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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Flying on the Fourth.....Wednesday Morning Independence Day

I ended up working all night long instead of sleeping as planned, so I just loaded up and headed to the field, expecting folks to start showing up to fly later in the morning. Steve Stafford from the Rosita and Wetmore area showed up, just as I had spotted a prarie rattle snake behind the impound building by the "Blue Room".
I got a picture of it snaking along in the grass but as you know, rattlesnakes are  camoflauged real well, and it does not show up very well in the picture I took of it. Anyone know where the shovel went from inside the storage building by the way? I went to use it for the task at hand, but alas, no shovel to be found in the building.
Snake in the grass!!!
I flew my P-51D Mustang a few flights before anyone showed up, and as always, it flies fine and fast.
A few takeoffs and landings with and without flaps for practice, and to shake the cobwebs off of the sticks this morning, and to get used to flying some in a bit of heavier wind than usual. Winds were out of the West at 13 gusting to 21 MPH according to our field wind gauge and observing our wind socks also. Sometimes the landings were done with cross winds almost due across the runway and other times the wind was right down the barrel. Made for interesting last second decisions as to how to approach each landing.

I got to watch the Smoke-Jumper helicopter load up with firefighters and take off heading for that small forest fire up above what appeared to be the Dawson Ranch area possibly...South of Canon City area it appeared they headed towards. The helicopter came back and got hooked up to the water bucket and headed back to the fire area to work on supressing that small fire before it got out of hand.

Skydiving Jump plane taking off on the left, while the Smoke-Jumper Helicopter took off with the water bucket.

Soon Steve showed up, and we gave Ed Vincent a phone call. He showed up to assist Steve with his student instruction using the trainer plane Steve owns and built.
Nicely built!!!

Steve Stafford being assisted on the buddy box system by Club President Ed Vincent.

After Steve and Ed flew the training session, I again fired up the P 51-D Mustang and got in  another flight  while  they prepped the trainer for another round of flying.
Steve is getting in good stick time, and with Ed's competent flight instruction, it wont be long at all before Steve is flying solo I can tell.
I put Ed on the sticks of my P 51-D Mustang so he could enjoy himself doing a bit of stick time and flying also, especially since he so generously showed up with nothing but a last minutes notice, without even so much as one of his own planes, to do some instructing.
By then the winds had shifted to the East as they normally do at mid day, and the temperature got to really climbing to almost the triple digit range, which meant it was time to pack it up and head for the cool AC indoors at home. I even snuck in a short nap too!!!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July, and enjoy our independence!!!!

Keep your eyes open for the snakes and critters when you are at the field,

Mark J. Sullivan

1 comment:

  1. Mark, great post and pictures. You are a good reporter of the news.

    We spent most of the day in Westcliffe so I missed flying on the 4th. This weekend looks pretty clear for me flying. See you then?