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Don 07-02-2012 12:29 PM

First Pilot n Paws mission
I don't know that this is strictly RV related as I flew the mission in my Cherokee 140, but I learned about Pilots n Paws on this site from another RV-9a pilot and for the whole mission I was thinking how much more fun and efficient the flight would be when I'm done with my build.

Anyway, I just move to a new airport (to me), KXSA and one of the pilots there had been flying Pilot n Paws missions and wanted to know if I could do one this weekend. It was something I was interested in so I took him up on it. I had heard mumblings about 3 puppies but when I arrived at Elizabethtown, NC, Sylvia had a van full of critters to split between me and another pilot. It never occurred to me that one could fly a Cherokee with 19 souls on board but I did without coming close to W&B limits. It helped that 15 of the critters were kittens. The other 3 were dogs. I really expected my first PnP flight to be with just one or two critters but they cut me no slack and since it seemed safe in all respects (no loose critters, and W&B within limits), I figured what the heck?

It was 2.3 hours each way between KXSA and KEYF. I'm sure it would be 1.5 hours or a bit less in the 9a. Lots of fun, and while it was hot, the visibility was good, the air was a lot smoother than I expected, and it was uneventful in most respects. I've got to say, I like flying with a purpose - it really helps to focus the flight and flying a lot better than the lazy local evening flights for my fun.

Here are a few pictures of some of the critters (sorry for the quality, or lack thereof. My wife took them with her iPhone).

tkatc 07-02-2012 02:47 PM

Great job Dan! I suggest somebody move this post to the charity section so it can be archived and not deleted in a few weeks!

petehowell 07-02-2012 03:29 PM

Way to Go!
Feels good, huh?

paul mosher 07-02-2012 04:34 PM

Great job
If only everyone were this kind to animals...

rv7boy 07-02-2012 09:02 PM

Another Pilots 'N Paws pilot

Originally Posted by tkatc (Post 675538)
... I suggest somebody move this post to the charity section so it can be archived and not deleted in a few weeks!


Great job, Don! (the original poster) Your post pretty much captures the thoughts I've had. I've flown maybe a dozen missions in the last two years, and I've not had one problem. I fly a 172 and have done the mental math on each trip as to how much faster the trips will be with my RV when I finish it. There are thousands of pets euthanized each year because the rescuers can't transport all of them to adoptive homes.

Don 07-03-2012 09:43 AM


Originally Posted by petehowell (Post 675554)
Feels good, huh?

It felt good on a bunch of levels, Pete. It was from reading your stories here that I got interested in this program. I'm not sure if I'd have heard of it otherwise. Sometimes connecting the dots in something like this seems to take random events (you posting here, me reading your posts, an independent decision to move my plane from one airport to another, etc.) and makes sense out them.

What is nice in my case is, I moved to a new airport to save $100/month on hanger rent, $1 or more per gallon on fuel (I'm paying $4.95, if you can believe it), and to get back to the feel of a small, rural airport. It turns out that one of the pilots there (Greg, not an RV'r) is active in PnP and when I mentioned the program to Amy at the front desk on Thursday, on Friday she had me talking to Greg who couldn't do this mission, and on Saturday morning I was picking up 18 animals. Another random fact associated with this flight was my brother learned to fly at Elizabethtown and had a Cherokee 140 based there for a while.

So, things worked out for a variety of reasons, starting with you. When I get the 9 done, expect to see a lot more travel reports....My goal is to give the Ruskie here a run for his money. I've got a wife who likes to travel and isn't afraid to spend money....

petehowell 07-03-2012 12:24 PM

It just gets better!
Hey Don,

Almost a 1000 hours on our -9A and we really enjoy taking trips and seeing new places - planning new trips is half the fun!

I can't wait to see what that o-340 will do in yours! Finish her up!

mrreddick 07-04-2012 02:26 PM

PnP Flight
Glad you are on board with animal rescue flights.
It can be so rewarding! I just completed one today. We saved a Jack Russell terrier from a kill shelter in Fort Worth. She is now at her new forever home in Erie, CO.

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