Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alfred University, Alfred New York

Flight Progress Strip 4G6 IFR To Wings Field, Copyright OtisAir 2008

Good Morning! Today we flew up to Alfred University in New York to see Nicole. She’s attending college up yonder and we wanted to fly up to see her since she wasn’t able to get down herself this weekend. The forecast called for a beautiful day all day long, we grabbed our sunglasses and camera and headed out the door. It appeared (at that time) that the forecasters had hit it right on the mark; it was a beautiful day and the wind was calm, no clouds, about 60 degrees, and all was well.

On the way to the airport we stopped by Duncan Donuts to get a coffee and then continued our journey to Wings to pick up the Viking Witch, N8388W. This was gonna be a very photographic flight, I just knew it. All things being said, I still filed IFR as I figured there would be 19,319 weekend flyers out doing the same thing we were so I wanted that extra set of eyes (air traffic controllers) watching over our progress and issuing traffic calls along the way. We received our departure clearance, which was just the opposite of the image at the top of this blog (that’s our return flight plan) and were cleared to our destination airport via Pottstown-Limerick VOR to intercept the Victor 29 airway to East Texas VOR. From there we’d join V164 to Wellsville VOR to shoot the VOR approach into our destination, Hornell Airport in Hornell New York.

Just after getting airborne we could see the morning fog hugging the ground to the north. The ride was beautifully smooth though and the temp dropped quickly to around 50. NICE! I was loving it and Beth was trying to figure out how to get a campfire going to warm up. There is a heather in the plane, but it has only 2 settings: Off and Burning Up! It only took me about 100 miles or so to realize I had my vent open and as quickly as I closed it, the color came back to Beth’s little fingers, bless her. She’d have hit me I’m sure but her arms were frozen to her sides; po lil thing was shivering just like a baby Chihuahua at a Bigfoot Convention.

Yo Quiero Taco Bell  warm blanketo?  SLAP!

Once we crossed over East Texas (ETX), which is just West-Southwest of Allentown and began our journey up airway Victor 164, the clouds started showing in the distance. Sure enough, another 15 minutes flying time and we were now in and out of the clouds. They were the big fat white puffy clouds though so Beth wasn’t too concerned, opposed to the thunderstorm clouds that we’d inadvertently gotten in to once before. Those weren’t fun and could have easily ended up with skidders as lightning was all over us, hail just to the west, moderate to heavy rain beating down on us, and Chicago’s unwillingness to take us over the city while enroute to Oshkosh. Those Brown-eyes!

Anyway, today’s journey up to Alfred was very smooth and an enjoyable ride the entire way. We played in the clouds along the way up and got a few pictures along the way:

This is one of the lecture halls at Alfred University where Nicole is going to school.  The campus is build within the rolling hills of Alfred New York and is a beautiful campus.   Equine stuff is what attracted Nicole to this school.  She's on the college Equestrian Team and must have a screw loose because she actually drives a horse right at a fence until the horse gets scared and jumps over the dadgum thing. It would be my luck that the horse would stop and send me crashing through the fence then gingerly walk around me.  Alpo here we come!  SLAP! Sorry Honey. &#$%glue#&%~!alpo%#$*%# Nothing Dear I was coughing.

As we were walking around the campus we noticed lots of pretty landscape being maintained.  The campus itself is quite clean and the students all seemed to be very friendly.  Of course, since this was family weekend, the students were on their best behavior. I wonder if, as quickly as the last parents left, the wild parties started and they all lost their minds.  I'll have to watch the news closely tonight.  We'd missed getting to go into the campus book store by 20 minutes.  Being just a few minutes late is a recurring thing this week as you may remember we were 3 minutes late for Jamestown just a few days ago.  Po Us, No Books.

Alfred University, Copyright OtisAir 2008Alfred University, Copyright OtisAir 2008Alfred University, Copyright OtisAir 2008
A few more campus shots.  It's a really pretty school and it appears that Nicole is really liking it a lot.

Too soon, it was time to head back to the airport and head back home.  I could tell by the building clouds that the forecast was definitely going to be proved incorrect.  I had already filed an IFR (flying in the clouds) flight plan but I wanted to check the weather again just to make sure it wasn't going to get crazy on the way back home.  "Just a few isolated developments" was the story I received.  We loaded up the Viking Witch and took off enroute to Wings Field.  The cloud ceiling was down to 500 feet so we immediately entered the clouds and would see the ground for another hour or so. 

A couple of times we did "break out" into clear pockets with clouds all around us, but for the most part just stayed inside the clouds and watched the instruments. Everything was going well until lightning struck right in front of us.  We couldn't be for sure exactly how far in front of us since we were in the clouds, but I'm thinking a quarter mile maye.  It was enough to make me nearly suck the seat up my you-know-what.  We hooked at 4G turn to the right, then requested to deviate to the south and continue our journey in just a few miles.  We entered a heavy downpour but the ride was still smooth and no more lightning.


I thought this one was sort of cool because we could see our own shadow on the wall of a cloud as we had intermittent breaks in the clouds to our west. 
The journey itself is about an hour and 45 minutes and we landed just about  sunset but not late enough for the flighttime to be considered night time for logging purposes.

So there we were, crusin' home with the sun going down.  Just before the sun descended over the horizon, we took a quick shot of it as she was turning out the lights.  After landing, we put the Viking Witch's bed clothes on her and headed for the barn.  A Really Fun Day!

Ya'll be safe and we'll write about another adventure soon!  Be Particular!  Beth and Shane

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.


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