I had a blast last Friday, flying for nearly 5 hours straight! I split one of the Cirrus lessons with a friend, and together the two of us flew into KCVG in Kentucky. It was especially memorable because it was the first time we had been to a Class B airport without an instructor onboard. I figured I might as well start getting comfortable with larger, busier airports, since I’ll have to be flying into those on a regular basis in the future.
In all reality though, the hardest part of the whole flight was taxiing once on the ground! Getting in wasn’t even hard at all. We got a 10 mile straight-in final approach, and it didn’t sound like there was much traffic in the area. Most of the airport’s flights depart later in the evening, so we arrived during a slower time. Even without a lot of traffic, however, it was still a challenge to keep up with taxi instructions! Many of the taxiways and exits have the same letter designation but just different numbers, and with them being wide enough for “heavies” it can be hard to distinguish between them. With a bit of help from Foreflight and a friendly controller though, we managed to get around without a problem. We actually parked at the Delta Jet Center FBO right at the same time as another CRJ 200 charter flight was arriving with the Memphis Women’s basketball team. I was delighted to find out that the FBO provided the same free pretzel packs that you get on commercial flights!
We purchased about 20 gallons of fuel with the school’s fuel card, which helped us avoid paying the ramp fee. We left right after that, and flew just over 200nm back to Battle Creek, MI. Along the way we had fun with some of the CTAF frequencies, trying to see if we could turn on the pilot-controlled lighting. During the long flight, I greatly appreciated the autopilot and relaxed atmosphere, since we really didn’t have much to do the whole time. Besides cross-checking checkpoints and talking to approach controllers we basically just told fun stories and took pictures. It felt a lot better than the usual short flights we do with a lot of demanding maneuvers and approaches within a short time period.
If all goes well, my next lesson will be in the Piper Seminole PA-44! I can’t wait to practice asymmetric thrust procedures and learn how to manage engine failures. Here’s to hoping this good weather keeps holding up. Below is the video I filmed of our approach and landing into KCVG.