Mike and I had a pretty amazing opportunity yesterday to fly down to Alabama to see his parents in his uncle’s Cessna 310. Here’s some loud video of the takeoff from the scary little “airport” literally right around the corner from his parents’ house. Seriously, that place was scary. We went in the little building hoping for a restroom, and there’s all this crazy old furniture piled up and this sad little knocked over white Christmas tree and a disassembled bed frame, mattress, box spring. Creepy. A sheriff was sitting in his cruiser right under the little carport thing and didn’t even say a word to us; place is totally unmanned, apparently. Weird, but whatever.
We had great weather on the way down, smooth as buttah. Took less than two and a half hours! Only a few tiny blips on the radar on the way back home, which still took less than two hours. We got to listen in on the headsets to air traffic control, which guided us around the only two minor weather things on the map. They also warned twice of parachute activity in the vicinity, but we never saw them. I wish I’d have put “fly in a private plane” on my Life List. Goes to show how many things I have yet to dare to imagine. Even though autopilot is a disconcerting thing, seeing the pilot flipping through references maybe three feet away from you not looking at or touching the controls or even looking out the windshield for even short intervals, should you ever have the chance, I highly recommend it. I don’t think I see a pilot’s license in my future, but I can see how that would be completely exhilarating. Not to mention the extraordinary reduction in travel hassle of all sorts. Just call, file a flight plan, and go; it’s incredible. A visit that ordinarily requires at least sixteen hours of driving and at least one overnight took less than twelve hours! Priceless.