Yesterday was great! Literally over a hundred airplanes arriving and departing this municipal airport in Concrete Washington. No control tower, just a ton of pilots who know how to operate at an uncontrolled airport. Not a single incident that I’m aware of, and only one real whoops moment which was when a plane lost it’s engine on short final, but as he had the runway made, just landed it and a bunch of folks ran out to help push him off the active runway.
Catherine and I got to go for an early morning flight in the beaver as passengers, and right after lunch, I got to go up with Kevin in the stearman for some aerobatics and a bit of sight seeing around the area.
Packing up to leave, we waited over an hour for weather to improve back here on the coast. Everything was clear skies except for our two choices for a destination. Friday Harbor was socked in with Fog, and Orcas Island had 8 miles, but only 200′ ceilings. We saw that it was supposed to improve dramatically, so we fired up, and yet again left before the beaver with a destination of Orcas island.
We climbed out of Concrete in beautiful blue skies, and levelled of at 2500′. A few minutes after levelling off, I saw this white flash in front of me and to the right as Catherine’s hat got blown off :-(. Just as quick, I felt a thump as it hit the tail section of the plane, causing my heart rate to bump up a bit. Gingerly I tried the rudder and elevator in turn, and found I still had complete control. I did take a peek back, and saw the hat was caught up in the flying wires. A quick prayer that it stayed out of the controls, and I continued on.
Shawn (another DFC member who came to Concrete after the rest of us), was the first to pass as we crossed the coastline for the open water. Then, as we started our decent for KORS, the beaver passed us too 🙁
Kevin had asked me to shift over to the right side when landing the stearman, and after my duh! moment, passed along the same request to Catherine so when we turned final after Kevin, she shifted to the side, and I was able to pull of what I felt was a great landing. We taxied in and shut down by the pumps, then found that transient parking was down at the end, so taxied over there to park for a few hours.