This weekends flight was down to Charlotte, NC to bring my friend Chris with me to meet up with his brother Geoff. Chris lives near Annapolis, MD, so picking him up at KFME made the most sense logistically, even through it meant flying more than I typically do through the SFRA / "Circle of Doom". The route down was straight forward once we exited the southern perimeter of the SFRA.
The morning was a little on the slow side going down, only because a lot of the south was LIFR/IFR, but slowly becoming MVFR and VFR. Chris showed up with his kids who got a kick out of the airplane.
Finally the weather looked good enough for us to blast off. While a lot of the south was still IFR, it was forecasted to burn off by the time we got there. Worst case we would just land and wait it out.
Out of the SFRA and happy to be flying free.
This is the Patuxent river. I've never flown through the east/south part of the SFRA. The controllers were quite friendly.
Passing by the Chalk Point Generating Station off the Patuxent River. This is a Coal/Oil/Natural Gas power plant.
Crossing over the Potomac River. The Morgantown Generating Station is next to the route 301 bridge. This is a coal/oil generating power plant.
We decided to take the high route above the scattered cloud layer.
I turned my TruTrak autopilot off, and enabled my auxiliary auto pilot - the C.H.R.I.S. Chris did a great job flying, but appreciated what the real autopilot could do!
We could only stay on top for so long until the holes in the clouds were few and far between. We jumped under the clouds and flew the rest of the way to KJQF this way.
Safely on the ground, Chris' brother Geoff picked us up and took us to a great local bar - the Moose. Hours after the landing, Chris is still in a daze and can't believe he survived the trip down.
We had a really fun day going to the US National Whitewater Center. It was an amazing complex, and loads of fun outdoor activities to do. Afterwards, we went out to dinner at Paco's Taco's and Tequilla. The food was out of this world, and so was the beer.
Trying to be as touristy as possible, we checked out the "Metalmorphosis - Giant Head". Apparently at one time it spun around, however, according to Yelp, "it is broken and hasn't turned in several years." and "it is expensive to fix and we don't know when or if it will be.".
No trip in the RV is complete without picking up some local brews. We visited Brawley's Beverages and the store's owner was super helpful in assisting me in selecting some of Charlotte's best. He got a real kick out of the transportation method we were using to get these bottles north! The beers of the day are (from left to right):
1) IPA of the Month - June 2014 (Jasmine) by Foothills Brewing (5.8% ABV, 64 IBU)
2) Baby Maker by Triple C Brewing Company (8.5% ABV)
3) Imperial Stout by Olde Hickory Brewery (10.6% ABV)
4) Irish Walker by Olde Hickory Brewery (10% ABV)
5) Jam Session by NoDa Brewing Company (5.1% ABV)
Taking off the weather was much better than flying down. Ceilings were around 5,000' and the visibility was much better.
Downtown Charlotte in the distance.
The Charlotte Motor Speedway was right next to KJQF.
High Rock Lake.
Slight headwind. I'll gladly take it!
The Duke Energy Roxboro Steam Electric Plant off of Hyco Lake. It's a coal fired power plant (coal sourced in WV), and is one of the top 10 electrical generating power plants in the US.
Flying over the James River.
Lake Anna in VA. I spent many of summers in High School on this lake. Good memories.
Hard to see, but off in the distance in Andrews Air-force Base.
I successfully dropped Chris off to his wife and kids. They were very happy to see him. I blasted off to get home from KFME. On the way through the SFRA I flew over Laurel Park (Horse Racing).
I was relatively clear out today. Baltimore was easy to spot.
Did a few turns around my parents house and made it back home. A great trip! I can't wait to try the NC beers!
Last Modified: August 13, 2023