400 hours

This entry wraps up two flights in one. Last weekend I did a solo local VFR flight on Sunday morning. I practiced steep turns and slow flight then took a look over at the road construction going on near our house. I dropped down to 1500 feet and circled the interchange between MA Route 2 and Interstate 495.

Railroad bridge construction at the top, Rt 2/495 interchange in the middle, Taylor St bridge at the bottom.

Railroad bridge construction at the top, Rt 2/495 interchange in the middle, Taylor St bridge at the bottom.

As you can see in the picture there are three interconnected construction sites. A bridge has been replaced where 495 crosses MA Route 2. They are preparing to demolish the old bridge. There is also construction going on where 495 crosses over the MBTA commuter rail. For this construction site they have been redirecting one direction of 495 over a temporary bridge constructed between the two permanent bridges. Then they are doing extensive work on the permanent bridge side with no traffic. Now the northbound side is going over the temporary bridge. Finally, the Taylor St bridge over 495 is being replaced.

After taking a few pictures of the construction site I climbed up a bit higher and headed back to Nashua. I practiced a steep power off approach with full flaps into Nashua. When I pushed the plane back I chatted for a bit with a flight instructor and his student from the local flight school. They were using the Cardinal’s different tail design to demonstrate the balance of forces acting on the airplane. Since the Cardinal places the front seats further forward relative to the wing (compared to a 172) the tail needs to be able to push down with greater force to balance the aircraft.

This Sunday I went flying again. I needed just 1.5 more hours to reach a big milestone: 400 hours. Abby and I had a delicious lunch at Midfield Cafe and then headed out. The original plan was to go to Rochester, NH (DAW) for some cheap fuel and then visit the big airport in Portland, ME and back to Nashua. We ended up cutting it a bit short after refueling and didn’t go to Portland after all. It was just too hot and we wanted to get back home to do some furniture shopping.

Abby took this picture from the shade while I refueled the plane.

Abby took this picture from the shade while I refueled the plane.

The weather was hazy, hot, and humid and it was definitely hot out on the ramp while refueling. The price was quite good at $4.45 and I pumped about 41 gallons into the tanks to give just shy of a full fuel load. We departed and climbed up high to try to find cooler air. It was a bit cooler higher up but I think we would have had to go to 7 or 8 thousand to find something reasonable. With the altitude under us we headed just offshore to circle the Isles of Shoals off the coast of NH and then headed back to Nashua.

The flight was still long enough to put my logbook exactly at the 400 mark, with 106 of them in the last 12 months. I’m looking forward to the next hundred and more!