Flying with a glider pilot

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.

Short final at Grimes-Urbana airport, I74

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.

Short final, I74. 3 planes waiting to take off.

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.

I won’t write home to mom about this landing.

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.

Here’s the video!

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.