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  • Steve

RV-8 and the Better than Normal Weekend

Thursday 6/17/21 was a nearly perfect day in the Northwest. Clear and a million, not too windy, not cold, not hot. It was one of those rare days where I have to work extra hard to find something to complain about about, but fear not dear friend for I am up to the task.

It had been a long time (too long) since I had taken my Mother flying with me and this just happened to be the perfect day to make up for that. We ended up making a loop around the San Juan Islands and heading home.

Rounding the far side of San Juan Island heading back to the mainland I looked up and saw a C-130 just above my altitude and making a beeline for NAS Whidbey. I'm not sure where he came from, but I climbed above him to avoid his wake.

It wasn't the longest trip, but Mom had a good time. She's already asking when she can go again.

The track log is here.

The video is here.

Friday 6/18/21 was almost as nice as Thursday, but not quite as clear, a little warmer and somewhat windy, particularly at the ground, though at altitude it was smooth and cool.

Carl and I were sitting around my hangar playing the "where do you want to go, I don't know, where do you want to go" game when a third friend stopped by for a chat. It just happened to be they guy who built the RV-8 that Carl now flies, which allowed me buy his old RV-8. He sold the -8 because he decided what he really wanted was an RV-7, so he built one. It was just finished last year (I think). It is a well built, nicely appointed RV-7.

New(ish) RV-7

The idea of the Spruce Goose Cafe at Port Townsend came up and we decided that would be a good choice and we could then go through the Port Townsend Aero Museum (PTAM) when finished.

We headed out about noon and it was a bit windy on the ground. Not bad at Arlington, but as we got close to Pt. Townsend we could see some pretty good white caps on the water, even in Discovery Bay. It was pretty bumpy in the pattern and the wind was a little squirrelly on final, enough that we all commented on it, but not enough to pose a real threat.

I touched down early, trying to make the first turnoff only to find that when they rebuilt the runway last year (or maybe the year before) they took out that turn off. More to the point, they moved it a little further west. They have an interesting one way flow taxiway through the main parking area and the turnoff used to be at the entrance to the taxiway, but now it is at the exit. It is actually better this way as the prevailing winds usually favor 27 and this makes it easier to make the mid field turn off and not have to taxi the full length of the runway.

After pulling off the runway I looked a the wind sock and it pretty well told the story of what we were feeling. It was standing pretty straight and bouncing around a bit.

PTAM is a very nice museum and was able to get a large part of the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum collection. They are in the process of adding another annex on to their building to display more of the collection. This is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Pictures that I took are here.

He also hadn't had any opportunities to have any in flight pictures or videos taken of his new airplane, so we decided to head out the Strait after lunch, join up at 8,500' and get some photos and videos. It doesn't really count as formation flying since the "lead" was on autopilot (allowing him to work the camera) and Carl and I just worked off of him. The one thing that this exercise did show is that I am not very good at holding position, even straight and level. Carl, on the other hand, did quite well.

With all the digital evidence in hand we headed for home.

Outbound track log here.

Return track log here.

Video here.

Saturday 6/19/21 wasn't quite as nice as the previous couple of days. It was cloudier, windier, bumpier, and warmer. Aside from that though, it was a nice day to fly.

The main mission for today was to get some lunch. The first choice would have been Forks, but the airport was closed for the whole weekend. The NOTAM didn't state why it was closed, it doesn't really matter, we can't go there no matter the reason. They do use the runway for racing with some frequency and it may have been closed for that. They had been doing work to gussy the place up for a while.

The second choice was Chehalis and this is where we went. It was going to be a bit windy, they were calling for wind 160 @ 9G18. I wasn't too worried since it was right down the runway, but I was really hoping not to get a gust just as I touched down. When I got there, the wind was closer to 180 or 190, but it was not gusting and mostly steady so not really a problem.

We got there about 1:00 and when we got to the restaurant we found that they were having a private event and wouldn't be serving food until 2:30. They have had help wanted signs up for the past couple of months and apparently, they can't get enough help to be fully staffed. We weren't going to stick around that long, so we just grabbed a bottle of water and took a sit for a few minutes.

We went straight home since Carl wanted to get back to start on his oil change. It was certianly better than not flying, but a decent lunch place would have been nice.

Video is here.

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