Amazingly, we left the house on time, got to the airport a little early, and took off 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Another club member landed and was putting a plane away when we were getting ready, and said the air was very smooth. He was right...it was a nice smooth flight all the way up to Duluth. I climbed to 3500 feet and cruised at a stately 108 knots (fuel burn of 9.6 gallons per hour). As we approached the Duluth/Superior area, I heard on the shared CTAF frequency that they were doing skydiving ops over the Superior Airport (3 miles southwest of Sky Harbor) and there was a slightly disoriented older gentleman over the airport as well. I did a non-standard wide entry to base for Sky Harbor and landed without a problem.
|Jake helps with the preflight|
|Gotta make sure the altimeter is set correctly...|
|Just like riding in the car.|
|Sky Harbor is the bare patch in the middle of the narrow strip.|
Later my wife mentioned she was nervous because the runway looked so short. It's actually 3000 feet long but with water on both sides, it's a much different sight picture than what she's used to. My son Jake simply played his leapster in the back seat the whole trip. I took that as a compliment.
|Actually it does kind of look short from up here.|
|Ship watching in Canal Park. You have to take the bridge to get to Sky Harbor.|
After using my iPhone to learn how to tie a knot in the tiedown, we grabbed our bags and met the Enterprise rental car driver. We dropped him off, and did our usual touristy stuff.
The flight back was a little bumpier, as the winds had picked up a bit, but the takeoff, cruise, and landing at Crystal Airport were all uneventful. I even got my wife to take the controls for a bit as I set up the GPS, but upon looking back outside, I noticed we were in an unusual attitude. So, we might have to look into a pinch hitter course for her some time...
|Home sweet home.|
All in all, it was a very fun and successful weekend. My wife has now made more suggestions for flights like Madeline Island and Door County, Wisconsin.