Well we started to fly up to Kalamazoo today to see our friends the Millins and give some much-earned rides out. It was a pretty day for flying and the plane was in good order, so we gave them a phone call and launched. The clouds were reported as scattered at 5,500′, so we planned to climb above them and cruise to Michigan at about 8,500′. This would give us excellent gliding range (recall that our last trip out of the area resulted in our incident), and we planned to fly a zig-zag pattern to stay closed to paved runways out of an abundance of caution.
Well, a couple of things happened on the way the the ‘Zoo. First, we couldn’t get over the cloud deck. We reached a bit over 9,000′ and the cloud tops were still above us, so we let back down to 4,500′ to pass below them. That is not a great gliding altitude when the surface is at about 1,000’ MSL, but so be it. What came next is what really scrubbed the flight for me, though. I was handling the in flight navigation, since my Sweetie was flying, and I hadn’t pre-loaded the route that I had so carefully planned, I was simply selecting the next waypoint and popping the “Direct To” button. It turns out that works really well when you can select the range of the map. Sadly I’d zoomed the map out to see where Fort Wayne was, and when I went to zoom back in I couldn’t. Suddenly the only airports I can see are Dayton International and Fort Wayne International. Crap.
So, a couple of thoughts. First, sure, I could’ve switched the map to the left screen and the PFD to the right and let Elizabeth handle everything. She hasn’t flown that setup, but she probably would’ve been fine. She also could almost certainly have handled the extra workload. But flying is supposed to be fun. I’m not having fun clipping under the cloud deck and not being able to dial up airports. I’m probably overly cautious by nature. After all, I wouldn’t have bought the kit when Elizabeth put our money down. 🙂 But we don’t have a bunch of hours period, much less cross-country time in the Velocity. I want to enjoy the trip, and there will be other sunny Saturdays for my buddy Andy and I. I will make it up to him.
We did have a fun trip out and back, though, making a longish flight that we recorded, so some new video should be coming soon.
Posted By: Brett FerrellSaturday July 10th, 2010 at 7:17 PM