It’s a long way to Wichita!

Woohoo! I made it Wichita, Kansas… my mid-flight, on-the-fly, change in destination. Gone less than one day and I’ve already discovered a few things.

  • Never trust what you see on the internet – MAKE THE PHONE CALL. 🙂  My original destination for tonight was the Beaumont Hotel, Beaumont, Kansas. I’d casually checked online and the Beaumont Hotel had plenty of rooms! You may remember the Beaumont. They have a little grass strip and you get to taxi through town right to the hotel. Fun right? Only if you arrive Wednesday through Sunday. What they don’t tell you on-line is the hotel is open, but the restaurant is closed Monday & Tuesday. No car – no food!
  • You can save some serious bucks on fuel using SkyVector and other apps. I paid $4.25 and $4.36 a gallon today and got to see a couple of small airports I would have missed.
  • Flying west there are fewer and fewer airports; Indianapolis to St. Louis they’re all over the place but little by little they start disappearing. When you’re used to having airports everywhere  …. it’s a little freaky.
  • The 100 or so miles before you reach Wichita the terrain is beautiful. The route I took was sparsely populated, no highways just dirt roads. I didn’t see a car on any of them.You could get lonesome out there and you could be in a real pickle if anything happened. I was thinking a Spot Personal Tracker would have been a really good thing to have along.
  • If there’s suddenly an electrical burning smell in your cockpit while flying, keep your cool. Don’t ask me how but you’ve got to do it. I’m flying along, completely relaxed and enjoying myself and suddenly I’m over whelmed with a burning smell. My heart nearly stopped. Incredibly, I was right over an airport and did a couple circles trying to figure it out. The weird thing was the 2500′ or so hardsurface runway was not on the charts, it had no buildings or hangars, was in the middle of nowhere and there was no one there. It would have been a mysterious saving grace should I have really needed it. The smell went away pretty quick and I continued on. All instruments were normal and it was flying fine. I did an inspection when I finally landed but intend to do a more thorough one before I depart tomorrow. My only other thought is that I flew through the smell but it was so strong I’m not so sure about that. I didn’t see any smoke on the ground.
Just look at that horizon line! Who's lucky enough to fly on a day like this?

Just look at that horizon line! Who’s lucky enough to fly on a day like this?

You gotta love flying westbound and still getting to enjoy the morning sunshine from above!

You gotta love flying westbound and still getting to enjoy the morning sunshine from above!

K1K1 Stearman Field

Stearman Field, Wichita, Kansas

Stearman Field Bar & Grill

Stearman Field Bar & Grill.

Enclosed Patio Hangar at Stearman Bar & Grill

Enclosed Patio Hangar at Stearman Bar & Grill

Proof I made it to Stearman Field!

Proof I made it to Stearman Field!

 

 

 

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