A warm hello to all of you once again. I hope this issue of the Fly-ND Quarterly finds you doing well! Summer is clearly upon us, with the toasty temperatures, afternoon thunderstorms are often popping up, and the Fourth of July fireworks are behind us by a few weeks. Summer flying can be a lot of fun, with unique challenges like avoiding thunderstorms. However, one important point I’ve learned during summer flying is to remember your passenger’s comfort!
A few years back, I had to make a day trip out to Billings, MT, and back. A friend decided to join me for the day. The flight out that morning was fairly routine, with one deviation for weather, then direct to Billings. That afternoon when it was time to depart back to Bismarck, the temperature had climbed to about 95 degrees. We jumped in the airplane and I got it started up. I started reviewing the taxi diagram, getting ATIS, getting my clearance, plugging everything into the GPS and Autopilot and was finally ready to start taxiing. I looked over at my friend, and the sweat was running down him like a hose. I didn’t even notice how warm it was in the cabin, as I was consumed with getting everything ready. He surely noticed how warm it was! In my focus on getting ready, I didn’t think about taxiing out a bit and turning so the sun wasn’t coming straight into the cabin from the windscreen. Later as we climbed to our cruising altitude of 7,000 feet, the air was still quite warm and bumpy. I requested and was granted a climb up to 11,000 feet where we found smooth and cool air. My friend finally mentioned how warm it was earlier, and that this altitude was much better.
Another evening in early July, my family and I were on our way back from another trip to Grand Forks, ND, for a Red Pepper supper. The evening had turned to night, as we passed somewhere around Carrington, ND. Suddenly, I heard a commotion from the kids in the back seat. They had spotted fireworks a ways off. Being on a VFR flight, I decided to give the passengers some enjoyment and turned toward the fireworks. We flew a couple of circles over the small-town fireworks display, and enjoyed a view not seen by many.
Enjoy your summer flying and remember to make your flight enjoyable for your passengers!
Justin Weninger, Chairman
North Dakota Aviation Association