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[June 26, 2014]


Well this has to be the strangest beginning of a trip report I have ever written - a case of beer being showcased before the flight. I worked out a deal with my friend Chris in Burlington, VT to trade a case of Maryland Beers for a case of Heady Topper by The Alchemist. For those of you who don't follow beer closely, Heady Topper was the #1 beer in the world according to http://www.beeradvocate.com in August of 2013.

So back to the reason for this trip. My company recently took over the wagering contract for Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY. The three ways to get there are a 6 hour drive, 1 hour commercial flight to Albany, or personal aircraft right into Saratoga County Airport (5B2). Guess which option was the only one that made sense for me??


This trip had awesomeness right off of the bat - 30 kts tailwind pretty much the whole way!


Even with the great tailwind, there was some weather challenges along the way - morning showers moving east in mid-PA through NY.


Encountering the first rain of the trip. Pretty light rain. I simply pulled back the RPM's of the prop to minimize any potential damage.


I needed to divert a good distance off of my original course to avoid the weather.


Not bad crusing at 215 MPH burning 8.5 GPH.


"Dragging a wing" through Allentown class C airspace to get around the weather.


Overflying the Catskill Mountains. Because of the overcast layer, I needed to modify my route to maximize the distance to the ground.


Here was the other challenge of the day - planning my arrival in Saratoga after a storm passed through. ADS-B / In-Flight Weather is really invaluable for planning trips like this.


After less than 90 minutes airborne, I was overflying Saratoga Race Course. It is the second oldest race track in the US, and in 1999 it was rated as Sports Illustrated's #10 sports venue of the 20th Century.


I booked a rental car through Hertz to be dropped off at the American Flight Services FBO at 5B2. The FBO's service was top notch. $10/night for the tie down, and the people couldn't of been friendlier.


It was a good 3 days of hard work at Saratoga. We got a lot done and my company couldn't of been happier with the progress. What I was expecting to do one evening was to fly up to Burlignton, VT to pick up a case of Heady Topper from my friend Chris. Flying was not in the cards, though, as a front was passing through the area. So instead of the easy 30 minute flight, I drove 3 hours each way to pick up the beer and have dinner with a good friend. Totally worth it, the beer is outstanding!


Speaking of the beer, here is the bounty for the long drive. Chris through in a bonus of Lawson's Finest Liquids Spring Fever, which he claims is better than Heady Topper.


The rest of the beers...and a Coke. So out of place!


Top notch FBO at 5B2. I will be back.


It was a beautiful day to fly back. Perfect clouds.


Not much of a tailwind compared to the trip up, but I'll take it.


Cruising over the Pocono Mountains


Doesn't get much better than this.


Approaching the Susquehanna river.


Flying near Harrisburg, PA. You can see the two smokestacks of Three Mile Island. Great work trip! I left Saratoga at 2pm, and was at Happy Hour with my coworkers at 0530pm.

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