Thursday, June 9, 2011

Angel Flight "on the way home"

It has been quite a while since my last Angel Flight.  Over the past month, I checked the AF website each week for a suitable mission that would fit into my schedule.  Nothing came even close.

But this week I found one that worked!  It was sort of "on the way".  I was in Tennessee on business and I was heading home to Tampa.  The mission was to transport a cancer patient who lived near Knoxville to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for treatment.  You can see the route home on the left.

The patient was a young lady named Kristin, who was fighting a rare form of cancer called carcinoid cancer.  She needed some very specialized care that is only available in a few places in the country.

After a brief introduction and preflight on the ground, we took off from Knoxville Airport into some beautiful weather.  Knoxville has mountains directly to the southeast.  While the mountains are not very big, they are certainly enough to affect your flight path.  As a result, ATC cleared us for an initial climb heading southwest.  After we got to our cruising altitude of 11000 FT, we were cleared direct to our destination.  The altitude was just perfect.  There were occasional clouds below us and around us.  But we had a smooth ride and some great views along the way.

While Kristin has taken Angel flights before, this was her first time sitting in the copilot seat.  As you can see from the picture below, she was "drinking in the scenery".  

On a couple of occasions, we flew through some very light clouds, which she seemed to particularly enjoy.  

After a "quick turn" @ Sky Harbor Aviation, the last 150NM leg was a fairly straight shot (except for those pesky military airspaces that I had to fly around).  Overall, it was a very smooth trip and really "on my way home"!

Hopefully, I can find more missions that are "on the way" soon!

== T.J.==

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