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Leg 33: Price Co (KPBH) - Antrim Co (KACB)

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It's an early start for this leg, so no rest for the wicked. The low cloud base seems to be following me around North America but today I have an added incentive to get a move on: fog and isolated flurries of snow are expected over Michigan, with the weather expected to hit Antrim around sundown. And is it cold: even the Baton is shivering. But with all systems running the cockpit soon warms up. It's a rude wake up call for the locals and music to my ears as the Bucc flings itself down the runway.


Not many friendly waves, so I get airborne sharpish.



One of the perks of an early start...



Staying under the clouds, as I don't really want to descend through them coming into Antrim.



Not that it really works out very well. Halfway across Lake Michigan the weather takes a turn for the worst.



And it looks no better from the outside. 



But, true to the forecast, it is relatively clear over Antrim, and I begin to slow the Bucc down for the approach. Then first stage flaps...



...then it goes wrong. The Bucc begins to roll to the left. I roll it back level but to no avail; the roll to the left resumes as I soon as I let go. The aircraft is still in control but glancing down at the flap indicator I see that it isn't working. A look outside and the problem is confirmed - the flaps on the left have not deployed. 



I retract the flaps and I'm not going to crash any time soon....but Antrim is too short a runway to land on without flaps. 



A look at the map reveals an airport with a 11700ft runway not too far away - Oscoda-Wurtsmith. I hope they have mechanics on hand...and maybe a large net.



On approach and gear down. I hope that runway is long enough as I don't really fancy a swim.



On final. Crosswind and I'm slewing sideways again, the weather not the only thing to have followed me from Edmonton.



Anchor out. Wheel breaks squealing fit to burst. And....STOOOOOP!!!! Which it does. Phew.



I'm lucky and find a mechanic to work on the flaps but the sun is already down by the time I get going again. Could have caught a bus; but the Bucc never admits defeat.



Finally over Antrim but oh boy...that looks grim.



A little lower down and the weather looks better, good enough to attempt a landing.



On final. A smile on my face. Don't know if I'm supposed to enjoy this kind of weather but I really do.



Looks rock solid; is rock solid. Even my old friend the crosswind doesn't unsettle it.



And remarkably - a greaser! 



That's it done then. But, to me at least, this is no mere machine anymore. It broke down, sure, but it came back and rode the storm like a legendary sailing ship of old. As Clarkson would say, cheesy or not  - this Bucc's got soul.



Over to you Sean.

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Great flight story and pic's. :thum:  Good move staying below the clouds in that beefy looking Buccaneer, after all it was designed for low level flight anyway, right?

I feel sorry for all you guys having to fly in all this cold weather and for that poor baton too. :(



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