Well I went the whole month of June without a single flight. However, today I threw caution to the wind and took my wife out for a scenic flight to Hornell and the wind mills near Cohocton. We had 10 miles vis with haze. I was going to be going lower and slower so my wife could take in the sites.
We flew direct to Hornell and on the way passed to the east of the new wind mill farm going up in Cohocton. They are not on the charts yet, but we counted about 50 large scale turbines with most needing their blades installed…which are rumored to be defective even before they go up.
I wanted to go to Hornell (4G6) because of the topography (Wellsboro, PA might be next). Even with GPS I was too far east and had to cut back a bit, but the wind was on my side since its direction meant that I had to land on Runway 18. I made my call to the dead air space that I was on the 45 for RW 18 and went between two hills to do so. As I turned for my downwind the land started raising up a great deal. I turned base and watched the land and traffic as I did so. I was dead on for my final and did a good job landing.
Since this was a stop and hop for us just to say we went to a new field, we started our taxi for take-off. We got into position and again made our radio calls to the dead. I throttled up and started heading down the runway. As we started to pickup speed I saw this black thing…a big black thing running across the runway. Since it was moving and I was nearing my rotation speed we kept on going. As we got over the area where we saw this thing running, we could clearly see that it was a black bear. Oh…yes…I have a witness…which is good since I would not have believed it either. A big black bear running like hell into the nearby clear field to the west of the runway. We both laughed and smiled about it and continued on our trip.
We landed at Penn Yan and brought the 172 into the barn. Just as I towed it in ALL…and I mean ALL of the hydraulic fluid came out of the front landing gear. It was the strangest thing since it only leaked after the final push into the barn. I took the plane out of service and made a phone call to alert the powers that be about the problem.