Bay Bridge Airport, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore across the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis, is a special place to fly. It’s even more attractive now with two flight schools specializing in light-sport aircraft (LSA). One recently posted an opportunity that can arise from time to time. When you see one like this, grab it if you can.
Chesapeake Searey and Chesapeake Sport Pilot together offer a nice variety of LSAs for training and rental. And this fall, Chesapeake Searey owner Helen Woods advertised that someone could help ferry the school’s Searey to winter training duties in Kissimmee, Florida.
For trip expenses only, on offer was a long “real world” cross-country, the beauty of the Eastern Seaboard and some Florida flying before cold weather hit the Northeast.
It pays to be an attentive and loyal flight school customer. Planes need to be ferried; pilots and parts need to be dropped here and there. I got my introduction to complex aircraft by returning a 150 to our Cessna distribution center. After the free solo cross-country, I got dual on the bounce-back in an old-style Mooney (complete with ram air boost and manual “Johnson Bar” landing gear, oh my!)
There were two or three good prospects for the Florida Searey flight, but getting there first was professional photographer Edwin Remsberg. A former Baltimore Sun news photographer, his Edwin Remsberg Photographs focuses on shooting food and agriculture subjects for corporate and government clients.
He’s a pro. He recently returned from a multi-week shoot in Africa. Beyond photography, his passion is restoring Land Rovers. And he just got back into flying. A low-and-slow fan, he says LSAs “meet my needs exactly.”
Remsberg recently started flying the Searey to try a taildragger. Immediately, the seaplane bug bit! How better to explore amphibs than cruising bays, backwaters and coastal islands? Edisto, Hilton Head, Tybee, Skidaway, the Georgia Sea Islands, and mysterious Cumberland — all are checked off before reaching Amelia Island and Little Talbot at Florida’s northeastern-most corner.
At seaplane speeds, flying direct to KISM would involve two days and 12-plus hours of boring inland flying. Hugging the coast south of Charleston, S.C., Remsberg and CFI Dan Wroe enjoyed scenic rivers and endless marshes. Key landmarks were the big bridges along coastal highway U.S. 17 that allow massive freighters access to southeastern ports.
Near Savannah appeared Fort Pulaski National Monument, one of many ancient fortresses along the way. A shrimp boat here, an isolated island home there — lots to ponder and photograph. Remsberg was kind to allow use of his photography for this story.
His best lesson? “How nice and helpful people are at GA airports when you’re traveling like this. There really is a wonderful community of people in aviation.”
Yep, it pays to get out of the pattern now and then to explore the freedoms of that license in your pocket. And every once in a while — if you’re lucky — a special opportunity may come along to do just that.Story © 2014 Drew Steketee All Rights Reserved
Photos © Edwin Remsberg Photography