Today we departed home base Luray at 10:30am heading for Caldwell NJ. Our flight conditions were mostly IMC (In the clouds with no outside visibility) with a very strong tailwind of around 30 plus knots (we averaged around 180mph ground speed all the way) The ride was fairly smooth and the outside air temperature at 7000 feet stayed around 40 degrees which kept us from getting ice. We arrived at Caldwell ahead of schedule and found out that our connecting flight from Boston would be about one hour late. Our passengers today (Turner Ashby and Clover Parando) would be heading home after being in Boston (at the Beth Israel Hospital) to Oakland MD. Angel Flight Pilot Bob Miller would be flying them to us at Caldwell from Boston, where we would then continue them on home to Oakland. After they arrived and we had our greetings, we loaded up and departed Caldwell at around 2:00pm heading west to Oakland MD (Garrett County airport).
Our flight conditions to Oakland were much the same as our flight to Caldwell, except for the difference of winds…. now, instead of a nice strong tailwind, we had a not so nice strong headwind. So after being directed to contact departure, we requested our final cruise altitude to be 4000 feet (this made our headwind component much less and helped considerably on time and fuel) For most of this time we were at the bottom edge of the cloud cover slipping in and out of the clouds, the outside air temperature hovered around 50 degrees and the ride was fairly smooth. As we neared the higher terrain we needed to climb to 5000 feet to stay within ATC’s radar coverage, by this time the lower clouds had dissipated leaving only the higher cloud layers. Once in the Oakland area were able to make a visual approach and land on runway 27 at Garrett County… (there was still plowed snow remaining along the runway from a snow event Garrett County had earlier in the week !)
After taking a few pictures and giving our goodbyes to Turner and Clover, we purchased 10 gallons of fuel and departed Garrett County headed for home. As we leveled off at 7000 feet we were in clear conditions with a nice tailwind component and a fairly smooth ride. It was now around 5:00pm and the late day shadows on the mountains along with the sun beams streaming thru the upper level clouds made for some really nice views (We always love the views from our office window, even when we can not see anything !)
After landing back at home base Luray on runway 4 we tucked 49Bravo back into her hanger and very much enjoyed a nice hot cup of hanger coffee…… our very first of the day ….. along with some great conversation about things of much importance ! Then, as always, we set out on one of our most dangerous parts of the day….. the drive home !
Total flight time for today was 5.1 hours covering 576 nautical miles over 5 States. This Angel Flight was Mission Number 409 for Captain John and Mission Number 279 for Nevin.
Following are photos of the flight…… not so many due to being in and out of the clouds most of the day.
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