Today’s the Day

I stayed up for most of the night last night making sure I had everything necessary for flying a Wittman Tailwind across the United States.

  • GPS
  • Handheld radio
  • Headset
  • WACs
  • Cell phone
  • iPod
  • Flashlight
  • Lots of spare batteries and/or chargers for most of the above

On the flight from Yakima to Seattle, I sat next to, ironically, a pilot. I told him what I’m up to and he gave me some useful advice. His final words were something along the lines of, “When you’re flying through the midwest, pay careful attention to the afternoon thunderstorms that they have this time of year. You’ll be able to see the clouds forming as a long horizontal line out in the distance. Go around them or land, but don’t fly through them.” Thanks for the heads-up.

While sitting in the terminal at SEATAC, I sat next to, ironically, another pilot. I told him what I’m up to and he too gave me some useful advice that went something along the lines of, “When you’re flying through the midwest, pay careful attention to the afternoon thunderstorms that they have this time of year. You’ll be able to see the clouds forming as a long horizontal line out in the distance. Go around them or land, but don’t fly through them.” Thank you again for the heads-up.

On the flight from Seattle to “The South”, I kept thinking about this Marc Cohn song called “Walking in Memphis” and wondered how much of it would be accurate for Nashville. After all, they’re only 200 miles apart. I arrived in Nashville and this young guy from the FBO picked me up in a van and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t blasting churchy Christian music through the speakers. It was only about a five minute ride, but every other verse (if not sentence) was about “He” and “Him” and “Our Lord and Savior” so I guess you’re right, Mr. Cohn. They’ve got gospel in the air!

That being said, the FBO guys at Atlantic Aviation were very friendly and didn’t have a problem with me snoozing in the pilot’s lounge until morning. They were even thoughtful enough to close the door so as not to disturb me when they fired the vacuum up. Hmmm, is that what they mean by “Southern hospitality”? I’ve heard the words, but never experienced it.

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