On today’s flight we departed early from home base Luray (7:10am) headed for Steubenville Ohio. At Steubenville we landed at Jefferson County Air-park to pick up Jennifer (our Angel Flight passenger) From Steubenville we flew Jennifer to Reading PA ….. our original plans were to land at Allentown PA, but Allentown was fogged in. At Reading we connected with Angel Flight Pilot Steven Molder. Steve continued Jennifer onto Bedford MA for her medical appointment at Mass General hospital in Boston.
As we departed home base this morning climbing up and over our beautiful Massanutten Mountains we were greeted by the early morning sun shinning thru our back window giving us a warm glow on our control panel. Our flight conditions once reaching our cruise altitude of 6000 feet were very smooth and clear with a slight tail wind component. As we neared Steubenville we made a visual approach and landed on runway 32 at Jefferson County Airpark. Flight time to Steubenville was 1.3 hours covering 145 nautical miles over 3 states.
After our greetings and hugs with our passenger Jennifer (we have flown Jennifer before) we departed Steubenville headed for Allentown PA. We were vectored around the Pittsburgh area and then put on a direct course for Allentown…. all the while climbing up to our chosen cruise altitude of 9000 feet to take advantage the of the tailwind component we would have. Flight conditions were again very smooth and clear with a wispy type fog hovering near ground. Today, the temperature on the ground was at or below freezing… but the temperature up at altitude was above freezing…. averaging around 45 degrees, this kept the low level wispy fog hugging the ground. This was due to a flow of warm air flowing in advance of a cold front. This created a little problem as we neared our planned destination of Allentown….. Allentown was socked in with fog early but was forecasted to be clear by the time of our arrival…… but that was not to be the case, we needed at least one mile of visibility in order to get in and at the time of our planned arrival they were reporting only a quarter mile visibility. So, after checking weather conditions at nearby airports, we changed our destination to Reading PA were they were reporting 2 miles of visibility …… another problem that arose out of this was letting Steve (the Angel Flight Pilot that we were to meet in Allentown) know that we were diverting to Reading …… our answer to this was ATC ! ATC (Air Traffic Control) worked right along with us keeping everything coordinated and all worked out great…. A Great Big Thank You to ATC !
As we neared Reading we were cleared for the ILS 31 approach and after intercepting the final approach course we were cleared to land. On the ground we were again helped a great deal… this time by Reading’s Tower…. by directing us to an FBO and then also directing Steve to us after he landed. Reading Regional Airport has a very nice Aviation Museum on the field and as we taxied to the FBO we passed an Eastern Airlines Martin 404 that Captain John had flown during his years with Eastern !….(photo below). Flight time to Reading was 2.1 hours covering 251 nautical miles over 2 states.
After Steve (Angel Flight Pilot number 2) arrived, we took some pictures, gave our goodbyes and exchanged some more hugs then departed Reading headed for home. (Steve would be departing with Jennifer heading to Bedford MA)
Our flight conditions back home at 4000 feet were smooth and clear except for quite a bit of haze with a slight headwind component. During our flight back home we initiated a very imported phase …. the I.A.P. (In Air Picnic) which we enjoyed very much while watching the world move by below us ! Back at home base we practiced an LP+V approach to runway 22 and landed with the sun in our eyes (Captain John done a Great Job as always). Flight time back to home base was 1.6 hours covering 161 nautical miles over 4 states. After tucking 49 Bravo safely back into her hanger we enjoyed a very nice cup of hanger coffee while discussing things of much importance …… then, as always, we departed on one of the most dangerous parts of our day……. the drive back home.
Total flight time for today was 5 hours covering 557 nautical miles over 5 states. This made Angel Flight Mission number 415 for Captain John and Angel Flight Mission number 285 for me (Nevin) ….. Thanks so much for your time and we hope you enjoy the following photos of our flight !