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XXX Flight: 2013-0527-1 in N12556 (Penny) for $
KCNI - KAMG - KFHB - 09J - KSSI (flying time 3:32)
Flight Notes:
Flying the dogs down to KSSI for the summer, and taking the opportunity to stretch it a bit to accomplish my commerical long cross-country. This will be all about dead reckoning, navigation, and pilotage. (David Thorburn-Gundlach)

From KCNI (Cherokee County Municipal Airport) 2013-05-27 12:23:33 to KAMG (Bacon County Airport) 2013-05-27 14:24:58 [02:01:00] with 1 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) /
Leg Notes:
We headed out a bit late but still in good time for arrival around noon, well before any afternoon storms were predicted to perhaps pop up. The dogs were buckled in, the gear was stowed, tabitha was on my yoke, and it was a great start.
I rang up ATC and opened my VFR flight plan, got flight following, and got my request to transition through KATL's Bravo. Oh, yeah! I had quoted going to, say, Thomaston before heading to Alma, but they pulled me a bit west of the airport, which actually gave me a fantastic view as I went by. Surprisingly, it wasn't all too busy; I suppose the holiday relaxed their schedule a bit. Still, though, it was as always an awesome sight.
As soon as I was past, ATC cleared me to proceed direct to Alma, so I made a guess at 140 degrees and flew that until I could pick up the VOR and fly it down. I did not too badly, I think. Along the way, planned a crossing radial from Tifton to keep me honest and crossed it right about when expected. Hey, I can use that river after all! :-) The whole ride went very smoothly, with only a light haze layer; what a gorgeous day. Filed a PIREP to stay in practice, too. Along the way I played with Garmin Pilot on tabitha, and it was way excellent. Happy Father's Day to me!
With a fixed-pitch prop, I can't go too terribly fast, but for fun you can see here that I kept my speed right up there through the whole descent for about 40nm inbound while dropping at only 300fpm or so the entire way. The dogs never noticed a thing :-) Since I had a VFR flight plan and was only stopping for fuel, I asked if we could maintain the same squawk code and join up when in the air again. ATC gave me 30 minutes and clearance to change freqs; time to get some go juice.
(David Thorburn-Gundlach)

From KAMG (Bacon County Airport) 2013-05-27 14:51:56 to KFHB (Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport) 2013-05-27 15:40:57 [00:49:00] with 1 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) /
Leg Notes:
Added a quart of oil while adding fuel, which wasn't all that surprising after getting some small amount like 7 qts at the annual. She hasn't been running hot, but I'm going to keep her at 6.5 - 7.5 as usual until we really prove out that oil cooler cleaning. Plus the dogs enjoyed a walk and a water break, so things took longer than expected. Sure enough, even though I was only on the ground for 25 minutes, what with the approach on CTAF and then heading out ... yes, ATC closed my flight plan like 3 minutes before I got back to them. Oh, well! They followed me again, and all was well. [And, it turns out, my tail no was still in the system, because Laura was able to see me all the way to KSSI.]
So off we went, only to 5500 this time for the short hop, and down to Fernandina Beach. After my very smooth ride all the way from Cherokee County, it was fun (and funny) when things suddenly started kicking around as I got near the beach and over lots of water and thermals.
They are crazy covered up with runways there, although one is permanently closed and another was temporarily closed. That's a lot of pavement, though! It turned out that I could come straight in on this one again, so since I was running a little behind I just stayed lined up, flew a 10-mile final, and did a touch-n-go for credit before turning north up the beach. My departure and climb were a little slower than I liked, though; even though it was pretty much sea level and not all that warm, it was definitely humid and I think that I was feeling that (even though we still weren't virtually as high as Cherokee on its best day).
(David Thorburn-Gundlach)

From KFHB (Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport) 2013-05-27 15:41:05 to 09J (Jekyll Island Airport) 2013-05-27 16:02:36 [00:21:00] with 1 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) /
Leg Notes:
Then it was time to continue on to Jekyll. The fun thing about the Fernandina & St Mary's area is this tiny little spot called King's Bay -- which is under a tiny little prohibited area maybe 4nm across. It may be small, but you sure don't want to go in there! I didn't even want to go over it, but that was no biggie as my flight path took me another couple of miles east of it. Sure enough, JAX checked in with me to make sure I was aware :-)
The flight up the beach and along Cumberland Island was awesome and gorgeous. I thought that I had found the airstrip, but in fact it must have been some sort of farming clearing, because in hindsight there's no way that could have been long enough for anything other than an ultralight or a crop duster. [I missed Flying Pig, too, who were probably arriving about when I was going by. Ah, well...]
When I got to Jekyll I found a couple of biplanes zipping around. They were obviously giving tours, and they pretty much had the place to themselves. I could have gone on by and still gotten my three places, but I planned 09J and I wanted to include 09J! So I chatted 'em up on the radio and fit myself in -- when, it turns out, they headed off for longer scenic rides, I guess, because they basically disappeared -- for another nice landing. Ah, practice...
This strip was quite a shortie, so rather than a touch-n-go I made it a real landing and taxiied back to the head for departure. Off we went with no incident.
(David Thorburn-Gundlach)

From 09J (Jekyll Island Airport) 2013-05-27 16:02:45 to KSSI (Malcolm McKinnon Airport) 2013-05-27 16:23:13 [00:21:00] with 1 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) /
Leg Notes:
It's finally the home stretch and a short hop to St Simon's. This has been a blast! I took this as basically a sightseeing trip, since in 5 miles there's hardly time to get up to radar coverage level :-) I took off South again and then came around to fly up the beach and across the gap, and then I was in the neighborhood. And that's where it got interesting.
Having come up the river, I was getting set up for a long final to 16, since the wind was pretty much right down it, but then I picked up other traffic using 22, so I broke off, circled around to get out of the way, and then headed over to 22. Hey, I get to do a crosswind landing (although I still stay these folks are weirdos). Now coming in from the North, I'm [fruitlessly] looking for a King Air on his base leg so that I don't get in his way -- when I suddenly see him on RIGHT BASE way over there. Wow... I mean, I don't mind someone flying right traffic, but he should really announce it instead of just calling 'base' without an indicator. This is worse than Gainsville at home, it seems.
So, then, I was finally ready to take my turn on (LEFT!) base and land. It was a little squirrely and I got jounced around here and there, but the landing was nice. And now I have my commercial long cross-country under my belt! :-)
(David Thorburn-Gundlach)