Day 2 of our Ferry flight had us waking up to a gloomy morning in Cincinnati OH. We took our time heading out to the airport, hoping that the weather would start to lift enough for us to depart VFR. With 711 miles left on our journey, a 35 kt headwind, and an ugly cell of weather directly along our route, we had a long day ahead of us.
On the way to the hotel the night before we spotted this tiny automotive themed coffee house right on the Ohio River, and decided to give it a try while we waited on the rain to pass. We enjoyed fantastic Lattes and I obnoxiously took pictures while Steve made friends with the friendly barista.
About the time we arrived at the airport the ceilings had started to lift enough to allow us to get the heck out of there, and just in time, as another line of thunderstorms approached from the South West. As our direct route to Dallas had us on a heading that would take us right through the thunderstorms we were forced to re-plan, and head slightly out of the way due West to get on the back side of the storms.
We loaded up our bags, and preflighted as the rain turned to drizzle.
The KLUK - KHUF (Cincinnati to Terre Haute IN) Leg was my turn to fly so no pictures from that flight. With the 35kt headwind and unstable air, I alternated between hand flying and letting the autopilot have a go, not sure which one made us more nauseous. Steve said I flew worse, but I'm 99% sure that I can out-fly the Sperry, as it 'violently' porpoises nose up, nose down, nose up, nose down, every time a gust of wind throws us slightly off altitude. Both of us were wishing for the autopilot in the A109SP. Also, as this was our first flight in the rain in our new bird, we got to see where she leaked. Steve in the left seat got most of the downpour in his lap, and I stayed mostly dry. Luckily his iPad has a lifeproof case, not so sure that the fuel panel or the overhead circuit breakers are lifeproof though....
On landing at Terre Haute, we called for fuel and decided to grab a bite to eat at the FBO airport deli to see if a sandwich and a soft drink would help settle our stomachs after the rough hour and a half we had just endured.
Stephen makes his second new friend of the day, as a little boy and his grandma stopped by to say hi as we waited on our sandwiches.
The next leg was Stephen's turn to fly, and now that we were past the line of storms we were able to plan on turning south, back along our route toward home.
We planned our next stop for Cape Girardeau, MO (KCGI) an airport that Stephen was oddly excited to visit. I think it was just because it has an interesting name, Steve claimed there would be warm cookies waiting for us. I was just excited to be back in the left seat to take photos. Perhaps my excitement to take aerial photos of Missouri farmland is equally if not even more lame than Steve's excitement over Cape Girardeau.
Although we still battled a raging headwind, the rain cleared and the air smoothed out a bit. The landscape certainly doesn't lend itself to beautiful photos, but I managed to find some beauty in the country side that most people prefer to be passing at 35,000 ft and 500 kts. To fend off the boredom, we played a bit of spot the junk, in people's yards; there is a surprising amount of rusting farm equipment out there. And as we passed by multiple types of farms, Stephen practiced his animal sounds...
Alas we came upon the great Mississippi River, a milestone on our route to Dallas, and signifying that our next few stop is mere minutes away. I could taste the warm cookies already.
As we taxied onto the ramp for fuel, I jotted down the time. Even with the hour gained from flying from East to West, we both started to realize that with the weather this morning and the headwinds enroute, we were running short on time. With 444 miles still to go equating to 4:30 minutes of flight time with the wind factored in and no aux tank, we would need more than one more fuel stop. It was already around 3 in the afternoon and with nightfall at 7, we would have to spend one more night on the road.
With two more legs of flight and a night in Arkansas, there are many more photos to take....see part 2 of day 2 for the conclusion of this trip!