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By Skyhawk to Colorado - Day 1 - Ithaca to Marion, OH

October 08, 2018 8:33 PM | Michael Brown (Administrator)

Greetings from Marion, Ohio! When I got up this morning, it was sunny in Harford, but the Ithaca airport and all of the other airports west of Ithaca along my planned route were low IFR - ceilings of 300 feet or less.

Finally, around noon, Ithaca changed over to VFR, and by 1:00PM I was in the air.

The clouds overhead were broken, and I could see blue sky through the gaps, so around Hornell I climbed above the thin layer. I don't normally like to do that, but the METARs for all of the airports after Dansville were reporting unlimited ceilings, and I could see the ground through gaps in the clouds the whole way, so it seemed worthwhile for the cooler, clearer air just above the deck at 4,500 feet. 

Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, NY:

As I continued westward, the clouds thinned out, and by the time I reached Erie, PA, there were only a few widely scattered clouds.

Every pilot's dream is to live on a runway - I guess this development, Sunnyslope Lake in Medina, Ohio, is the equivalent for golfers and boaters.

Go Colts (whoever you may be)!

Farms and intersection near West Salem, Ohio:

Speaking of fly-in communities, I thought I'd caught the birth of one near West Salem - but when I checked it out on Google Earth tonight, it turns out to be a dragstrip, Dragway 42 to be exact. Shame, really - it would make a great runway.

The Rust Belt - a disused factory rusting away near Mansfield, Ohio.

KMFD - Mansfield Airport - with a nice collection of C-130 Hercules transports.

I suppose I'll have to start a collection of "what does this pond look like to you?" pictures for this trip...

By about 4:30 I was in the pattern at KMNN Marion Airport, Ohio. It started to rain as I was on downwind for Runway 25, but it was just a passing shower. 

I can't say Marion was a particularly lively airport - '493 is the only airplane on the ramp, and there was no one at either FBO or the airport office - but I got an answer on the number posted on the door, and they're going to top off the Cessna when they open tomorrow morning.

With any luck I'll be able to make it to St. Louis Regional Airport in Alton, IL, tomorrow. This is the surface prognosis for 8:00AM tomorrow, with my proposed route indicated by the red arrow.

I'm hoping the front moves through and I might even be able to make it to Wichita on schedule on Wednesday. We'll see... The surface prognosis for Wednesday morning isn't wonderful.

I'll post tomorrow from Saint Louis (well, Alton, IL)... I hope.

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