Today our Angel Flight Mission took us over to Charlottesville Virginia then up to Baltimore Maryland. This was one of our shorter flights we have had in awhile.
We departed home base Luray and headed south over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Charlottesville, which is literally just a hop over the mountains….. total flight time was 17 minutes covering 34 nautical miles (we did not even file an IFR flight plan we just proceeded VFR) Conditions were a little choppy due to the fairly strong gusting winds we had and we leveled off at 4500 feet over the mountains to stay clear of the clouds (VFR requires you to be clear of clouds) After contacting Potomac ATC and giving our request to land at Charlottesville they soon turned us over to the Tower and we were cleared to land on runway 3.
Our passenger, Donald and his Friend Camille were waiting for us in the FBO…. it was very nice getting to see Donald again (we have flown Donald many times in the past but it had been awhile since the last time) Then after all of our greetings we loaded up ready to depart for Baltimore MD (BWI)…..once receiving our IFR Clearance we departed on runway 3 heading around the east side of the highly restricted airspace surrounding our Nations Capital. ATC generally keeps you quite a good distance away as you travel around it, but today they gave us some major shortcuts that not only got us to BWI in record time, it also got us within about 20 miles of the Capital ! (See the zoomed in photo below of the Washington Monument) They had to keep us a 5000 feet to do this but that was fine. The ride was a little choppy but not bad at all and the sky overhead was mostly cloudy, visibility was fairly good.
As we neared BWI, we were cleared right in on an ILS 33R approach with no delays ! The winds were fairly strong and gusty as we landed, but they were pretty much straight down the runway. Once parked and unloaded (and taking a few pictures) we headed into the FBO were we gave our hugs and goodbyes to Donald and Camille. Then we loaded back up, received our IFR clearance, and departed BWI on 33R heading for home.
Our ride back to home base was also a little choppy (not bad at all) with a little wave action from the mountains. ATC once again gave us a very good shortcut as we were coming around the restricted area north of Washington and as we approached our home area we requested a GPS 22 approach into Luray to get down thru the clouds that we encountered in the valley. Once out of the clouds we canceled our IFR and proceeded to land on runway 4. The winds were fairly strong and gusty (this time a crosswind) landing back at home base, but 49Bravo didn’t care !
As we taxied to the hanger to tuck 49Bravo snugly back in we were already thinking of our first cup of coffee of the day ! So as we enjoyed not just one, but two cups of coffee each we sat and discussed things of much importance, such as upcoming flights ! Then, as always, we set out on one of our most dangerous parts of the day…… our ride home !
Total Flight Time for today was 2.8 hours covering 271 nautical miles over 3 States.
This was Mission Number 407 for Captain John and Mission Number 277 for myself (Nevin)
Following are Photos of our Flight
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