Flight 23: First Cross Country

The weather was nice today. We went to Charlotte County (PGD) in Punta Gorda, about 75 miles south. (See my Cross Country Map.) I had to do some things I hadn’t done before while flying: call Flight Service to activate our flight plan, look for checkpoints, read the sectional (map), and time each leg, all while maintaining a heading and altitude and watching for traffic.

Fortunately the air was smooth, and the wind was light, so I didn’t have much trouble reading, writing, and flying at the same time. (I still had trouble visualizing and entering the pattern at PGD, though.)

We hadn’t planned to spend much time at the airport, but there were some World War II warplanes there, including what I’m told is the world’s only remaining airworthy B-25. We watched a huge B-17 start its four engines one at a time, taxi, and take off, and we were in the pattern with it as we left.

I wish I had taken my camera, but we weren’t expecting to see anything interesting today. (I did get a postcard and snap it at home.) We got to see part of the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico on the way back. It was almost dark when we landed back home, but not quite late enough to count as night flying.

Today: 2.2 hours
Total: 26.8 hours
Total Solo: 3.3 hours

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