Some guys have more fun than others. Stan and Kathy bundled up last week for a day trip from Greeneville TN to Big Sandy airport in Kentucky and filed this report. The Grizzly Bear (Stan) managed to pack in a BFR while he was there and ended up making it home before nightfall. That’s quite a day in a Cub. As usual, you can mouse over the pictures to get a description and click on them for a larger version.
It all started with a 4:00am wake up and drive to the airport to plug in the GPS, refuel and reconfigure the airplane. As we drove in we saw a temperature off a local bank showing 29 F. After getting the airplane ready for flight we go to eat breakfast at a local favorite restaurant in Greeneville, TN. During breakfast I get my quickest weather briefing for our proposed flight direct to Big Sandy Regional Airport, KY (K22). Clear below 12,000, no TFRs, no notams that pertain to us, and winds aloft. No tailwind on this trip except when were on downwind in the pattern.
Well as usual during cold weather the engine remains running after the 3rd start. Takes awhile to get the oil close to 100 F so we can takeoff. After takeoff the oil temperature runs around 120 F all day during flight, but it sure cools off fast requiring us to go through the 3 start phase again at K22. We see our first snow for the season and visibility is limited only by the curvature of the earth. We can see Big Sandy 30 nautical miles out according to the GPS cruising at 5500'. As I said going up to Oshkosh were over the Sherwood Forest and it is not friendly down there. Not a lot of options for emergency landings as usual when flying over Kentucky, our best bet is one of the strip mines.
We arrive after 1.8 hours of flight and enough fuel for another hour of flight to complete Bob's Flight Review. We fill up after the flight with 9.8 gallons, yielding a 3.5 GPH burn rate for the trip so far. Just after arriving we take a tour of his hanger and compare differences between our J3's. Bob treats us to lunch and pays for the hour flight. More people want flights in the Cub, but we don't have any daylight left and we have to head home.
The winds are much higher returning home and we have to stay low and fly almost max continuous power to overcome the headwinds. We got to 4500' for a short time but descended back down to about 3,000' after seeing a 34 knot ground speed, which would have yielded a dark landing with low fuel if any. At the lower altitude we are able to stay above 50 knots ground speed. We do eventually climb to 4500' again further south to cross higher terrain.
We have beaten the sunset again and have time to fly over Chimney top to show Kathy what I have found on one of my local solo flights when she is working. The reason they call it Chimney Top for all the little stones that look like Chimneys, small compared to Chimney Rock in NC. It was a 2 hour flight back for 4.8 hours total of flying. That is half the time we took to fly to Oshkosh earlier this year. Great day of flying, even though I'll spend the next 24 hours with thigh and knee pains from using the rudders and maybe the cold weather, time to medicate.
Griz and Cubby