Last night was a perfect night to fly. No clouds, clear, nice strong wind from the south to help us scoot home.
The mission: fly down to Hornell, land, then do some landings at Rochester and then scoot home. All went very well, I got down to Canandaigua, intercepted the Geneseo VOR, made my turn towards Dansville and got into Hornell right on time from my pre-flight planning. Not bad. It was nice to get away from the city (Rochester) and the massive light pollution. Other than a near-miss of some form of bird on final for Hornell it worked out great.
Chalk up another new to me airport in the book.
The fun part was getting back to Rochester. Their tower is currently being run out of a construction trailer so they don't have weather or radar on the field, approach and departure controllers are handling that duty. Runway 7 (the one they usually use for little planes like me) was closed thanks to a broken down C-17 aircraft. Oh yeah and did I mention the rotating beacon is out of service?
Airports may look really lit up from the ground but they are actually large black spots in a sea of lights from the air... The rotating beacon (flashes green / white) lets visual pilots find the field in the giant pile of nothingness.
So ok, we finally found the airport after faffing around a bit and then the bloody landing light went poof.
Imagine trying to drive your car through rural roads without headlights.
So we managed to get in and out of Rochester with a few little... navigational issues (hard to find taxiways in the dark with no light...) and then finished up by getting the rest of the night landings I needed back home at Sodus.
Up next... FAA written exam!