I went flying again tonight. It was a beautiful night. I got the Skyhawk out of the hangar, preflighted and and taxied to the end of Runway 4 at Olean Airport. There was a slight quartering headwind but it was light. After I taxied onto the runway I pushed the throttle all the way in and kept ‘003 centered on the runway with some right rudder pressure. In the crisp evening air this Skyhawk climbed into the air easily. Once clear of the ground I rolled the trim wheel forward bringing the nose down slightly and climbing out at 500 ft/min. I kept looking for other air traffic. I brought nose level at 3500 feet, I trimmed the aircraft, leaned the mixture and throttled back to 2500 rpm. The plane continued to climb and I had to make some further adjustments. I decided to fly north toward the Letchworth State Park. My flight path took me north over the villages of Rushford, Rushford Lake, Houghton and Fillmore. I took some photos to share on my flight. This is some of the loveliest countryside in North America. Houghton, pictured below, is the home of Houghton College.
It’s my wife’s alma mater and as fine a Christian Liberal Arts College as can be found anywhere. As I flew I could see a couple of balloons floating nicely in the calm air about ten miles north. I stayed east and higher than the balloons. There are rules of the road in the air and staying clear of hot air balloons is imperative for me. Western New York and the Genesee River Valley in particular can provide unparalleled scenery this time of year. Flight visibility was unlimited tonight and it was basically “hands free” flying once the plane was level and trimmed. I turned back south toward Olean Airport. I flew south of the airport along the Five Mile Road just north of the Town of Allegany. I had promised one of my coworkers a picture of her home and I wanted to make good on that promise. Piloting an aircraft offers me a unique vista of the beauty of creation. I’m grateful that I’m able to fly. Deo Gratias.