Successful flying is all about adapting to changes. And on Friday, there were plenty of changes. When we got up in the morning, the occluded front in the Virginia area wasn’t going to be much of an issue other than an area where if we had to land, there were low ceiling and visibilities. However, the cold front with a line of thunderstorms were going to be a problem unless we left relatively early or wait it out. When I looked at the winds aloft forecast, it appeared that we’d have around a 30 knot headwind. Not too bad. So after changing our initial fuel stop from St. Augustine FL to Walterboro, SC off we went.
I found that 14,000ft was clear of ice and turbulence which were both being reported. The ride was fine, just slow. Instead of a 30 knot headwind, it was more like 50knots. And it didn’t make a lot of difference what altitude we picked. So…3:48 later we landed.
After refueling (fuel is a LOT less expensive than it is in the Northeast), we headed for Florida. As we got farther away from the front, the winds dropped off. 1:56 later and dodging a few rain showers in FL, we landed at Ft. Lauderdale Executive. Made for a long tiring day. For us, that was one of the “longest” flights we’ve made down the coast in the Aerostar. On the other hand, the first trip I ever made by small-plane to Florida in 1975 took over 13 hours in N3775A, our Piper Tri-Pacer!
We head to the DR bright and early on Monday. I hear there are some “turbine” planes coming along and that the Jet A fuel price in Santiago is quoted at $2.47!! We’ll see!