20 July 1993

Lunch at Muncie?

I was going through withdrawal, because I had not flown for six weeks. Liz and I were going to fly a friend's Cessna 182 sixty miles to Muncie, Indiana for lunch. Vince's is the best airport restaurant of the 360 airports in my logbook.

We were delayed 45 minutes before we even took off! The lineman gave me only the hanger door key. A flight instructor gave me the wrong airplane key. I had to find him to exchange his DC-3 key for the correct key. After filling the nearly empty tanks and adding four quarts of oil, we taxied back to the hangar to retrieve my forgotten charts and headsets.

At the runway hold line, I noticed an airplane downwind for the same runway, but the opposite direction. He had called the unicom a few minutes prior and they reflexly told him "right traffic for 23". The wind was out of the north favoring runway 5 (same runway, opposite direction). I argued with the pilot for a short time, but he landed on 23 with a quartering tailwind anyway! After he cleared the runway we finally took off.

Fifteen minutes and twenty miles out, at 6,500 feet I tuned in Muncie's ATIS (prerecorded airport information). "...sky 4,000 scattered, visibility 20 miles... The airport restaurant is closed." We turned around, landed, and ate lunch at Frisch's in Middletown. Our curiosity forced us to find out why they were closed. Vince's recorded message said they were remodeling and would have a grand reopening in September. But at least I got to fly.

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