Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time Flies

I get an image of flies buzzing around, as we sit in wait of weather. The title of this post though, is about how quickly things are moving since we bought Tripp! We've been futzing with lots of mostly cosmetic projects, and flying mostly short local flights getting to know her. The furthest we've gone so far was up to San Luis Obispo for a new backup battery in the Garmin 430 (what a nuisance that routine chore is!).

It's simply amazing to us how much difference 20hp makes! See, nearly all Cessna 172s have 160hp. We chose Tripp largely because the 172Q model has 180hp. When we flew 160hp Flash across and back in our Big Adventure last Fall, she struggled to reach 9,000 feet around Santa Fe. She pretty much levels off there, give or take 200 feet per minute. A few weeks ago we took Tripp up to 10,500 feet with a similar load, and she was still climbing at 850 feet per minute! I love my Q!

Since buying her we've flown in between storms, and got some magnificent aerial photos of the local (mostly temporary) waterfalls and other attractions between here and Oceano (see Photo Page). Having our very own Tripp waiting at the airport, it was relatively easy to pick a break in the clouds for a quick flight most days. But for the last few days it's been crazy windy! Every time we think it's calming down, the trees outside start wipping around and the house creaks (I even felt it move once!). At least whenever it stops blowing we might have exceptionally clear air for half a day before agro burning and LA smog conspire to replenish the haze. Of course, this time of year it could also change in a few hours to low clouds and fog. Guess before long we'll start flying further to get better weather, and maybe parking Tripp in Santa Ynez so we don't get grounded by low clouds.

We're starting to dream about longer trips, and tagging some new states for our collection too. Any ideas or suggestions?