Fall Foliage Final, photo

Here’s a fall foliage final approach photo from my flight this morning. This was heading in to Runway 29 at Chester County Airport (KMQS).

Final approach to 29 at KMQS.

It was a great morning to go flying. Smooth air, no traffic, friendly controllers, and the Diamond DA-40 was flying well. Then the weather came in from the northwest and I had to head back. Still, the leaves were spectacular and great to view from up in the air.

Aruba’s Windmills

Several years ago, a series of ten large windmills were set up in Aruba. Each one has the capability to generate about 3 megawatts. Given the steady tradewinds that blow in from the east, these turbines run near full power for about 9 months of the year. Here’s a view of several taken from a helicopter.

They stand about 300′ above the ground, facing east into the breeze. You can see the rugged shore at the edge of the frame. Here’s a look at a single unit.

In earlier posts, I showed how the bases were constructed. They’re rather stout, and they better be, because sometimes that easterly blows in excess of forty knots, generating a tremendous amount of pressure against the tower. There is talk of more turbines coming to the island. In the mean time, large reciprocating power plants (think big diesel engines) have been installed at the WEB plant in Balashi. Either way, Aruba enjoys one of the most reliable power grids in the Caribbean.

Bon dia.

Aruba to Miami

As a frequent visitor to Aruba, I fly a regular route between Miami and my favorite island. I made this video of the return trip, showing the takeoff, a view of Aruba from above, and then the landing in Miami. Take a look, and don’t forget, it’s in full 1080 HD for you full screen junkies.

It was a great flight, especially the first few minutes, looking down at the island, seeing all the sights from on high. Those puffy clouds didn’t really get in the way. Once again, I’d like to thank American Airlines for carrying my safely along this route. We’ve been traveling together for more than 17 years.

Martha’s Vineyard Flight

Recently, I had the pleasure of a nice cross country flight from my home base to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. The day was just about perfect: clear skies, light winds, great visibility. Here’s a photo just as I make a turn in over the island from the west.

Beautiful green scenery below. At this point, I was speaking with the tower. Great controllers on duty there, handling the traffic, which on a day like this one can be hectic. We flew in to the field and then onto a right downwind leg for Runway 24. After turning base, then starting on final, the next photo was taken.

There’s plenty of runway down there for the Cirrus to land. We touched down nicely then rolled over to the transient parking. After a snack at the airport restaurant, we took a short ride around one part of the island. I’ll have a few photos of that in the next post here at The Bent Page. Mean time, back to flying. After the tour, fueling up, preflight, and final checks, we headed for departure from Runway 24. Here’s a look just as the takeoff roll begins.

Looks like we’re going into warp drive there. Not quite. But the Cirrus does have some get up and go. We were off the ground in no time, climbing out to the proper altitude for the flight home. Here’s a view just as we’re leaving the edge of the island.

Heading toward Newport, RI, it was blue water below, blue skies above. Can’t beat that. This was a great flight all in all. The airplane performed well, the weather cooperated, and Martha’s Vineyard was an interesting place to see from both the ground and the air. I look forward to making this trip again, and possibly out to Nantucket. More about that later. Special thanks to my pal, Ben, for the company and photos while flying and to his father for the personal tour on the island.