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XXX Flight: 2012-0725-1 in N12556 (Penny) for $
KRYY - KRYY - KCNI (flying time 1:42)
Flight Notes:
(I had notes for this flight and somehow lost them, so this is from memory. Bummer.)
Our transponder encoder is good! Let's go see Atlanta with Paul (with me as pilot; surprise) and then take Penny home.
(David Thorburn-Gundlach)

From KRYY (McCollum Field) 2012-07-25 21:24:58 to KRYY (McCollum Field) 2012-07-25 22:44:27 [01:20:00] with 1 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) / Skip Gundlach (navigator) / Paul Scharff (passenger) /
Leg Notes:
Yes, I get to be pilot for this "Boy's Flight Out". Woo hoo! Knowing where Paul wanted to go, I had actually done some preliminary mapping the night before for Laura, so I had most of the work done. Before the flight we covered the plans and Paul's needs as well as all procedures, and then we were off. [Have a look here for a blowup if the trip.]
BTW, a tip of the hat to the Atlanta ATC folks, who made it all really easy and didn't even need my careful radial-and-distance notes and let us take an extra turn around downtown again. Thanks, all!
First we headed out of RYY, getting my bearings and working North a bit around Dobbins. Then we were off to Spaghetti Junction and there before I knew it, with Paul shooting on the way in and getting everything he needed before we even started our turn around, but happy to get additional angles and one more really good shot that was worth the extra time; yay.
From there, we headed west across the North side toward Buckhead and then downtown Atlanta. Very interestingly, for the first time I not only saw but smelled the smog as we descended through it. Weird, and yuck! Although the view down was clear enough, looking at the horizon one could definitely see the smog layer from over, in, and under, and it smelled like a cross between cooking food, rotting garbage, and burned rubber. WOW.
With the afternoon sun behind us lighting up the buildings, Atlanta was gorgeous! The fun challenge, I learned later, was to catch buildings at the right time so that they stood out properly rather than having one grow out of the other. Paul is a quick shot, though, so I didn't have to slow down too much, which is good because it was hot and I wanted airflow.
Continuing south, it was time for our pass over Turner field. This was another nice setup with great light, and here again the ATC folks really helped out by letting me right next to -- or perhaps just a little bit inside, I think! -- the ground tier of the KATL B airspace. How cool to be so close to such a HUGE airport! Yes, we may have been about 5 miles away, but it felt like we were right next to it :-)
We turned North to go up the other side of Atlanta, and the change in shadow was amazing. We'll have to do this again on a morning flight to catch Atlanta from the East in great light. Paul wanted to catch the sun side again, and ATC obligingly let me make another run. This time I pulled closer and got more over the top of the stadium so that Paul could get a different angle, too. Along the way I got to learn the story of the baseball diamond painted on a parking lot (do you know it? :-)
Our downtown work was done; it was time to head off to Alpharetta and find the amphitheater. Northward we flew, passing Spaghetti Junction again and loosely running up 400, until my good navigator spotted it coming up on our left and we bent around for a pass. We actually had some trouble identifying it for sure until Paul zoomed in on one of his pictures to see the signage. But, hey, at least they don't make a big red blotch on the ground!
Our primary photo work done, we headed a little farther north to catch our neighborhood and took a turn around Cambridge High, where Madi will start any moment. Go Bears! Then it was back to KRYY to drop Paul at his car and Dad at mine so that we could get home and grab some dinner! On the way over the tower gave me the option of coming straight in or with right traffic, so I elected to fly a right-base leg for practice, which also makes a fun picture :-)
What an awesome flight!
(David Thorburn-Gundlach)

From KRYY (McCollum Field) 2012-07-25 23:15:11 to KCNI (Cherokee County Municipal Airport) 2012-07-25 23:37:56 [00:22:00] with 1 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) /
Leg Notes:
Next I flew Penny back to KCNI while Dad drove TicTac to pick me up. It was another lovely flight, and this time without significant smog; I guess we're far enough away from the downtown congestion :-) The glide to downwind to landing all worked out nicely, too. Still, I wish I had more practice and could *always* grease 'em in! (David Thorburn-Gundlach)