It’s all up in the air....

Saturday, March 16, 2019

...airplane, that is! Stu had a special day, up in the air.

Shortly after arriving at Jennys Ridge RV Park, Donna met one of our neighbors at the dog play area (AKA The Playpen). Jeremiah had just rescued a 7 month old German Shepard and needless to say the Doods were ecstatic. Jeremiah is career Navy and close to retirement, finishing his career here in Georgia while his family is back in Colorado. We thank him and his family for their service. When a member of the family is in the service the whole family is, so we thank them as well.

I met Jeremiah after returning from my retirees reunion and struck up a friendship. Chatting with him while the dogs wore each other out, I found out he has his private pilots license as well as owns his own plane. He invited me up for a flight which I quickly accepted. Donna was invited but she did not want to tempt the motion sickness gods and opted out, having been up in a small plane previously. I suggested he pick the day when the weather was agreeable and come get me.

March the we headed to Herlong Recreational Airport, about an hour away from the campground. I followed Jeremiah as he had other chores to do after the flight. Upon arrival we entered the field through the owners gate and approached his red Piper Cherokee. Jeremiah completed his preflight checks and gave me a thorough safety briefing. We taxied over to the fuel area, filled up and made our way to the runway via the taxiway. Upon clearance, we were up in no time.

At the lower altitudes the plane bounced, eventually calming down as we climbed higher and smoothing out nicely when getting to about 2500 feet.

Jeremiah established a heading that took us over the campground. He explained the controls and what each one did, demonstrating the changes in attitude the plane made. Apparently that was my lesson as he "handed" the controls to me for a while. I was thrilled and even made a few course corrections as me made our way over the campground. FUN!

Our planned route went over the campground, east to the coast, over the Navy Base (but not the Sub Base, frowned on by folks we just hear about), south, and then back to the airfield. We went over a lot of the Jacksonville area. Sure looks different from above. I was able to identify a few landmarks but not many, way out of my element up there.

I even took a short video of our trip...

All good flights should include a good landing as well as a good take-off. Happy to say this was a good flight. Jeremiah landed in a strong cross wind and the Piper Cherokee "crabbed" to the ground. Jeremiah is a skillful pilot as I felt secure the entire time. Oh, and here is the route we took...via the air, regardless of what the photo says.

I must say, this day was fun. If I were a younger man with a lot of disposable resources I would love to learn to fly. Alas, it's another one of those expensive hobbies I can't afford. I already have a few too many of those already.

Ciao for now!


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