Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Breakfast in Muncie

Last fall, we had a silent auction at work and one of the items up for bid was a plane ride for two and dinner. You can probably guess that I didn't exactly allow myself to lose. A former president of the company happens to be a pilot (as is his wife) and they own a Cessna 182 RG with another partner. It took a few months of figuring out schedules and working around the weather but we finally managed to get up in the air on June 8th. Dinner also turned into breakfast, which was probably a good idea on a day that temperatures would end up with reaching into the 90s. So my girlfriend (who took all the photos posted here) and I set out early that Sunday morning to Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (MGY) to head off on a cross-country flight to Muncie, Indiana.

While humid and warm, the weather was generally pretty good. We had an IFR clearance (that's Instrument Flight Rules for the non-pilots reading this, which allows you to fly in the clouds) over to Muncie (MIE) and that turned out to be helpful since we flew right through some clouds at 6,000 feet on our way over. Nothing like a little moisture to clean all the bugs off the plane. Otherwise it was an uneventful 35-minute or so flight and we were the only aircraft in the pattern when the tower cleared us to land. The restaurant in Muncie is pretty well regarded by pilots so that's one of the reasons we headed over from Dayton that morning. All the food was quite tasty and we relaxed while eating and saw quite a few other planes land out in front of the restaurant with hungry passengers.

Flying over Interstate 70

Taking off from Muncie

A quick taxi from the restaurant to the runway and we took off, this time VFR (meaning Visual Flight Rules, or stay away from the clouds) on the trip back to Dayton. It was getting a little bumpier with the heat rising off the ground in the late morning, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Instead of going direct, we took the RNAV approach (a way to use GPS satellites to navigate your way to an airport) to Runway 20 at MGY. A side benefit is that this approach takes you right over top of downtown Dayton so we got a great view of the city and surrounding area. You could even see (the photo's below) my office and apartment quite nicely.

Final approach to Runway 20

Back on the ground at the hangar, we chatted for a few minutes before heading on our way. Any time in the air is a good time for me 99.9% of the time, and this was no exception. It was a lot of fun to go up with my girlfriend since a ride is the only way we can go up in a small plane together for the time being. I think it was also a good experience to talk and fly with a pilot who has been flying for over 40 years. As a beginning student, I don't deal with IFR or RNAV approaches - that's a loooong ways off right now - and it was great to have a chance to see them in flight. We also got to enjoy one of the great benefits of general aviation by flying somewhere that would have been nearly two hours by car in about a half hour. As far as I'm concerned, there really is no better way to spend a Sunday morning.

1 comment:

  1. YAY!!!! I was mentioned and pic of me is up :-)
    It was a lot of fun eventhough someone hogged the front seat and made someone else sit in the back. Love you :-*

    Thanks for taking me and I can't wait to fly with you when you get your license.