Thursday, February 28, 2019

Florida Flying With The Family

In Florida I got an opportunity to fianlly take the whole family flying with me.

I wanted to rent a plane and take them up. Any rental facility at Ft. Lauderdale Airport requires a checkout with an instructor which made this a reasonable opportunity. I also don't have the high-performance endorsement yet, but I would find the experience so far in the Dakota helped with Flying the 6-300.

There was also the little matter of getting the passengers to come along.

You see, getting my eldest daughter up in the air is a bit of a challenge. While she doesn't mind flying on commercial jets, she thought that a small aircraft was not her thing and she required an instructor to be with us just in case. The level of confidence she has in my piloting skills is rather humbling. Younger daughter is, by contrast, of the opinion that my flying skills are just fine and she was raring to go and psuhing her older sister to quit worrying and get in the plane.

So I contacted Airplanes4Rent and ended up booking a flight and checkout on the Piper Cherokee 6-300. This was rather spendy but had the requisite number of seats.

A nice six-seater version of the Archer and Dakota that I fly.

Basically they stretched a Cherokee and added a bigger engine. Nice, big, and comfy, and will likely transport a piano with no complaints.

This one is from the 60s, and has pull knobs for the mixture, prop and throttle instead of the throttle quadrant I'm used to, not to mention the instruments are not arranged as a standard six-pack and the tach and manifold pressure is way over by the right side of the panel. This would take a little getting used to.

So I did the pre-flight briefing, made sure seatbelts were on and started her up.

Starting her up was fun as she's fuel injected. Fuel pump on, mixture rich, then pull out the mixture, turn the magnetos to both, crack the throttle, and then press the start button.

She fired right up.

>We then got clearance and then ground permission to taxi and we then taxi'd, I did the run-up and it was pretty much just like a Dakota for a run-up procedure so no problems there.

Took off from Runway 9 with a bit of a crosswind and wow that 300 HP engine demanded a LOT of right rudder. Up in no time and we were then cruising first at 1000 feet and headed for the coast, then as we immediately entered Ft. Lauderdales' Class C I got the clearance I was hoping for:

"Maintain 500 feet or below."


Along the coast we flew, often lower than some of the buildings.

Passing a cruise ship:

Flying into the intracoatal waterway for some sightseeing:

Then flew by the Biscayne National Park and Biscayne Key.

Everyone had fun sightseeing while I flew the plane. It handled like a big sedan, nice and smooth.

Then we headed back and landed at KFXE and I did a decent enough landing for my first time in the plane, no bounces, bit of a crosswind, smooth enough but certainly not my best landing ever.

The family stated they all had a great time and Abby even enjoyed herself, so I at least have a shot at taking her flying again.

1.1 and 1 landing, and the goal of taking the entire family flying has now been achieved.


B said...


Now you understand "high performance".

Really just means "More right rudder on takeoff" and the rest is just fly coordinated.

Aaron said...

B: Yep, lots more right rudder, flying the Dakota was quite similar. I was getting a little behind the 6-300 on landing, more to practice in the future, but got it all resolved.

Old NFO said...

Good for you! And yes, more power= more rudder... :-)