It’s funny how you always remember the flights with a bad headwind, when the tailwind flights are so much more enjoyable… On this trip, my friend Manny and I had a Piper Warrior to take to the Miami Executive Airport. Along the way, we went where the fuel was cheap and stops were short; plus we pushed the airplane to get there. With 16 knots directly in our face there were times we could only pull off 80 knots across the ground, not to mention the building storms. Check it out!
With a full day of flying ahead of us, Manny and I arrived to the airport around 7:00am to prepare. Our first leg was a short flight down to 6I2 for the best gas price in the area and we were able to hit the road around 7:30am. In Cincinnati, the air was calm and there was a beautiful haze in the area as we ventured south. This relatively quick flight was a nice warm up for the day and put an hour behind us.
Now that we’re all topped off and ready to go, we blast off for the Hazlehurst Airport and climb up to 11,000ft. We have long legs planned for the day and needed the best fuel burn we could achieve. After a clear sky flight that was mostly direct, we landed about 4 hours later and burned 29 gallons along the way. At $3.99 per gallon, this kind of stop keeps any client happy, and the snacks at the airport kept us happy too!
The 4 hour trip was longer than expected due to this strong headwind. With our next leg being an additional 30 miles and awareness that afternoon popup storms cover Florida this time of year, we took some extra care to make sure we could make it non-stop. Luckily, the storms were hanging out over the west coast today so aside from some rain, we were able to follow the east coast all the way down. Lots of other pilots had the same idea and we ended up receiving 4 reroutes along the way. Below is a picture of us checking out the Victor airway we had just been assigned.
In the end, it was a great day to fly and a great experience picking our way through Florida. This Warrior fought a frustrating battle with the headwinds but we were able to make it all the way in as planned with a comfortable fuel reserve of well over an hour. Now we say goodbye to this airplane as it makes it’s way to Peru to start a new chapter as as a flight training aircraft. Disfruta tu nueva vida, ¡nos vemos pronto!