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Apr 18, 2019, 08:21 AM
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R/C Diary Pt. 43, Something Different!


April 18/19

Sometimes, you never know when you wake up in the morning, how your day is going to turn out. As you know “Murphy” laughs at the best laid plans of men & mice! Lol! My “plan” for the day, was to meet with my buds at the small cafe in nearby Brantford, Ontario, for lunch. After which, we head to our favourite r/c hobby store and help the local economy! Then it’s off to our local indoor flying arena for a couple of hours mayhem.

One of our fellow r/c enthusiast also happens to own a 1968 Piper Cherokee 140. I know, these blogs are supposed to be about the r/c world but I felt compelled to tell you this story….after all its still a plane….just a lot bigger that what we are used to flying….from the ground!

At any rate, he mentioned that the weather was looking rather primo and would anyone like to go for a quick ride? My hand shot up like some overly enthusiastic kindergarten kid! Pick me! Pick Me! Yay! I’m in! The rest of the crew headed out to fly indoors.

We walked over to his Piper Cherokee where he began his preflight checks! I was getting nervous because the winds had really picked up and my r/c brain said “too windy to fly!” Non the less, we were soon inside, seatbelts and headphones on and taxing out to the runway! After the green light from the control tower, he hit the throttle and off we charged down the runway and off into the wild blue yonder!

We peeled off to our right and started headed to the west to the town of Tillsonburg, Ontario and it’s small airport. He turned the controls over to me! Yikes! He always kept his hands at the ready but non the less I was actually flying the beast! Climbing out at 900 - 1,000 ft/min. I could not see the horizon so I relied on the artificial horizon to keep the wings level.

Once we were at altitude, he adjusted the trim for a more nose down orientation as we levelled out. Now I could see the horizon, which made controlling the wings a lot easier. There is always a lot of radio chatter from the control tower, and I have to admit, I don’t have a clue what they are talking about which is rather unsettling!

It was about 1 pm on a bright sunny Spring day and I was amazed how turbulent the air was. Most of the time it felt like we were running down a very rough road and every once in a while we would “fall” off the curb!

At one time he noticed we were climbing over 1,300 ft/min. we were in a thermal! Woo Hoo! So that’s what it feels like to be in rising air for our r/c sailplanes! We circled the airfield at our destination then set the gps to fly back to Brantford. After about 15 minutes, we were approaching the airport asking for permission to land. He asked me if I wanted to try landing? The answer was an emphatic No!!! By now the wind speed had really picked up and it was gusting to boot! Full flaps, drop the nose, the rpms and soon were were lined up with the runway. It was crazy bumpy but Mike being a very seasoned pilot handled it with total confidence and we were soon taxing down the runway! You know what they say about “Terra Firma”….the more firma….the less terra! : )

This experience has helped me better understand how my sailplanes respond to thermal conditions. If you ever get a chance to go up in a light plane…remember….get your hand into the air quickly! Don’t hesitate, you will be glad you did!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! Comments??

Cheers!
Lyle Jeakins
43 Degrees North Latitude
Last edited by Pappyjkns; Apr 18, 2019 at 08:22 AM. Reason: Change title number
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