Last week while going over the flight planning calendar for the Oakdale Aero Club I noticed my buddy Jordan had an airplane scheduled for Monday morning. All the other desirable days were booked or the weather report had high winds forecast. I texted Jordan and asked if he’d like to split the rental. He texted back that it sounded like a great idea. So we met up out at Oakdale Municipal Airport at 0600. The plane got a very thorough preflight inspection as two pilots both performed the inspection. It’s hard to break old habits. We decided that I would fly first, then we would land and change seats and Jordan would fly us home.
I started the plane and taxied out to the run-up area at the 28 end of the airport. I performed the run up and then called on the radio, “Oakdale traffic, Cessna 895 departing runway 28 to the south, Oakdale.” I lined up on the runway centerline and held the brakes until the engine came up to full RPMs and the released the brakes. We started rolling down the runway. At 50 KNOTS I pulled back on the yoke slightly to rotate (raise the nosewheel off the ground). At 60 KNOTS the airplane gently rose off the runway. As it was a warm morning I let the airplane accelerate to 80 KNOTS for engine cooling and we climbed up into the buttery smooth air.
UPDATE: Jordan shot some video of the takeoff and finally got it to me. Here it is:
So… we were actually having more fun than it appears here. 🙂
I turned on course for Los Banos Airport, trimmed the airplane up, and it pretty much flew itself to Los Banos. There was not a hint of air movement, the little Cessna felt like it was riding on rails. We cruised southbound over Geer Rd at 2500 feet above sea level (MSL). About 30 minutes later we were pulling onto the downwind portion of the traffic pattern. I flew the approach and made an OK landing. Not one of my best but definitely not bad for only 3 hours sleep (long story).
After landing we switched seats and then Jordan taxied out to runway 32. One more we were climbing up into the warm, smooth June air.
The flight back was just as smooth as the flight over. Jordan executed a flawless approach and landing though I couldn’t resist having a little fun with the camera.
After landing we handed the aircraft off to the next set of renters and both drove to work having enjoyed a morning of amazing aircraftery, and save a few bucks in the process by splitting the rental. I see many more mornings ahead of us.