I love my instrument ticket.
Our objective today was to make it to Glider’s wedding in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. By RV just a quick two hour run. The weather wasn’t looking so hot on Friday for VFR flights. A couple of locals hit the road for the long seven hour drive yesterday and early this morning. The weather was as expected this morning. It was pretty solid overcast most of the 370 mile run. We launched out of home and picked up our IFR clearance ‘on file’ as we climbed through a hole. The tops of the solid layer were at about 7000’. We climbed to 11000’ and got the oxygen flowing. I’m addicted to that stuff you know. The picture above is pretty much the only thing we saw for the whole flight.
We were cleared to join V17, Waco, Texarkana, Direct. Once I got the handoff to Gray approach, I asked for direct Texarkana which I got after a few more miles. Chug-a-lug on top, fat and happy for the next couple of hours. The tops of the clouds were slowly marching up to about 10000’. After the turn direct KPBF, we had a 38kt tail wind which had the ground speed closing in on 200kts. That is always a fun ride. We were watching the radar returns on the ADS-B connected iPad in Arkansas. The weather was cooperating. We got rid of XM weather months ago and are happy to have done so.
The descent into Pine Bluff was a long letdown through the clouds for the RNAV 18 approach. The bases were ragged at about 1900’. We were cleared down to 2000’ and cleared for the approach. The TruTrak autopilot flew the whole thing, directly coupled to the GNS430. It did a great job flying the course reversal in the hold and the whole LPV descent. The monkey adjusted throttle and trim.
Having eaten the obligatory inflight sandwich, we landed with no drama and a full stomach. It just doesn’t get much easier. Now, if we had attempted to make that run VFR, we probably wouldn’t be here. Most of the weather below sucked. This is hardly much of a single leg flight after having just gotten back from thousands of miles of flying last week. Tomorrow, we’ll be headed back home, maybe IFR again.
And of course, a huge congratulations to Pat and Katie Tuckey! I’m so glad the RV allows us to be a part of their big day.