A wonderful long-distance flight

Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
22,282
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Alex
I flew with a pilot friend in his Cessna 206 yesterday all the length of Florida.

He wanted to take some aerial pictures of a property he has near the town of Live Oak in Northern Florida. This is just south of I-10 about an hour west of Jacksonville and an hour east of Tallahassee, and close to the Georgia border.

He has a beautiful plane, which averaged about 130 miles per hour.

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We departed from Homestead General Airport in South Florida and flew due north.

We flew IFR just in case of weather. The weather was great in the flight there but not so much on the way back. The flight took just under 2-1/2 hours for the 317 miles or so distance (510km).

The plan made us fly right over Lakeland Linder airport, the place I visited last month for the Sun-N-Fun airshow. That is far from my home in Miami, and it was just about half way to Suwannee County!

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(map courtesy of Fltplan.com)

As I said, the weather was gorgeous. We flew at 8,000ft and the view was spectacular.

We passed by a nice rail yard near Bartow. The aerial images are a little off due to having to shoot through glass and haze.

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After 2-1/2 hours we reached the Suwannee County airport in North Florida. This was taken just before turning into final for landing:

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(map courtesy Skyvector.com)

We refueled in this airport then took off for the 6-mile trek to the private airstrip we were there to visit. This is a beautiful 57-acre place with a house, a hangar and a grass runway, called Red Barn Acres.

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My friend keeps a car there as this is his summer home.

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We drove into town for lunch but before that he drove to the nearby Suwannee river. There is this old abandoned bridge, closed to traffic but you can walk on it.

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From the bridge you can see the Suwannee river:

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We drove back to town and had a very nice lunch, then back to the house for some more photos.

The weather in the afternoon was starting to worsen as expected, and even though we took off with some sun, we promptly got into some clouds and rain. We asked for permission to go over the top of the clouds. We asked the traffic controller who did not have the information so he asked a passing airliner on his descent into Tampa. He said the tops were at about 11,000ft and it was clear above. We requested and it was granted. It was not too bumpy crossing the clouds. just a little, certainly less than I had expected. The top of the clouds was beautiful with blue skies above and wonderful cloud formations all around. At times the clouds were higher and as we were not allowed to go higher due to traffic into Tampa International airport, nor did we want to as we were flying in an unpressurized aircraft, every so often we had to go through clouds and it was a little bumpy inside, but not that much. It is certainly nice to be able to fly IFR were weather is not an issue. Had we flown VFR we would have had to stain in Suwannee most of the day and wait.

The flight south was nice, as I learned a lot about IFR flying, ATC control and navigation. We arrived back at Homestead General a little after 4pm without incident.

It was a wonderful experience.

Update: The flight was recorded by Flightaware:
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This shows the storm that was coming but still was hours away in the west. It also shows the small cells we went through on the way back.
 
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Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
25,756
Location
SW Virginia
Interesting thread, Alex, and some nice photos. My wife grew up in White Springs, about 15 miles East of Live Oak. We visited her two aunts in Live Oak several times back in the sixties.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
60
Location
Timbuktu
A super story Alex with some lovely photos and nice commentary am very jealous as the Red Barns location looks idyllic especially if you can have it as a second home, and the C 206 looks very purty too.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,547
Location
Famington Hills, MI
Nice! I lived in Winter Haven this millennium and worked at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch in the 1990's. That flight plan looks like it tracked with I75 most of the trip. I wish I had a friend who had his own private plane and summer home.
 

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