Ken and I just got back from a 19 day flying trip. Ten days of actual flying, 5900 miles and 48 hours of operating the airplane (average speed of 140 mph; 6 hours spent maneuvering). Took about 500 gallons of gas, 12 mpg. Fortunately I didn't learn to fly because I thought it was particularly practical. This trip was particularly frustrating because we got unlucky with headwinds and maintenance problems.
I am privileged to be able to travel in a small plane. Aside from being able to fly at all, I'm lucky that Ken has such a nice airplane for long trips. And we're fortunate in having the time and money to go on a trip like this and just shrug off a few days' delay. It's unusual for a pilot as new as I to take such a long trip. I couldn't do it without sharing the flying with Ken, both for his expertise and for his instrument rating in case of bad weather.

Here's a map of our full route. My favourite stops were Kansas City for a nice downtown, Cleveland for a great dinner at Lola, and Tucumcari for a small airport fuel stop complete with borrowing a 20 year old cop car to drive in to town for enchiladas. I also enjoyed our time in St. Louis, even if it was frustrating; it's a nice town with a lot to offer visitors.

Next up is a trip to Florida for Christmas. Looking forward to not flying through Kansas for once! We may hop over the ocean to the Bahamas while we're at it, would be a nice entry in the logbook.

  2010-10-29 22:29 Z