And the ride home.

We (Aaron and myself) departed M54 just before noon, Checked out of the hotel, Ubered to the airport, filled the plane with 100LL (I like to watch ’em do it to make sure I don’t get filled with Jet-A, as that is a Bad Thing….) I did complain that they charged us a parking fee even though we bought fuel, which is usually waived if one buys a minimum of fuel (and we bought 80 gallons), we did a weather briefing (1-800-WxBrief) ,filed a flight plan on ForeFlight, hit the head, preflighted the plane, closed the door, taxiied, did the runup, called Nashville Clearance on the cell phone for our IFR clearance and squawk code, lined up  announced on the CTAF and took off. Climbed out (and, weirdly, I got vertigo Big Time for a few seconds on the climb….wanted to correct for a nonexistent right turn) in IMC after about 600 ft. Got back on the instruments, stopped trying to turn left (nstead of flying straight), shook off the vertigo, called Departure and got assigned an intermediate heading for the climb,..kept the climb to 3000 ft, then got cleared On-Course and cleared to 7000 ft…then up to 9K. We cleared the clouds at 2500 ft more or less, then cruise climbed up to our filed 9000 ft at about 155 knots.

Once at 9K, we set the cruise power to 70%….30 inches of manifold pressure and 2350 rpm at 17 gph per side. 189 knots or so. Closed the cowl flaps and gained a knot or two. We didn’t get the Cylinder Head Temps too high, but they did climb. What with the tailwind we were pushing 220 knots ground speed at times..(yes, I actually flew somewhere and got a tailwind….!)

2.3 hours to KPTK. An approach to 9R via the RNAV, (but it was visual inside of 10 miles) lots of crosswind, Approach wanted 170 knots or better to the initial approach fix…which we did. But then we hadda slow down….which is actually hard in the 340…. I went low, then high, then found the glideslope and followed it down. Winds were—challenging: 160 at 10 ish so a pretty good crosswind… some turbulence on the short final.   Not my best landing, not my worst. Aaron learned what I meant then about getting the 340 slowed down to the proper airspeed for the final approach (we were carrying a LOT of energy from the high speed approach to the initial fix), but we got slowed down, dropped flaps, gear, and flaps…. and landed…As I said, not my best landing, but it was OK.

Unloaded Aaron and his luggage, fueled, hit the head again, filed a flight plan for 10K, and off I went home. While we were doing that some REALLY rich Saudis showed up in a custom 737 . (Aaron has the details at the end of his post)

Flight home was silky smooth until I was descended by ATC over South Bend, Michigan City and such… then it got really turbulent, so much so that I decelerated from 175 down to 130 knots. Dangerously sharp turbulence for a bit. Winds were straight from the south., so I got the RNAV for the correct runway direct to the FAF ((YOPHU)  and settled into a slow descent to 2200…Wind speeds were 18 gusting 34…..made for a bit of crosswind and a LOT of gust correction and gust factor. I ended up crossing the numbers  (20) at 90 knots airspeed but 60 knots groundspeed. The crosswind was fun as the gusts were sharp and ever changing.

Ran it out to the end and then taxiied slowly (to give the turbos a chance to cool) to the hangar.

Was, over all, a really good trip with Aaron and a fun weekend.

5 thoughts on “And the ride home.

  1. I wouldn’t think that getting vertigo would allow you to keep your med cert. I know we a CDL holder ,I wouldn’t be allowed to drive.

    • It;s not the vertigo you think of when we say “vertigo”. Perhaps a better term would be “spatial disorientation”.

      It’s caused by flying with no references to the ground or any horizon (or in my case, not paying enough attention to the instruments).
      Your inner ear is fooled and you know longer have any reference to “down”.
      In this case, for a few seconds, my inner ear told me we were in a right turn….and my body naturally tried to correct for that turn by turning left….However, we WEREN’T in a right turn, so that became a real left turn until I paid attention to the artificial horizon and flew according to the instruments instead of what my body was telling me.

      Until you have experienced it, I don’t think you can understand how it is to fly without a reference to “Down” or “Level”.

        • Yes. Except he was untrained and did not know how to handle it. Thus he corkscrewed into the ocean.
          Being trained how to handle such, I did not.

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