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  #1  
Old 02-28-2020, 10:15 AM
NovaBandit's Avatar
NovaBandit NovaBandit is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Hastings, MN
Posts: 583
Default Florida Getaway Video conclusion, and some comments about the experience

Hey everyone, posting the conclusion of our first long cross country trip after getting my instrument rating!


https://youtu.be/wRVgvQdNIgo

Some things I learned during the flight, and by watching hours of video while editing:
  1. I need to be better about ending all radio calls with ATC with my tail number. I do pretty good on including it on specific instruction readback, but there is quite a bit of room for improvement.
  2. I should have been more prepared to better know how to load victor airways into the GTN. I had done it before, but it had been a long time ago, and only in the simulator. I was lucky that the GTN is pretty intuitive in the way it handles victor airways... which leads me into the 3rd point:
  3. Amendments to the flight plan. Again, this was the first long cross country trip fully in the IFR environment (outside of my training flights). And it was in the tight airspaces over Florida. And it there was bad weather across most of the state. I think amendments were inevitable, and I am continually impressed by how awesome ATC is to work with.
  4. And finally, in the 400 or so hours I've been flying around the country, we had our most frustrating fuel stop. I had researched my potential stops, looking up prices and user reviews on both AirNav and in ForeFlight. KFAM had great prices and great reviews... but I think things are much more of an unknown when you're planning on landing outside of standard hours. We got to KFAM and the fuel pumps didn't work. No one answered the 24h phone line. Just to get into the FBO, I had to call a number (which they don't mention is the police dept), I had to give them a LOT of information, and then they gave me a code. All in all, a very bad experience when you've been flying for 7 hours, it's cold, the kids are screaming because they're hungry, and I had to tell them to wait while I researched where else I could fly that would have gas and access to food. I don't know what the solution to this would be, other than perhaps physically calling ahead to ask them if things are working...
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2020, 12:09 PM
odens_14 odens_14 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Alexandria, MN
Posts: 316
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sounds like a fund trip! I'm especially jealous of the rocket launch, Space X postponed the launch we were suppose to see on our Florida trip last year but someday I'll see one in person.

With regards to your fuel stop, your suggestion of calling ahead is exactly what I'd do if I knew I was going to be arriving after hours. They likely would have given you the code then and had the crew car keys waiting for you.

Out of curiosity I went to the AirNav site for that airport and both reviews below yours cited good after hours experiences when calling ahead; including having a crew car ready. Obviously this doesn't always work if it's a unplanned stop and some FBOs are less helpful about after hours accommodations; but I feel it's better to know that ahead of time than being frustrated when it's late and you're tired.
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2020, 12:36 PM
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TroyBranch TroyBranch is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
Posts: 457
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We always planned larger airports when on a tight schedule. I would rather pay higher fuel prices and know I can get fuel than worrying about not being able to get fuel. When the kids were really young this was even more important.

Frost builds on the wing really fast on the ground at night in the winter so a really quick turn around is important too. You had a big day of flying and not being able to get fuel would not have been much fun.

Great trip....we are due.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2020, 02:13 PM
Paul K Paul K is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 1,014
Default Great Florida adventure

Really enjoyed your video! Wife and I are getting ready to fly from Michigan to the Bahamas, meeting about 20 other aircraft of various types in Fort Pierce and staying together at a resort way down in Georgetown. Your video and trip is really getting me excited, can't wait!

Thanks,
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Old 02-28-2020, 02:18 PM
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rleffler rleffler is offline
 
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I've gotten in the habit of calling all the FBOs directly before arriving. I too have been burnt by making assumptions. When you talk to a real person that can fill you in on all the nuances about the airport.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2020, 02:36 PM
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Mark Dickens Mark Dickens is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Collierville, TN (KFYE)
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Two observations:

1-In re the gtn, get the flightsteam 510 and just upload your route from Foreflight or Garmin Pilot (and probably other apps). That's what I do. The 510 isn't cheap but when you combine the ability to upload and change your flight plans on the ipad with the ease of updating your database through the database concierge, it makes it worth it IMO.

2-A long time ago, I learned the hard way when traveling with the wife and kids, forget trying to save money. One trip in particular to DisneyWorld in the late 80s comes to mind and from that hellish experience, it's been first class all the way. Spend whatever you have to in order to make sure that the kids aren't screaming and the wife isn't threatening to leave you because "you got a great deal on something". Go into a top of the line FBO that has the free cookies, nice couches, clean bathrooms, etc. You'll spend more but no screaming sounds!
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2020, 02:38 PM
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Mark Dickens Mark Dickens is offline
 
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Location: Collierville, TN (KFYE)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleffler View Post
I've gotten in the habit of calling all the FBOs directly before arriving. I too have been burnt by making assumptions. When you talk to a real person that can fill you in on all the nuances about the airport.
Amen...and that's when you can negotiate fee waivers and find out about any hidden charges
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2020, 04:58 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
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I have never been asked to intercept a Victor route but have been given them a lot in amendments. I just put the VORs or intersections as waypoints and the AP flies the Victor route without entering it. Not even sure I can enter one on the 430W. Pretty much all the Victor routes are built on VOR radials. G routes are different.

Larry
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