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First flight at home.

Ak68w

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After plugging away for years, I finally was able to buy my cub last week I was home. We went down and picked it up on a low windy day. When I got it home after bouncing through the crud, it was gusting time over 20 so needless say I out it in the barn, and tied it down. The wife had honey dos for me and the I was sent off to work the next day.

I got home last night, after 9 days of itching to fly it, and woke up to 22 degrees. I wanted to fly so bad and was curious how it would start in the cold as the guy i bought it from said he always had trouble starting it, especially on a hot start. I dropped the kids off school then came home for breakfast and a couple Christmas toys that needed assembled. After breakfast I couldn’t contain the urge any longer, I left my second coffee half full sitting on the bar and walked out the back door. I pulled it through 8 times and then flung it half a dozen or so to no avail. Mags back off, prop backwards for 5 blades, mags hot, and then it kicks off on the first hit, purring merrily away at 700rpm.

We taxi up hill and do a mag check on the way as infamous bakes will undoubtedly not hold at 1500rpm even in the tall rough grass. We taxi down the hill and around the muddy wash in the low spot and up to the road. The oil is as warm as it’s gonna get sitting on the ground. I give full throttle and as soon as it hits full the tail anxiously comes up telling me she’s ready to go! We’re off in 175’ and climbing strong! I’m really not sure if the prop is legal as it appears long and this is probably the strongest 85 I’ve ever flown. We check out the cut cotton, scare some ducks and the set down at a local airport for some gas. She burns right at 5gph. After airing the tires up to 15psi, I chock it and pull it through 5 blades expecting raw fingers and heaving breathing for the next 10 minutes. It lights off on the first fling, and purrs merrily at me at 700rpm. Maybe it likes me?

Heading back, no, it’s too nice and there’s still 2 hours before I need to pickup my daughter. We head north and chase buzzards our of their thermals and rivers down their valleys. Land at a friends house on a hilltop but no one is home. We cruise back home and do 3 landings. The first couple are a little off on airspeed and aimpoint. I end up long, fast, and floating, and quite frankly am rusty. It’s a little challenging for one who’s out of the game for the most part with a 1300’ strip with obstacles at each end. The third one however, we slip perfectly down to the power lines, push the nose over The other side and flare out In a slight slip as we float in ground effect over the low swampy spot. With just enough energy, we come out if the slip and pitch up for a perfect three point into the cushy grass as we slow to taxi speed. I think I’m in love.

I tie it down finally realizing the slight smile that’s been on my face most of the morning. What a blessing to have these things and be able to do this. I walk back up to the house through the unlocked back door and nuke the remainder of my coffee for 15 seconds. Surreal.

 

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