Saturday, April 01, 2006

Vacation Day #1

Blogging brought to you from Lexington, KY, where the IFR Pilot and MS descended with abandon yesterday afternoon. After chatting on Thursday night and looking at the weather, it appeared that it was a morning launch, or none at all and we'd spend day #1 drinking in the hangar. Well, that's no fun, so we hit the skies at 8:00 a.m., destined to cheat Mother Nature, who was sending a cold front our way, and enjoy our Boys Weekend.

Initially, there were reports of wind shear at 2000, 40 knots. Yikes! Well, that turned out to be for naught in our area. But, what we did find was a headwind. I mean, a massive headwind. I kind you not: We didn't break 90 knots until Lexington Approach vectored us for the localizer on the ILS 22.

That, of course, was nearly three hours later. Yes, that's right, those nasty winds turned a two-hour jaunt just over the Ohio River into a glacially slow trek (3.2 hours to cover 224 NM; route for record keeping purposes: Home Base-MRQ (avoids Buckeye and Brush Creek MOAs)-LEX). We had clear weather until just south of CMH, where the clag was just waiting for us. It was mostly rain showers, and we were in and out of the clouds. But, it was nerve wracking not having any on-board weather (Garmin 396, anyone???), even though MS was doing his best impression of Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel talking to Flight Watch. At one point, I thought MS was going to ask the briefer out on a day, they had talked so much....

Just over Wilmington Airpark, we had our only sphincter-tightening moment of the day. It was a pretty heavy downpour, and the engine hiccuped. It was only a beat, and the engine immediately roared back to life and the engine analyzer showed compression in all cylinders. Perhaps it was just a bit of water in the carburetor or air intake, but I gotta tell you: Those are the moments that inspire thoughts of returning to flying only on MSFS 2004.

Flight Aware's record of the trip:

Anyway, on landing on KLEX, we taxied over to the fine folks at TAC Air, who took good care of us during our return from New Orleans last year. There was a whole group of high school kids on the ramp, walking towards a lovely little jet. Turns out that someone's daddy had charter a jet to take them to Aspen for Spring Break. Nice to see how the "other side" lives, huh? Can I borrow $100 for some avgas for 78S???

We explored downtown Lexington for lunch (IFR Pilot recommendation: Shephard's Pie at deSha's; avoid the Foccaccia Pizza at the Radisson's Bigg Blue Martini), then grabbed a power nap before hitting the streets for the evening. Among our destinations were: McCarthy's Irish Pub, the afore-mentioned Bigg Blue Martini, Triple Crown (lame!), and Cheapsides. The IFR Pilot, who was destined to have the flying duties again on Saturday, called it quits around 12:30 a.m., but MS was going strong. He hit a few more places and then . . . well, the rest is protected by attorney-client privilege. 'Nuf said.

We're off to Nashville (a/k/a "Nash-Vegas") after the IFR Pilot wakes MS from his beauty nap.

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