Monday, July 19, 2010

Why a High Wing is Better

This morning's first look at the weather showed quite a lot of convective activity over eastern Pennsylvania. The stuff was heading east-northeast and would certainly bear watching.

N631S and I departed Potomac Airfield at 1153Z, and about 3/4 of an hour later we were over New Jersey approaching the Coyle VOR (CYN) while wondering what that big patch of weather just west of JFK was going to do. As it turned out, it more or less left JFK alone, passing just to the north. But it headed straight for Bridgeport, our destination. This could not be classified as good news.

As we made the right turn at JFK and headed out to the east over Long Island it did not look like we could beat the weather to KBDR. The New York Approach controller checked with the tower there and advised me that there was frequent cloud-to-ground lightning just west of the field. This was no place for N631S and me.

The controller asked my intentions and I said I'd like vectors for the RNAV (GPS) RWY 2 approach at Tweed/New Haven (HVN) and if that didn't look good I'd break off to the east and divert to Groton-New London (GON). But that further diversion proved unnecessary. As the storm cell was beating up KBDR we landed uneventfully at KHVN and taxied over to the FBO's ramp to wait out the severe weather. In a few minutes it began to rain; an hour later it had passed. N631S and I made the quick hop back to Bridgeport VFR.

Oh, about the "high wing" thing. If you have an airplane with the wing on top you can sit on the ramp with the door open and enjoy watching the rain.


Anonymous said...

You can pitch a tent under there also.

Or, if you're done flying for the day, you and a friend can sit in the shade with a beer.

And then there's the old joke about the Rancher, the 180, and the Bonanza...

Frank Van Haste said...


Can't say as I've heard that one. Care to share?


Anonymous said...

It goes (something) like this, set in the late 50s or early 60s...

Western rancher uses a C180 as his half-ton pickup truck to work his spread.

He's out conferring with some hands one day, and he's using the airplane because he has a number of jobs to do, and none of them are close to each other.

Passing salesman in a Bonanza is looking for opportunities, sees the rancher's airplane, and lands to make a sales pitch. Tells the rancher: "This airplane can do anything your Cessna can do, only it'll save you time".

Rancher is skeptical, but goes along. "Follow me around today, and prove to me that your airplane can do everything I need it to do, and then we'll talk.". Salesman agrees, and they're off.

They fly both airplanes out to fix a water well.

Then they fly into town to pick up some feed supplement and fencing supplies, and stop for lunch.

Then it's off to drop off the feed.

Then off to another corner to repair a fence.

Finally, it's back to the ranch house, where the rancher lands and shuts down the airplane on a strip next to a fencerow. The salesman lands and taxis the Bo up to talk to him. He's clearly proven that he could go and do anything the rancher needed that day, get there faster, and now he's all ready to make his sale.

Rancher says "OK, you've proven your point. Let's taxi the airplanes up to the house, and then we'll sit down and talk.". Salesman agrees, and gets back in the plane to taxi.

About then, the rancher opens the 16-foot gate leading to the house, and taxis his 180 right through it between the fenceposts...

Frank Van Haste said...