Fred’s Bust-off-the-Rust Flight

February 16th, 2008

Fred and I met at the Hillsboro Airport this evening for a flight that was originally planned as a cross country to Eugene. However, the actual weather today was consistently worse than forecast, and at the time of departure the skies were overcast at 2700 feet, so we decided to scrap the cross country and instead make it a local flight. Fred did the majority of the flying since he hadn’t flown an airplane for a few months.

We departed to the North from Runway 30 and entered the traffic pattern for Runway 33 at Scappoose Industrial Airpark (SPB) where the skies were clear. Once we were established on the downwind leg I took the controls for a couple of touch-and-goes. After the second takeoff we departed the pattern and initiated a climb to the west just as the sun was setting over the coastal range. During the sunset the atmospheric haze turned the horizon into a deep orange color, but unfortunately I left the camera battery at home so I was unable to take a picture of it. We dodged a few puffs of clouds as we continued to climb and turn slowly to the south. We climbed to 7,500 feet and observed the overcast cloud layer over all of Hillsboro and West Portland. The AWOS at Aurora was reporting clear skies, so we proceeded to fly VFR over the top of the overcast cloud layer towards Mulino. It took us about 10 minutes to cross the overcast layer, and we initiated our descent as we approached Aurora. It was already hazy and it was growing dark by the time we reached the traffic pattern at Mulino Airport, so as a result it took us a long while to spot the airport. When we were about 8 miles out the white and green rotating beacon made itself visible, and Fred controlled the airplane as we entered the traffic pattern and landed on Runway 32.

With the airplane tied down in the transient parking lot, we got out for a few minutes to stretch our legs and use the restroom at the FBO. Back in the airplane, Fred took the left seat and we departed to the northwest for the short hop back to Hillsboro. The tower instructed us to report three miles out on a straight in for 30, and as we approached the airport a Lear Jet was cleared to land in the opposite direction. The controller knew what he was doing though—he knew the jet was considerably faster than our little Cessna, and he cleared us to land when we were on short final and when the Lear was clear of the runway. Fred landed smoothly on Runway 30 and taxied the airplane to Hillsboro Aviation. As we were packing our gear up Fred exclaimed that it was a good “bust off the rust” flight for him. Indeed, and it was a great deal of fun; I think it gave Fred the confidence to do more regular flying in the upcoming weeks and months.

One Response to “Fred’s Bust-off-the-Rust Flight”

  1. David

    Cool, glad you guys were able to go up. It seems like it’s been a while for you as well.

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