My oldest son had heard all of the talk from my middle son about the flight to Peach State for a “$100 hamburger.” We had some time one evening and decided to fly down for a quick dinner, returning at sunset. Our route also provided us with other sights to see that interest him, like racetracks, power plants and the soccer fields he played on in Newnan. It was calm and clear, a beautiful evening for a flight.
It’s funny thinking back to the first time I planned a flight to Peach State (GA2). A new airport that I had never been to, with a sloping grass runway. I was a little nervous. However, it’s also pretty amazing how much calmer the next flight to an airport can be, even if it’s only the first return. There’s something about having flown into an airport before that helps ease the nerves from the second flight forward. This time the winds favored runway 13, which I was looking forward to landing on. The slope of 13 is uphill, which helps with the landing roll and the turnoff at the end of the runway puts you right at the Barnstormer’s Grill parking, which is nice. The only catch (and it’s a small one) is that 13 has a right traffic pattern. It’s not a big deal, but you do have to keep an eye on the runway during your base and final turns, since the runway is grass and can blend in with its surroundings. This is especially important when flying a high-wing aircraft like Big Red, where visibility under the wing in a right turn (or left for that matter) can be a little tricky.
The approach to 13 is beautiful. The sun was low in the sky, casting a golden glow over the trees below. The descent on short final guides you between clusters of trees just before crossing the threshold opening up to a nice wide grass strip. With a nice controlled flare, the uphill slope helps bring the landing gear and the ground together softly, making for a smooth landing. Smooth until you rollout that is, as Peach State’s runway can be a little bumpy!
While we were waiting on our food to arrive, we took a quick tour through the Candler Field Museum, established to recreate the old Atlanta airport as it existed in the 1920’s and 1930’s. We enjoyed another great meal at Barnstormer’s Grill before quickly hopping back in the plane for our return flight. The sun had dipped just below the horizon as we departed Peach State. The good news was we had a decent tailwind on the return flight that got us home almost 10 minutes quicker than our flight down. Another plus, we got to activate the runway lights when we got back to West Georgia. We made a nice soft touchdown right between the white lights of the runway, completing another successful flight, and creating memories that simply cannot be captured in a logbook entry.