Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Day 13: Sightseeing

Carbondale, IL (MDH)
86 statute miles (75 nm)
time of flight: 58 minutes

One of my favorite things in flying is taking people for their first small plane ride. After a lazy morning, we made it from the lodge to my sister's house. My mission for the day was to take my nephew Ben and niece Hallie up for a flight. I had hoped to take our friends in Chicago and in Birmingham up, but weather and schedule both interfered. Luckily, nothing disturbed my plan today.

After getting some help from Hallie on the pre-flight, we departed the airport to the south. We almost immediately spotted the area where their house is located, which is just within the Class D airspace to the southeast. I had marked a couple of landmarks as waypoints on the Garmin 396, but the kids had no trouble finding the area of their house, since there is a very recognizable National Guard armory right nearby. Ben got a glimpse of the house, but there wasn't much to see because of shade. After circling once, I gave the controls to Ben. He helped fly us down to Giant City and back toward the airport. We landed, and the kids scrambled over the seat to change to places. With Hallie as first officer we headed out to the west to get a look at the mighty Mississippi River. Ben took this picture from the backseat--it's a view we don't get as pilots.

As the saying goes, any day you fly is a great day. Ben and Hallie enjoyed their flight and I enjoyed giving it.

We finished up with dinner at a local restaurant and then headed back to the lodge to get an early night's sleep so that we could get out at a decent hour the next morning.


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