Idea was to fly to Tampa and rent Harleys; ride down the coast of Florida from Clear Water to Punta Gorda; return to Tampa and fly home. Simple, right? Actually yes – it went off just as planned.
The weather planning on this trip was interesting. No way I would have taken this trip last winter – the risk on not getting the airplane home before March was too great. With this warm front, I thought we could pull if off, and we did.
Prep for the trip had us with a newly rebuilt AI, but without the ability to use the newly installed approach coupler. The signal from the AI to the autopilot caused a wild pitch up. The shop offered a replacement, and we could have waited, but I thought hand-flying some IMC would be good for me and off we go.
Trip south required 1.5 hours of IMC, but no approaches. Ted got to see what light rain and a few bumps felt like. He had wanted to see the Norfolk area from 8000′, but all he saw was white clouds and rain. Temps were warm with no threat of ICE.
Landing at KRBW – Low Country Airport in South Carolina – was uneventful, but windy. We taxiied back, topped off the fuel, and went inside for lunch. Met some nice people, and felt the need for a rest break after 3.5 hours of flying. Headwinds all the way, but ground speeds weren’t horrible.