Trip Report: Dallas to Destin

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by txnightster, May 4, 2012.

  1. txnightster

    txnightster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bill D.
    Gentleman, in an attempt to add something to the group here is a short trip report from my adventures this past week. My nature is to keep the report to a minimum. So, feel free to ask questions or make suggestions. I'm an 85hr pilot so this was a big learning experience.

    Part 1.
    Aircraft: N152PS 2011 Pipersport
    Depart: 4:30 PM 4/26/12 from KADS. Weather conditions are clear with winds 190@12G20.
    Destination: Natchez, MS KHEZ Arrival: 6:45 PM

    Notes: My wife and I took off at gross weight. Our tanks were almost full of fuel and packed to the gills with luggage. Received flight following and picked up a nice tailwind as we cruised along at 5,500. We turned up the XM radio and settled in for a nice flight with indicated ground speed of 130kts. Beautiful flight over three different states. Found KHEZ with no problem and landed at this huge airport in the middle of nowhere. My in-laws picked us up at the airport and we spent the night eating catfish and enjoying their vacation home.


    Depart: 10:30 AM 4/27/12 from KHEZ. My mother in law had never seen her hometown from the air. Unfortunately it was bumpy and we only flew for 35 minutes. She was able to see her house from the air and hopefully she wasn't too airsick [​IMG]

    Depart: 11:45 AM 4/27/12 from KHEZ. Left about two hours late due to broken clouds at 1800AGL. Winds 200@13G17
    Destination: Destin, FL KDTS Arrival: 2:25 PM

    Notes: Set out for our flight understanding that it would be bumpy because we would stay below the clouds. After 125 Miles the clouds because scattered and we were able to climb on top and maintain VFR. We stayed to the south of the Desoto MOA and enjoyed beach views from Mobile to Destin. The traffic in the Destin area is a little hectic but I felt prepared having learned to fly out of KADS. Taxied up to Destin Jet and we were off to the beach.

    Depart: 11:00 AM 4/30/12 from KDTS. Weather clear and winds calm.
    Destination: Nowhere

    Notes: I took a friend from the area on a 1 1/2 hr coastline flight. While it was a little hot we did see some neat things and enjoyed our flight over the white sandy beaches.

    Part 2.
    Depart: 7:00AM 5/2/12 from KDTS. Weather conditions are clear with winds 170@11G19
    Scheduled Destination: Natchez, MS KHEZ

    Actual destination: Raymond MS KJVW Arrival: 9:00AM

    Notes: Took off right at 7:00AM to try to beat some clouds rolling into the area. All was going good until we got about 30 miles SE of Natchez. The clouds were becoming tighter and the base was noticeably lower. At this point I was checking the weather at surrounding areas and didn't feel comfortable traveling any further. I begin to look for an airport to take a break and check the weather. Unfortunately the airports in the Jackson MS were my best bet. I chose KJVW and received some vectoring from ATC to make sure I wasn't too turned around.

    I can not say enough good things about the staff at KJVW. They were extremely accommodating and asked for nothing in return. The airport manager and staff will be receiving a few gift cards in the next week. We were very impressed and feel the need to do something for these kind people.

    My wife had important meetings the next day so I was forced to take their courtesy car to Jackson Int'l to let her fly home that afternoon.

    That afternoon KJVW received 1.8 inches of rain in two hours. Needless to say I wasn't going anywhere fast. I bummed a ride from a mechanic back into town and checked myself into a hotel.

    The next day the clouds were still low and broken. Still no chance of leaving. The airport was actually closed for a jet RC plane get together. I had a great time walking the flight line looking at these very expensive jets. Seeing a remote control plane fly at 250 mph is pretty dang impressive. They were a nice group of people and I was surprised at how many of them fly GA as well.

    I was finally able to leave KJVW at 1:00PM The clouds were broken at 3,000 and the wind was very light.

    Depart: 1:00PM 5/3/12 from KJVW
    Destination: KADS

    Notes: I planned my route of flight to stick close to I-20. There are lots of airports along the way and the day before had reinforced the importance of having options.

    I stayed below the clouds until the Shreveport area when I was finally able to escape the bumps. The anticipation of getting back to my airport and hearing voices I recognized on the radio was something I didn't expect. Touched down in Addison at 4:30PM.

    Total clock time on the plane was 12.9 hrs. Total mileage was near 1,200 miles. The lessons I learned are many, especially concerning trip planning and understanding the weather around you. My instructors deserve a huge amount of praise for preparing me for this type of flying. Maybe ignorance is bliss but I never felt intimidated or unable to perform this trip.

    Bill D.
     
  2. saracelica

    saracelica Pattern Altitude

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    Sounds like you did good! You had your outs and you didn't have get there itis for your wifes' meeting.

    I'm a little offended by the greeting at the top but I know women pilots are rare. :(
     
  3. txnightster

    txnightster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just copied this from an email I sent to some pilot friends this morning. Didn't even think that it was addressed to guys. Sorry!
     
  4. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Great trip report. It reinforces the "allow extra days thing" for me, for sure. My only XC that involved overnights, I told my passenger that we might not make it home (just to warn him). Sure, his boss and my boss would have probably been surprised, but we didn't think they would mind.

    Weather wasn't the best on the way home but we made it. Weather on the way there was the most perfect day I've ever seen. Like you, I learned a lot on that trip about weather. Especially since all the airports on Foreflight were telling me "clear below 12,000 feet" which was NOT the case in the air.
     
  5. Apache123

    Apache123 Line Up and Wait

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    Hey, Steve!
    I'm planning a flight to Pensacola and Destin this summer. The Destin-area military activity / flight rules looks complex, did you have to give way to military traffic at all or?
     
  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Nice trip.
     
  7. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    Very nice trip, glad to see you didn't feel rushed to get back to home base.
     
  8. woodfire

    woodfire Pre-Flight

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    Sounds like a you had a great trip.
     
  9. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I've always sorta thought Destin (KDTS) was a viation waiting to happen. It's the only airport I know of that is uncontrolled AND inside class D airspace. I think it would be very easy for a VFR pilot to just announce on the CTAF and launch into the delta without contacting the tower.
     
  10. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    We have Airpark Dalas (F69) inside Addison's Delta space, you just launch and contact them as soon as you are off the ground (can occasionally contact them from the ground, but generally, no).

    Have on occasion flown from Airpark to Addison,, typically about 60 seconds in the air.
     
  11. numl0ck

    numl0ck Line Up and Wait

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    Sounds like a great trip, and a nice writeup. Congrats on the "long" x-country.
     
  12. Gubbins

    Gubbins Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Great trip report. I am planning on making the exact same trip Addison to Destin in a few weeks time. Good to hear that Destin is not too hectic from a fellow KADS based pilot!
     
  13. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I'm no FARs expert, but I'm pretty sure its a requirement to establish two way communication with ATC 'prior' to entering class D airspace. If the airport in inside the delta then as soon as you rotate you are IN the delta.

    Is there some sort of LOA or waiver of some kind at F69? I'm not even aware that its possible to waive that requirement...
     
  14. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    concur with your self assessment

    Contact after take-off is all that is required...
     
  15. txnightster

    txnightster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In Destin you are required to contact Eglin tower before you cross the hold short line. All VFR traffic is given a sq.code and an alt. Then you switch to unicom and work your way into the destin traffic.

    We did see lots of military traffic but we were so low it was no factor.
     
  16. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Oh no, I've been told on high authority that all you need to do call after you take off!

    Ha ha.
     
  17. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Nice trip report and one of my favorites. Even when I fly past Destin on the way to or back from Orlando, I always look down and identify it when I can. I'm usually higher now and IFR, but your wonderful report reminds me of earlier days in planes where I flew as you are. Thanks for sharing.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  18. Funkeruski

    Funkeruski Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Damn, that sounds like fun.....
     
  19. txnightster

    txnightster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Dave, the flight to destin in your King Air is almost cheating. :) maybe we need to get you in something smaller every once in a while.
     
  20. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Nice flight. Did you not climb above the broken layer(s) because you did not want to take a chance on not finding a hole to descend later?
     
  21. txnightster

    txnightster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Alfa, you are correct. Dealing with the bumps gave me less anxiety than getting "stuck" in the clouds. I have read far too many reports of VFR into IMC.

    Bill D.
     
  22. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Absolutely. Peace of mind trumps smooth ride. :yesnod:
     
  23. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    Good report! Made my first trip down to KDTS last summer. I was a little worried about the extra routing required for coming in from the north, but, believe it or not, the online FAA training for the area was actually accurate!

    The *ONLY* downside to DTS is that when you leave the airport, you are in the 'thick' of the traffic in the area and it can take a while to get away from the hullabaloo of all the major touristy spots. Other than that, it's a great destination!