My buddy Peter and I have talked about going to Sun 'n Fun for the last few months. Originally our plan was to go down on Thursday and come back on Sunday. The weather didn't work out for that plan, so we needed to take off a day early. Oh darn...another day in FL! To make it down to SNF before the airshow started at 2:30pm, we needed to take off at Dark-o-thirty. On this particular day it was downright cold outside - my car registered 25 degrees on the drive to the airport. I made sure to get to the airport early to turn on the hangar heater before Peter showed up. I didn't want a moody passenger from he get-go of the day!
All loaded up and ready to go. The last time Peter and I went together to a show was Oshkosh 2014. For that show we decided to share a 3-man tent. This time around we opted for separate quarters.
The daily rate for covered parking at this airport can't be beat.
The route down is fairly straightforward - go west around the DC airspace, avoid some restricted airspaces and stop for fuel in Baxley, GA ($3.00/G!). After we get fuel and food, it's a quick 1.5 hour trip down to Lakeland, FL.
The EFIS agreed with my car. 29 degrees OAT once we pulled the RV out of the hangar.
Even though it was chilly out, we had a dynamite destination to go to and both of us were psyched...and a little tired.
The scenic mountains of western Virginia made for a pretty flight.
However, no matter how pretty the scenery was, both of us would of preferred a lesser headwind.
We scratched out heads for a little bit trying to figure out what some structures were off in the distance in the mountains. After using the powers of our Zoom lenses, we figured it needed to be the SnowShoe skiing resort.
I had no clue the James River went this far West. Very pretty country out here.
Good things come to those that wait...and use WeatherMeister! Just as predicted, the headwinds were dying down.
This is an epic trip for the RV...before today the furthest south my RV has been was Charlotte, NC. Here we are crossing into South Carolina.
We are both pretty pumped...Peter more than me since he spent 4 years in SC at The Citadel.
WooHoo! Tailwind finally!
This is Darlington Raceway.
Crossing Over Lake Marion.
Tailwind is picking up!
Back when we were bucking the headwind, it was questionable if we would have enough fuel to get to Baxley. With this new tailwind friend of ours, we easily had enough fuel.
Without any terrain or weather to deal with on the way down, we got pretty bored and found great interest in the simplest things...such as the new construction of an interstate cloverleaf.
Can't complain about $3.00/G fuel.
However, you can complain when you think you left your wallet in the car back in MD! As soon as we landed in Baxley, Peter got a little frantic as the search for his wallet in the airplane was coming up empty.
After a thorough search search of the RV, we were able to find his wallet. Darn...I was sort of looking forward to being his Sugar-Daddy all weekend.
The Baxley FBO was recently rebuild and contained two bedrooms. One bedroom had a queen bed, the other two twins for pilots that need to spend the night. Top notch facility.
Not to be out-done by top-notch amenities, the fine people of the Baxley airport also provided free hot dogs and burgers during the week of Sun 'n Fun.
Back in the air, next stop Lakeland (KLAL)!
Since this is the furthest south either of us have ever been, we quickly realized our route could of been planned a little better in FL as we flew over a fairly large swamp. Neither of us did much talking during that time, as we noticed all of the ADS-B traffic clearly avoiding the swamp.
Heading over Ocala, FL you couldn't help but notice all of the private horse rings. This is big time horse country.
We decided to give the GoPro's a try. In the past we have had terrible luck with recording technology when going into big events.
We got bounced around a little in low-to-moderate turbulence.
Once last review of the NOTAM before we headed into Lakeland.
Jumbolair just south of Ocala had a runway you couldn't miss!
Ever since I re-wired my ADS-B traffic input to my GRT EFIS's, my traffic has been marginal at best. I get traffic for the brief moment, and then it disappears. It looks as if the port I have it wired to might be overloaded as I get a lot of Frame and CRC errors according the the report on the GRT EFIS.
However, the Garmin Pilot App worked perfectly to display ADS-B traffic. This is a screen capture of all of the airplanes in front of me flying into SNF.
I think the GoPro case had some humidity in it because the video turned out very hazy. This is our approach into SNF for Runway 9L.
Parked in Row 4 at Homebuilders Camping (HBC). No sooner did we turn off the engine than did a bunch of volunteers come over to help us push the airplane into its parking spot and check we had tiedowns. A few minutes later a SUV came over and sold us our admission and camping passes. It seriously could not of been easier. Entirely different from Oshkosh.
My abode for the next few nights.
And Peter's new tent all setup.
Once tent per person is definitely the way to go.
So after flying all day and getting the camp all setup, what else is there to do other than enjoy a well-deserved beer?
We started to walk around the show to get our bearings. We quickly found the Rotac powered rotary RV-8R. The craftsmanship on this airplane is amazing. What a huge feat for the builder.
We didn't spend too much time at the show today as we were both pretty tired from our early morning. We headed back to HBC for some Hot Dogs and beer from Mary Jane and her incredible staff.
We spend the early evening making new RV friends in HBC and enjoying a wonderful sunset. What a great first day at Sun 'n Fun!
Last Modified: August 13, 2023