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A Perfect Day of Flying

My son Daniel was in Savannah for the weekend with a crowd of golf buddies. He wanted to get from Savannah to Augusta today without making his whole crowd divert there on their drive back to Birmingham. A perfect opportunity for Sky King to fly to the rescue.

Because I need some more instruction in this plane, I arranged for an instructor to do the flight with me beginning at about 8:45 this morning. The plan was two hours to Savannah, about 45 minutes to Augusta, a quick lunch, and then about two hours back to Birmingham. And that’s pretty much what it turned out to be. A fabulous day of flying.

It was a beautiful morning when we departed Birmngham. We flew part of the trp at 7,000 feet and went up to 9,000 about half way there to get over some clouds and above the bumpy air. Daniel was waiting for us and we bounced our way at 4,000 feet on the short trip to Augusta. After looking for some lunch and finding only crackers and candy, we departed Augusta and arrived back in Birmingham around 4 pm.

My engine seemed to run a little rough right after takeoff. I just had an oil change and had new GAMI Injuectors installed to even out fuel flow among the cylinders. I have no idea why any of this would cause roughness, but the plane seemed to be vibrating a little more than usual on the climbout. However, it seemed to get better as the day wore on and, truthfully, it’s hard to tell how much of this is real and how much imagined. I’ll keep an eye on it.


07-Apr-2013 N881RJ Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Intl (KBHM) to Savannah/Hilton Head Intl (KSAV) 08:50AM CDT to 12:01PM EDT, 2:11

07-Apr-2013 N881RJ Savannah/Hilton Head Intl (KSAV) to Augusta Regional (KAGS) 12:34PM EDT to 01:18PM EDT,  0:44

07-Apr-2013 N881RJ Augusta Regional (KAGS) to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Intl (KBHM) 02:39PM EDT to 03:50PM CDT, 2:11

My instructor was a young man named Steven Bromberg, who is a full-time corporate pilot in Birmingham. We did exactly what I needed. We spent a good bit of time at first just flying VFR (visually) and going over how to work the avionics on my plane. For part of the trip over to Savannah, I donned the “Foggles”, which are glasses that only allow you to see the instruments so that I was flying “Simulated Instrument”. Then, when we arrived at Savannah, we executed an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach using the autopilot and without the Foggles. Heading up to Augusta, I spent a little more time with the Foggles and did another approach flying by hand with the Foggles on. When we returned to Birmingham, I did a GPS instrument approach, again flying by hand with the Foggles. Steven turned out to be an excellent instructor, pointing out things to watch and keeping me pretty much on track. I’m not really there yet but this was excellent practice, and things are coming back to me with good instruction.
My experience in Orlando was not a good one, but at least it showed me where I need work. A great instructor as I had today and a leisurely cross-country flight can make all the difference. Things need to start out in a methodical way without jumping into too much excitement at once. My instrument scan is coming back, slowly, and I believe with a little practice, I’ll get my instrument proficiency back pretty quickly.
Onward and Upward!


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