November 27, 2016 - Form Work

Blade organized some formation practice today.  The weather was pretty good, a little windy and bumpy perhaps, but nothing to worry about.

We met at Frederick (KFDK), and briefed in the AOPA building.  Participants were Blade (#1), John (#2), Pablo (#3), Myself (#4) and Chef (#5).

Here we are taxiing out.

Blade had a passenger, Dan, who took all these pictures in the air.   Here, John is rejoining over Frederick, with Pablo a little further out.  Sugerloaf Mountain is visible in the distance.
John moving in close.  Chef and I  are visible at center top.
Here comes Pablo.
And there I am.
John and Chef on the right side.
Pablo and I on the left.  Blade took us high, above a scattered cloud layer, where the air was smooth.
Tightening it up.
Time for some turn practice in V formation.
Now here is something you don't see many pictures of.  We are in close trail.  You can see both John and Pablo in close behind.
Now we are in right echelon in a gentle turn to the left.
Steepening the turn.  My plane is not visible but I'm pretty sure I was in there somewhere.

Now Pablo and I are on the right side in a left turn.

We were on top of the scattered layer and the sun was bright.  I was aware that it was very pretty; unfortunately, I couldn't enjoy the view because in close formation, my whole world is my lead's spinner and outside aileron hinge.

I am crossing under into the slot so we will be in the diamond formation.  Chef will move behind me as the stinger.
Back out on the left.  We got better at keeping formation as the flight continued and the rust burned off.
We did an overhead break at Frederick Airport, then I had a late breakfast with Dan (the passenger) at the Airways Inn (on-field restaurant):  always good!
Then I headed for home.  On the way, I decided to check out Pine Valley Christmas Tree Farm.  I was just there two days ago for our annual family "cutting of the Christmas Tree" outing.  I've never flown over it before.  It's just south of Clearview Airport which I've flown over about a million times I think.
The parking lot and main area is to the right, but the biggest tree were to the far left (blue arrow).  So we hiked over there.  My son-in-law bought this huge tree, and it wasn't easy for the two of us to drag it back to the main area even with the wheeled cart it was on.  Lynnette had to drag our, smaller, tree back by herself.
A closer look at the main area.  Pine Valley was very busy today.  Leaving Pine Valley, we all enjoyed our traditional breakfast at a nearby IHOP.
Leaving Pine Valley, I was a little south of my usual route back to Essex Skypark.  I happened to fly over Hoby Wolf Airport, which is a private grass strip.
It has a 2,000 foot turf runway with "up and down undulations"!  LOL, I don't know, man.