Today we started off at O’Dark 30 so that we could get over to Stafford Virginia to pick up our passenger (4 year old little Mason) along with his mom Dorothy and then get them over to Cincinnati Ohio by 11:00am. From there they would be going to the Children’s Hospital for Masons appointments.
We were rolling down runway 22 before sunrise in low visibility due to fog. Weather was being reported as one quarter mile visibility with a 200 foot ceiling. Conditions above the fog were mainly clear except for a few higher clouds. As we climbed thru the fog and began our turn towards the east, we were greeted by the first hints of the sun over the Blue Ridge Mountains (What a Beautiful Site !) Flight conditions were smooth as silk as we climbed up and over the Blue Ridge Mountains heading to Stafford (Stafford is located right along side Interstate 95 in Virginia)….. At that time, Stafford was reporting low visibility as well due to fog, so we would take a look and then decide the plan of action, either a visual approach if the fog was thinning, or an instrument approach to get down to minimums to see if a landing would be assured….. it ended up by being a visual with no issues at all to land, the fog was very thick in places and thinning in others, and it just so happened to be thinning at Stafford. When we first got the field in site, the approach end was still somewhat obscured with fog but not enough to be a problem and as we were turning final the fog was still there but thin enough to see thru. So we landed on runway 33 and taxied into the ramp.
We had told Masons mom Dorothy that we should be landing by 7:30 and as we were shutting down 49Bravo I looked at my watch and it was exactly 7:30 (what luck !). Just as we were walking into the FBO Mason and his mom Dorothy were entering in on the other side ! We greeted them and found out that this would be Masons first ever airplane ride (Mom, herself, had flown before but never on a small airplane) So this was going to be a FUN flight ! (Actually, all flights are FUN)
After loading up we departed Stafford heading west to Cincinnati. Flight conditions were nice for Mason’s first airplane ride, very smooth with a few clouds to go thru along the way with only light bumps while poking thru them. We had a little headwind component which helped to make our total flight time getting to Cincinnati a little over 3 hours. Mason done very well with no problems and I believe he really enjoyed the many different views we had on the way. (He also had the help of his moms phone playing games to pass the time)
Once at Cincinnati we were given Vectors for the ILS 21L Approach into Lunken Field (where we would be landing) It had been socked in all morning with fog as well, along with some low scattered cloud layers. Just prior to our arrival the fog had started to burn off, so after getting thru the lower clouds the fog no longer was any issue. As we landed, Mason and his mom cheered ! (I am not sure if it was because they were that glad to get back on the ground or if they just really enjoyed the flight, and the landing …… I think they just really enjoyed the flight ! )
After we had got out and unloaded, Dorothy asked the nice lineman if he would take a picture of us at the airplane and he said sure ( which is one of the following photos) We are always treated very nicely everyplace we go ! As we were walking in, another very nice gentleman held the door for us who turned out to be the driver that would be taking Mason and his mom to the Children’s Hospital (Timing again worked out great) After our goodbyes and telling them we would see them on Friday (That’s right, we will be doing another double mission this Friday to bring them home !) we loaded up and got our IFR clearance for back home.
We departed Lunken Field on runway 3R and soon were cleared on our filed course heading home. After reaching our cruise altitude of 9000 feet we initiated a critical phase of flight, our I.A.P. (In Air Picnic) of which we enjoyed very much along with always good conversation, all the while taking in all the beauty out of our office windows ! The ride was fairly smooth all the way until the higher ridges on the eastern side of West Virginia (At the WVA-VA boarder) were the clouds did not like us poking thru them and they really let us know by shaking things out our pockets ! Once over the Beautiful Shenandoah Valley we canceled our IFR and quickly descended down winding thru openings in the lower clouds. At home base we landed on runway 4 with very light winds completing what now is a total of 404 Angel Flight Missions for Captain John (and I believe for me … Nevin …. my 274th Mission) As we were taxing towards 49Bravos hanger our thoughts were already on our next flight (on this Thursday the 12th)…… to investigate UFO sightings in Williamsburg VA (That right, UFO’s !……. stay tuned for more on that !)
Our total flight time for todays flight was 6.3 hours covering 705 nautical miles over 3 States.
Following are Photos of our Flight
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