March 2018 in Florida · · PAGE 433.
March 10, 2018: Saturday and hazy but
still VFR weather today. Billy was washing the dust out of the hangar when
I showed up to go flying today. I offered to delay my flight, but he would
have nothing of that. He was moving the aircraft out of the hangar
anyway. I helped push the Aventura II out on the ramp just north of the
hangar door. He pushed the gyrocopter out near the FBO front porch and I
pulled the "Enterprise" out to the front of the ramp facing south at
an angle that would not blow dust toward the hangar as I taxied over the grass
to the paved taxiway. The flight today was to practice takeoff and
landings at nearby airports. The departure from Rockledge had some
turbulence as I climbed above the trees alongside the north end of the
runway. I thought it was all crosswind, but there turned out to be a
tailwind component. The full 160 horsepower of the engine and 28-foot
wingspan cleared the buildings north of the runway by about 300 feet. This
image shows the entire flight path to Merritt Island Airport (KCOI)
and up to the north end of the Indian River Lagoon past the Tradewinds grass
strip, over to the Arthur Dunn Airpark (X21),
then over the top of Titusville Executive Airport (KTIX),
with the return to Rockledge (21FA).
Here is the GPS ground track from Rockledge for my touch-and-go at Merritt
Island. The takeoff was to the north with a climbing right turn toward the
west crossing the field at 1,300 feet MSL. When I first turned south down
the river, I could see all the way past the Melbourne Airport and noticed the
very thick haze down that way. I finished the turn going north parallel to
I-95 and climbing for enough altitude to pass over the Titusville Airport above
their Class D airspace. As I looked toward the Merritt Island airport, I
tuned up their CTAF and decided to go there for a touch and go on runway 11,
straight into the prevailing wind. I heard one Cessna getting into the
pattern for a full stop landing as I flew over the field at 2,800 MSL and then
north to descend to pattern altitude before entering the left downwind leg for
runway 11. After the touch-and-go landing, I climbed up and turned west to
depart the pattern and head north along the river and above Titusville airspace.
The ground track up the river took me to the county line seen in the first
map above, then a descent down to 1,500 feet MSL for the pass just west of the
runway at Tradewinds before moving closer to I-95 to make a straight in approach
to runway 15 at Arthur Dunn where nobody was home today. The overcast kept
the parachute jumpers grounded.
The end of the flight was with some bumpy crosswind component until I
descended below the tree tops for runway 18 at the Rockledge Airport. The
hangar floor was still wet in some areas after my 1.1 hours of flight. I
helped push some of the water out the south door.
All the flying machines are now back where they normally are stored.
Billy flies the Aventura II and does light sport training in it and the Faeta
seen at the far left of this image. Both of these airplanes and the
gyrocopter are powered by Rotax engines.
My RV-9A is closed up and plugged up to keep the battery charged.
With the water on the floor, the high (dry) and low (wet) spots were
clearly indicated. I moved the 50-foot power cord up along the top of the
block wall at the south side of the hangar until I reached the southeast
corner. From there it was a straight dry path to the right step behind the
right wing where my trickle charger is suspended with safety wire. No
tangles in the walk area near the door on the south wall.
The Hobbs meter now shows 415.5 hours. The annual inspection is scheduled for this month, but not today.
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