weather was reported as marginal VFR at KOSU when we took off and looked like this as we took off from runway 9R:
Moderately low cloud cover. Felt like it was going to storm at any moment and the radar said we had about an hour and a half or so. Just enough time to get to Mansfield and back.
Flying north, we were able to get ahead of the weather and things opened up for a beautiful morning over Alum Creek.
We caught the last remnants of fog escaping the ground as we closed on KMFD and flew through a few wisps as we descended towards runway 14.
Then finally, a right base-to-final turn onto the runway to complete the first leg of the flight.
Jared and I swapped roles during the stop-and-go landing at Mansfield and he took off while I acted as safety pilot.
There’s a neat little private airport community just to the east of Alum Creek. They’ve got a private grass runway and hangars for community use. Never landed there but was able to get a decent shot of it today.
Then finally, we moved into the rain as we approached our origin at Ohio State. The tower was manned by then but no flight activity at the field, so we were cleared to land while still about five miles out.
And here’s a YouTube video of the flight if you want to watch live.
I have been a track coach with the local Special Olympics group for eight years now. At a recent track meet, I found out that one of the fathers is also a pilot and has spent most of his time in recent years in gliders.
He probably cringed at my power management today, but in my defense, it was cross-wind every time and just a small bit gusty. Still, I’ll chalk today up as a learning experience.
Our flight out of KOSU went around Ohio Stadium then downtown Columbus. After that I gave Larry the controls and had him take us over to Grimes-Urbana (I74) and then we did a full-stop landing.
Why a full stop? Because today was the first time I was testing my suction-cup GoPro mount and somehow I forgot to turn the damned thing on. So we stopped at Grimes-Urbana and turned it on. There’s a video of the flight back to KOSU below.
When flying in to I74, there was a lot of traffic. They happen to have a very popular diner there. We came into the pattern on the downwind for runway 20 then turned for final.
Larry got a great shot of the planes lined up and waiting for us to land and get off the runway.
Crosswinds gave us an approach some would call “unstable” but honestly, in a light sport, any uneven wind gives you an unstable approach. The damned thing weighs 700 lbs empty and blows around like a leaf. It’s a good thing the control surfaces are so large.
Anyway, we came down pretty smooth. The only real complaint I had about the landing (besides the power management on approach) was the fact that we gave the gear a bit more side-load than I normally do.
Oh. And the centerline. Ugh.
Anyway, we stopped for a moment, stretched our legs, determined that the GoPro was still suction-cupped to the airplane (and actually started the recording this time) and went back to KOSU.