The original plan was to fly out to Texas in mid November, get the TARDIS (N251WM) painted and return in time for Christmas with my youngest as co-pilot. The fall weather impacted that plan but not wanting to disappoint (and with gas prices falling) I made the trip anyway to pick him up and fly him out. The older two will fly out commercially on Sunday for Christmas but at least they came to the airport to see us off.
The trip out started out great with a pre-dawn departure. Watching the sun come up was nothing short of spectacular. Unfortunately the pictures don't do it justice.
Enroute I encountered a bit of weather (the line of storms really wasn't there) and picked up an IFR clearance for the remainder of the flight. With a constant 30+ kt headwind I stopped early for gas.
Leg 2 into Hot Springs was the same - depart VMC and arrive IMC to just above mins.
Leg3 WAS to mins. As I listened to Sheppard approach, there were 6 T-38s stacked up to get into SPS and knew if I went missed at CWC it would be an adventure to get in that mix at SPS. Fortunately I broke out with a few feet to spare. DR - I thought it never rained in Texas?
Bed down for the night after a long 9.8 hour day, a basketball game (#10 is mine), and much needed sleep.
Friday was the return trip. I expected sunny skies and clear sailing the entire trip home. Yeah right. OVC004! It did lift to 700' by the time we departed but once again, north Texas?
This leg proved to be the most interesting. Filled for 9k but after encountering trace ice, dropped to 7k. That lasted for about an hour when bam, light rime hit (can you guess where?). Continued the decent to clear air but the ice remained for a while. A testament to this aircraft, there was NO degradation in performance.
The final leg (at night) was uneventful and after 6.8 hours, landed back in Baltimore. Overall was able to manage 165 kts TAS on 9.5-10.2 gph. I continue to be amazed by the performance of this marvelous machine.
My son was a trooper and despite the very cold temps, managed a selfie. I think it says it all and under the mask was a huge smile. After all, he was the first passenger in the TARDIS!