[April 8, 2022]

This year my friend Marc from KPYM and I decided to go to Sun n Fun 2022. Marc's plan was to fly his Warrior to meet me at KDMW, and we would jump in my time machine to make it down to KLAL quickly. His plan was to leave around Noon on Wednesday, and then him and I would book it down to KBHC for an overnight to be in Lakeland first thing Thursday. Sounds like a great plan, right? Well Mother Nature had other plans for us! Wednesday was definitely not a good weather day for us, and neither was Thursday. It looked likely it was going to be a Friday-Sunday sortie.

Well, Friday to Sunday for ME. Marc would still be socked in at KPYM util late on Friday. So he hopped in his Tesla Model 3 and booked it down to Maryland for $37 in charges! He definitely spent more on tolls!

Even if we DID make it down to FL somehow magically on Wednesday or Thursday, this is what greeted us down there - torrential rain all day Thursday. I think I heard they got 4" of rain? No airshow - just a crappy day.

Like a good boy scout I packed for a Wednesday departure. I definitely over packed, but that is the great thing about the RV - it holds so much it doesn't really matter!

We were wheels up on Friday morning at 5:15am in the total dark. The sun started to rise at around 6:30am.

Boom, there it is! It was a really nice morning to fly, very calm and smooth.

Sad to be up at 4am, but happy to be on our way to SNF 2022!

This was our flight path down - KDMW-KFDK-14VA-YPYG-KBHC for our first leg. Baxley, GA (KBHC) has always had great fuel prices, and today was no exception - $4.64/G. We really lucked out because right after we fueled up the prices went up 75 cents! Baxley also had some SNF BBQ for us to eat to get a little fuel in our systems. It's a long ride down there - about 4 hours for us, but it allows us to get some rest and prep to fly into SNF.

As we got closer to SNF, it seemed oddly calm on the approach frequency. Planes were coming into Lake Parker and then getting cleared to proceed to Lakeland. And then all hell broke loose. The runway shut down at Lakeland for some unknown reason, and an influx of planes happened nearly simultaneously. Lake Parker's hold filled up almost immediately and we were told to head to Lake Hancock. No more than a few minutes after we got in the hold, they stopped all inbound planes from either hold. I have thus far really lucked out when it comes to arriving to these big events, as I have never needed to be in a hold.

And this is what the Lake Hancock hold looked like! I think I counted 40 planes on ADS-B. We circled the lake 5 times before getting cleared to fly to Lake Parker. What a cluster that was. So many planes cutting me off and going over the 100 kts NOTAM speed limit.

Well Karma paid off. All of those planes that cut me off needed to go into a hold over Lake Parker. I heard on the radio " rock your wings!" as I crossed over the power plant. My buddy Marc said "Dude, I don't know who that was for, but rock your wings!". So I gave an aggressive rock and heard back "Silver RV, that wasn't for you, but GREAT WING ROCK, proceed on course for the arrival!". We were in front of the pack and on our way!

This is what our arrival looked like into KLAL. It was great to be on the ground, it is so stressful to be in a hold with all of those planes.

We landed on Runway 28R and were put into a congo line of backed up planes at the end of the runway waiting for 28L arrivals and departures to be completed. I have never seen anything like this before. Of course once this queue filled up, the runway was shut down from arrivals and the hold picked up again. Certainly not ideal....

It pays to bring good help! As I got the airplane tied down, Marc set up camp. I will say I am guilty of slowly getting things in order :)

Boom, finally at Sun n Fun! It's been a long day!

It was an early night for us, as we had an early 6am wakeup call.



Last Modified: May 16, 2024