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.

Go No Farther

There are those pilots who will press on despite deteriorating weather conditions. Many tragic aviation stories start with, “I thought I’d go a litter farther and see if things got better.” Rarely do things get better. And when they get worse, they get a lot worse. Thus, when I was flying recently, this was the view ahead.

If you look just below the cowling, visibility is fairly good. However, over the nose, there’s plenty of mist and fog in those valleys and some of the mountain tops are most likely hidden. Now, the height of the mountains may be known and the altimeter will give the altitude of the aircraft. Someone might press on. Okay, what if something else goes wrong? Engine trouble or the like. Eh? What then? Put it down in the fog and hope for the best. Nah, I don’t think so. Here’s a view off the starboard side.

It looked dicey over there, too. Time to change the plan. Whenever I fly, I always have a few alternate airports pegged along the way. During this flight, only one was optimal and it was well short of my intended destination. Sad, but true. I turned for it and made it safely. Then, because I had plenty of time left until the plane needed to be returned, I swung out to York, PA. Here’s a shabby picture of that fine airport, looking back after getting on course.

The runway is that strip of asphalt above the quarry. The quarry itself helps to make this place easy to find. Landmarks like that are a blessing for pilots, especially when the weather is dodgy. All in all, this flight was a good one. The Cirrus performed beautifully, the diversion was good practice, and the traffic was light until I returned to home base, where there were two helicopters and three other planes going in or out. Looking forward to another cross country with better weather. Photos and commentary will be posted here.