Went flying a lot this week. As the Great (Weather) Pumpin would have it, the weather here in the Ohio valley has been absolutely stellar this past week, these past 2 days especially. Winds 5kts or less, Temps from the mid 40's in the morning up to about 70 in the afternoon -- and the air above smoothe as a baby's bottom. I've never flown so much with just my feet ( my Tripe still has the interconenct).
My daughter asked me to take her new boyfriend for a ride. He told her that he's NEVER been in a flying airplane , of any sort. No airliners, no nuthin'. Jumping at the chance, I called him and he showed up at my hangar -- at the same time talking to her on his cell phone. BTW She had just hung up with me only minutes before. Geeez. Kids and phones . Anyway, out of the car comes this big scrappn' kid. About 6 feet and built like a chunk of billet steel ( he plays LaCross ). After the cursory shake of hands, "How much do you weigh, there son?" I asked. "Oh , about 252 last time I checked sir". Geez, I'm thinking. I'm 6 feet and about 235. Oh well. I had once heard a rule of thumb ( aka ol' pilots tale ) about the lifting power of tripacers from my late father. He told me that if you can stuff it in there, it will lift it if you have a long enough takeoff roll.
Well, with an ambient temp of about 50 degrees, and a runway length of just over a mile, ( and being well under gross -- obviously) we loaded up-- a little tight in there, but we fit. I went through my standard "new passenger" pre-flight briefing, fired it up and off we went. Breaking ground at about 75 mph, I saw 1000 fpm on the vsi briefly on climbout. I say "briefly" as I lowered the nose for some better visibility. After a whole bunch of WHOO-EE 's !! and LOOK-AT-THAT'S !! we landed, both of us smiling I tell ya', this airplane still amazes me with it's performance and how freakn' easy it is to fly, even with almost a quarter-ton of Human mass in the front seat. BTW as a benefit, I found out from my daughter that he's enrolling back into engineering school. He told my her he wants to be able to afford one of these birds too .. and he's going to need a good job. And we all know the first step to that goal is an education. I hope he sticks with it.