Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Plane Is Now Home Too!

I was dreading the drive back up to Chattanooga, TN to recover our plane, but then I realized I still had some frequent flier miles I could use on Delta.  The weather was forecasted to look pretty good yesterday and my partner agreed to cover the light schedule at work so I purchased a ticked and committed to the plan.

Just North Of Jacksonville                                 On Approach To Atlanta

I took off from JAX at 0830 and after a 1 hour layover in Atlanta, I was on the ground in Chattanooga at 1130.  I intently watched out the window during the flights so I could see what kind of clouds, if any, I would have to contend with on the flight home.  It always seems to me that visibility in the Atlanta area is pretty lousy, but it was pretty good yesterday and I could see StoneMountain and downtown Atlanta on approach.  It only looked like some scattered clouds between Atlanta and Chattanooga, so I was feeling really good about the flight home.

Wilson Air Center picked me up from the commercial terminal in their shuttle and brought me back to their FBO.  I paid my fuel and tie down bill.  It was $10 per night and I got a night free with the fuel purchase.  One important note: the parking fee is from the Chattanooga Airport Authority and only collected by the FBO.  You will get the same charge at the other FBO on the field.  There were no other landing or ramp fees.  Because of the inclement weather from TS Lee, they had put our plane in their hangar for a bit at no extra charge.

When I arrived at the Wilson Air Center, this 1944 Beech-18 was preparing to depart.  They took off while I was conducting the pre-flight on 4RM and the sounds coming from the two radial engines was awesome.

Shortly after takeoff I was cleared on my assigned route up to 7000 feet.  This put me comfortably on top of the scattered cloud layer in nice smooth air.  I even had a tailwind for a while and was enjoying 155 knots at 65% power burning about 14 GPH.  Not too shabby!  Atlanta would not let me through their airspace again so I flew direct Athens then direct home.

"Hold Short For Landing Traffic"                            Downtown Chattanooga

Just south of Macon, GA the clouds started to show up again and the haze layer below started to thicken up.  It got a little bumpy on approach to Jacksonville due to that front to the south pushing back up north, but after a few minutes of being vectored around, I was cleared for the visual approach to Runway 23 at KCRG.  Safely on the ground and 4RM put away, our Labor Day adventure was officially complete!

             This cloud looked like you could surf it!                           The haze returns        
                       JAX International                                  Approaching KCRG from the North
My work: Naval Station Mayport


  1. Glad you got 4RM back home. It's an uncomfortable feeling knowing that your airplane is sitting outside so far away. Frequent flyer miles! Now, why didn't I think of that? *slaps forehead*

  2. Looked to be a good day flying and what a nice way to check out the wx! :) Glad to hear everything worked out and 4RM is back home.

    I bugged out, noway I wanted to drive back to Delaware or back out to Nashville to pick up the plane. We'll have to add Chattanooga to our places to see list. Thanks for the great write up!

  3. Smart move... even paying for a ticket would have been worth it! Glad you had an uneventful flight back.

  4. Delighted to hear that you and 4RM are safely at home. That FBO's services, including the hangaring are wonderful; they sound like greast folks!! A happy ending for a great trip, with some excellent pix and story attached. Most Glad to hear that 4RM is flying again and that her Daddy finally has something to post. Welcome back!!

  5. Cool Trip home and overall. Smart move on respecting the weather. Cool to see Mayport from the air. I went out of that naval port several times on the USS Saratoga when I was serving in the Navy about 21 years and 30 lbs ago. Whew, seems like yesterday!


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