Home > Flying, Flying to Sun 'n Fun > Flying home from Sun ‘n Fun

Flying home from Sun ‘n Fun


As I have been very slow in getting blog entries posted, mainly due to my travel schedule I wanted to at least give you some highlights. I will continue to share my experiences with the Aspen system.

First, the return trip from Lakeland.

In order to beat the traffic out of Sun-n-Fun I repositioned the airplane to Plant City a short distance from Lakeland. This seemed like a pretty simple thing to do. However, having flown a lot in the west where distances between airports are much greater, skies a lot less busy and I have a lot of time to transition mentally from departure to arrival mode, the trip turned out to be a pretty busy and unexpected hurried event. I was very prepared to get out of Lakeland, had all of the notams, instructions and guidance that one could find. The departure was uneventful and before I knew it I was in the air.

What I wasn’t mentally prepared for was how quickly I had to be ready to enter into the pattern at Plant City!  All went well, (after one go-around because I was too fast!) but it certainly taught me the lesson of begin better prepared for all facets of the flight BEFORE I get off the ground!

Prior to leaving from Plant City I had my software updated to version 2.2 with charts and geo-referenced airport diagrams. In addition, the new software had advanced panning functions and the ability to display OBS on the MFD. (I really could have used OBS when I repositioned into Plant City so I could have more quickly oriented myself to the runway headings) The next day we left for Albuquerque.

Our route of flight had us going up the west coast of  Florida, refueling at Dothan, AL (BTW, a great little airport with great service and facilities!) and proceeding to Monroe, LA. The flight was in clear VFR. The scenery up the coast of Florida was spectacular. Overall the flight was uneventful and went by very quickly. We did get to use the OBS function (not sure how I lived without it before!) and geo-referenced airport diagram at Monroe which was incredibly helpful in taxiing around the unfamiliar airport.

The three display Aspen system is the only retrofit system that I have seen that provides you the ability to bring up the approach chart and still have full Nav Map display capabilities. This is an incredible improvement in safety awareness. I can’t wait to have the upcoming NACO geo-referenced approach charts to improve that awareness even more.

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