Monday, July 9, 2012

Dodging Weather On the Way Home to Florida

After having an awesome time @ the Cirrus Migration, it was time to make the journey back to FL.  Since there were over 150 planes all planning to leave on Sunday morning, I tried to get an early start to avoid the rush.  I left the hotel ~ 06:30 and even then there were a about a dozen other pilots with the same thought.

Since the weather was beautiful, I departed Duluth VFR to simplify the departure procedure.  Soon after departure we turned to make one last pass over the downtown and canal park area. The aerial bridge looks just as cool from the air as on the ground:
The Duluth Aerial Bridge from the ground 
The Duluth Canal Park area from the air
But the weather didn't stay perfect :-(
I couldn't figure out how to "maintain VFR" as the ATC advised.  When I was just south of Chicago,  I gave up, called Flight Service on the radio, and filed an IFR flight plan while at 11,500 FT.  I activated the flight plan with Chicago Center ATC and dodged/weaved through the weather.  After clearing the weather and all of the military airspace, I promptly cancelled the IFR flight plan and resumed my VFR trek southbound.

The flightaware log of the flight shows the odd track I flew:
After clearing all of the weather, I made a fuel stop in a tiny airport in Jeffersonville, Indiana and was very impressed with the Honaker FBO.  The line guy seemed so happy to see us and the whole staff was very accommodating (especially Kellye)!  After the quick break for food and fuel, it was time for the longest leg of the journey, which was KJVY > KFXE.  This segment was 782NM, which is my personal longest flight!

In fact, the R9 had "low fuel" indicators for the last 30 minutes and upon landing the analog fuel gauges looked like this:
~ 20 Gals remaining @ FXE ... Maybe could have kept going to Key West ;-)
Now with M10 complete, I can hardly wait for M11!

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