Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Drought, Spot Landing in Hayfield

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I'd had that off-field landing in an alfalfa field at Osh12; and the day after our return to Wichita, the plane was repaired, broken in with a new piston and cylinder, and ready to fly.  So I got back on the horse and rode it.

Setting off for Terry A.'s field, I was struck by the ravaged look of the land.  I took several pictures of the drought.

Oh yeah, temperatures were in the low 100's.  Things got comfortable about 600' above ground level in the open cockpit.  Climb rate wasn't awesome in the 4300'++ density altitude, but still pretty good, even with the very small engine (28HP max at sea level) and my overgross condition.

Kansas Drought from a Belite Ultralight Aircraft

Kansas drought, from a Belite ultralight aircraft

Kansas drought, from an ultralight airplane

More Kansas drought, from a Belite ultralight airplane
Wow.  It's not looking good for any crop.

I spotted Terry's airport:

Terry's airport, dead center of pic

Starting to turn final at Terry's airport
And then I landed.  Couldn't take pictures on final, too busy.

Landed at Terry's airport
I quickly took off.

Someone created artwork in a field?  Looks like a baseball slugger to me:

Interesting pattern in corn field, taken from Belite ultralight airplane.

Here's another illustration of the drought, showing a house surrounded by a sea of dried corn:

Home surrounded by drought corn

Approaching my home airport, I noted that this would be an excellent evening to practice off field landings in the hayfield next to the runway.  Why not?  I made a vertical mark in the photo below to show the proposed landing spot, stopping just to the left and short of the round hay bales.

Back at home field, hayfield landing strip marked in photoshop
So I landed, but a little long.  After stopping, I took a picture looking back at the hay bales:

Hay bales, after landing long
 I tried it several more times.  This time, I landed short of the hay bales and took this pic:  Success!

Hay bales, after landing short
I enjoyed that very much.  It was getting dark, so I put the plane away and called it a day.

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