Finally a perfect July day, warm and breezy with clear blue skies. I got out of work on time, plenty of hours of daylight left, and I was in the mood to roam. A perfect day to go sailing, or ride a horse, or hit the open road on a big Harley. But of course I'm not a sailor, or a cowboy, or middle-aged (snicker) so I went flying.
I had the airport to myself as I pulled 02P out of the hangar, preflighted her, topped off the oil. I took off with a hard crosswind from the left, rolling along on the left wheel as I gained speed. I climbed out and headed south, with no fixed destination in mind. Zigzagging once over the lake, I kept on going south with the wind behind me. I skimmed over Camelback Mountain and circled once over a friend's house - hope I didn't wake the baby, Dale - and followed Route 80 eastwards.
I experimented with my camera, trying to find ways to minimize the effects of the plexiglass windows. (Plexiglass shows every scratch; and the windscreen soon becomes bug-splattered, at least in the summer at low altitudes.) I found that I could use the large viewfinder and hold the whole camera out the vent window, taking care to wrap the strap around my arm. It worked best at slower airspeeds; if I flew too fast, it was hard to hold the camera still. Too, the range of motion with my hand is limited through the small window, so I had to aim the whole plane quite a bit to line up my shots.
I got a few decent shots, for flying and photographing at the same time. Obviously the better part of my attention goes towards flying the plane; I can only spend a few moments at a time taking pictures. Better results will be in the offing with a dedicated photographer on board; and, if she's inclined, with the door removed for a real photo flight.