Thursday, September 24, 2009

Flight to Paradise

It was not our first navigation flight in the US, to say the truth, it was our last flight, a day ago. We were planing a flight up to Georgia (GA), the state above Florida (FL), that would take us 5 hours of flight time. We were to depart from Daytona at 14.00 local time (LT) and fly North bound to Baxley Municipal Airport in the middle of Georgia and in the meantime we were to stop at Jekkyl Island a small aerodrome on an island North of Jacksonville. But prior to departure we changed the day plan and decided to go to the Northwest coast of Florida, to an even smaller airfield than Jekkyl Island. That was only decided because we wanted to fly more than 5 hours that day and since we had that field already on our "Airports to go" list, it seemed like a good choice. The place I'm talking about is Cedar Key which is only 104 nautical miles away from Daytona, but this little detour would prove itself to be the right choice, not only because it would increase our trip time by 1hr and 30 min but also because it would turn out to be the most exotic place, quite above our expectations.
Here is the re-planed route for that day, from Daytona Beach to Cedar Key on the West and then Baxley to the North.
Me taxying the plane at Cedar Key.
After 1 hour and a half flying west we arrived at Cedar Key and instead of reading, I think you should see it the way we did!
After this trip to paradise the remaining 5 hours of the flight to Baxley, GA and back to Daytona were seen as rather dull, but once we arrived in Baxley, there was another surprise. We arrived at Dusk, just in time to do a few touch and goes and taxi to the ramp to refuel our work horses. Once we did that we went inside to enjoy the unexpected coziness of the Baxley Municipal Airport facilities.
General view of Baxley.
Me, John -"The Fuel Guy".
Baxley pilots' lounge at Dusk.
Confy hey? Baxley pilots' lounge.
After enjoying Baxley's above standart conditions and resting a little bit it was time to jump on the plane and "drive" back to Daytona doing night VFR (Visual Flight Rules). And then it suddenly it hit us, why are the runway lights off?! It is past dusk and the aerodrome charts says there are lights on the runway, something's wrong. But it was just a matter of seconds, we remembered what we were once told about those runways in the middle of the USA where the pilot could activate the lights just by clicking on the radio transmitter of the aeroplane in a given sequence. We jumped on the flying machine and tried it out. After 5 clicks the runway illuminated and the airport came alive. It was time to leave and what a better way to say goodbye than performing a handfull of touch and goes during the night at such a nice place?
Runway lights at Baxley.


Paulo Correia said...

É daquelas coisas que sempre ouvimos falar, mas nunca tinha conhecido ninguém a experimentar! Afinal as luzes ligam mesmo ehehe

Luxo meus caros, luxo :)

Continuem a mandar material para a malta sonhar daqui à distância.

Abraços e bons voos!

Mig (Porcas Flying Team) said...

Espectacular meus caros!
Obrigado por manterem o sonho vivo! :)
Grande abraço e bons voos!