December flight

Dave Dugas

As Christmas approached I wondered if I would be able to get a chance to fly before the end of the year, especially since we got a foot of snow last week. I like to try to get a flight each month during the year, and since I don't plow the hangar, it rarely happens. It poured all day on Christmas and was 60 degrees, totally melting the snow. Today was 35 degrees, bright sun and calm conditions, a pretty good day for a flight. 
I got to the airport at 1:00 and plugged in my pre-heater for about an hour while I straightened out my bench. I strapped in, closed the canopy, and let the sun do it's thing. It didn't take long for the temperature in the cockpit to get comfortable. It's a bit tough to start when it's cold, but it fired up and in about a minute it was running smoothly. It's been over a month since I flew last, and it felt good to taxi to runway 32 after a 7 or 8 minute warm-up. 
The density altitude today was minus 1200 feet so my take off was really short. Climb out with the Remaster felt like I had an IO 360 under the cowl. As I climbed to 3000 feet, I was experiencing a bit of engine roughness, which is common for me when the OAT is below 40 degrees or so. I leveled off and applied carb heat, leaned the mixture, and within a minute all was good. I fly my Q2 with full carb heat and leaned when I'm in these conditions, and I'm very comfortable with this setup. The engine smooths out and runs strong with this setting. 
Looking out over the New England landscape the only snow visible was on the ski slopes on Mount Snow and Stratton, about 50 miles to the north. I flew west for about 40 miles and checked out Berkshire East, a very busy ski area during the holidays, and the parking lot was full. My grandson Jack was somewhere on the mountain snowboarding. I turned back east to return to KORE, this time with a tailwind. The sun was behind me on the return trip so it began to feel a bit cold, but still comfortable. 
It felt good to get out and fly today with great conditions and no bugs to clean up. If January is good I'll be up there again. 
I hope all of you and yours have a nice holiday season.... Dave D

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