Friday, July 7th, 2006
2:59 pm - Plane Spotting...  
Lately I've been taking my lunch down by the airport. There's a little observation parking lot just around the corner from the general aviation terminal where you can watch the planes, and even the ship traffic out on the bay. There's not a lick of shade down there, though, and I was worried a bit that I'd roast in the hot sun. Fortunately, it turns out there's usually a pretty stiff breeze down there, far more than even just a half mile inland. Just open the windows on both sides of the truck, and voila! Instant air conditioning.

KOQUThe only drawback to the location is that you can only see the very end of the main runway (16-34), so any planes taking off are usually in the air before you catch sight of them. When the wind is from the north, you do get to see aircraft touching down on landing, but the prevailing wind, alas, is from the southwest. Plus, the weather's been so crappy lately, there hasn't been much activity.

[As a side note, the lousy weather was probably at least partly responsible for three deaths the other day in a crash on Block Island. A Piper Cherokee took off while there were thunderstorms in the area. Not the smartest move by a fairly experienced pilot. New England Air, the commercial carrier that serves B.I. had grounded their planes about fifteen minutes before.]

Today, however, it's lovely out, and not only that, but the winds are coming from the northeast. That means that the smaller aircraft were using the smaller runway (5-23) directly in front of the observation lot. Whoot! Saw three planes land and one take off right in front of me. Just for kicks, I jotted down the registration numbers of two of the planes, just to see if there were any records of them on-line. Sure enough, typing a registration number into Google turns up the plane's FAA record. N9555L turns out to be a Grumman AA-5 ( a type I was unfamiliar with before I looked it up today) owned by a local flying club. That's just neat!
Current Mood: TGIF