Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Bear's Odyssey, Episode 6: Familiar Territory

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
16 Jun 2011 N21481 RYY (Kennesaw, GA) - DKX (Knoxville, TN) 1.5 950.9

The following morning dawned clear and cool.  We ate breakfast at the hotel and requested transportation back to the airport.  This caused some consternation because a driver was not available.  One hotel staffer was drafted for this duty, but it was obvious from her expression that she was not happy about it.  After more discussions among the staff, the same manager who picked us up the night before slid in behind the wheel and transported us back to McCollum Field.  Though he was polite and his humor was good, I had the impression that he was glad to be done with us.  I was slightly annoyed that the hotel would so grudgingly provide a service that they prominently advertised.

We dumped our luggage in the lobby of the Atlanta Executive Jet Center and I went outside to inspect the Warrior.  She was dirty.  The previous night's rain must have pulled every mote of filth from the Georgian air and deposited it on Warrior 481's Matterhorn White skin.  I pored over the wings, the stabilator, the cowling, and cabin roof, then sighed in relief.  I could detect no significant hail damage from the night before (though washing the plane two weeks later, I found some new dents in the Warrior's thirty-three year old skin).  The only issue I found was some wet carpeting inside the airplane, but better to have water in the cabin than in the fuel tanks.


We departed McCollum Field bound for Knoxville Downtown Island Airport to visit with my Dad and stepmother.  Above is Allatoona Lake, just north of McCollum Field.


We flew over some beautiful terrain highlighted by widely scattered cumulus.


Although we flew along the northern edge of the Smoky Mountains, the tallest peaks remained invisible because the range had created its own weather.  Significant clouds were forming along the peaks as the westerly wind pushed moist air to higher elevation along the range.

Knoxville Approach provided vectors to keep us clear of traffic around McGhee Tyson Airport.  I did not get a visual on our destination until only three miles south because it was obscured by a ridge.


We landed on runway 26 behind a helicopter.  On every prior visit to this field, I found myself high on final approach.  This time I nailed it and the landing was perfect.  As we taxied for parking, The Bear waved wildly at Grandpa and Carol.  In turn, Grandpa and Carol waved wildly back.  After over a week of flying into unfamiliar airports, all of us found it relaxing to return someplace we had visited many times before.

GPS ground track for Day Six

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