Friday, November 24, 2006

Tennessee Flyin'

It's the day after Thanksgiving. Jodie had to fly back to Maryland last night, and I'm sticking around in Knoxville to help with part of the Birdwell Family Leaf Rake on Saturday. So I called the flight school at the Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX) and scheduled an hour of dual instruction. I'm not looking for instruction that will move me toward my license. But I'm going to fly into Knoxville at some point in the (near?) future, and I wanted to fly around the area with someone who knows the area.

When I fly to Knoxville, I'll pretty much follow I-81 down to I-40, which runs right into Knoxville. So when I met Brandon, the Knoxville instructor, I suggested we fly north, overfly Cherokee Lake, then head East, intercept I-81, and fly back into Knoxville. So that's what we did:

I navigated by pilotage, picking up and following the Holsten (sp?) River up to the dam where the water leaves Cherokee Lake. It's cool, 'cause this is where we all waterski in the summers.

Then we flew up and circled around the Birdwells' lake house. I got a few pictures of the house, but couldn't get a good angle, so I think the picture of the tomato farm up the street is my favorite.
I then flew up the rest of the lake, passing German Creek.....

headed East, and picked up I-81 South toward Knoxville and the airport. Along the way, though, we had beautiful (albeit hazy) views of Douglas Lake, the Smokies, and Mount LeConte.

I landed on runway 8 at KDKX after a high and fast approach, but with a nice flare and touchdown. On approach to runway 8, there is a hill of land that made me inclined to stay a little high. Then, when I got past it and dumped full flaps, I still landed 800 feet down the runway. The approach to 26, on the other hand, is low and over the water. I like to think that would have made a difference, as I wouldn't have been shying away from the treetops, but in truth it may be that I just need some pattern work.

All in all, this was a great flight, and I learned a lot about flying in the area from talking to Brandon. I'm confident I won't have any problem getting into Knoxville when I finally fly there, and really can't wait!

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