Posts Tagged ‘LSAs; Light Sport Aircraft; Fun To Fly; sport pilot; US Sport Aviation Expo; Sebring; Florida’

Sebring bound (On the road again, part III)

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

On a loooong cross-country like the one we flew from Maryland this week, it’s great to have a right-seater (particularly if he or she is also a pilot, and can share the flying with you). Our trip was enhanced with the addition of another airplane–another LSA, in fact.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, we met up with Mitch Lock flying a Van’s RV12 at Hickory, N.C. We were a flight of two for the remaining two legs, from Hickory to Waycross, Georgia, and then to Sebring. We kept tabs on each other via the multicom frequency. From time to time we’d check in and compare notes on the TAS numbers we were seeing (the RV12 also has a Dynon display). Mitch alerted us to traffic (airplanes and a bird), and also pointed out an unusual U-shaped contrail in the skies over Georgia. We theorized that it might belong to an aerial tanker.

From Waycross we headed to Ocala to avoid a final bit of restricted airspace, and landed in Sebring at just about 2300Z. Three legs, about nine or so hours of flying time, and we were ready to show off the 2010 Fun to Fly Remos at the US Sport Expo. The trip back to Maryland promises to be as much fun, if not more.

On the road again, part 2

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Sebring 012It wasn’t a hardship to put Maryland’s cold temperatures behind us for Florida’s warmth this week. Flying no higher than 4,500 feet for most of our route, we noticed that the snow which had blanketed the Northeast in December was still hanging on in many areas, even in southwestern Virginia.

But by the time we landed at our second fuel stop–Waycross, Georgia (AYS)–the snow was definitely behind us. Our friendly lineman laughed as we began to shed outer layers. “Go ahead,” he said. “You’re in the South!”

At HKY, Senior Editor Dave Hirschman and I met up with Mitch Lock, the East Coast demo pilot for Van’s Aircraft. Mitch was bringing a Van’s Rv12 to Sebring. The RV12 happened to be the same one that Mitch had brought to Frederick last year for AOPA’s editors to investigate. The RV12’s right seat was packed with Mitch’s gear.

The leg from Waycross to Sebring took us over the Okefenokee swamp. Try figuring out where to make an emergency landing in that seemingly endless stretch of nothing but trees and water! Florida and Georgia pilots, what’s your strategy? Let me know in the comments section.

On the road again, part 1

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was flying up the East Coast in your 2010 Fun To Fly Sweepstakes Remos, bringing it to Frederick (KFDK) from Tampa, Fla. And this week I again found myself in the left seat flying from Maryland to Florida to show off the airplane at the US Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring.

A trip of this length, with two pilots (Senior Editor Dave Hirschman is my right-seater for this trip), in an LSA, requires a little bit of strategic planning. I shipped my clothing and laptop to Sebring so that Dave could bring his in the airplane. Dave’s knapsack and laptop, plus tiedowns, oil, cleaning cloths, and airplane cleaner, fit handily in the baggage compartment behind the seat. There was plenty of room in the cabin for Gatorade and snacks.

We left FDK on Jan. 19 at 1230Z, leaving behind 32 degrees F. We had a choice of flying down the coast, which didn’t look promising weather-wise and would mean dealing with a lot of restricted airspace, or flying inland, with better weather. Our first fuel stop was Hickory, N.C. (HKY).

The first leg was our longest, at three and one-half hours. Headwinds aggravated our progress, and so we plodded along at groundspeeds ranging from 75 to 85 knots. But the airplane’s range easily handled the leg, and we landed with an hour of fuel in the tank. Gotta love an airplane that burns 4.5 gallons per hour on a trip like this!