Clicky

Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,762
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#1
An Early Morning Cross Country Flight

Weather here has been too hot to enjoy. Last night it was cool, so I got up early this morning (05:30 IS early) and flew a small cross country (XC) in southern Michigan. Visibility was over 10 miles, looked like about 15. Ceiling was unlimited. I was off the ground at 08:00, and flew over a couple of sod strips as checkpoints, then back home to Mason KTEW. Winds were so calm that I took off heading east, and landed heading west.
Southern Michigan is a checkerboard of green fields, golden ones where wheat has ripened, streams and rivers, ponds and lakes, small towns, and a city with a federal prison. They don't like us to overfly a prison at lower altitudes, and I was about 2,500 feet above ground level, so I flew about 5 miles of E'ly of it. A few major highways serve as landmarks, confirming what the iPad and GPS tell me. It's reassuring to look out and see a highway, lake, or city where it's actually supposed to be by watching the charts.
I have a new toy, a GPS. I used it to back up the iPad for navigation, and to track our flightpath. Kinda neat to put that flightpath on a topo map, and also see it overlain on aerial photos. I can see the lakes that I saw from the air - towns and rivers too.
The air was smooth and clean. Landing was even easy, and I was off at the first exit from the runway. Put the Duck to bed in the hangar, "Thanks, Lady. Nice flight." And off for coffee with some friends.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,762
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#2
Another crystalline day aloft. Visibility was a good 25 miles from about 2,500' above ground level. A carpet of woods, interspersed with sleepy lakes, unrolled as the Duck and I rolled along. A few fishermen were out and about - drowning worms and hoping for bites, I suppose.

Today, I overflew the little town of Brooklyn, and went on to Adrian. Some of you NASCAR types may be familiar with the Brooklyn Speedway. It's big around here for wrecks and races. The SW'ly corner of the stadium seems to have seating in coordinated color schemes. From the air, it looks like a large paint test site with outsized panels of yellow, orange, green, etc., all spread out in a 10 acre array.

Lenawee County Airport is a couple miles SW'ly of the town of Adrian. A couple of gals were flying around the vicinity, playing in and out of the traffic pattern. My radio was alive with their chatter - sometimes reporting their positions, other times just chatting with each other.

GPS told me the field lay in my 2 o'clock at about 3 miles, but I had difficulty picking it out from the suburban clutter. No large, clear area, no runways. Hmm, maybe I don't really have to land all that badly after all. "Lenawee traffic, Cessna 2111Yankee, 3 miles NE'ly of the field at 3,000, turning Easterly, departing to the north, Lenawee.". If the gals heard my transmission, they didn't let it interrupt their conversation. :roll:

Heading back home now. As I pass Jackson, off to my left, Lansing is already visible 25-30 miles off the nose Low humidity sure is nice! Two more fishermen have joined the first one on Pleasant Lake, just off the island. Someone may have fresh fish for lunch?

Winds at Mason were 120 at 4. Runway 10 will do nicely. Letting down over a large department/grocery store/gas station, I get bit of a kick in the seat from a light thermal already rising from the blacktop parking lot. Then 30 degree flaps, pitch for airspeed, round out, squeak squeak. Not too bad a landing! Cheated death again.
 

Wannabe

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,618
1
on the bank of Trinity Bay
#3
Jack,
All this talk about aeroplanes has got me wondering if anyone still uses the aluminum E6B Flight Computer or is it all digital anymore? I enjoy reading your trip reports so keep them comming.
Thank you
Bob
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,762
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#7
Fall colors are marching across the Midwest and Great Lakes areas now. Every year, I say a little prayer of thanks, that I was able to see yet another year of Nature's best.

Flying low and slow, about 1,000'-2,000' above the ground, it is becoming spectacular. Dusty brown fields of soy beans, worn-yellow stubble of grains that were harvested a few months ago, yellow-golden-brown of corn fields ready to be picked, shimmering reds and yellows of maples all in their prime. Green lawns standout, and yellow school buses fit in.

Bright white of cirrus clouds (ice crystals in mare's tail formation at high altitudes up to 25,000') shine with sunlight. A few billowing cumulus clouds show grey and white, indicating where upwards convective action over sun-heated ground will bear hawks, eagles, and buzzards upwards. Canadian honkers are leading long, vee-shaped flocks on flights, gaining muscle mass and be ready to fly south. Sand hill cranes, with a prolonged cry that sounds like a cross between a yodel and a gargle, fly the perimeter of the air patch.

Lakes and ponds have sparkling waters as wind-dappled surfaces break up reflected sunlight into individual beams. Heavier growth along streams and rivers show their courses threading across a countryside.

Just as we relax in a canoe floating downstream, watching the scenery slide past, I sit back in the cockpit and watch scenery slide past beneath me. It's good to be alive and in the air.
 
Last edited:
#9
Not a lot of color change here. When my buddy Keith and I go flying (yes......pilot and passenger both named Keith, saves a lot of confusion on the intercom) he likes to cruise at 1000 or (way) under along the shore of Lake Ponchartrain, looking for sunken logs, boats, etc. On a sunny day the mis-matched thermals will shake your teeth loose.

HIs 1947 Piper Vagabond project is coming along. When done that one will really fly slow, looking forward to some hops in it.

Have fun Jack, and keep your head on a swivel, you are in Bald Eagle territory there. Piper
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,762
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#10
Roger on the swivel. Haven't seen any bald eagles, but buzzards, Canadian honkers, and sand hill cranes are always around. I use "flight following" all the time. There are a lot of other planes out there, and radar sees them a lot better than visually identifying them.
 

BEARS BUDDY

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2003
1,446
1
70
BAY CITY MI
#11
Glad to hear you are flying around the area, Jack. Those gals are probably like the folks on the cell phone while driving who don't let operating the car interfere with their conversation. :mrgreen:
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,762
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#14
A SUNNY, WINTER DAY

Today was bright and clear CAVU - Clear And Visibility Unlimited. Last night, I'd called the switch to turn on a heater on the bottom side of the Ruptured Duck's engine. This morning, it was nice and warm. Icing conditions were predicted for later in the evening, but long after I'll be done flying. After preflight inspection and a good weather briefing, I took off for Marshall, a town about 35 miles SW'ly of Mason Michigan, where I keep the Duck.

Brooks Field is about 2 miles S'ly of the town of Marshall. Amelia Earhart had flown into here in the '30s. Also, there's an old air mail stamp commemorating initiation of air mail services from here. Today, I was going to see a couple of friends, John Riske and his dog Baron. John grew up around planes; his dad was a bush pilot in Alaska, flew all over the US. John has pretty much followed in his dad's slipstream. He has flown all over too. Now, he manages the field at Marshall, and runs a flight school. Wisely, he didn't name it the "Riske Flight Training Center". He's in his early 30's and his first son is only a few months away from joining in.

Baron is a horse in dog's clothing. John says he's got police dong blood in him. Yeah, about a teaspoon full. All the rest is Great Dane. I horsed around with him for about 15-20 minutes while John finished talking business with an insurance-type guy who'd flown in. He could take an arm off any time he wanted, but enjoys playing way too much to goof it up that badly. One of the tales and war stories we swapped, was about Baron with a muzzle on, who got himself out of a closed garage by opening the door, opened John's car, and planked himself in the back seat. There, he patiently waited for John to get back from lunch and take him home again - he was bored. This morning, baron had opened the southerly facing door of the pilot's lounge, let in the sunshine, and laid down for a nap in the sunshine. He's not only as big as a horse, he's smarter than the average bear. I told a couple of (true) war stories in return, and had to say good bye. I took off N'ly up to Charlotte.

Fitch Beach Field in Charlotte is run by Todd Cotter, another good friend. Todd teaches at a local community college sometimes, and wasn't home today. His #1 man, Phil Bacon was tending store today, as he almost always is. Phil flies both powered aircraft, and gliders. Last summer, he was aloft over 4 hours one afternoon, (cast iron bladder), and had to land because the sun had already set, and the air was running out of lift. I wanted a can of Cam Guard for the crankcase, to help reduce rusting from sitting during winter months. None to be had. An acquaintance was there, and needed a ride to Howell, about 45 miles E'ly, and about 25 miles beyond my home field.

We took off and flew past Mason (KTEW), my home field, and on to Howell. My last instructor works there now, but I hadn't had lunch yet and wanted to get back to Mason so I could get something to eat. So, I'll have to talk with Steve another time.

Back home again, it was nice to unsaddle and put the Duck in the barn. Scenery had been really nice to see. I could see out at least 20 miles, and small patches of green are beginning to poke out of the snow. A few weeks from now, spring will be in full bloom, and colors will be all over the place. I need to fly some more between now and then, but will rest tomorrow. I do have a couple of exciting things to do tomorrow - take out trash, and fold laundry.
 

Wannabe

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,618
1
on the bank of Trinity Bay
#15
Nice read Jack. Thanks. I figured it would b a while before anything started turning green up there. Down here there s usually green somewhere. Ranchers plant Winter Rye for their cows and there are always weeds. Glad you enjoyed the day. It is always pleasant to visit old friends. It's a bonus to het to fly to do it.
Bob
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,762
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#17
One day, I might wander that far. But, probably not. It would be a long trip; longer than I envision.
The green spots may not yet be as big as my imagination seems to remember them as being? All of us see and hear what we want to see and hear.
 

mike

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2009
624
1
TEXAS!
#18
oldsparkey said:
Jack needs to fly over this area , everything is out in the Spring Green foliage. Plus tons of pollen. :roll:
Lot's of blooming and leafing going on here. My normally dark blue truck had a yellow tinge this morning from the pollen that settled during the night.

Mike
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,729
26
74
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#19
mike said:
oldsparkey said:
Jack needs to fly over this area , everything is out in the Spring Green foliage. Plus tons of pollen. :roll:
Lot's of blooming and leafing going on here. My normally dark blue truck had a yellow tinge this morning from the pollen that settled during the night.

Mike
I know what you are saying about the pollen.
My Jeep is golden in color or as they call it .."Aztec Gold".


That 6 weeks I could not drive it , let it get covered with pollen and even more golden then what it was from the factory. When I finally managed to wash it the ground around it was yellow and not that normal gray cement color. :)
This is not a good time for folks with allergies or wanting to do epoxy work on there boats with the boat being outside.

Chuck.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,762
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#20
I've often thought of flying the season line. It's my understanding that spring advances N'ly an average of 15 miles a day. I suppose that fall does about the same rate going S'ly. I could find the line, and fly along it, say, 100-200 miles. Stop and camp out a few days, then move along to the edge again and fly the other way. I could zig zag across the land. Maybe zoop off to see a friend or two while waiting for Mother Nature?

The Ruptured duck is a vagabond.