Our takeoff from New Orleans Lakefront Airport at 6:45 a.m. was without incident. There was a fair bit of precipitation that New Orleans Approach called out to us. But we had it on the XM and diverted around it.
Soon enough, we had some company on the east side of our route:
The IFR Pilot, deeply concentrating on aviating:
We passed just east of the Naval Airstation in Meridian, Mississippi (KNMM). It has one of the strangest layouts ever (read strange to mean: big waste of space). See here:
The inefficient use of space may be clearer from the airport diagram:
I'm sure that someone has a rational explanation for why you set an airport up this way, but it's not apparent to moi.
Anyway, the next major sight of interest was near Huntsville, Alabama. In what looks like a highway rest stop, we saw this lovely little rocket:
Not too long after that, we were back in Shelbyville, TN for cheap 100LL. This time, we snagged the crew car and feasted on the finest fast food offerings available in Shelbyville -- Burger King. There's a little bit of terrain about Shelbyville, but all in all it seems like a nice little place. We'll be stopping there during future trips to the South Central USA.
Inbound traffic at KSYI (my picture taking skills are improving!):
MS had the flying chores for the rest of the trip, during which we tried vainly to get the 396 to display the compass arc on the moving map page. After we tried just about everything and the IFR Pilot took a nap, MS figured it out. (Good job scanning for traffic, dork! Keep your eyes outside the cockpit, would ya?)
Just 2.8 hours later, we were down on the ground at the Home Base and headed home.
And so ends the story of our second adventure in New Orleans. Around 12 hours total flight time, all VFR, which afforded a pleasant break from the radio work and monitoring associated with IFR flight. We gave the XM and the iPods a workout listening to tunes. We'll get plenty of IFR radio work this winter!