Monday, April 24, 2006

Peachtree City, Falcon Field, Georgia

It's a long way from Slatington, Pa. My parents are down visiting, celebrating my sister's X0th birthday and I scheduled the Tiger to give them a little tour. I said if the weather was good I would fly down to Falcon Field in the morning and give them a ride.

The weather was great! A stationary front stayed north of us, held in place by a high pressure area to the south. Hazy misty mornings, but absolutely still air. Perfect for what I wanted to do. The plan was to pick them up, maybe go down to Calloway Gardens and return home after some easy maneuvers.

Objective of the flight; Give Mom & Dad a ride in the Tiger.

I got to the airport a bit late due to rush hour traffic. (Working out of a home office, I don't have to put up with clogged roads all that often. I can understand road rage.) Fortunately the plane was in good shape and ready to go. Start, taxi and runup were all normal. I was in the run-up area by 9:00. I departed VFR to the southwest, planning to stay beneath the shelf of the Class B airspace. I picked TEMPO intersection as an intermediate fly to point, just to be safe. The Tiger still doesn't have her new avionics, so once again I was glad to have my handheld.

The flight down was fine. I always enjoy the adventure of flying to a different airport, and although Falcon Field is close (less then a legal cross country), its new to me. ASOS gave winds as calm, and one other call on CTAF was using RWY 13. This worked out great, so I just used a long straight-in ( a slip took care of the extra height on final) and landed just about on time. The four of them were waiting as I shut down on the ramp.

I have always tried to let passengers know that some people don't like to fly. It isn't like being in a car, perhaps more like a boat. Some of the sensations are fun, some are not. I told them all that if for any reason they weren't having fun we would return immediately.

Mom climbed in the back, Dad sat in the right seat. People are familiar with the seatbelts in cars. They aren't quite sure what to do with the 3 ends presented to them (usually two, because one is hidden behind or next to the seat) in an airplane. Headsets can also be confusing. I explained everything, took time to see if that had any questions or fears, and made my way to the runway. No problems. Dad took the plane at about 1500ft and departed the pattern to the southwest. Gentle climb, easy turns, not too hot, and smooth smooth air. Mom was fine in the back seat, and the vent for the Tiger was providing plenty of air. No problems.

My sister had soloed at Falcon Field XX years ago, so was already comfortable, but her husband had not flown in small airplanes before. I assured him once again that if he would only let me know of any discomfort that we would come back to land immediately. This part of the flight also went well. She made some easy turns, and did a nice job maintaining altitude. He seemed to enjoy the view and was able to pick out a number of landmarks.

Overall, this was just a great flight. GPS says that it was 53.6 miles down, 42.8 with Dad & Mom, 48.6 with Sister & brother-in-law, and 68.7 on the way back. Max speed on the way home was 171 mph, and Dad took us up to 4401 ft when he was flying.

Time = 2.5

No comments:

Post a Comment