KMSN to KSRQ for 150 hour pilot

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by WiPilot, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. WiPilot

    WiPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    So I'm brand new here and just getting a feel for the forum and thought I'd get everyone's input and opinions on this that cared to chime in.

    I'm thinking of a trip to SRQ in June/July/August this year for a week or so from MSN to hit the beaches in Siesta Key. I have about 150 hours of TT thus far, 20 or so has been instrument training. The airplane is a PA32-300 with 3 on board including myself. The trip would be conducted under VFR and would remain VFR, and while I will certainly not have my IFR rating by that timeframe, I anticipate having enough training by that point to comfortably get myself out of any unanticipated weather circumstances that may arise, although I'm looking for feedback on that assumption.

    The farthest cross county I've flown is into KGRI, which was excellent experience but all flatland flying. I've never crossed anything even resembling mountains, so getting across the appalachians is the biggest thing that sticks out to me about this trip.

    Looking for feedback here; things I should be aware of, what to do, what not to do, what to avoid, am I crazy...etc etc.

    Note to moderators: I'm new here, so if I didnt put this in the right forum category please feel free to move it.
     
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  2. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    If you are prepared to wait out bad weather, this trip should be well within your wheelhouse. Remember a long x-c is just a series of short x-c's back to back. Don't push the time aloft on any one day and you will be fine.

    -Skip
     
  3. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome, the trip should be a series of cross countries,tied together. In the summer you have to worry about cloud buildups and thunderstorms in the afternoons. Fly early morning or late afternoons,as the temp cools. Just keep a check on the weather as you fly. Relax and enjoy the experience. Good luck.
     
  4. WiPilot

    WiPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    So is it unreasonable (assuming good weather) to do this trip in one day? Depending on winds aloft I was figuring this would be around a 9 hour trip, which is slightly more than double my GRI trip.
     
  5. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I have found if I fly more than eight hours in a day over unfamiliar territory that I began to make mistakes.

    Scheduling two days would make it a more pleasant adventure for me.

    I would expect weather to slow me down some.

    Flight planning is very important on any cross country flight.
     
  6. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nine hours aloft can be grueling depending on equipment and conditions. If you are in good physical conditions and used to continuous focus for long stretches then it isn't too bad. If performance degrades with a little fatigue then plan to make the trip over two days. In July/August I might plan to fly until noon or so then stop for the day and finish the trip fairly early the next morning.

    The Appalachian hills are something to be aware of from an emergency landing perspective. Performance wise they aren't an issue. Fly well above them to minimize exposure to wave and turbulence.

    Use flight following and plan on flying fairly high to avoid local traffic.

    As to whether or not you are crazy, that remains to be seen. You are a pilot and you did ask for opinions on POA so that's two strikes.
     
  7. Badger

    Badger Pattern Altitude

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    Welcome to PoA. I'm also based at KMSN, shoot me a PM if you want to get together for lunch, chat, etc.
    Do you use Foreflight? Put in a route to KSRQ and check the profile view in the flight planning tab. It's fun to move around a few way points and see if/how the vertical profile changes and it's effect on your trip time/fuel etc.
     
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  8. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Nine hours? I didn't know the airports so I just plotted this on SkyVector and it's telling me 999 miles and 5:35 at 150 kts. That seems very reasonable to do in a day and given the 750 nm range of the PA-32, it's probably just 2 three hour hops.

    Am I missing something?
     
  9. JonH

    JonH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would plan for two days. During day 1 if you feel like you can knock the rest out go for it.
     
  10. WiPilot

    WiPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    Nice....well put!

     
  11. WiPilot

    WiPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    The airport I'm flying out of is about 100nm north of MSN (didnt list it for security purposes), and I was factoring in about 130kts, which gives me right around 9 hours of flight time.

    The only time I've ever seen 150kts in my Six was with a goooood tailwind...


    Edit: I did the same you did on SkyVector just a bit ago and if I enter KMSN to KSRQ and 150kts I also get 5:35 for ETE...but that doesn't make any sense because 999/150 = 6.66...what's going on here?


     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  12. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    If you plan your route to stay west of CHA and ATL, you won't be crossing any hills of consequence. The highest MEF you'll encounter along that route is ~2800ft.
     
  13. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    I know a woman who lives in eastern New York who flew her 172 to McMinnville, Oregon to attend a get together. She was not IFR rated at the time and played the weather well. The trip took a few days and when the weather was not conducive to VFR she parked and waited it out.

    If you have the time to lay over for a day or so to wait for better weather go for it. Proper discretion will help your trip be a positive experience.
     
  14. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I had about 80 hours (fresh PPC) I flew VFR from McGuire AFB to Montgomery AL in one day in a C172, 8-9 flight hours w/ two fuel stops, and back the same way a week later. It's a long day but I recall it being fun except when I briefly got lost over N. Ga. lol. Had wife and 6 month old daughter with me.

    You shouldn't have any Appalachian problems. It seems a route west of the mountains would work without having to fly over the terrain if you're concerned about that.
     
  15. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Meh, you'll be fine

    I flew my Stinson I had just bought from IN to WA VFR when I had like 100hrs or so.

    Just take your time and don't second guess your gut and you'll be fine, sounds like a heck of a trip too :)
     
  16. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Agree with Bill that the terrain is inconsequential on this route. A few bumps in the land, but plenty of outs.

    I flew Orlando to Osh several times in a PA 32. It was tiring to go straight thru, but very doable. Biggest thing is that you will get to deal with the T-storm line that forms from the gulf to the atlantic in north Florida. Every day in the summer, with occasionally nasty thunderstorms. Do not underestimate their impact to your schedule, and do not plan to traverse the line in mid to late afternoon (usually). Mornings are usually ok, but not always.

    And when you go to Siesta, make sure to go to Turtle Beach Pub.
     
  17. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    What typically happens with bad weather is the ceilings get lower and lower. Then when it gets to 1000 AGL or whatever you are comfortable with, you land at an airport and get a hotel. Then wait a day or two and things clear up, and finish the trip.
     
  18. 2Airtime2

    2Airtime2 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    9 hrs is a long day (I suspect) but other than that I don't see a problem. I've got 140 hrs and the longest I've stayed in the air at one time is 3 hrs. Wasn't bad at all. If the weather cooperates I plan to fly to Sun and Fun from KLHZ (500 miles) this yr. I could do it with one fuel stop but I'm going to stop a 2nd time just short so I have full tanks upon arrival.

    I think the advice to plan for 2 days but keep going if you feel like it sounds reasonable. Keep a "5 hr energy" with you just in case. I once drove to Florida (I was a little younger) and back in the same day to pick up a boat motor. I was on the road for 20 hrs. That's the only time I've had a 5 hr Energy, they really work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  19. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Are any other others pilots? If so, the 9 hours is definitely doable by trading off. If not, be prepared to be exhausted the next day. You don't realize how much you really do concentrate when flying (very tiring long flights!), keeping track of frequencies, monitoring the frequencies, how much the dryer air (and a bit less O2 depending where you're flying) impacts your well being, etc.

    I've done a few 10+ hour flights but with another pilot so we could trade off, relax, etc. Everyone has a personal limit. Mine is 5 hrs per day when by myself. 6-7 with another person (non-pilot) to keep me company and help with non-flying activities (maps, water bottles, watching for traffic, etc)
     
  20. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Also depends on how the OP’s plane is equipped. A nice reliable autopilot really can keep you fresh on a long XC flight.
     
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  21. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Florida summers include a lot of buildups with good visibility between them, and when you go around them VFR you can get caught in a sucker hole surrounded by thunderstorms, and when you turn around it's closed up behind you and you're left with convection all around.
     
  22. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    This is exactly what happened to me coming home from my 1st Gastons. Up at 9500, got closed in by clouds, spiraled down thru a small hole with a few flashes of lightning for added fun. Lost track of my bearings, found the plane at 45* and increasing bank and increasing airspeed. Concentrated on instruments and got it under control, got underneath, and with the help of flight service scampered away. This is the only time I’ve ever been really scared while flying, ugly day all around.

    I called my CFI the very next day and started instrument training. Never again.
     
  23. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    It's a tailwind being added in.

    ^ This

    You would need to be east of Chattanooga near Knoxville for the Appalacians to be a factor.

    Fly down along the gulf coast in Florida, it's a great view.



    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  24. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    ^ This

    While you may not be able to get your IR in time for the trip to SRQ it will be very useful for traveling. Keep working on it and get it done as soon as you can.



    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  25. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    First off, this sounds like fun and a great learning experience, so yes, you should do it and no, you're not crazy.

    Some things for consideration.

    Having two other people in the plane, especially if their not pilots, can add to your stress levels.

    You're already embarking on the longest flight of your pilot's license (I presume) which is stressful in itself due to the unknowns. Having two other people in the plane will add a level responsibility to your workload. Not only will you have to fly the plane, navigate, communicate and assess as your flight progresses, but you will also have to concern yourself with the well being of your passengers. This may not seem like a big deal, and maybe it won't, but it can be.

    What if one gets airsick? What about pee stops for pax? Will you feel pressured to continue because of your commitment to get them there, when conditions begin to deteriorate?

    I'm not suggesting you can't manage these issues, just that you need to be aware of them and honest with yourself.

    I have done a lot of cross country flying and the one thing I have learned is that no flight ever goes exactly as planned. Conditions WILL change and you WILL need to adjust your flight plan en-route. Clouds, winds, temperatures, haze, smoke, dust or turbulence will affect your route, flight time, altitude or landing airport. While you may be comfortable flying in turbulence, for example, your passengers will probably not.

    It is important in cross country flights to accept, before you ever take off, that you will probably need to make changes to your flight plan. You need to constantly assess your aircraft condition, weather, your passengers and yourself. You need to be willing and ready to make changes.

    Are you absolutely familiar with your GPS? Do you have a backup GPS? At some point in your flight you will need to divert, whether it's a potty stop for pax, a concern over the aircraft, cloud build-ups, whatever. So you need to be very comfortable with your equipment and your ability to divert.

    For me, I start every cross country flight with a good plan. As soon as I take off I accept the fact that my plan is likely no longer valid and my "new plan" is to continually assess all aspects of the flight as it progresses and be hard wired to make changes. I think if you approach a cross country flight with this mindset then you are probably a long way towards having a successful flight. It helps a lot if you communicate this reality to your passengers so they understand this reality before hand.

    When reviewing your flight plan don't just plan for specific fuel stops. Review a number of airports along your route. Even though I have GPS's, on a long cross country I print out kneeboard airport diagrams all along my route and highlight frequencies, TPA's and runway traffic patterns. My touch screens suck in turbulence and having the hard copy on my kneeboard provides another level of comfort for me.

    Bring lots of water for you and pax. Flying is dehydrating and long distances exacerbate the problem.

    Accept the fact that you might not make it to your destination. You may still have an adventure, it just might not be the one you planned for. Nothing wrong with this as long as you and your pax are aware ahead of time. Getting anywhere in a single engine aircraft is never guaranteed.

    I hope you have a blast and enjoy the adventure!

    Also, since so many people offered tips for you, you are now required to give us a full write up on your trip! I've been flying for a long time but I guarantee there will be something I can learn from your experience so please let us know how it goes.

    Gary
     
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  26. SethV

    SethV Pre-Flight

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    Make sure you are flexible with your schedule in case of weather. Don't be tempted to let time make a bad decision for you.

    When I was about 70 hrs TT, I did a similar trip in a DA40 with the whole family (kids were small). PTK - VNC - MLB - RDU - IAD - PTK plus fuel stops along the way. Great fun, about 17 hours of flight time. No autopilot, so my son (about 9 at the time) was my altitude and heading hold.

    Enjoy the adventure! This is why you spent all that time and money to get your ticket!
     
  27. SethV

    SethV Pre-Flight

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    Plan for morning arrivals and departures in FL if you can. Much less afternoon pop up activity before 2:00.
     
  28. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    Do it. Expect weather delays... and by expect I mean plan in several days that you will be delayed by weather. Yes day(s) plural. Sometimes you get lucky and go straight through, sometimes you start your trip 6 days late. Everyone going along needs to know this and be prepared for it. When you're expecting it and it happens it's not a big deal... it was just part of the plan. If you were expecting to be on a beach the same day and you're stuck in BFE on day 3... well.. it's good to know you had flex time built in.

    Bring water, bring some snacks in case a hot meal isn't available when you expected or just because you want them. You'll probably want to pick refueling spots by lowest gas price and that's fine but have some places along your route in mind in case you do need to wait out weather overnight(s). Somewhere with some civilization where you might be able to get a car and find decent places to stay/eat... maybe even something interesting to do.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the Appalachians along your general route assuming you are going more/less direct. Like you most of my flying experience is over flat lands and in fact the first time I headed down that way, also going to SRQ eventually I ended up crossing through probably the same general area you will be. Some thickly scattered and broken clouds showed up and I had to drop down to 3500' or something like that, lost contact with flight following. Those hills... which is really what they were looked pretty darn imposing to a flatland flyer but really they weren't and they're not. Just pay attention to your altitude and the elevations/obstacles on your sectional and you'll be fine. I eventually, with weather reports of sky clear around Atlanta, found a hole in the clouds to climb up and over with a bit of maneuvering. Which brings me to a suggestion...

    An ADS-B receiver such as a stratus/stratux and foreflight(or one of the competitors, that's just what I use) are VERY valuable on a trip like this. It gives you the ability to check the weather beyond the range of your radio quickly and easily while in flight. Knowing what to expect an hour ahead and being able to keep up with the changing situation really helps out with decision making whether it be to climb over those scattered clouds or to land at the nice big airport full of services in the town with good places to eat/sleep before you are forced to land and spend a night in a shack by a cornfield.

    Use flight following everywhere you can get it which is in fact most places. If nothing else it makes it easier to transition through controlled airspace and they will often be able to advise you if a MOA is active or not, tell you if the restricted airspace is active or not, etc. Some controllers will be friendly, some curt, a tiny few grumpy but it's worth it.

    For legs, I like 2-3 hours. Especially with passengers it's nice to stop and let everyone(including you) rest and get a bathroom break in. YMMV That trip is going to be a haul but I don't think it's unreasonable. Try to plan a break or two for yourself in there if possible.

    Bring money. Bring more than one credit card. Credit card companies get suspicious when you buy $150 of gas in Chicago and then do it again in Atlanta within a few hours and sometimes they will lock out your card until you call in and confirm it was really you. Most of them have some way to notify them you're traveling, that can help. Still, bring multiple cards... cash as well but remember the self-serve gas pumps won't take cash.

    I know lots of dire warnings here but really these trips are fun. I always say it's not really an adventure without the possibility of things going wrong. There is really nothing like flying yourself to your own vacation, I try to get one or two big ones in every year now.
     
  29. 2Airtime2

    2Airtime2 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's a good tip about multiple cc's, hadn't thought of that one. Hopefully the op has an AP. I've got a crude one (wing leveler only) but it's awesome to have when I need to look at the sectional.
     
  30. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Long time members here might remember the time I flew my Pitts from Jax to Gastons, and then had to immediately return due to some issues at home. If I HADN'T returned early, I would have been stuck west of Tallahassee for several days because a tropical storm popped up off Jax. As it was, it was marginal VFR (in a Pitts, anyway) when I got home.
     
  31. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    That one statement makes me think you'll press a marginal situation until it turns into a bad situation on your assumption that you can 'get yourself out'.

    9 hrs of flight time but you have to factor in slowdowns for traffic patterns and such for fuel stops, restroom, etc. So your 9 hrs day turns into 11 easy. I'd do it in 2 easy days.
     
  32. WiPilot

    WiPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you all for the responses and feedback.

    Bills comments about thunderstorm activity is concerning; I had been anticipating that I would potentially have to weave around storm cells to get there VFR, but now it sounds like that is not recommended? Regardless of your rating, getting caught in a t-storm is a bad day.

    Another poster had commented that 2:00 is usually when the storms build up, so I think it sounds more reasonable to start my trip early in the morning (4am?) to get there before things get hairy. We'll have well over a week for the trip (maybe 2) so can layover somewhere in between for a few days if necessary, but if it's possible to get there in one day I'd like to at least attempt that. Fatigue is a serious concern that I'm aware of, but I have driven places straight through many times and am still fairly young yet. In fact, the last time to Siesta Key was 26 hours gas station to gas station....although I'd NEVER fly an airplane in the condition I was in when I got there 26 hours later. Another poster summed it up well; plan for 2 days but if things are going well keep going the first day.

    More about the plane's config -- I have an autoplilot, but sadly it is only a wing leveler and heading hold, no altitude hold. I have ADS-B in/out in the panel and on my tablet from an L-3 NGT-9000 (my new toy!), so I will definitely use it to get weather in flight.
    GPS in the panel is a Garmin 430, and I'm very familiar with using it for VFR flights; getting there on IFR approaches and such but that won't be relevant on this flight. I use Avare on my tablet for GPS/sectionals/etc, and also have it loaded on my phone and my wife's phone, so all told there are 4 devices in the airplane capable of giving GPS position info. If that fails I have 2 VOR indicators to get me to an airfield and figure out what happened to my GPS's. o_O

    Knowing that the direct path does not have any serious terrain is reassuring. I'd actually LIKE to fly through the Appalachians for the scenery, but I'm trying not to get into a situation I'm not expecting and/or me or my airplane can't handle and end up on the NTSB website. I want to make a trip to Vegas some day (topic for a future thread/discussion on how to do that, not happening this year) and have been reading about flying through the Rockies and some of that stuff is downright terrifying. Am I comparing apples and oranges with Rockies vs. Appalachians? Chinooks, rotors, downdrafts, anything that would cause a CFIT, etc etc aren't as big of a concern here? I've seen both mountain ranges on the ground and obviously the Rockies are much bigger, but the Appalachians are still a sizable mountain range imo.
     
  33. mario01

    mario01 Filing Flight Plan

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    subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread
     
  34. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had around 100 hours when I bought a plane in GA and flew it to NH while visiting relatives up the east coast. I didn't die. I have a blast. Do it. It'll be fun.
     
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  35. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    Besides, isn't flying CC in your own plane the best reason for having one?
     
  36. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    This is a very doable trip, so don't get the idea that my comments about the T-storm line are meant to dissuade you in any way. Different parts of the county have different microclimate tendencies, and I'm glad you're trying to learn about the trip in advance.

    Look at the high pressure system that tends to dominate the southeast in the summer and note its location and movement. If the southern edge runs around the Houston-to-Savannah line, the Florida panhandle and south Georgia will be a little messy. Morning flights will reduce your chances of a T-storm encounter, but you may still see some instability and the ride might be a little bumpy. If the southern edge of the system is down around a Tampa to Daytona line, you will get great weather in the panhandle and south Georgia.
     
  37. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Brad Z
    Looks like most folks have nailed it. I think the only reason more newish pilots don't take long cross countries is they've expended all their cash! There really isn't much difference between a 50nm flight and a 500 nm flight once you get in the air. There's more to pre-brief, but once you're in the air, you constantly reassess along the way and making go/no-gos to continue or land early. The autopilot thing shouldn't be too much of an issue; once you get it trimmed out, the wing leveler will hold course and trim will hold altitude. You'll just need to make a few nudges here and there.

    One note on forum etiquette-- It's better to title your thread "Wisconsin to Florida" rather than "KMSN to KSRQ". Folks who know where SRQ is might not know where MSN is, and vice versa, forcing them to look it up. I can remember a lot of airport identifiers, but not all of them. Raise your hand if you're not from the Midwest and knew where GRI was?
     
  38. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    wayne
    I've been to MSN and SRQ each multiple times and I live in Atlanta. :p

    But yes, cities and states would be much more helpful.

    No idea where GRI is, until I looked it up. Oh, that's pretty rural compared to the other two.
     
  39. WiPilot

    WiPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    WiPilot
    Thanks for the input everyone, including the forum etiquette! I can handle bumps and my passengers are getting more experienced with it as well, so that shouldn't be much of an issue...wings getting torn off the fuselage by convective activity, that's a different story. I'll revive this as the time gets closer and see if there is any additional useful info that's come up by then.
     
  40. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    iMooniac
    You're not crazy, I absolutely recommend taking this flight, with the caveats below - Long cross country flights are the best way to learn without a CFI aboard, provided you do everything you can to anticipate and learn about things you haven't experienced yet.

    First off: Brief your passengers that you're going to keep them safe and that trumps everything else. Do NOT plan on, nor let them plan on, going out to dinner with Aunt Sally at 5:30 PM. You may not get there in one day, or two or three or six. I like to explain it to pax like this: "Aviation is always a great adventure, it just may not be the adventure you had planned on." If you keep a positive attitude about changes to the initial plan, and keep that spirit of exploration rather than focus on the destination or any pre-planned intermediate stops, you will both be safer and have more fun discovering our beautiful country.

    Second: If you have to be somewhere by a specific time, leave early enough that you could make it there driving. Get to the airport and you have a dead mag? Drive. Weather drops unexpectedly en route? Land, rent a car, drive. That way, you'll mostly eliminate the get-there-itis that has killed many pilots. So, don't plan to be in Sarasota on day 1.

    Third: If you want your passengers to fly with you again, you'd best consider their experience. Just because they don't hurl during turbulence doesn't mean they want to sit through it for hours. They're not aviation geeks, you have to show them that this is a *fun* way to get places or they'll never go on a long trip in your plane again. With that in mind, on a trip like this one, it's best to plan to stop short and overnight and tackle Florida early in the morning. Just because they (and you) can handle Wisconsin turbulence doesn't mean they can handle Florida temps and turbulence in the heat of summer. It can get downright miserable down there even for gung-ho pilots! Flying high will help you stay in cooler, drier air but in Florida in the summer, you're not going to get high enough to get out of the bumps unless you're burning Jet-A. So, find some things to do along the way that your pax will like, stay overnight, and start the last leg of your trip as close to sunrise as possible. Also, keep the legs reasonably short - 3 hours max - And don't fly more than 8 hours in a day.

    Fourth: See #1. Plan for flexibility. Choose several different fuel stops based on what winds/weather might do to you, and be prepared to scrap that entire set of plans and make up a new one in the air. To practice the in-the-air part on the ground, turn your tablet into airplane mode and limit yourself to that information, because that's what you'll have available.

    Now that the caveats are over, a few hints:

    A) Do some sightseeing on the way (remember that whole passenger experience thing). Looking at where I think you're coming from roughly, and where you're going, I'd suggest you do some extra planning and go down the Chicago lakeshore. It's a cool sight. I'm sure others will have some suggestions farther south if you ask. Consider things your pax might want to see on the ground, too. Example: If they're into cars, a stop in Bowling Green, KY to go to the Corvette Museum. Focus on their interests and see what you can find. On the trip south, it's good to take a break in the afternoon to avoid the heat and bumps and do something fun in air-conditioned comfort before taking off again closer to sunset. If you time it right, you can fly over some of the more boring parts of the landscape at night too.

    B) Learning to fly in the Midwest, you may have been told to avoid dark fields in an emergency because they're freshly plowed and you can easily dig in and flip over. (Or not, since plowing fields isn't considered the best practice agriculturally any more). In Florida, go ahead and go for a dark field - Down there, it's sugar cane and the dark ones have been burned and are clear.

    C) Have fun!

    I learned to fly at KMSN (Madison, WI) so I knew that one. I've flown into Sarasota (KSRQ) so I knew that. Without looking, I'm guessing KGRI is Grand Island, NE. I've probably traveled around the country more than most, though.

    For some reason I can remember/figure out airport codes like nobody's business, but I can't remember people's names to save my life. :dunno: