Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Another weekend flies by...

We wrapped up the weekend at our home base, bucolic Cherry Ridge airport. The weather was still unreasonably great, so I took my mother for a short ride over Lake Wallenpaupack - which was deserted, this early in the season. One sailboat and a lone fisherman were the only human presence on the long lake, not even worth going down for a buzz.

High-speed pass
Originally uploaded by AviatorDave.
Gail took some more video, including my version of a high-speed pass; I made a low approach at cruise speed and flew down the runway at about 125 m.p.h., which is as fast as I care to go in my 50-year old plane. Then I topped off the tanks and put 02P in the hangar, and went to join Gail and Mom in the airport café for a buffet dinner, before the Cherry Ridge Pilots' Association meeting. This august body meets once a month to discuss matters of import to the pilots based here, such as maintenance and improvements to the runway, fuel costs, et cetera.

When possible, we have a guest speaker at the meetings; Sunday we met Bill Starr, a private pilot who is working as a volunteer copilot on a vintage C-54 transport. The plane, named "Spirit of Freedom", is a 4-engined airliner built in 1945 as a transport for the US military, and one which participated in the historic Berlin Airlift during 1948 and 1949. The interior of the plane has been remodeled as a museum, and tours the country and world to commemorate the event.

Starr gave an abbreviated version of a PowerPoint presentation about the Airlift, and told us about what it's like to fly the vintage machine. When he was finished, Gail prompted me to ask Bill for a copy of his presentation, which he cheerfully shared with us; Gail copied it to her Powerbook, along with all the period videos.

Later at my mother's house we looked over the weekend's flying pictures and video, and enjoyed our increasingly-competitive 3-way Scrabble game. (Read that as, "Mom and I are not getting beaten quite so soundly by Gail lately!) The three of us are also playing online games during the week at The Pixie Pit.