Friday, July 20, 2012

M11 Scouting Trip

The  planning for the Cirrus Migration 11 is already in full swing!During the planning for M10, as a first time member of the organizing committee, I got a glimpse "behind the curtain" and was amazed how much effort goes into planning such an event.   Believe it or not, it takes a full year to plan the event due to all of the logistics that need to be sorted out!  Everything from location, lodging, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, etc.

For M11 planning purposes,  this week I did a fun "scouting" trip to one of the potential sites (Mobile, AL).

Mobile is a beautiful and historic city right on the water on Mobile Bay along the gulf coast.

I flew up from Tampa on what was supposed to be a short, simple flight.  But due to the weather you see below, it started out as a grueling IFR takeoff in heavy rain. 
Thankfully, the Tampa approach ATC controllers were very helpful.  In fact, they seemed to offer me my deviations even before I asked for them! By the time I got out over the gulf, I was comfortably at 16000 FT, which turned out to be the "perfect" altitude, allowing me to skim along the cloud tops, which you can see below:
As I got closer to Mobile, the weather just kept improving and I had a visual clearance  into the Mobile Downtown airport that took me over the water of mobile bay and right over the shipping port.

When I arrived, Jerrry from the  Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau gave me a fantastic VIP tour of the city and several of the properties that we are considering.

I was surprised to learn some of the history of the area. For example, I never knew that the Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile are rather intense (and second only to New Orleans).  I also didn't realize what a "walkable" place the Mobile downtown was.  

After finishing the tour, the weather started to deteriorate, as you can see below:

Oh well, another rainy takeoff :-(

Other than the dreary takeoffs, the majority of both flights looked like this:

But most importantly, another M11 planning task completed!




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