2018 Sun & Fun
by: Juergen Nies
This year we had a great turn out of our Chapter Members attending Sun & Fun:
Bob Metcalfe flew his Luscombe Tom Parry flew his Cessna Cardinal John Ely flew his RV-12 Dan Christian flew his Pilatus Juergen Nies flew his Pacer Charlie Chapin flew with a friend in the friend's Cessna 182 Jeff and Kim Sharp drove
Bob, Tom and John left on Tuesday and made it to the southern Georgia border. They were able to continue Wednesday morning to get into Lakeland before the air show started.
I left Winchester on Wednesday about noon under a 5,000 foot overcast in very bumpy conditions. After I got past Charlottesville the clouds broke up a little for me to find a hole to get on top. Leveling off at 8,500 feet on top of the clouds I was rewarded with a smooth ride and a tailwind. I kept monitoring the condition at my destination for the day (St. Simon Island KSSI) and it showed clear sky for the rest of the day. Sure enough, by the time I passed Savanna the clouds broke up and it was clear below.
On Thursday I left at 5:45 AM in the dark, but with clear skies all the way to Lakeland. I arrived at Lake Parker before 8:00 AM and was able to go straight through for the arrival procedure. Soon I was on the ground to set up camp.
The next days were spent meeting friends and looking at all kinds of aviation. All of us kept monitoring the weather and it looked like Saturday was the day to go home since weather was moving in late Saturday, early Sunday blocking most of our route going home.
When Saturday morning arrived we all got out and kept in touch on 122.75 MHZ. We again enjoyed a very nice tailwind all day. For Bob (in the Luscombe) it was two fuel stops while Tom and John could do it with one stop. I could have gone none stop, but I had promised to meet Dan in Cheraw, SC where he was dropping off his Pilatus to have some work done on his avionics. After a quick stop Dan and I got back up in the air and connected with John and Tom who by then were about 45 to 60 minutes ahead of us. They were reporting very bumpy conditions below the clouds and John suggested for us to climb on top. Going through a hole in the clouds and leveling off at 9,500 feet we found a smooth ride and a nice tailwind (I can't remember last time I had a tailwind going and coming back from S&F). John and Tom were reporting brakes in the clouds ahead and Winchester was reporting clear skies all day, so we were not concerned about getting back down. For a long time we could not hear from Bob, but after we crossed the Virginia border we were able to get him on 122.75. He was not that far behind and planning his last fuel stop at Danville, VA. Dan and I landed at Winchester with just 6.3 hours on the Hobs including landing at Cheraw. I think this is the fastest I ever made it back from Lakeland .
Check out the video of the arrival
Having a beer with friends
Breakfast under the Wing
Attention to detail
If you really want to go fast
Interesting power settings
A great time spending with friends and living aviation for a couple of days. I hope more of you can make it next year.