Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Longest Trip Yet!

Finally after weeks of planning and canceling due to family issues, scheduling and weather we were able to take the little Cherokee on it's first trip to the coast.
We got a late start on Sunday and didn't leave until around 2:30pm which was way later than I wanted to leave. This flight was also my biannual review and I wanted to work on some tower work. Our first stop was to KFLO in Florence SC. There was a big nascar race in town and the airport was pretty hopping. We stopped for a 'bladder break' and went into the FBO. I found a copy of this months AOPA Magazine on the table, about that same time someone recognized the plane N number and asked if this was the same plane from the article. That was a pretty surreal experience.
The plane did really great and I still have a lot to learn about controlled airspace. It's amazing how sanitized the training was for me doing controlled work during training compared to the real world. I realized that during my training we never actually went to a controlled airport, shut down, got out and got back in the plane. I had no idea how to 'get out' of a controlled field.

Here she is on the ramp in KFLO

Hanging with jets...

The guys down at Florence were great and talked with us for about half an hour before we decided to head on to our real goal which was making it to the Myrtle Beach (KCRE) grand strand.
It was pretty bumpy down to KFLO, but the ride to KCRE was very smooth and what a view we had of the coast line. I have done this trip a few times in other planes but there is just something special about flying over the coast line in your own aircraft that just adds to the excitement. It was shockingly quiet despite being a holiday weekend but we made it into CRE just fine. Unfortunately all of the courtesy cars were out so we couldn't make it anywhere to eat, so we just ate a pack of crackers out of the vending machine. But to be honest I really didn't care because just being able to fly down was great.
The view I've been working over a year for... finally made it

Short final for CRE

It was smooth as glass on the way back, however it was VERY dark by the time we reached Monroe and we learned on final that our landing light had gone out at some point. Landing with no landing light is a lot harder than expected, your depth perception is really off and the ground will come up to meet you quicker than you think. All turned out well as my CFI friend gave me a little assist on the landing back to Monroe and we were back safe and sound. Total time was 3.7 for a total of 250nm. By far the longest trip yet in one sitting.

I replaced the landing light on Monday in prep for our trip this weekend to Triple Tree (SC00) if anyone is looking for a great place to come and camp out with your plane I encourage you to check out Triple Tree. The annual fly-in is this weekend you still have plenty of time to plane to visit! 7000ft grass runway, we are bringing Tinker Belle in this weekend along with the Cherokee.

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