|3:00 Ready for takeoff|
Our good friends and neighbors, Carol and Joe LaClair, recently moved down to Pineville, North Carolina. We had promised them we would use the plane to stay in touch. It's almost a 9 hour drive, but with the Velocity, the 411 mile flight planned out at only 2 hours and 15 minutes. We told them we would make it down on the second weekend in October, weather permitting.
By Wednesday, the forecast looked good. We confirmed and arranged to leave after work at 3:00 on Friday and get there by about 5:30 for pick up at Rock Hill Airport, which is just on the outer ring of Charlotte's major airport. I figured this would be easier and cheaper for fuel and parking.
We had to go west before turning south in order to avoid the Washington, DC air space. Here are some shots of the Susquehanna river as we head southwest toward our first waypoint in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
The views of the Appalachians were spectacular. There was some haze and very little wind, so the ride was smooth. The mountains looked like a painting in the haze and evening light.
We climbed above a cloud layer and cruised along at 6,500 feet and 185 knots with beautiful views.
Here is some short video from the flight.
Nancy took some pictures.
Right on schedule, we circle to the east of Charlotte's airspace and make our landing at Rock Hill.
|Final for Runway 2, Rock Hill|
Here is a video of the landing.
I tie down the plane and we head inside to meet our friends. They got our text from the approach and are waiting to pick us up. It's a nice airport with a good FBO.
|N929X tied down with the jets|
|You can see the plane tied down outside in the upper left|
The weekend was lots of fun. We caught up with our old friends, who took us to great wine and tapas places around the city. I had some of the best food I've ever eaten. There was a definite wine theme to the weekend.
|Nancy's new slogan|
|Nancy and Carol help stamp out Chardonay|
|More wine, more food, more fun|
|Joe and Carol|
|Nancy and me|
|Carol picks up crepes. They deliver them to the wine bar next door!|
One of the highlights of our visit was meeting these two, Oliver and Lorraine Mulligan. Ollie is Irish and Lorraine is a Brit. She is a designer and he is a distiller and barbecue genius. Ollie owns the Broken Spoke Distilling Company in Charlotte, They are distillers of Rua single malt Whisky and Non vodka Poitin, which is basically Irish moonshine. Stop in if you are there and say hello to their bartender, "Fozzy".
Oliver had just won first place in the North Carolina barbecue championship - for the second year in a row. There is apparently talk by the sore losers of banning "them ferners" from the contest.
They were hilarious, with great stories. I learned a great new term from Lorraine that I have incorporated into my swear vocabulary - with the accent it almost sounds like it's not a swear. "fekkin eejit".
After 3 wine bars, we capped off our evening with an Uber ride (no more driving at that point) into the city for drinks at rooftop bar Fahrenheit for a view of the city.
All too soon it was time to head home. Joe and Carol took us back to the airport on Sunday and saw us off on the ramp.
Here are some shots as we climb out and circle around to the east of Charlotte airspace to head home.
|Me and my copilot|
|View ahead looks clear|
Here are some views of the Appalachians as we approach our waypoint in Martinsburg, W. Virginia.
|Mountains come in view on the screen|
|Following the east side of the ridge|
|We never see this back home.|
|Clear mountain view on the way home.|
|View of the instrument panel|
|Over the ridge at 7,500|
|Only downside, no landing areas|
Here is a quick video clip of the mountain views.
|I love this lone little cloud. What a great pic.|
Here are a few more shots of the last leg of our trip. It is congested airspace with a lot of restricted areas. I was glad for all of our great nav equipment.
|Squeezing between restricted airspaces.|
|Screen view. Each black box on the right is another plane.|
|Back over the Susquehanna|
|Flat Pennsylvania terrain and descending under cloud deck.|
In 2 hours and 10 minutes our airport comes into view and we start our approach.
|45 for downwind for Rwy 29 Chester County|
It was a great trip. This is what the Velocity is great at- making quick weekend trips to distant destinations fast and easy. We logged 840 miles and visited Charlotte for a day and a half. I would never drive even half that far for a weekend. Next week, our friends Brett and Elizabeth in Ohio. More to come.