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Recent S FL trip in Sky Arrow


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Here's a quick trip report of my trip to S FL to renew my CFI certificate.


On the trip down, I had 5 to 10 kt headwinds. They increased with altitude so I stayed low, below the bases, mostly between about 1,200' and 2,500'.


Chose KAMG (Alma, GA ) for a first fuel stop based on fuel prices, but since I was just getting under 1/4 tank I figured it couldn't hurt to stop just a little short at KAZE (Hazlehurst, GA) for fuel (click on images to enlarge):




On the way to Daytona, there were some showers to circumnavigate. My avionics are pretty crude compared to some, but I am still amazed at the amount of info I have at my disposal. Compare the 496 view with the view off the right wing:






KDAB (Daytona, FL) for fuel, which was pretty hectic, then down to X59, (Valkaria) just south of Melbourne, where we stayed with friends.


Some pretty views:




But some IFR (I Follow Roads) as well:




In this case I-95!


Best not to neglect obstacles!




Anyway, got down to HWO (Hollywood, FL) and did the check ride on Monday, then headed home yesterday. Had about 5 kt tailwinds but a scattered layer with pretty high cumulus tops again kept me low.


Chose FIN (Flagler Executive) as a less hectic stop for fuel on the way back. Got a nice view of Daytona with its track as I flew by:





Stopped again at AZE for fuel on the way home. Convective Sigmet along my route and had to detour east over Athens, GA to get around storms. One of the smaller storms provided a nice rainbow as I went by:




Hard to see here, but I love it when the mountains just come into view, near Gainesville, GA:




And, again, the joy of arriving home:




To be summarized in the next post - there appears to be a limit as to how many images can be embedded in a single post.

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In summary, I averaged about 82-85kt GS going down and about 95-100kt GS coming back, with a TAS of about 95k @ 5,200 rpm and about 5.5 gph.


Started with a full tank of MOGAS, other than that all 100LL except for 7 gals of MOGAS added at X59.


Logbook entries (click to enlarge):




There's also a certain satisfaction when virtually everything on the plane works as its supposed to, especially since I've been doing just about all the maintenance on it for quite some time - I think the last time a mechanic other than myself worked on it was Roger after the CT Fly-in in 2012!


Makes both me and Karen eager to plan our next trip. Kitty Hawk?

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Thanks, guys!

1) For the first time, I used my GoPro for the stills from the cockpit instead of my iPhone. Pretty pleased with the results. Thanks for the suggestion, Ed!

2) Again, want to stress what isn't needed for a successful, and fun, crosscountry flight. No autopilot. No huge glass panels. No 3-axis trim. No fuel totalizer. No engine monitor. No traffic alert system beyond my eyeballs. Stipulated that some of these would be nice to have, but simple is good too.

3) I do, however, find wx in the cockpit invaluable. Especially the NEXRAD display on the 496. As an aside, below 3,000' I was getting good cell coverage on my iPhone, so WingXPro7 also painted radar returns. Higher, not so much.

4) I am going to consider ADSB-In for my iPad. Would pay for itself over time - I'm currently paying $34.95/month for the XMRadio service. Open to suggestions.

5) procharger, thanks for the advice on Kitty Hawk. Will be in touch.

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Ed, just getting around to view your post.  Really nice pictures.  I especially liked the group of pictures which show the weather on your 496 and the actual weather off your left wing.  It amazes me how we can now go cross country and know so much more about obsticals (towers in your picture!) and weather, compared to what it must have been before we started using our amazing GPS boxes.  if someone was considering doing a cross country trip, your post might give them a nudge to "go for it".


For your iPad and ADS-B, I would recommend that your look at the SkyGuard unit.  This can be ADS-B in only, ADS-B in/out or ADS-B in/out with AHRS.  Just depends on what you want to spend.  The 1st choice is now about $700 and the 3rd choice is about $1,900.  This is a very small and lightweight unit which connects to your transponder and up to 3 devices, including iPad, by WIFI.  The ADS-B in/out unit is 2020 compliant for Experimental and LSA.  There is also the NavWorx unit for similar price. 

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That was actually off my right wing - the wing is so far back it can fool you!


Sometimes I use fight following, other times not. From the mountains to Hazlehurst I didn't bother - probably should but sometimes its nice to just fly along and not need talk to anyone. I did pick it up north of Jacksonville, due to all the military activity and parachute jumping in the vicinity of Jacksonville. Later I was looking at two storms I could fly between, and Daytona Approach told me the coast itself was clear - as it often is on FL afternoons as the storms build up inland. Getting ready to go between the two storms:




Bear in mind, the general rule is to give mature thunderstorms a 20 mile berth, but these smaller FL air mass thunderstorms tend to be a bit more benign.


On the trip back, I always try to view it as "leapfrogging" from one airport to the next, always having an out - or two. IOW, deviate around the big storms SE of Atlanta east to Athens, and if all else fails I can land there and overnight. By then, Gainesville GA looked doable. By that point, it was clear over to Jasper, GA, and so on. If everything clicks you just might finish a trip as planned!


I'll research the Skyguard units - thanks again!

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Don't know why, but I just ordered the parts to assemble another dual channel Stratux ADS-B receiver.  Maybe I could trade it to someone for a free flight review.

Sounds like that could work out well for someone. Too bad you're so far away.

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I think we'll be in your area or GA in the not to distant future. I don't need a review until November.

Well, that could work out then. I would need some guidance getting it working on my iPad.


Would not be a problem so long as you can act as PIC of the aircraft you provide. If you have no medical, it would have to be a Light Sport, of course, and your BFR would have to be current.


Let me know when it's convenient.


As an aside, another hidden benefit to being an active CFI again is I'll save about $75/yr on WingXPro7, since they offer it for free to CFI's.

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