|"In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright conceived by genius achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith."|
We got a good start in the morning. Preflight went as planned, but I inadvertently clicked the autopilot switch when checking the lights, and turned it off immediately once I had realized my mistake. This would be a lesson learned. All ground checks were normal, and although the take off roll was a bit longer than normal we were easily off before my abort point and climbed easily on course. 6500' and level, I engaged the autopilot, or at least tried. Annunciator said "AP ERR ERR". I guess I had UN-calibrated the servos during my preflight and now I would have to HAND FLY the airplane for 2.5 hours (OH the tragedy!) How long has it been since you kept a scan going that long and kept it to PTS proficiency? It was a good workout and I'm convinced I should do it more often.
|Dare County Regional|
Dare County Regional is a busy place. Sky Divers, banner towing, biplane rides, all combined with General Aviation. Just 15 miles from First Flight, it is a GREAT stopping point to begin the exploration of the area. FBO was very helpful and provide super service. Rental car right up to the plane with no hassles. Use these guys for your trip, you'll like working with David.
|The First Flight|
Exhausted, we headed back to Manteo to check in to the B&B and go look for some dinner. We got some directions to a sandwich place and enjoyed some crab cakes and cold beer. We also learned a little bit about Virginia Dare (Google it) and the Lost Colony. I never heard about this in history class.
Thursday was beach day. The B&B breakfast just didn't cut it, so we went looking for something on the beach, and Kathy found "Stack'em High Pancakes" on Rt 158. The biscuits and gravy (w/home-fries) were fantastic. Go there! Then we hit the beach. Its a very nice beach and we lounged for about two hours.
|Sally and me at KFFA|
|Signing the registry|
Sunburned and sandblasted we made our way back to the B&B and decided to try and make the evening performance of "The Lost Colony" out door theater. A little problem with mosquitoes, the play was very good (stage craft fantastic) and I would give it another good recommendation.
|KMQI to KFFA. Video here!|
Friday was back to KFFA, but this time we flew in. We secured the airplane, took a breath and looked at the 'mountain'. We went into the ofiice ("Squawk VFR and hit the # key for access".) I signed the register and came back out onto the front porch. Slowly we made out way to the base, looked at each other and Kathy said "Let's go!" Its a long haul to get up there but we are both glad me made the climb. Its all part of the experience and the views from there are beautiful. Pictures taken, we came back down the hill and prepared the plane for the flight home.
We back taxied for take off position, talked with a helicopter flying down the beach and made our departure to the north. Planning had slight headwinds this time and the estimated the trip at 3 hours. I planned a fuel/rest stop at KGED. Level at 5500' I again went to push the autopilot button and found the annunciator "AP TST TST". I had failed to run the test procedure after the reconfiguration and now would have to hand fly for three hours, or until our stop at Georgetown. Calm but very hazy, hardly any horizon at all. But the winds were better than forecast so at SBY I decided to skip the stop and go straight home. I updated ATC with my decision and he put our new destination into the system. I cancelled when we passed the Philadelphia Class B and began my descent just south of PTW. We landed at Butter Valley with 3 gals in each side.
An amazing trip, and one that we would like to repeat. Only spend more time enjoying the southern hospitality.