I couldn’t just lounge around on a beach forever. Well, I could. But eventually, I had a hunkering that people would want to be returning home to see significant others and small children, etc.
So last Friday, we loaded up an airplane with lots of bags. Then six passengers climbed on board for the three-hour flight to Fort Lauderdale to clear Customs.
We got some fuel for the flight home. Lots of fuel! But it only takes about ten minutes to get lots of fuel in this airplane. Even the fueling is rocket-like!
It was just awful leaving Anguilla. I truly hope that this isn’t my last visit here.
I knew that it would be a hot morning, so I loaded the airplane with lots of cold beverages. Water, and three different type of diet, caffeine-free sodas, to be exact.
This, as you can see from this lovely placard, is a water barrier. Once everyone was loaded and the main door was shut, I unfolded this plastic barrier around the bottom of the door. In the terrible situation of opening the door in water, this would keep the water out of the airplane long enough for us to inflate our raft and get out.
I also found out that it is a convenient place to store small carry-on luggage in a stuffed airplane! Good to know.
Goodbye, my sweet, lovely Anguilla. My heart strings already stretch in agony when I think of you. You were very good to me this week. I’ll be back.
Goodbye, wonderful Caribbean islands! You shouldn’t have to go through this life without me fully appreciating every aspect of your beauty. In person. Pencil me in.
I’ll see what I can do to come visit each and every one of you. Team player!
(Look at those sandbars…can we please just go snorkeling here already?!)
I took this as we descended to land on the eastern coast of Florida. Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport caters to business and general aviation, so we avoided the big airliner airport of Miami.
We taxied to the Customs building and got the awful news that everything had to be unloaded from the airplane. Though I didn’t go to the gym today, I certainly got my workout from loading, unloading, then loading and unloading again this airplane today.
Lots and lots of bags. And I am happy to report that mine was neither the largest nor the heaviest.
After a quick bite to eat and a quick fuel turn, we were on our way again. Because of how full we were, we needed another fuel stop before we could make it home. We got to dodge some convective activity during our climb out of Ft. Lauderdale, but Florida always has thunderstorms!
This was my last view of land via the western coast of Florida (somewhere near Venice). We would be over the Gulf of Mexico for the next few hours. Bye, Florida!
And this is the only photo proof I have that we stopped in Midland, Texas for fuel. They were so fast and had a GPU (Ground Power Unit) hooked up to the airplane before my passengers were off the airplane. Midland is known for its oil drilling, and this photo shows some drill sites in the lower left-hand corner.
Sorry that I don’t have any more Texas pictures. I was busy getting everything ready and paid for so we could be on our way home.
I have never stopped in Midland before, but we would certainly stop again.
You may know this by now, but I really love Gladys, my Phenom 300. One of the many perks that just make this little lady awesome? I can listen to XM Radio on our flights. It comes through my headset unless someone (pilots, controllers, or usually me) talks. Then it goes silent so I can hear other transmissions.
The rest of the time, I get to enjoy Prime Country. It is so good…all of the wonderful country songs from growing up. I don’t like modern country, but those old George Strait, The Judd's, and Randy Travis songs from the early 1990s never get old at 43,000 feet!
Here is a screenshot of our flight plan. We are headed to San Simon (SSO) VOR towards the SUNSS7 Arrival into Phoenix. “TOD” is our Top of Descent, which is always fun to see on the moving map since it means we are close to our destination.
This is one of the many clean, simple panels on the Phenom 300. (Hope you like this shot, Susan and Ken!)
And another. This one is for airplane pressurization and the air conditioning in both cockpit and cabin, though they can also control the cabin temperature. It’s better that way, since passengers can get pretty cold.
That’s why I also have warm, fuzzy, good-smellin’ blankets on board!
Look, Torey! I can see your house! Here we are flying over Queen Creek and San Tan Valley on our way into The Valley.
Descending for downwind leg to land on Runway 21. Scottsdale is a beautiful city indeed. Expensive, but beautiful. Maybe it’s beautiful because it’s expensive?
Hi, Home! I’m happy to see you! It’s been a long day. And I’m glad the winds are straight down the runway at eight knots. Makes for a smooth landing after all-day of flying.
Pure heaven, I tell you.
Home at last. What an incredible week in the Caribbean. I want to go back. Maybe I will in a few weeks.