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first long cross country


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Ok, so I've spent years building this plane and have this whole scenerio built up in my mind, flying everywhere fast, when I want. So my buddy buys an airplane in Florida, Spruce Creek (Daytona), and I immediatly offer to go down and sit with him to ferry it back, I am not licensed yet but can hold a heading and can trim altitude just fine. But the real reason I am going is to insure that a close friend doesn't make a bad decision on his first long cross country. The plane is far more than the 172's etc he has trained and flown in in michigan. He has 250 hrs and 25 in cross country's.


We made it from spruce creek, Florida to detroit, Michigan in 3 hours and 18 minuites flight time, we had a strong head wind that cost up 40 mph!


Not bad heh, 920 miles in 3 hrs 18 minuites with a headwind, the only problem with this scene is that we also waited for weather in marietta, GA for 3 1/2 days and then rented a car and drove 12 hours along with the flying.


I took clean cloths for three days because I knew I should, but I was sure we would make it back in a day or at worst 2 days, WRONG. Once you get more than 300 or so miles away from home, you don't have to worry about a weather system, you have to worry about 2 or 3 weather systems!


Watching the weather channel and calling for weather reports and tuning to the airport atis in the hotel room is very educational process.


We capped off our learning experience in two ways, the first was on wedesday afternoon, after 300 and 400 foot ceilings all day we decided at 1:30 to give up and rent a car. We made car arrangements and called flight services one more time.


The local ceiling had finally lifted to 2000 feet, 60 miles northwest we would hit clear to 12000 + and we could make springfield ohio in a little over 2 hours, winds permitting. We preflighted and loaded the plane, changed our gps and were on the runway taking off at 2:30, enough time to make it to our destination before sundown.


We tookoff and climbed to the bottom of the clouds and leveled off at 1000 ft agl. We were almost clipping the bottom of the clouds, we were looking at antennas that were at 600 or 700 feet our agl.(they were on hills) we went 20 or so miles and turned around and returned to the airport.


That foray into bad weather info cost us three hours and an extra nights stay in a hotel in the mountains of tennessee as weather system no 3 decided to dump 2" of snow on us while driving.


I could just read the news report, two men die in weather related auto accident after deciding not to risk bad weather in an airplane.


GET YOUR IFR to allow going over the top, Pack 4 days Clean cloths, because even IFR won't get you through ice and thunder storms. Don't expect to make it anywhere on time.

maker wood dust and shavings - foam and fiberglass dust and one day a cozy will pop out, enjoying the build


i can be reached at



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