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Safely Home

Safely returned from Orlando to Birmingham today, arriving just on the edge of some rain to the Northwest. It was an uneventful trip, but scattered to broken clouds from 4,000 to 6,000 feet along the way forced me to fly lower than I would prefer, and in the bumpy air caused by heat rising off the earth. So after bouncing around for about three hours, I’m back on the ground. 

For any of you who might have clicked the “Track the Plane” link at the top of this page, the reports are not always accurate. If I was able to file an instrument flight plan, the whole trip would be “in the system” of the FAA and the results would be better. As it is, I always request “flight following” which means you are asking to be watched on radar, but sometimes the entire trip is not really in the computer correctly. A good example is today, where the Flight Aware report shows the following:

Executive (KORL – info)
Orlando, FL
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Intl (KBHM – info)
Birmingham, AL
12:58PM EDT
01:22PM CDT
Scheduled: 12:58PM EDT
Scheduled: 04:28PM CDT
Duration: 1 hour 24 minutes
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Status Landed over an hour ago. (track log & graph)
Aircraft Piper Saratoga (piston-single) (PA32/T – photos)
Speed Filed: 91 kts (graph)
Altitude (graph)
Distance Direct: 411 nm    Planned: 411 nm    Flown: 702 nm
Route n/a

First off you will notice that it says I took off at 12:58 EDT and arrived at 1:22 CDT and the flight time was ! hour 24 minutes. I wish that were true, but I would have had to be going around 290 knots to acomplish that. I actually took off two hours earlier at 10:58 EDT and arrived at 1:22 CDT, so it was actually 3 hours 24 minutes rather than 1:24. It says that I filed for a speed of 91 knots. I actually told them 145 knots air speed, but the headwinds slowed me down and my actual ground speed was only 120 knots. Finally, they show the direct route as 411 nautical miles which is roughly correct, but they say that I actually flew 702 nautical miles. That’s very strange and I have no idea where that came from. I must have flown around in a lot of circles along the way.

At any rate, they show the plane on the ground in Birmingham, and it is. Glad to be home.


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