April 3, 2024 - Quick Lunch Flight in Cirrus SR22 Turbo from Renton, WA to Gig Harbor, WA

Topics: Aviation

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The "tennis ball". I had booked a plane with a more humble color, but the club bumped me in to this aircraft for reasons of "it would help them out".

Mostly for the purposes of maintaining my flying currency, I flew a Cirrus SR-22 Turbo from Renton, WA (KRNT) to Gig Harbor, WA (KTIW). Then I stopped for lunch, a salad, at The Hub. After lunch I flew back to Renton. Not a terribly exciting day worth writing a post about.

I had thought about doing some air-work (turns around a point, steep turns, etc) before or after lunch, but the area I like to practice in was already occupied with a fair amount of VFR based on what I could observe with ADSB. The most interesting part of my flying was actually the the light cross and headwinds (between 8 and 12 knots observed), but nothing substantial.

Instead, I just tried to spend more time taking in the aspects of aviation surrounding piloting my own aircraft: the sights, sounds, and studying the other aircraft around me.

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A 1944 Douglas A-26C Aircraft on the ramp at the Renton Airport

Although I took this picture when I returned to Renton, I actually recorded video of this 1944 Douglas A-26C taking off on my departure from Renton.

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Looking over the nose and between propellers of my aircraft, I see a welcome vehicle with what appears to be lights on top

Once I arrived, taxi'd and parked in Gig Harbor, I observed the above vehicle with what appeared to be light racks on the top. I also observed a
Bombardier Challenger 300 land and taxi before parking next to the vehicle.

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A Bombardier Challenger 300 taxiing at Tacoma Narrows airport

Naturally I was curious who was on the aircraft, but I wasn't able to see nor figure it out by looking up the owner of the aircraft.

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What appears to be a military helicopter flies over the runway at Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor, WA.

A few minutes later, after my Arnold Palmer and salad arrived at my table, I got to see this helicopter fly an approach over the runway. It appeared to be a military helicopter with possible weapon pods underneath. I don't know the make or model of the helicopter, however.

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Looking down over the leading edge of the wing at the Tacoma Dome

On the way home, I tried to find interesting things along my route to take photos of to remind myself of the joys of flying and seeing things from a different perspective. One structure I often drive by is the Tacoma Dome, positioned along Interstate 5. From the air, it is fairly distinct, but perhaps not quite as interesting to look at.

For the outbound and return flight, I only put 1.1 hours on the hobbs meter. My flying club charges by the hour as measured by the hobbs. I probably could have made the round trip closer to 0.8 if I'd kept the throttle at max cruise. However, I wanted to enjoy the sunny day, so I found myself flying at minimum cruise power. I think it was worth it.

I suspect that the hobbs meter is the most reliable instrument in an aircraft and have never heard of one malfunctioning before.