Friday, February 18, 2011
Today I got a text from my friend Blake to tell me he was free to go flying, so a little re arranging and a quick sprint down the freeway (motorway for the english) a quick pre-flight we charging down runway 9L easterly for a great trip out.
I flew us out of KTMB over the start of the Keys then a right turn to follow the coast line of south Florida, hoping to eventually come across Everglade City KX01 for a quick touch and go and then onto 10,000 park, which is literally 10,000 islands.
The views were amazing and as we came around the point and started up the west coast of Florida the wind seemed to be picking up and it felt as though we were standing still in the air, although still getting a G/S of 95kts.
I started to see Everglade city in the distance, I had visited there by road a few months ago at xmas and its a nice little place, with the air strip right in the water. We passed vertical over head to see the wind socks bellowing a 17knot cross wind and decided that a landing might be best avoided as one gust would leave us a little wet and I didn't have a change of clothes on board.
So we carried on up the coast towards Marco Island as Blake hadn't seen it before and did a circuit of the Island paradise of the Millionaires until I started getting a little worried about some of the radio calls I was hearing in the area of Marco airport which is unmanned with no air traffic control, the radio calls we quite mad, people calling Final approach when they were arriving Perpendicular from the airfield.
So I didn't want to see the results of that and Blake suggested a trip to see KTNT or better known as Dade-Collier County airport.
This place is amazing, and I mean amazing. Its and international airport , 10,500 yard runway built to take the space shuttle as well as billed at the biggest airport in Florida to take all international traffic.
The problem was they built the runways and when it came to get the planning through government for the rail links and the airport it was refused so here lies the biggest white elephant possible but more precisely biggest play ground for pilots you can think of.
Just imagine having an airport the size of Heathrow just for yourself in a light aircraft. Now I wont be naming names or anything but there have been stories heard about some fun being had here with planes and testing take off capabilities, even having a game of keeping a plane doing a wheelie on 2 wheels for as long as possible whilst landing but the less said about that maybe the better !!!!
Anyways..... as there isn't an apron at the airport you can park up anywhere you like and even have picnic if you like its quite mad.
After a stop for a quick bite to eat and drink I took off and we were off into the big blue in the direction of the Miami "Daytona" racing track and over Key Biscayne which we were able to pass at 1000ft.
KTMB (Tamimiami) airport was really busy so we decided instead of heading in we would get pretty low under the Miami approach and head up the Famous South Beach and boy was it worth it. We got down to about 500ft and followed the golden sand up the beach and was even taking a few pictures at the same time, it was possibly one of the most fun flying trips I have done yet, we then did a 180 degree turn back down the coast and managed to get back into Tamiami to take the plane home after nearly 4 hours out, as you can see from the pictures we had a lot of fun and I can't wait to do it again......
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