June 25, 2008

A Rain Shortened Rental Checkout Ride

n378mj.jpgI just returned from a relaxing extended weekend in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Through a combination of long weekends and if I am lucky a full week vacation I usually enjoy 10-20 days up in Northern Wisconsin. So each year I get checked out to rent a Cessna 172 from Orion Flight Service at the Sturgeon Bay Cherryland Airport.

I had an abbreviated rental checkout ride this weekend with Orion. When I arrived at the airport it was obvious that the weather would prevent the CFI and I from spending too much time in the plane. I reviewed my past flying experiences with him, during which he took note of the fact that I have been flying somewhat consistently as of late and had also recently passed a biennial flight review. I think the combination of the recent flight experiences and his comfort with my pre-flight and first trip around the pattern convinced him we could do a brief rental checkout ride in lieu of the inbound storms.

So we decided to simply conduct a few landings. I performed both short field and soft field takeoffs and landings in addition to performing a simulated power out landing. It was at that point that we decided it would be best to end the flight before the storm got any closer. As we made our last trip around the pattern the rain started and by the time we began tying down the airplane a full fledge downpour had started.

I wished the storm had not abbreviated the flight as I would have preferred to fly north to Ephraim to perform real soft landings on the turf runway rather than simulating them on the asphalt. I guess that leaves me something to do on my next trip up north. Speaking of flights up north, I am planning to book a plane at Chicago Executive well in advance late in the summer in hopes of a weekend with great weather so I can make my first VFR weekend trip up to Sturgeon Bay.

Posted by at June 25, 2008 10:58 PM

Turf runways ... what a pleasure they are. Have you been into Washington Island?

I took a Navajo in their back when I was a young dumb pilot and learned that wet grass can be as slick as ice. Luckily I got stopped before the road which is where the runway ended.

And I also lived to become an old - well, smarter - pilot. Watch out for that wet grass Todd.

See you in OSH.

Posted by: Rob Mark at June 30, 2008 11:04 AM | Reply

I have not had a chance to fly into Washington Island yet. I was thinking about it for their fly-in this July but unfortunately have a conflict with that date. I have heard it is a tight field to get into. Thanks for the tip to watch out for the slick grass!

Posted by: Todd at June 30, 2008 8:31 PM | Reply

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