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  • Steve

RV-8 and the "At last, a Nice Day" Flight

Saturday August 28th 2021 was the first decent flying day I've had in 4 weeks. The last time I flew was July 31st. If it wasn't excessive heat, it was excessive smoke. Last weekend was at least more normal for around these parts, clouds and a possibility of rain. Most of the day the clouds were very low, making flying impractical. If we had to have the clouds, it would at least have been nice to have the rain that should go with them.

This Saturday, however, it all came together. It wasn't cloudy, it wasn't hot, it wasn't smokey, it wasn't raining, it wasn't windy, it was just a nice cool, clear, calm Northwest day (we usually get about 2 a year that fall on a Saturday). We decided to go to Forks for lunch (one of the few places left that still has a restaurant open, though they too seem to have their challenges just getting their regular deliveries of food and have been closed a lot lately). Not today. We got there and there were plenty of tables and though they were out of a lot of things on the menu they had what we wanted, we got it in a reasonable amount of time and it was very good.

On the leg out there I was left with just the cockpit camera. I was distracted in getting things set up to depart and forgot to turn on the external camera before I climbed in. Fortunately, the cockpit camera worked. On the trip home, the opposite was true. I turned on the external camera, but the internal camera didn't want to cooperate.

On the way home Carl pulled in close so I could get some pictures and video. I usually mount the camera (iPhone 11 Pro) in a selfie stick. The button on the stick is easier to operate, particularly with one hand, than the phone itself. I thought I had taken a good number of photos and a few videos. Unfortunately, I only got the video that I started manually on the phone. I think what happened is that the battery in the selfie stick was about dead and it kept turning itself off. I bought it a year ago and it has had the same battery all along. Hopefully it will work better next time.

The landing at Forks was a little rough, but I chalk that up to a lack of recent experience.

I arrived back at Arlington at about the same time as two Cessnas. I had a Cessna to the left of me and a Cessna to the right of me. Literally, I had one off each wing tip. The one off my right wing said he saw me, the one off my left wing didn't say much, so I circled around to come in behind him. I don't like having someone behind me that I am not sure sees me, or is even looking for me.

The draw back to that is that I had to slow down a good bit to stay behind him. I put the flaps down while still on the 45. At least he flew a tight pattern.

The Cessna behind me called and said he was gaining on me (I guess he forgot that he can slow down too) and that he was doing a 360 for spacing. Not a good thing to do in the patter, on downwind, with other people in the pattern, at a non-towered airport. Carl was behind him, but far enough back that it didn't create a problem.

If it looks like I am high on final it's because I am. I wasn't sure what the Cessna in front was going to do and I was prepared to go around. I also turned base pretty early to try to make space behind me. I was planning to land long (closer to the fuel pump), so it worked out. When I saw the Cessna in front of me make the first turn off I pulled the power and pointed the nose at the runway. It worked at well for all of us.

Some pictures that I took (and one that Carl took) are here.

The video is here.

The outbound track log is here.

The return track log is here.

As it was it was a nice trip on a nice day. Two thumbs up, definitely recommend.

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