Making a long distance flight, say from the midwest to Florida in your own airplane, takes careful planning and lots of preparation. Now imagine making it with a large group. It can be done, notes Steve MacCabe of the Sunday Morning Breakfast Club, made up of about 60 pilots from the Chicago area who get together every week for breakfast. Sun ‘n Fun is the group’s annual long trip. This year more than 40 members made the trek.
“The beauty of flying with a larger group is that pilots of faster planes give updates on weather conditions to those behind, said MacCabe, who flew to the fly-in with his wife, Carol, in their 1979 Grumman Tiger. “This is also helpful for selecting altitudes that offer smoother flights and utilizing the winds to our advantage.”
He offers some tips for group travel:
- Try to keep the trip VFR and be flexible with your schedule. Even if you do have an instrument rating, don’t let the weather push you into a position that you should not be in.
- Build extra days into your travel schedule, and be sure to consider the weather for the return trip. If the weather is flyable, you need to launch.
- Plan multiple routes. When flying over the Smoky Mountains, for example, MacCabe plans two routes: One for high ceilings, to allow ample terrain clearance; another for lower ceilings. Be sure to keep aware of ground speed and the strength and direction of winds aloft.
For more information: Sites.Google.com/site/SMBCFlyers.