I went up to the barn this morning at 0-dark-thirty, to check if we’d had any new lambs born. The moon was full, and so bright that I didn’t need a flashlight. After weeks of rain, seeing the moon and stars was delightful. “Stay clear, stay clear,” I said, promising myself a flight once the sun came up.
By 8:00 a.m. the sun was up and it was COLD: 29° outside. But the sky was crystal clear blue! By the time I got to the airport there were a few clouds on the horizon, and by the time I took my gas cans to the gas station, got back to the hangar and fueled up, the sky had grayed up completely.
The time it took to do a careful pre-flight brought the ceiling down even further – looked like the base of the clouds was at about 1200’ AGL. There were patches of blue, but they were few and far between. I realized that the rapidity with which the clouds were gathering meant that I’d have to stick pretty close to the airport and I wouldn’t be able to be up for very long.
So I'm ready to taxi out and THEN what happens? Fog - sneaky grey stuff that is wispy at first, and then starts building up. The runway had good visibility, but at 400 ft. AGL it was pretty thick soup. So I decided to do some crow hopping, since it didn't look as though I could even go around the pattern .
Lifting off felt great. It's not a terribly long runway - about 2000 ft., but in the Talon I can get up and fly a ways before setting down. The rush of air in my face was better than any other type of high I could imagine. Being able to roll your plane out of the hangar and taxi to the runway is eager anticipation; throttling up and then the moment when you lift off is always a joy, even after decades and thousands of hours of flying.
Back and forth, back and forth, I crow hopped, hoping that the fog would lift. No such luck. After about 20 times up and down the field, I called it a day. Put my bird away, and drove home. When my honey sympathetically said, “Too bad you weren’t able to fly,” I had to contradict him. For me, even crow hopping brings incredible nourishment to the soul.
Tomorrow it's supposed to rain - but at least I got to go up - even if not very high!!