Shannon Airport January 7th, 2018
By: Juergen Nies
The temperatures have been brutally cold for while and the winds have been equally bad to drive windshield factors into the negative temperature range (and that is on the Fahrenheit scale). However, on Sunday January the 7th the early morning started with just four degrees Fahrenheit, but calm winds and a promise by the weather man that it would “warm” up to the mid-20s. Tom Parry (in his Cardinal), John Ely (RV-12) and Juergen Nies (Piper Pacer) used their engine preheating gadgets to get the engines into temperatures safe to hit the starter buttons and took to the sky. Joining Juergen in the Pacer was Kyle Wallace and his son Jack. To survive the temperature in the back seat of the Pacer Jack dressed warm and brought a blanket, but his feet still got cold.
After all of us took of we communicated on 122.75 MHZ and John and Juergen joint up by the power plant between Winchester and Front Royal. After turning towards Casanova VOR Tom joined the group and we went on as a group of three. It wasn’t too long, and it was time to start descending to Shannon airport. John was happy to get into the warm building to warm up, while Tom told us he had to turn the heat down in his Cardinal since it was getting too hot. Well, I certainly didn’t have to turn anything down in the Pacer.
After a nice lunch (thank you Kyle for paying for mine) and some usual airplane talking it was time to hit back. Kyle is evaluating building a RV-12, so he jumped on the opportunity to get a ride in John’s. At the same time Jack could get his first time ever experience piloting an airplane (the Pacer) to fly to Front Royal to pick up his dad after he was done getting a ride in John’s RV-12. For a first time Pilot Jack did a good job maintaining 3,000 feet altitude and holding a heading to get us to Front Royal. I can see a future Pilot here.
After picking up Kyle in Front Royal the three of us climbed back in the Pacer for the short hop back to Winchester. Yes, it was cold, but overall not too bad at all. Airplane performance was at it’s best, visibility was excellent, and it was pretty smooth.
Trying to stay warm in the Pacer
The Group at lunch and airplane talking