Captain Johns 400th Angel Flight Mission !!!
Today we were rolling down runway 22 at 10:45am heading for Roanoke VA. We would be the 2nd leg of a 2 leg flight for our passengers (4 year old Daniel and his Mom Monchea). Daniel and his mom would be departing Norfolk VA with Angel Flight Pilot Ralph Burr, Ralph’s flight would deliver them to us in Roanoke where we would continue them on to their destination, Columbus OH.
Our flight conditions down to Norfolk at 6000 feet were very smooth and clear. While in flight we activated our I.A.P. (In Air Picnic !) Nothing quite like a picnic while almost a mile up in the Sky ! We arrived a little ahead of schedule but only had a few minutes wait until Ralph arrived with Daniel and his mom. After our greetings we loaded up ready to head for Columbus Ohio. We found out that today was the first time ever that Daniel and his mom had been in an airplane ! ……. and the first time ever away from Norfolk ! Little Daniel has a Lymphatic Malformation that is behind one of his eyes (he is blind in that eye)….. he will receiving radiation treatments and then surgery. His mom says that he also suffers from pretty bad migraines at times. To look at, or to be with him, you would never know that he has any problems at all (just a whole lot of energy !)
Our flight to Columbus at 8000 feet took us through scattered layers of cumulus clouds that gave us some pretty good bumps, we assured Daniel and his mom that there was no danger and to enjoy the bumps just as if they were on an amusement park ride (They informed us that they had never been on any of those as well !) There was a cold frontal system moving east that we would be transitioning through as we got closer to Columbus which gave us a few more bumps and some rain showers (we passed thru the weaker links) all the while keeping Daniel and his mom assured that there was no danger (They done very well!) We passed thru the front just in time to do a visual approach to runway 28L in just a little drizzle. The front had made the temperatures really comfortable at Columbus registering at about 72 degrees ! (It was in the 80’s and 90’s to the east of the front)
Once on the ground and in the FBO we exchanged hugs and gave our goodbyes then saw Daniel and his mom on their way (One of the airports staff offered to take them to their destination !) Then we loaded up, received our IFR clearance and departed Columbus headed for home.
Our flight back home once again took us through the frontal system that was working its way east. As always, we examined the cells and their tracks closely as we picked our way through it, encountering only mild turbulence and rain, then once again we were on the other side of it mostly in the clear and back in the much warmer air. We had a very good tail wind on the way home averaging about 180 miles per hour across the ground ! As we approached home base we made a visual to runway 22 and Captain John greased it in as always !
After tucking 49Bravo snugly back into her hanger we enjoyed a nice cup of hanger coffee and great conversation ……. then as most always, began one our most dangerous parts of the day, the ride back home !
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