It's been a very quick two nights at SNF. I woke up on Saturday to the Sun n Fun Hot Air Balloon Launch. The conditions were perfect - no winds and severe CAVU.
It pains me to post this, but my friend Peter had a much better pic of the balloon launch...even if his Sonex is in the foreground.
As much trash-talk as I to my buddies airplane, I don't hold a torch to his workmanship.
I wasn't the only one who appreciated the workmanship under the hood - Peter won the "Best Auto Engine Homebuilt" award for his SDS fuel injected hamster. Congrats my friend! Well deserved!!!
My journey home wasn't looking all that optimistic. There was a slow moving system consisting of low ceilings and thunderstorms moving across the south.
My plan was simple - fly as long as I can until I can't maintain VFR or a suitable amount of fuel in reserve. Heading north out of FL I finally had a little push by the wind gods.
The weather north of Waycross, GA seemed to be questionable at best. So I put down here for some fuel and a more thorough look at the weather.
Upon landing, it was apparent I wasn't the only Sun N Funner hesitant to fly further north. This place was packed with every type of aircraft trying to head north. The FBO at KAYS was ready for us - they had incredible BBQ for all of us. At least 4 groups of pilots elected to spend the night here and wait until tomorrow - which proved to be difficult since the "swamp show" was in town and booked most of the hotels. The airport manager assured me and another pilot he had no quarrels with us camping at the airport.
This was a SOLID 3 hours of nearly every pilot on their phones and tablets trying to dissect the weather and try to plan to get through it. Multiple people were thinking of flying as far west as Montgomery, AL to swing around it.
AND this is the very moment I was humbled. My new Sonex friends texted me after they landed in NC asking me where I was. Completely baffled how they accomplished this goal I asked how - and they quickly offered the secret of a very large broken layer at 3,500'! I figured I have nothing to loose - might as well poke around and see what options exist while the sun is up.
By Jove, those Sonex'ers were right!!! Well not at 3,500', I was able to safely find a ample VFR space at around 6,500'!