WARNING: scary flying photos, mountan top private research jet labs, unknown devices

barnstorm2

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Connie and I both agree our favorite Cross Country gyroplane trip was this mornings flight to Portsmouth for breakfast.

(ok I am posting this at 1:30am so technically it is yesterday's flight...)

Connie loves to fly to breakfast and since there were no known scheduled EAA breakfast fly-ins and we had already been to Lumberton (see other thread) Mark Webb a flying buddie with a great KitFox fixed wing suggested we fly to Portsmouth Ohio. He told us there was a great old vintage diner right on the airport.

We got to the airport at 7am and were in the air by 7:30.

As soon as we got into the pattern we could see patchy ground fog in all directions.

For those not familiar with the restrictions for Private Pilot VFR, I have to be able to keep visual contact with at least a portion of the ground at all times.

Thankfully, the ground fog (low clouds) were quite wispy and even directly above them we could still make out ground features.

The air was perfectly still and about 80deg F. air temp.

As the sun cast shadows over the trees and the low clouds rose from the ground the scene turned into what I can only describe as a dreamscape.

The view was the most inspiring and awesome I have ever seen in all of my flying days.

The photos I will be posting in this tread are hardly even mere shadows of the scenic beauty we saw. The cameras were nearly useless for capturing the landscape.

I would urge you to click on many of the photos as even in full size the photos only hint at what it was like.

I have never flown to Portsmouth Ohio before. It is a little over an hours flight time away (at about 85mph) and almost due East of my airport in Cincinnati. In fact I had never flown farther (directly) east then the East Fork Region of Ohio.

The terrain was breathtaking in more than one way.

The first third of the trip was mostly small farmland. We even noted several small grass strip runways that were not on the sectional.

However, the last two thirds of the trip quickly turned into terrain that was hilly, wooded and then 'mountainous'* and wooded!

At first most of foot hills had some form of a farm or non-wooded section on one side or the other but as they grew deeper and larger and higher they started to become completely wooded!

There were several times when I flew over terrain that I would not have been able to land on. As this is very unwise I started making my way toward the road that ran between the hillsides so that I would at least have some option in an emergency even if it was not a great one. (I started thinking about how long it had been since I changed the oil in the Lycoming....etc...)

At this point I was starting to experience what is known as the 'pucker' effect.

I changed course off of my GPS heading for Portsmouth and headed for the highway I had seen parallel to me recently and my GPS told me would be over the next hill-crest.

I came up over the hill climbing and what we saw on top of the hill made both Connie and I exclaim 'Wow' simultaneously.

It was a runway with heli-pads all around it. The runway was X-ed off for closed and huge strange buildings and giant equipment was all over the hillcrest.

There were white metal cylinders larger then office buildings and all kinds of equipment and bizarre buildings.

I felt like I had just stumbled into a Sci-Fi novel!

I radio'ed Mark and he said it was a private airfield owned by General Electric.

I remembered the private airport on the sectional during flight planning but did not expect to find anything more than a farmer's grass strip!!

As we approached Portsmouth and the GPS started ticking down the miles my heart sank. The way ahead was covered for a few miles with a blanket of low clouds.

I checked my fuel and I had about 45 minutes left so I could not go straight back, I would have to find an alternate airport (the GE runway was clear of fog but that would be a LAST resort!!).

But the worry was unfounded. It turns out there is a river valley (a tributary of the Ohio) that runs through a deep wide valley before Portsmouth. The airport was on the other side of this valley and quite clear of all clouds and fog. whew!

We set down in calm smooth air that had not even woken the windsock up yet this morning.

The diner was GREAT. The diner was actually part of the FBO building. I don't know how old it was but it had a 50's style and lots of old photos and newspapers from the 1920's through the 60's.

There was a "Tank" (APC) out front and I asked Connie and Mark to let me take a picture of them next to it.

Connie sighed "Not more Tanks!?!"

Mark looked at her then me and I explained last weekend we took a bike trip to a 1800's mill turned B&B in Kentucky and I "made" Connie go to the General Patton Museum at Fort Knox.

Breakfast for two was $10 (Gas was $51.00)

As we left it was obvious the sun was getting it's work done and the wind had woken up the windsock and the thermals.

I climbed to 2700 feet (AGL) as to avoid pucker factor for the part of the trip that was heavily wooded. As we passed this and got back to rolling hills with spotted farmland I decended back down to the more 'gyro-like' 500ft AGL.

We passed a farm that looked "perfect". It looked like it just came off of the label in the supermarket. I pointed this out to Connie on the way to Portsmouth. She noted on the way back that there were no animals to be seen and no crops to speak of around the farm. A creepy "twilight zone" feeling crept over me and I upped the cruise speed...

Well that was the trip. Not much to tell on paper but being there make it our best so far.

I have one more thing to put in this thread...

While staying at the 1800's mill B&B in KY I found in the woods an old steam boiler on wheels. At first I thought I had come across some kind of old steam powered train engine or tractor but I could see no way that the wheels were powered.

I will post the photos I have of it here in hopes someone here can tell me what it is or help lead me to where I can research it.

It is now 2:20am so I am only going to post the photos I took tonight. Tomorrow when I get up I will add Connie's photos from the trip to this thread.

Thanks for viewing!!



*(my apologies to those of you that fly though REAL mountains. These ranges of hills are the foothills of the smokey mountains. While far from REAL mountain flying they still pose great risk and provide great beauty as well. From an Ohio flatlanders perspective, we get away with calling these hills mountains as it is the best we have...)

All photos are high-res. Please click on a photo to see it full-size. Hightly recommend for the cloud shots.

2700feet.jpg (114.9 KB)
2700FootRiver.jpg (135.4 KB)
2700WindingRiver.jpg (101.5 KB)
AboveTheClouds.jpg (88.2 KB)
Bridges.jpg (116.2 KB)
CealingAT3000.jpg (106.3 KB)
CloudsApprochingPsmith.jpg (112.1 KB)
CloudsToPsmith.jpg (105.9 KB)

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barnstorm2

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CloudsToPsmithDash.jpg (113.2 KB)
CloudyValley.jpg (106.2 KB)
ConnieAboveClouds.jpg (95.4 KB)
ConnieCloudsTailShot.jpg (102.5 KB)
ConnieLovingTheFlight.jpg (93.0 KB)
ConnieTakingMorePhotos.jpg (115.2 KB)
ConnieTakingPHotos.jpg (136.7 KB)
FlyingHillrestToHillcrest.jpg (108.5 KB)


Click on photos to enlarge! :whip:

Savvy internet users right-click and open in a new window...:spy:
 

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barnstorm2

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FoggyFarmland.jpg (63.0 KB)
FoggyValleyLand.jpg (104.2 KB)
FoggyValleyMorningSunrise.jpg (102.5 KB)
FoggyValleys.jpg (111.8 KB)
FoggyValleys32.jpg (132.2 KB)
HillCrest.jpg (86.6 KB)
Jail.jpg (136.6 KB)
LowRiverChasing.jpg (105.8 KB)
 

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barnstorm2

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PassingAlongTheValley.jpg (101.9 KB)
PerfectFarm.jpg (67.6 KB)
POrtsDinerBar.jpg (100.5 KB)
PortsDinerStrafing.jpg (103.2 KB)
PortsDinerTank.jpg (123.7 KB)
PortsPilotLounge.jpg (102.6 KB)


Here you can see a photos of he creepy "pefect farm"

Also, check out the cool celing fan at the diner!:party:
 

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barnstorm2

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Here are some shots of the GE Jet Engine Lab at the private airport.

I will post some more and better photos of it tomorrow when I post Connie's pictures of the flight...


PrivateGE1.jpg (106.9 KB)
PrivateGE2.jpg (112.3 KB)
PrivateGERunway.jpg (139.2 KB)
PrivateGERunway2.jpg (102.2 KB)
 

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barnstorm2

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RoadToCloudsVille.jpg (129.5 KB)
ScenicLake.jpg (128.8 KB)
ShadowChase.jpg (125.4 KB)
WhatIsThis.jpg (127.2 KB)
WhatIsThis2.jpg (140.1 KB)
WhatIsThis3.jpg (131.4 KB)
WhatIsThis4.jpg (140.5 KB)

Ok, this is my last set for tonight and the last of my photos. I will post Connies' tomorrow.

The last 4 photos are of the strange steam boiler thing.

Anyone know what this thing is??:noidea:

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bones

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cant remember, didnt have log books before, but since over 3000
Tim nice pictures, but all i could see was a blurr, too high to see detail hehehe
 

Passin' Thru

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Tim, the boiler you found is just that, a boiler to produce steam pressure for task other than locomotion. They were used to power steam hammers, drills for blasting for mining and excavation ect. The wheels were purely for moving the boiler from one location to another. Sort of like the big air compressors are used today. That thing is OLD! Notice there is no welding, all the joints and fittings are riveted.
 
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Harry_S.

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No one can best your pictorials Tim, and it seems they get better every time...and longer, too. :D

Keep 'em comin'.


Cheers :)
 

barnstorm2

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Tim nice pictures, but all i could see was a blurr, too high to see detail hehehe
Ha! Not ALL of them are at high altitude!

Altitude is your friend when you are flying over that terrain!!

I did get some cool "Apocalypse Now" maneuvers over the crests of some of the hills (I was doing that when I came across the GE airport! that is why some of the photos are so close (doh!).)

I did not want to try that on the way back because I am not experienced flying over such terrain and I did not want to crest any big hill and catch a downdraft. The flight out had zero wind and was very cool so I felt it was safe enough so long as I kept more then enough airspeed (85mph+). My big issue was lack of good places to land in case of an emergency.

Here, I will post a picture of some Dramamine so you can look at some more high alt photos!! ;)



Tim, the boiler you found is just that, a boiler to produce steam pressure for task other than locomotion. They were used to power steam hammers, drills for blasting for mining and excavation ect. The wheels were purely for moving the boiler from one location to another. Sort of like the big air compressors are used today. That thing is OLD! Notice there is no welding, all the joints and fittings are riveted.
Cool! Thanks!

I did not see any sort of wheel or shaft coming out of it to produce mechanical action. Perhaps it is missing.

The mill is VERY old. They have records showing Abraham Lincoln's' father did some of the carpentry work!

Wow! very cool photos, keep em coming!
Thanks! One more cup of coffee and I think I will be ready to post some more!

No one can best your pictorials Tim, and it seems they get better every time...and longer, too. :D

Keep 'em comin'.

Cheers :)
<Blush> Awe, thank you Harry!

Now I love to hear that but Stans photo threads are pretty unbeatable especially when he flys to work, his recent hog-rost photos and Jonathan's cost shots and just about every photo post from Chuck in PR and the Aussies with that aussume terrain seem unassailable to me!


Speaking of better photos.... Let me get started posting the photos Connie took yesterday....

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barnstorm2

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FoggyEastfork.jpg (77.2 KB)
FoggyValleys.jpg (93.2 KB)
FoggyValleys2.jpg (100.3 KB)
FoggyValleys3.jpg (102.4 KB)
HeadingForTheHills.jpg (107.2 KB)
Hillscape.jpg (106.0 KB)


MeAndSherman.jpg (109.0 KB)


This last one is from last weekends trip to KY. It is a Sherman Tank outside of the Patton Museum. My father was wounded working on a Sherman when the lines fell back an a German 88 struck the tank he was repairing a bogy wheel on. He lost his hearing in one ear, a few teeth and a part of his jawbone.

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barnstorm2

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RoadToFogLand.jpg (123.8 KB)
ShadowsAndSandTraps.jpg (118.7 KB)
TwinShadow.jpg (122.1 KB)
StrangeHouseAndBarn.jpg (123.0 KB)
WaterTower.jpg (104.3 KB)
wheelAndGrapes.jpg (101.7 KB)


That is the last of 'em!! :wave:

Thanks for looking!!:welcome:

.

(don't forget to click on the photo to enlarge!! :whip: )
 

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Harry_S.

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No, No, I didn't mean to detract from Stan's or anyone else's photos. Stan is our premium PP...Photo Poster. ;) You apparently have much more to view while airborne than we in other sectors of the country...or the world for that matter. Plus, you have the added advantage of a sidekick to take shots, or to take the controls while you take shots...you lucky devil. :D

Stan and I are limited somewhat by the the area we transit just about every time we go for a fly. Stan essentially has farmland and ditches...I have horse farms, quarries and farmland, and that's about it in my section of Florida...but I like it. I will never tire of flying over and around it.

So, keep posting those travelogues...I'm sure we all appreciate 'em.


Cheers :)
 

StanFoster

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Tim: Excellent shots.......I cant compete......nor am I trying to...you win...:hail:


I know people get sick of my same ol shots...same ol corn and soybean fields...but to me....its never boring.

I would be on information overload flying over your terrain...because I would be "in" the terrain.

I do have some pictures that I cant and wont post as they are a bit over the edge....if you saw them you would know what I mean. I just will have to keep them to myself. I want to keep the FAA happy...


Stan
 

automan1223

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hills, mountains, etc.

hills, mountains, etc.

Tim,

Great story about your trip and great photos to match.

Just got back from a road trip with the folks from western N.C.

Felt like a character in the sound of music...

Now I know why they call everything in eastern NC "Down" East....

Healthy respect for flying over mountain terrain but I would not be comfortable doing it all the time. I would sooner fly over swamp and flat lands tree top to tree top than play with the hills.

No more tanks ? whats with that ?

J
 

barnstorm2

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Thanks guys!

Grass is always greener we are all very lucky to have found this wonderful sport and to be able to share it!

Don't forget Stan, the FAA would have a very difficult time telling things like altitude and distance from a photo because they can be cropped and have various size lenses. Also, any terrain is legal at any altitude during a takeoff or landing. Sometime I have real loooong approches.....

I'm going to go turn off my lights and watch the driveway.... Zero has me paranoid about the MIB now....

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barnstorm2

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Hi Jonathan!

Just missed your post as we were both typing at the same time I guess.

Yea, I do not like flying over trees. About the worst terrain I think.

Connie is not much for Tank and Aircraft Museums but she likes to fly so I am not going to complain. The Patton Museum at Fort Knox is really cool if you ever get a chance to visit!

I got to see (and take photos of) some WWI tanks! they are wild! They also had mobile alt guns and tank tenders.

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