It’s been crazy lately, and I haven’t done a whole lot of flying. However, I did want to take the time to update the blog with my most recent adventure. November 9th was homecoming at the University of Georgia. Since the game was scheduled for 12:30 and the weather looked good I decided to fly to Athens for the game. In the Tripacer, the flight takes right at an hour. Driving takes at least two hours depending on traffic. I had been hoping to do more flying to the games, but kickoff times and weather had been a factor all season. However, everything lined up on that homecoming day. The only taker I had for the game was my oldest son, so we got geared up in our red and black and headed to the airport.
The flight over was nice and smooth. There was a pretty thick layer of cloud cover up high, but it was a perfect day for flying with clear skies and calm wind. This was only my second flight to Athens, having flown over once in September. I quickly remembered why I wanted to fly my kids on that route soon. My 11 year old had a blast seeing Atlanta from 3,500 feet. We flew right by Stone Mountain again, which he also enjoyed. He helped track our flight on Foreflight and took a lot of photos with his iPad mini. I’m so blessed to have three awesome boys that enjoy aviation as much (if not more) than I do.
After Atlanta approach handed us off to the Athens tower, we were cleared to land on runway 27. We maintained 2,500 feet until we passed the stadium to remain clear of the banner towing plane in the area. Runway 27 is slightly downhill and my landing included a little hop that I need to workout on descending runways. We taxied into the grass and hopped on the golf cart back to the FBO. While there was a good bit of traffic in town for homecoming, it really wasn’t as much as I had expected. The ramp was full of turbos, twins and jets, leaving the grass area for us little piston guys. Not that it mattered, because the awesome staff at Athens Ben-Epps Airport seems to be equally courteous to everyone.
Inside the FBO, we purchased our $5.00 round trip shuttle tickets to the game, making the airport some of the “cheapest” parking in town. A few minutes later we were on the shuttle headed to the game. I was really pleased with the whole process. Getting to share the experience with my son made it all the more fun.
The game was a blowout and we left shortly after the fourth quarter started. I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to catch the shuttle and fly back home before it got too dark. The flight back was just as calm as our flight over. We passed back through Atlanta just before dusk. We had fun plane spotting and watching for traffic, though the skies were relatively calm. As always, after a not-so-great landing, I was determined to improve my landing back at West Georgia. I have to admit that it was one of my best landings ever, greasing it onto runway with only the slightest squeak from the tires and a “WOW” from my son. I felt better having impressed him with an improved landing.
This flying stuff never gets old. I love the new adventures and being able to share them with my family. I only hope that I’m building lasting memories for them that they can share with their kids one day.