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I didn't get flying on the weekend, as other things got in the way. Saturday was dedicated to finishing off a household plumbing repair. Sunday was the annual Smiths Falls Flying Club work day - we had an excellent turn out of people, and a long list of misc airfield and building maintenance items was completed.

It looks like I'll be on the road next weekend, and today's weather forecast was reasonably promising, so I booked a day off. Originally Terry and I planned to fly to Edenvale for lunch, but the winds were stronger than I expected, after yesterday's cold front passage, so I pulled the plug on that plan this morning. It would have been very bumpy at low altitude, and Terry does not enjoy that sort of thing.

Smiths Falls Airport with grass runway at red arrowThe winds at Ottawa were forecast to be gusting to 22 kt, roughly 70° off the axis of the runway at Smiths Falls, so It looked like a good day to do some crosswind practice.

Smiths Falls also has an unoffical grass crosswind runway, roughly 1550 ft long, at 90° to the main runway (I calculated the length by comparing it to the 4000 ft long main runway in the Google Maps satellite image). It is not listed in any of the official publications, as it is not offiically maintained, and it is almost perfectly lined up with the clubhouse. The flying club uses it to teach students how to do short field take-offs and landings in the flying club C172s.

I walked the runway this morning, to confirm its condition was suitable, in case the wind strength increased after I took off, and I needed a more into wind runway for landing. I concluded that the runway condition was perfectly acceptable, but the west side of it was in better shape than the east side.

You can see the grass runway in this shot - the arrow is pointing to the south end of the runway.

 


Looking north down the grass runwayThis shot is taken from the south end of the grass runway, looking north along the runway axis. The club house is visible past the far end of the runway.

 


Trees on final for the grass runwayThis shot, taken from the south end of the runway, facing south, shows the trees that you have to clear on final.

 


Ready for take-offI did several take-offs and landings on the main runway, with the winds roughly 70° off, at 10 to 20 kt. Then I did one low approach to the grass runway to convince a few dozen Canada Geese to leave, then one landing and a take-off. The grass is a bit long, so there was quite a bit of rolling friction, which allowed me to stop about half-way down the grass runway, with no braking.

This is the view from the cockpit, just prior to starting the take-off roll.

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