Saturday, July 09, 2005

Day 1 Recap

The Great Alaska Airplane Adventure (tm) commenced at precisely 2:05 EDT today, when N3978S blasted off runway 3 at 15G. Here's a mug shot of the dastardly duo just before wheels up:

Our route was 15G - VWV - GSH - CGT - JOT - KDKB. Visibilities were awesome. Witnesseth:

There was some light chop through most of Ohio and Indiana, but once we crossed into Illinois, things smoothed out quite a bit. Chicago's controllers were helpful, but constantly said "remain clear of the class Bravo." Fortunately, I had anticipated that, and had plotted a route that did just that.

Total flight time was 3.0 hours, with a nice landing on DeKalb's runway 22. Took on 29.1 gallons of 100LL from J.A. Air Center, and hopped back into the air, aiming for KAIT. Here's a picture to prove that all of the above really did happen as I just described it:

Within an hour or so, visibilities starting declining. Nothing approaching IFR, mind you, just a bunch of haze. Then we started getting some scattered clouds at 6500, so I dropped to 5500. After a while, I decided this is enough, we're flying right into the setting sun, I've got a headache, we're stopping sooner. Would you have done the same? Here's what it looked like:

Out came the AOPA airport directory, and we settled on Eau Claire, WI. Made a greaser landing on EAU's runway 22, including having the stall horn blaring! Not bad for my umpteenth landing. Another 2.1 hours in the book, kids!

Heartland Aviation put our trusty steed to bed, and gave us a crew car for the night to boot. We're booked into "The Palace" hotel, which is certainly no palace, but does have free in-room high speed internet access. Which explains why you're getting to read this posting. Dinner was some tasty pizzas from Mancino's Pizza & Grinders.

One last picture for this posting, and then I'm going to get some sleep read about crossing the border into Canada.


John said...

Im already jealous! You at 6500 ft and me stuck here at work.

Anonymous said...

Very nice pictures. It was a pleasure listening to your interview with aviation weekly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Darrel!

I'm from ISRAEL ( the middle east) Great blog, and the interview on the podcast was also kool!
I hope to read about more trips you had.
Take care, Joel, ISRAEL.

Todd G. said...


Just came across your podcast this week and listened. Sounds like a great trip. Awesome Blog! I'll keep following along.