Thursday morning I arrived at the airport and pulled the Chief out into the sun for a preflight. Two flights ago the engine quit, then on the last flight it was running rough. This would be the first flight on the newly cleaned carburetor. To say I was apprehensive would be an understatement!
We taxied down to the end of 35 for the runup, and when I firewalled it she was ready to go. We were off and headed to Brenham for a lunch at their 50's Diner, the Southern Flyer. Too bad this happened to be one of those days I forgot my camera. I could have had some of the girls in their poodle skirts pose with the 1946 Chief. That would be a neat photo! Oh well, there's always next time.
After a great lunch, we took off and I decided mid-flight that I didn't want to go home yet, so we flew over to Smithville and landed to stretch our legs. We took off and flew over Bastrop to see the horrible fire damage. I flew just outside of Austin Bergstram airspace and they repaid me by putting a 737 within 2 miles of us! Another great opportunity missed for a photo...
When we landed at Kittie Hill, we'd flown 3.54 hours! I was ready to be back on the ground.
The next morning we headed off to fly to Craig's Fainting Goat Airport. It would normally be around 1.5 hours to fly there. I knew that wouldn't be the case shortly after we took off. My iPad was showing 47kts at best. I decided I needed a full tank in these winds, so we dropped in to Georgetown to fill up. The controller asked me if I was the same Chief that came in without an engine a few weeks back!
It took forever to get to Craig's, the better part of 3 hours! His runway turned out to be way more than I needed in the Chief. It could use a little clean-up though... the cows left some mines out there!
Travis jumped in the back of Craig's gyro for a flight and we stood around talking after that. Then, it was time to go home. We flew over to Hillsboro for fuel and then headed back. Travis noticed the little door on the side of the cowling had come open, so we made an unscheduled stop to close it. I chose the little strip at Lake Whitney and on short final I realized there were some people there with radio-controlled planes. Luckily they had them on the ground. I figure they thought we were nuts. I landed, had Travis jump out and close the door, we taxied back to the other end of the runway and took off.
I watched the sun getting low on our flight back, but we were getting 87kts, so we made it in plenty of time. It was a great weekend for flying. This time we'd put over 5 hours in!
Saturday would be a different kind of story. It's a story of me on my back, scrubbing cow manure off the bottom of the plane! Not much fun, the the Chief is sparkling!
George W. Bush's ranch.
A very nice private airport.
The Chief parked off of Craig's runway. (photo by Travis)
Craig and Travis ready to go.
Look Ma, no hands!