Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lake Jackson Arrival - Sebring

2016 Expo
I chose poorly. I thought the early morning rush hour traffic northbound on I75 would be bad so decided to take US301. This worked well to get out of the Parrish vicinity, but soon I was trapped behind a school bus. It probably added 15 minutes to my commute.

When I got to the airport it was marginal VFR conditions. No wind, no ceiling, just 7 miles visibility in haze. I checked my smartphone to see if the conditions persisted along my route. They did. I started my preflight.

I'm glad I had given Sally a good cleaning. She still looks good for her age. It takes a little extra time to remove all of the plugs and covers but they really help to keep her healthy. (I do miss having a hangar.) The preflight went well.

I checked the weather again and most of the local airports were "green", indicating VFR conditions. It took a few extra cranks to get her started but she quickly smoothed out and ran fine. Winds were calm but traffic was calling for RWY23. The taxi would give us time to warm up the engine. The runup was normal. I set Lake Jackson in my 696 as my first waypoint, followed by Sebring as my final destination. A King Air and a Seneca landed as I was holding short. The take off had me flying toward the City of Tampa and the beautiful bay beyond. Visibility was just fine. It was a very good day to fly.

NOTAM for arrival
We leveled at 1500'. I did my checklist, pushed the button and let Sally fly for awhile. Other than a few high cell towers Florida is pretty flat. After awhile I tuned in the frequency to start listening for the Lake Jackson arrival as specified in the NOTAM. Florida has an abundance of lakes so it could be easy to get confused (and some pilots were) about which lake was Jackson. It was easy for us thanks to the modern technology.
Approaching the water tower

When it was my turn I followed the western shore line around to the water tower. But there was some confusion about which of the two airplanes was Sally. "Rock your wings." I love that. We were in the lead and headed for Sebring.

We flew directly over the airport for a right downwind and tower called our base turn. Tight and short, I immediately put in full left rudder and started my slip. Sally scolded me on it for the high sink rate. (She also let me know that the fuel had sloshed away in the left tank.) It resulted with a beautiful landing on centerline. As directed we took the first right and looked for the large ""X". Then we taxied to the east ramp, which may have been in a different county. There were about a dozen planes parked on the ramp.

The golf cart came by to transport me to the shuttle van.. "That sure is a pretty airplane!"

Video Notes: Lake Jackson Arrival

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