Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Woo Hoo!!!--February 24, 2010
Woke up at 8:00 A.M. Packed up, headed for the airport. Nothin' but blue skies...sort of. We had a couple of straggler clouds poppin' up. We started yelling at them from the ground!
But they had nothing on us today. I flew to my flight plan, and despite a bumpy and VERY quick climb through 3500 feet (the updrafts were very strong today), everything else went as planned. FINALLY. I never thought I'd say it, but the Little Rock project is complete!!! It only took a month!!! ha!
I landed, grabbed some lunch, returned the rental car, and hopped back in the airplane. And I pointed the nose towards Branson, Missouri...our next project. The winds were kicking today. I again had a crazy quick climb-out, often doing more than 1200 feet/minute. I opted for 5500 feet which proved to be fine for awhile. But as I got over some hills on the flight, I requested 7500. It was pretty smooth above 6000. And the view was nice, too. Arkansas has some BEAUTIFUL rock formations. I saw one butte that reminded me of Utah! Except instead of red rock, this one had trees hanging on to dear life on it! It was pretty sweet. I flew over the gorgeous Bull Shoals Lake and finally ended up at my flight plan. I was only doing 75-80 knots up here...the winds were pretty strong out of the north.
I was able to fly 45 minutes on a flight plan in Missouri, and I completed one of 47 flight plans. Only 46 more to go! yikes. We're expectin' to be here for a little over a month. We'll simply be at the mercy of the weather.
I headed to the new airport at Branson, and I'll admit, I was nervous in the descent. I was just certain I would get my face rocked off because of all of the hills. But it wasn't bad at all. A few bumps, but nothing major. I just have a feeling that some of these days are going to be nothing short of painful. The entire area is nothing but hills!!! I landed and taxied to the FBO. And what an FBO. It's made of wood from an old barn, I'm almost certain. The "new" floor already has boards bowing up, causing quite an uneven surface. I tripped twice in just 20 minutes! It's certainly geared towards the outdoorsy folk...never seen an FBO like it. But it's small. I don't think they built it with growth in mind. And there is a hangar made out of tent material right next to it...aptly dubbed "The Carport" by one of our pilots. It's certainly interesting to say the least.
Anyway, Matt and I grabbed a rental car and headed for a hotel. And what a drive it was! You have to drive 5 1/2 miles JUST to get out of the airport road! It's literally in the middle of nowhere! However, it IS gorgeous scenery. We saw deer, and the views are simply amazing. It's definitely rural. But at the same time, it's just kind of silly. It's not exactly convenient...and the 35 MPH (definitely due to the VERY hilly roads) speed limit is not convenient, either. The airport is just a bit far out. Oh well.
Dropped our stuff off at the hotel, then went back to pick up two other pilots who came in as we arrived at the hotel. Came back to the hotel, then went out to eat. We had our boss here, so that was fun. We don't get to see him much. And we learned that we might have some crazy changes in the next month or so. It's looking like it might be a good posibility that the Aztec will be put on the line next month. And that would mean some pilots moving around...including me! I might be flying a twin next month!!!! Ow ow!!! I'm real excited about that. I can't believe it might actually happen! It's happening so fast!
I went to bed at 10:45. Yes, 10:45. Those late nights are long gone. We're entering the loooooooooooong days of flying now. I have to be ready to go at 7:45. It's going to be a long few weeks. LOTS of flying. But long commutes in the air. At least 45 miles JUST to get to our plans.
Oh well. It's more hours in the book.
7:20 is what I set my alarm for. I can't even remember the last time I had a "7" in front of my wake-up time.