John Billings ………. ( Flying with a Purpose….. to bring Help and Hope to those in Need ) ………. Nevin Showman
Angel Flight May 24th 2017
Our flight today took us up to Baltimore Maryland and then over to Lewisburg West Virginia. Our passenger (Little Kathryn) would be beginning her way back home with her mom (Jessie) to Tupelo MS…… We flew Kathryn last week (May 16th), then we were the last leg getting her to Baltimore for her appointments, but on this trip we were the first leg starting their journey back home.
Our flight conditions up to Baltimore were smooth with widespread clouds and rain….. after departing Luray, we climbed thru some low lying cloud layers and leveled out at 7000 feet and from there to BWI we were in and out of the clouds most all the way. Once reaching Baltimore ATC worked us in very well for an ILS approach to runway 15L at BWI. When Kathryn and her mom arrived we met them at the car and Kathryn greeted us with her wonderful smile (she was sporting new pink shoes that matched her pink crutches…. she is such a cutie !) After talking of their stay in Baltimore and what they had done, we loaded up getting ready for our departure from BWI. After receiving our clearance we departed BWI from runway 15L and were given vectors that turned us out and right over Inner Harbor (Good Photo Op) They continued turning us with vectors that actually brought us back around close to the airport…. then they gave us a heading that really shortened our actual route to Lewisburg ! We figured they probably would not keep us there long, but to our surprise they did just that…. plus, once we got a little further along ATC gave us direct to Lewisburg ! (This turned out to be some of the best handling we have received from ATC in the Baltimore area….. Our hats are off to all the controllers involved !) Our flight conditions at 6000 feet heading to Lewisburg were fairly smooth with a little tailwind component while being mostly in the clouds (saw the ground very little) We made our instrument approach into Lewisburg using GPS 22…. we broke out of the clouds at about 1200AGL and greeted runway 22 right there in front of us. After landing we taxied to the FBO and as always, we were greeted by the great, friendly staff. We were informed that Kathryn and Jessie’s 2nd pilot (Our good friend Cleve Benedict…. West Virginia’s Pilot of the Year) would be waiting for them around at his hanger, so after our goodbyes, hugs and taking pictures the airport staff gave them a ride around to Cleve in a nice red golf cart….. I think Kathryn really enjoyed that by the smile she was giving us as they drove away ! From Lewisburg, Kathryn and her mom would fly with Cleve to meet even yet another pilot (Jack Byrd) that would finish their day flying getting them home to Tupelo MS. It was such a pleasure to have been able to be such a little part of Kathryn’s life for a very brief period….. but certainly it was long enough to make a lasting impression……such an inspiration she is ! We hope for her all the best that life has to offer ! (remembering that the best life has to offer is not referring to the things we measure with dollars and cents….. but the things that are much more important…. that so many times we take for granted, such a good health !)
Before we departed Lewisburg we traveled about 3 miles down the road for another great reuben sandwich at the Dutch Haus Restaurant (Great Place with Great Food and Staff !) and even though the Airport Courtesy Car was not available….. Cleve Benedict (Pilot #2)graciously told the staff that we were welcomed to use his truck around by his hanger ! (Thank You So Much Cleve !) Once back from enjoying our lunch we loaded up and received our clearance, then we departed on runway 4 heading back into the clouds…. after gaining enough altitude to clear the mountains we turned direct to home base Luray. We stayed in the clouds all the way to Luray making an instrument approach, GPS to runway 4 ….. we came out of the clouds about 2500AGL and said hello to the runway laying out there in front of us.
After tucking 49Bravo snugly back into her hanger we enjoyed a nice cup of hot hanger coffee and as always had some great conversation….. (We never seem to run out of things to talk about) Total flight time for todays flight was 4.1 hours covering 433 nautical miles over 3 states. This was mission number 373 for John and mission number 261 for myself (Nevin)
Following are some photos of the day…. not as many as normal due to being in clouds most of the day. As always, Thanks for viewing and Have a Great Day !
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