It's rare I get to make a 700 mile cross country and have ZERO weather concerns - today was the day however! WeatherMeister.com painted a beautiful picture of our flight up north. Calm surface winds. No clouds. Practically zero winds aloft. While a tailwind would of been appreciated, it's was otherwise a perfect day to fly.
the GTN650 spelled out our future on climbout from KCLW - 750nm and about 6 hours (mind you, our cruise speed will be slightly better than 127 kts).
Some fires just north of Clearwater, FL.
3 kts of tailwind...We'll take it.
Our route was about as direct as you can get to avoid airspace.
Near the FL/GA line. While the ground isn't all that hospitable for an emergency landing, it was absolutely breathtaking to look at. Makes me excited to get the AirCam started to explore places like this down low for hours.
Bookin' at 165 kts GS. Hard to believe you can get from the Florida line to Maryland in 3.5 hours in something you built in your garage. For all of those people still building - KEEP POUNDING THOSE RIVETS! Get that RV in the sky and enjoy every second of it!
We enjoyed the perfect untouched coastline of GA and SC.
We added a couple of intermediate waypoints to our route - including a fuel stop at KMNI. It was the cheapest fuel we could find that was on our way.
The final approach to Santee Cooper Regional Airport, KMNI, was very picturesque flying over the northeast corner of Lake Marion.
Looks like some fun lake houses in the summertime!
Can you tell we came from the beach?!?!? (Pool Noodle). There wasn't a soul at KMNI. We got gas, ate some room temperature pizza we brought along and jumped right back into the air.
Back in the air we found a little tailwind of 7 kts at 5,500'
This was our view the entire trip north. Just spectacular.
We started to get bounced around at 5,500' when we got into Virginia, so we climbed up to 7,500'. While we lost out 7kts tailwind for a 2 kts headwind, our TAS increased by 7 kts. So more or less a wash for a smoother ride.
Mountains...it's been a while since we've seen these!
Potomac Approach was nice enough to give us a shortcut through Dulles' class B airspace. We needed some clarification if our class B clearance also included SFRA clearance, to which our controller replied "Good point N987MB - Clear through class B at 7,500 remain clear of SFRA". Never hurts to ask! We skimmed by the SFRA within a mile or two. The controllers at Potomac approach were super nice to talk to. My feeling is they don't find it a burden for us VFR folk to be on flight following as they actually know our intentions and can get a hold of us if needed.
We scooted pretty close to Dulled (KIAD) while we passed through the class B. We made it on the ground back home at KDMW after only 4.9 hours in the air. Peter's wife ended up beating him home by only 5 minutes! A true testament the the speed of the RV compared to a direct flight on the airlines!
This has been a great trip and it wouldn't of been so without the amazing generosity of Sun 'n Fun's amazing generosity of the Communications & Media Center at Sun and Fun for them granting us Media Passes to this amazing event and the way they treated all of us from the media. Additionally, and most importantly, Mary Jane and Stephanie of HBC are true rockstars. Their hospitality to all of us in HBC is why I really come to Sun 'n Fun. It's unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Every single volunteer in HBC truly makes us feel like we're at home and never want to leave.
Last Modified: September 4, 2017