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  #1  
Old 04-28-2017, 06:04 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is online now
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 537
Default A great if unspectacular trip

So the mission was to get from Savannah GA to Charlottesville VA for my nephew's wedding. There was an airmet for moderate turbulence and the surface winds forecast to be ugly gusty at the mid point -- after all, who wants to fill up on destination avgas at $6+?

So I decided to brave the weather and fly the -9A rather than drive (8+ hours), and aimed the loaded car at the airport instead of Virginia. Tower forgot to hand me off to departure control, and departure didn't know that I was on a vector. Training in progress, no doubt.

So after bumping along under the clouds for a bit, I went up to 5,500 and had cool, smooth air (forecast moderate turbulence did not appear) and a smoking 20+ knot tailwind. Yeh, it wasn't 200 knot club stuff but so what. Time came for descent to the gas stop, 90 minutes out and my back was sore and ready for a break. I asked for an IFR descent through the clouds, and they wanted to know what approach I wanted. I chose one real quick, knowing full well that I'd cancel IFR as soon as I was 500' below the cloud bases. Worked like a charm. And the surface winds were not nearly as bad as forecast.

On the second leg, the local radar guy apparently thought that I was going to Charlotte, even though I said Charlottesville and gave the identifier. That got straightened out, and I went up to 7,500 to stay above the clouds, still with that smoking tailwind. Got to destination, and wound up flying a long downwind to follow somebody who was on a five mile final. Why?

The FBO was pricey, but they gave me some price breaks, and the hotel came and picked me up. There are a number of events going on this weekend -- lotsa jets at the airport -- traffic is horrible, and parking nonexistent. Uber to the rescue, I hope.

Hope the flight home is half as nice...
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RV-8 (steam gauges), RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual screen G3X with autopilot, GTN 650)
Previously RV-4, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2017, 06:25 PM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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Location: Battleground
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Nice boring flight Ed. Just like we like them
Sure beats an 8 hour drive.
I know the feeling. You want to yell out to the world; "I have an RV and it is awesome.", but usually there isn't anybody around to listen. That is why you have us.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2017, 07:45 PM
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catmandu catmandu is offline
 
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I have tried to pave the RV way at CHO for you with several visits. Yes, expensive, they cut as much as corporate allows. Always nice, though.

Dürty Nelly's if you want to get away from the festivities for a decent deli sandwich in a dive of a building, my go to for (ugh!) 35 years. Double the meat for the old school experience (keeps modern prices low enough).
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2017, 06:42 AM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is online now
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
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Two days later, it was time to head back home but the winds were still howling out of the south, 20+ knots from 3,000 feet on up. The night before, the bus took us to the wedding at 3:30 and dropped us off back at the hotel at midnight, so there was one tired aviator the next morning. A big breakfast and going back to bed helped.

In addition to the winds aloft, surface winds at the destination were forecast 20G30 at a forty degree angle to both runways, more than I wanted to attempt, even with the tricycle gear on the -9A. If I absolutely had to, I probably could have landed okay, but it was not worth taking the risk. And there was a major front from the west due in the next day -- typical spring weather in the southeast -- and some little stuff blowing up from the south ahead of it. Time to be real careful.

It looked like I could make it from Charlottesville, VA to Greensboro, NC, VFR under the clouds, that stop chosen because it would be a good place to spend the night if I had to, and because I always like my first stop to be about 90 minutes out for "physiological reasons." It was light, occasional moderate turbulence the whole way. Translation -- the ride was miserable.

Their coke machine was out, but one of the techs out on the ramp took his golf cart and got me one from the maintenance hangar while I preflighted. Wow! The sugar and caffeine were a big help on the next leg.

The glass cockpit was great for keeping track of the weather, and the autopilot gave me hands free to do that, but... The non-certified glass worked as advertised, yet the certified standby attitude indicator from the same manufacturer occasionally leaned a few degrees, then more noticeably wandered in pitch by five degrees, up and down. No IFR on the way home till that's resolved! (My panel must have vibration issues, because it killed two similar units from another manufacturer.)

Signature Aviation was pricey at Greensboro, no surprise, but $.50 off on the weekends helped. Not sure why they needed an extra $5 fee, whatever they called it, and they explained that was for credit card security. Say what?

The next leg was planned for Monck's Corner, as I was trying to get as far south as I could. Cloud bases were rising, and with a big detour to the left, it was easy VFR under the clouds, visibility 20+ and rain showers easy to avoid. Flight following kept me out of trouble, and the fish finder occasionally showed other traffic. (I don't have ADS-B out, yet.)

In my old Cessna, I used to hate it when groundspeed dropped to double digits due to headwinds. The lowest groundspeed I saw in the -9A was 120. Not complaining...

Winds at Savannah were now forecast 16G25 at 20 degrees to the runway, reported winds about the same, so I pressed on. There was a 5 knot windshear on short final, but there was also what almost seemed like a rotor cloud, with significant roll induced on the airplane, and much more crosswind on very short final than on final. I used a lot of rudder to keep things under control, but afterwards, I wondered where the skid ball was during all that. I was way fast because of the possibility of wind shear (ten minutes earlier, it was announced as 20 knots, but none since).

The RV-9A took forever to slow down with the fixed pitch prop, but the landing was on centerline and gentle.

So I made the trip home with the risk well-managed. Didn't push the weather, made sure I was rested enough (including a short nap at Greensboro), 20+ mile visibility under the clouds, flight following, lots of gas, did everything I could to stack the deck in my favor. If I had just blasted off and gone direct, I would have had minimum fuel for IFR and very ugly winds for the landing.

Philosophically, this was a case of only take what you can safely get, but take all that you can safely get.
__________________
RV-8 (steam gauges), RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual screen G3X with autopilot, GTN 650)
Previously RV-4, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
2018 dues paid
Retired - "They used to pay me to be good, now I'm good for nothing."
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2017, 08:55 AM
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Lemmingman Lemmingman is offline
 
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Nice write up Ed. Sounds like you managed everything well. I flew commercial yesterday from PHL to DFW and it was a pretty windy here in DFW on landing too. I was just a passenger, but I was in my seat with my virtual rudder, stick and power. I dont think the lady next to me noticed.
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2017, 09:40 PM
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brian brian is offline
 
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Location: Cornish, NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Wischmeyer View Post
Signature Aviation was pricey at Greensboro, no surprise, but $.50 off on the weekends helped. Not sure why they needed an extra $5 fee, whatever they called it, and they explained that was for credit card security. Say what?
Nice write-up. Signature Aviation was specifically mentioned as one of the most egregious examples in AOPA's recent article on FBO gouging.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...ssive-fbo-fees
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2017, 06:36 AM
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MikeyDale MikeyDale is offline
 
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Location: Garden City Texas
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Nice write up Ed!

Wife and I took off from Sherman, Tx Sunday afternoon with a 90* 30kt crosswind, climbed and finally found smooth air at 10k but heading Southwest and headwind was showing 79 mph on the dynon. Groundspeed showing 108! So, we descended back down to 4500 where the headwind was a measly 45 mph and fought the turbulence 300 miles all the way home Wife was a brave but not a happy camper! Sure glad we weren't in a 172! After we got home we both agreed, it still beat driving by a mile!
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