Getting back into the air was evidently a priority for aviators last weekend, from the amount of activity observed, even though there some “freaky” winds shifting directions between the surface and 15,000 feet, according to SkyDive KC pilot Chris Hall. One hapless parachutist drifted off target on Saturday and wound up in a muddy farm field instead of on solid turf. He just grinned and said “It’s all good.”
From the air, western Missouri rivers took on the aspect of lakes, following five inches of rain last week. The Four Rivers region just south of Butler left a wide expanse of backwater. Planting in those areas will definitely be delayed for some time.
There was a wide variety of transient traffic seen at the local airport last week. On Saturday morning a Robinson R44 helicopter sat in for fuel, accompanied by a Magnus European gyrocopter, which also took on gas. One pushed its rotor through the air, the other pushed air through its rotor disc. Airplane traffic included two Piper Archers, a Cessna Skyhawk, a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182 and a Beech Bonanza V35. Adding to the flock were local pilots Patrick Gorden in a Cessna 150, CFI Eric Eastland flying both his Cessna Skyhawk and one of his 150s, and Lane Anderson with his Rockwell Darter Commander.
The new Sectional aeronautical charts came out this week, dated May 12th, so if you are like me and want the security of a paper map backing up your iPad’s database, it’s time to order charts while they’re fresh. Remember, all charts are now issued on the same date, with only 56 days of currency life. Good luck finding them; few retailers want to stock them anymore. Try Yingling Aircraft’s Aviator’s Attic, mypilotstore.com, or Aircraft Spruce.
The airshow and fly-in season is opening up; next month, Junction City, Kansas is having a fly-in on June 3 and 4, and the St. Louis airshow at Spirit airport takes place the following Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11. Keep an eye out on SkyVector.com for Temporary Flight Restrictions.
Our question of the week concerned the shortest airport that offers regular commercial service. It’s at the island of St. Barthelemy down in the Caribbean, one of the Dutch Antilles. Sited on a bench carved out of the hillside, it’s 2119 feet along and takes special training to fly into. For next week’s brainteaser, what’s the difference between hypoxia and anoxia? You can send your replies to firstname.lastname@example.org.