Long Distance Flying: Part II
If I could, I would be here. Right now!
Source: Turks & Caicos Islands
It was not until I moved east, that I really started thinking about long distance flying. When it takes an hour on a good day to make it to the airport, there better be a plan for a day or two or three or more!
Gone were the days when I could hop over, before work or after work for a short, sweet, just like that flight. Renting from a busy, active flight school also meant, I had to plan well in advance, in order to reserve an aircraft for large chunk of time, for a whole day or the weekend.
While flying up to New York or Kill Devil Hills can be achieved in a day trip, my first multi-day adventure spanning international borders, started three years ago, when I boldly planned a week long trip from the Mid Atlantic to Florida, across the Atlantic to the Bahamas, a return to Key West, Florida and back to the Mid Atlantic. All in a Cessna 172.
It was one of my most exhilarating flying experiences!
Having other more experienced pilots, guiding along the trip made things easier, but ultimately, it was fantastic to be in the left seat, making the right decisions: fly or not. land now or continue.
Our first trip to the Bahamas, started on a day with snow and winds gusting at 30-40 mph. On such days it is best to go back to sleep and hope the following day brings tidier settings. Which is what we did. And met up with half the original group who did just that!
That trip also led us to make other decisions related to weather: such as flying 200 nm across the ocean from Nashua, The Bahamas to Key West, FL, USA; as well as knowing when to land and stop over in St Simons Island, GA and let Winter Storm Nemo pass.
Riding on the success of the trip to the Bahamas, we made it successfully to not one but two Oshkosh trips and one Sun and Fun event.
If wishes were horses, I would plan many more such trips!