Log 11 CN, RI, MA

08/22/08

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June 20, 2005
20N-4B9-3BO
Kingston, NY to Simsbury, CT to Southbridge, MA

The states are close together here so my hops to Connecticut and Massachusetts will be short ones.  Departure today from Kingston is uneventful and I head north a bit to gain altitude before crossing the Hudson River.

Once over the river I fly due east climbing and zig zagging around to find the lower spots as I cross ridge after ridge of low hills.  I pass no towns and few large roads so my path is mostly hopping along trying to stay over the cleared fields and away from the heavy forests. 

In less than an hour I swoop out of the sky for a gentle touchdown at Simsbury, Connecticut.  The airport here is quaint and pleasant and I'm warmly greeted by Sal who runs the place.  We've already spoken for a few minutes but when he learns that I have flown, "that tiny thing all the way from Arizona", he stops what he is doing and takes a dozen steps to where I am leaning against the counter saying, "I want to shake your hand," and a hearty hand pumping ensues. 

I enjoy a sandwich sitting in the sun in front of the airport before fueling up and heading off to meet Dee in Southbridge, Massachusetts.  As we have both arrived here early we dash off to visit nearby Old Sturbridge, Village.  This is a wonderful 200+ acre authentic town from the 1830's.  Most of the buildings were either here or were moved here from nearby, but all are authentic.  The staff actually run the place just as as an old town would have been in its day.  The real sawmill works by a waterwheel, in winter the buildings are heated by woodstoves and the firewood is cut by hand locally.  Real produce is grown in the vegetable gardens and tended by hand tools.  The tinsmith and blacksmith make items used throughout the town in the other houses just as it would have been done in the 1830's.   

After a wonderful afternoon in Sturbridge we return to the airport and as it is near the summer solstice it's still very light and for the first time in days there is no wind.  Perfect for some take-off and landing practice and a check of a modification I have made to the rotor trim system.   I crank up the engine in the calm evening air and taxi out to perform a dozen landings practicing engine out procedures, minimum roll landings and precise flying where I try to land within 10' of my intended touchdown spot.  After not flying for nearly 3 weeks it feels good to regain some proficiency.  

June 21, 2005
3B0-SFZ-6B6
Southbridge, MA to North Central, RI to Stow, MA

When we depart mid afternoon the airport restaurant diner, classically made from an Airstream trailer, is full of patrons so we have a good crowd of spectators for my takeoff.  Today is the longest day of the year and I have planned one of my shortest days of flying.  I am only going to hop south to Rhode Island then a slight jog NE to an airport just outside of Boston at Stow, Massachusetts.  The wind is nearly calm when I depart and in less than half an hour I'm announcing my arrival at North Central airport in Rhode Island.  There is no response on the radio as I reduce the throttle and align myself with the runway manipulating the rudders in the gusty crosswind that has suddenly sprung up.  I touchdown, rollout and taxi up to what looks like the main FBO.  As I shutdown for a brief visit no one is in sight, though lots of airplanes make it look like a busy place.  It turns out the FBO I had stopped at is just being built and the only evidence of people is lots of construction going on.  Rhode Island is my 24th state so I am officially half way through visiting the lower 48 states, though it is so quiet here I have no one with whom to share my moment.  Without speaking to a soul I climb back into my Grape Escape and lift into the sky. 

In a few short minutes I have picked up Interstate 495 which circles Boston and I follow it up to Stow airport.  Boston has numerous small general aviation airfields but I chose to visit this one for its wonderful name-- Minute Man airfield in honor of those brave revolutionaries who gave our country its freedom from King George. 

By now the afternoon breezes are strong and gusty and as usual seem to be angled at 90 degrees to the runway.  I consider landing on the grass or the ramp into the wind but there really does not seem to be a suitable place so I bank around and line up with the runway, my nose crabbed into the wind.  I notice that the trees lining the runway are quite close to the upwind side and hopefully they will provide a wind break.

As I fly down final I am crabbed 15 degrees left to keep my track in line with the runway but sure enough just as soon as I drop down behind the trees maybe 40 feet above the runway I'm out of the wind and I can line up straight ahead for a delightful landing.  Now it's off to visit Beantown.

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This site was last updated 10/13/05

Copyright Rob Dubin 2005