Day 3 - Asheville, NC (AVL) to Dallas, TX (DAL)
I woke up to a beautiful, but windy day in Asheville, North Carolina. With 730 miles to go until Dallas and what would equate to about 5 and a half hours of flight time and three fuel stops. I was eager to get started. I picked Chattanooga, Tennessee as my first fuel stop, which would take me directly west through the Great Smoky Mountains.
The previous day's scattered storms that prevented me from crossing west over the Blue Ridge Mountains left a light dusting of snow along the peaks, which made for a beautiful yet bumpy flight to Chattanooga. Like yesterday, I flew along the roads, through the valleys and gaps, seeking the smoothest ride.
In Chattanooga I pulled up next to a Blackhawk helicopter and got fuel. My next leg would take me to Oxford, Mississippi and into much flatter terrain and calmer winds. This is where I started to make up time at a faster cruising speed, covering ground much more quickly than before.
Parked on the busy ramp in Oxford Mississippi, one helicopter in a line of corporate jets.
After topping off once again, the next stop was Texarkana, just shy of 2 hours away.
After seeing a town on the moving map called Alligator, I wondered what was lurking in the swamps below...
Unfortunately, I was much too high and fast to catch sight of any gators.
At Texarkana the end was in sight! A short 55 minute hop to Dallas and Whiskey Mike would be at SevenBar Aviation headquarters where she would wait for a conformity inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The scenery in Texas is much less interesting than on the East Coast, especially compared to the beauty of somewhere like Maine. However, it was peaceful to watch the tractors plow the fields, and before I knew it, the Dallas skyline appeared on the horizon.
On arrival to the SevenBar Hangar at Dallas Love Field, I was greeted by Kenny Mize, SevenBar's Director of Rotorwing Maintenance, where he helped to assemble the tow bar and guide the helicopter into the hangar. Whiskey Mike will be in Dallas for a few weeks undergoing a conformity inspection by the FAA and further preparations for her new role as LifeFlight of Maine's third helicopter!