View Full Version : Key West Trip

04-29-2006, 03:40 PM
This past week, the wife and I travelled to Florida from Indiana in my Rocket. This was the first cross country trip for my wife as she is not particularly fond of flying. Since the total distance from Indianapolis to Key West is approximately 1000 nm, we decided to cut the first day in half by flying down to Cedar Key, Florida to spend the night. This worked out great for the weather as well.

We made CDK in three hours under clear skys and a very favorable tailwind. The next day, we worked our way down through the center of FL to Homestead so we could follow the highway out to Marathon and Key West. This is a little out of the way but it made the wife happy to be able to see land and in reality, it's the safer way to go when you only have one engine.

We made Key West in two hours. The Navy boys were having a busy afternoon so I got shuffled out over the Gulf to avoid their airspace and landed with no problems. So for the trip down, it took us 5 hours and 60 gallons of fuel to fly 1000 NM. That works out to an average speed of 200 KTS and a fuel burn of 12 GPH, or 18.8 MPG. Since that includes two descents, two takeoffs and taxi time, that's pretty good.

The trip back was more of the same, only we had to dodge some early morning thunderstorms north of Miami. Luckily they were widely scattered so we flew between 500' and 11,500' at varying times to clear the storms and to get on the back side of the cold front.

We had a great time in Key West. We stayed in a B&B on Duval Street and spent waayy too much $$$, but it was fun. The airplane performed flawlessly the entire time.

One word of caution, the FBO at Key West is a friggen PIRATE! I can live with the $10/day tie down. I can even swallow the $4.60/gallon avgas. But they cheated me by claiming that my top off took 40 gallons of fuel. That's about twice as much as I actually needed based upon my fuel computer and just plain common sense. I complained but they could give a hoot. They are positively the worst FBO I've ever encountered from coast to coast. Next time, I'll land at Marathon and drive over.