It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

Got my oxygen system a few weeks ago, and had to test it of course. In the past 30 years as PIC I had never taken an aircraft past 13,500. Last Oct 20, on the way to Boscobel Wi, for 45 minutes I cruised just under airspace reserved only for the big swinging D’s of IFR dudes and airliners. I guess I was expecting a flash of light and the sensation of being sucked down a worm hole through the heart of the universe, but it really was no big deal at all. It wasn’t any different than flying at 11,500, or 3,500, except that I checked my O2 flow every five minutes, as well as my engine readings and the CO detector as if that had anything to do with anything. A couple times I hit some random light chop that made my heart skip a beat, maybe I thought I was going to stall out in the super-thin air of moon-space and spin back down to mother earth, as if chop had anything to do with anything at all. I had an IAS of 125, TAS of 161, and GS of 185, and even GS=196 once.

It was the best of times.

That evening, to celebrate my conquering of the universe, I grilled burgers using a random thought process of adding salsa and BBQ sauce to the meat prior to making patties, to produce the very worst burgers I have ever made in my life. The mix was so runny I had to put tin foil on the grill to keep the patty from falling through, and the end result was with me scraping the patty off the foil which ended up as ground burger-bits in a bowl that could only be used in a tortilla.

It was the worst of times.

All in all, I was pleased with my Saturday. I set a new altitude record for myself and survived. And, by the way, I greased the 3-point landing at Anoka, best 3-point landing I can ever remember, probably because I had plenty of O2 in my veins.

~ October 20, 2012

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