Every big trip has something go wrong, its inevitable. Plan the best you can and be prepared. Hopefully, its just a small setback and not a game changer. This weekend was no exception… I had been talking to Richard for a few days and we were getting the logistics finalized when we realized the weather for the upcoming weekend was going to be perfect. Great! I said, and spoke to Richard to get the final go ahead. When booking my tickets I found out that they were all sold out going into Lincoln, NE. Well crap, its only a 12 hour drive, I talk it over with Richard who was ok with waiting another week, but I told him something usually goes awry and if this is it then I am ok with that.
After getting off of work Friday, I drive down to CVG and pick up a Nissan something or other, and start driving west. Talk about a boring drive. Richard texted asking what I planned on leaving, and I told him ‘whenever I wake up,’ I was tired and wasn’t about to push my luck with out getting in some much needed rest. I made it to the airplane about 0330 after my car, a rental car, and a cab. A quick text to let Richard know that I made it the airplane and that it looked even better in person than the pictures I had seen at this point.
After getting some sleep, I push the airplane out and take it around the pattern a couple of times and get used to the airplane, no surprises so I land and top off the airplane, prepared to head east!
As with most ferry flights, I keep my first stop close to a one hour leg, so that I can verify fuel burn and look for any other items that may not have appeared on a short flight around the pattern. Fortunately, there werent any surprises and the oil burn is just where you’d expect it for an engine with only a couple hundred hours since overhaul. K59, Amelia Earheart airport was a neat little place,
after landing and taxing up to the fuel pumps I look up and see a pretty Stearman circling and getting ready to land. Had to walk over and check it out. It is owned by a neat genltemen who has the whole FAA alphabet after his name as well as 757-767 test and ferry pilot. Really nice and knowledgeable guy. After some chit chatting, I was on my way east, grass doesn’t grow under your feet, err wings, ya know!
Fall time makes for some great photo oppurtunites, stopping at Washington Regional airport for fuel made for a great fuel spot and photo shoot!
A quick stop for fuel and snap the obligatory picture, and I was on my way once again. I had been keeping Richard and my wife updated with texts at all my fuel stops, and the occasional picture as well. It was getting later in the afternoon, but I had enough time to get one more leg in. Loaded up and headed east to Creve Couer airport. I hadn’t been there since I was a young boy running around with Grandpa, so I thought it would be a neat place to stop. Met a nice guy by the name of Pierre, who gave me a lift into town so I could get some sleep and food at a local hotel. I posted a few pictures on my facebook wall, and was promptly corrected that I did not have on the proper flying gear. Well I fixed that! I dug deep into my bag and got out the white silk scarf.
The next morning I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise, and I once again pushed east, this time with the goal of flying near the Gateway Arch in St Louis, the morning sun reflecting off of the Mississippi river in the early morning made for yet another great photograph.
I suppose now was the time to get out the scarf and use the burst mode on the iphone. I think it turned out pretty decent, and sums up the flying portion of the trip! The rest of the trip went great, as far as the flying goes and was quite uneventful, just the way I like it!
Successful delivery! Now for the second fun part, the flight back to CVG sold out as I was purchasing it online. Guess I am renting a car again, oh well. I walk up to the Budget car rental and ask for a oneway rental, and the lady informs me they are sold out. I ask what if i make a reservation online and she tells me they would have to honor it, but fat chance of it working. Two minutes later, and thanks to the powers of the internet, I have a car reserved and am getting handed the keys! You have to love the internet.. So another short 6 hour drive and I am home. To sum up the weekend, 18 hours of driving and 12 hours of flying. I have zero intention of ever doing that much driving again. Stay tuned for the next one!