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  1. Leg 22 Flight 09 February 2020 Muscle Shoals, AL (KMSL) to John C. Tune Airport (Nashville, TN) (KJWN) Kmz (Google Earth) file can be downloaded here: https://we.tl/t-NQgopHfuoW (Link is good for 7 days) (Note: Because of real life issues, I actually flew this flight on 15 February, using weather saved from 09 February) I took off from Runway 18 at KMSL at 1940Z. The winds were 203/16 knots, This caused me to drift a bit to the east as I lifted off, but I corrected before getting too far off the runway center line. To avoid the high winds, I climbed to 6,500 feet for the first leg of the flight to Tishamingo. Even at 6500 feet, the winds were 224/34 knots, making this leg very slow. To speed things up, I turned a bit early to continue the flight to Nashville. The rest of the flight was uneventful. Decreasing ceilings as I approached Franklin, TN forced me to descend earlier than I had anticipated. I also decided that because of the decreasing ceilings, I would alter my course to fly towards Nashville, instead of skirting around the western edges. I did this because I estimated that I could always land at Nashville international in case KJWN was socked in. Fortunately, the weather cleared, and my landing at John Tune airport was uneventful. See images below: Image 1. 091957Z Feb 2020 Over Tuscumbia, AL Image 2. 092029Z Feb 2020 Near Mingo, AL Image 3. 092059Z Feb 2020 South of Merriweather Lewis State Park, TN Image 4. 092110Z Feb 2020 Lowering ceiling near Williamsport TN Image 5. 092145Z Feb 2020 Slipping into TUNE
  2. Leg 22 pre-flight 09 February 2020 Muscle Shoals, AL (KMSL) to John C. Tune Airport (Nashville, TN) (KJWN) I'm continuing my flight up the Natchez Trail to its terminus in Nashville, Tennessee. The next few days will feature bad weather in the area, so if I'm going to get this flight in, I will have to do it today or wait until this weekend. My route will take me west from KMSL to pick up the Natchez Trail Parkway. I'll then basically follow it into Nashville. Because I'll be following the Parkway, the navigation will be relatively simple. The distance on this leg is 145 nm. Image 1. KMSL-KJWN The national weather forecast (Image 2) shows the low pressure area in Texas that will be reaching the Alabama-Tennessee area tomorrow (10 February). That weather, and the cold front coming in from Wisconsin is going to end any VFR weather until Friday at the earliest. The forecast discussion for Huntsville, AL and Nashville, TN reads: Memphis 18Z VFR conds to begin the period. After sundown, -SHRA will begin to approach JBR from the west as a front starts to sink into the area. Ahead of the front, strong winds at 2000 feet will result in LLWS around 50kts at MEM...JBR...and MKL through the overnight hours. Embedded -TSRA as well as MVFR/IFR CIGs will accompany the front as it slowly sags southward through tomorrow morning. Expect IFR conds to become the rule and linger into the next TAF period. South winds will remain strong this afternoon with gusts to 25 kts at all sites. Expect a wind-shift to the northwest behind the front near the end of this TAF period. Nashville VFR will continue through the day today with south winds gusting 20 to 25 kts through at least 12z Mon. LLWS is expected tonight thru 06z-10z at the terminals as a low-level jet intensifies. SHRA will begin around 06z at CKV, 08z at BNA/MQY, and 10z or after at CSV. SHRA may become +SHRA after 12z with reduced VIS and lowering CIGs possible. Image 2. 09 1800Z February 2020 Aviation Forecast The sky is currently clear, albeit with 20-25 knot wind gusts at the surface throughout the area. The winds at 3000 feet are estimated in the 33-40 knot range from 190-200 degrees. That tailwind will make this flight relatively quick. However, I'll be fighting an 30 knot headwind for the first leg, that will require a 46 minute flight to make the 30 miles in the first leg. The wind speed is predicted to drop to 27 knots at 6000 feet, so I may try to climb a bit higher on this first leg. That is assuming I can even taxi the Cub to the runway, as these winds will make even that a challenge. The Freezing level is at 7,000 feet, well above where I'll be flying. Image 3. METAR 091819Z Feb 2020 The TAF for Nashville is below. I expect to land around 2100Z. The 24 knot gusts may make the landing a bit of a challenge. KBNA [Nashville Intl] TAF: KBNA 091738Z 0918/1018 17015G24KT P6SM SCT150 FM100200 18013G22KT P6SM VCSH BKN100 WS020/20050KT FM100800 19012G21KT 5SM SHRA OVC050 WS020/20050KT FM101500 19012G20KT 3SM SHRA OVC015
  3. Real World Photos from legs 19-21 Much of the flight during these three legs has been along the Natchez trace, an approximately 444-mile long travel corridor used by American Indians, and European settlers, up until the 1800's. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natchez_Trace_Parkway) Image 1 A small segment of Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail; near Natchez, Mississippi. Photo by Ian Abbott Image 2 Emerald Mound There are several Indian mounds located near the Parkway. This is Emerald Mound, located north of Stanton, MS. It the second largest Indian Temple Mound in the United States. It was built and used between 1300 and 1600 A.D. by the forerunners of the Natchez Indians. Image 3 Port Gibson Described by Union General Ulysses S. Grant as "too beautiful to burn", the city of Port Gibson survived the US Civil War, despite being fought over as part of the campaign against Vicksburg. For those interested in the history of this campaign, a good 20 minute video is located here:( https://youtu.be/1eSgimZ8GKQ) Image 4 Vicksburg Battlefield As the Confederacy's last port along the Mississippi River, Vicksburg was the "nailhead that holds the South's two halves together." Although overshadowed by the battle of Gettysburg, its capture in July 1863 spelled the beginning of the end of the Confederacy. Image 5 Cypress Swamp, milepost 122 on the Natchez Trace Parkway (North of Jackson, MS) Turning north from Jackson, MS, I flew near a Cypress swamp that is located along the Natchez Parkway. Image 6 Settler's Cabin,Tishomingo State Park Image 7 Elvis Presley's Birthplace (Photographer: Judson McCranie) Continuing north, I flew over Tishamingo State Park, as well as flying within 4 mile of Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, MS.
  4. Leg 21 Flight 03 February 2020 Bryan (KSTF)(Starkville, MS) to Muscle Shoals, AL (KMSL) Kmz (Google Earth) file can be downloaded here: https://we.tl/t-ZCAPX0UtN5 (Link is good for 7 days) I was off the blocks at KSTF at 1949Z and airborne at 1957Z. Weather was as predicted, with high winds from the SW at 27 knots. I mis-identified a road, resulting in my getting lost fairly quickly enroute to Houston, MS. That also threw off my navigation to Tupelo, MS where I had intended a brief diversion from my route to fly over Elvis Presley's birthplace (although I did get within 4 miles of it). I eventually got back on course, successfully finding my way to Shiloh battlefield. Landing at KMSL was a difficult, due to a large crosswind of about 12 knots, but after one go-around I managed to get the aircraft down, landing at 2254Z. Images are below: Image 1. 032006Z Feb 2020 Departing Starkville, MS Image 2. 032018Z Feb 2020 Lost near Woodland MS Image 3. 032032Z Feb 2020 East of Van Fleet MS Image 4. 032049Z Feb 2020 East of Tupelo, MS Image 5 032053Z Feb 2020 Approaching Rankin Loack and Dam-Ferguson Lake Image 6. 032102Z Feb 2020 Bay Springs Lake MS Image 7. 032133Z Feb 2020 Over Shiloh Church Image 8 032133Z Feb 2020 Pittsburg Landing Image 9. 032147Z Feb 2020 Pickwick Lake near Counce, TN Image 10. 032229Z Feb 2020 Descending into Muscle Shoals, AL
  5. Leg 21 pre-flight 03 February 2020 Bryan (KSTF)(Starkville, MS) to Muscle Shoals, AL (KMSL) Today's flight wil take me further up the Natchez Trace. Enroute, I will fly over Corinth, Mississippi, as well as the Shiloh battlefield and landing at Muscle Shoals, AL. Why Muscle Shoals? Because it is my pilgrimage to where some of the greatest musicians in Rock and Roll recorded. https://www.al.com/entertainment/2016/12/the_20_best_songs_ever_recorde.html And, because it it mentioned in possibly the greatest Southern Rock song of all time: With that brief digression out of the way, here's my route: Image 1. KTSF-KMSL Image 2. National Weather 031800Z February 2020 Image 3. METAR 031848Z Feb 2020 TAFs show some rain moving into the area. Long range forecasts indicate that this weather will remain for a couple of days, so if I don't fly today, I am unlikely to get off the ground until this weekend: TAF: KMSL 031728Z 0318/0418 21010KT P6SM SCT250 PROB30 0406/0409 4SM -SHRA OVC025 FM040900 19008KT 6SM -SHRA OVC025 FM041200 20008KT 6SM -SHRA OVC015 FM041500 20009G15KT 4SM -SHRA BKN009 OVC015 Hunstsville (For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Tuesday afternoon) Issued at 1146 AM CST Mon Feb 3 2020 VFR conditions will prevail at each terminal for the remainder of the afternoon and evening, with high clouds becoming thicker ahead of an approaching low pressure system. After midnight, MVFR ceilings and some scattered showers will move into the region ahead of a slow- moving cold front to the west. Ceilings will continue to lower as low stratus develops by Tuesday morning due to IFR to low-end MVFR ceilings. Have added prevailing -SHRA after 12z and reduced visibilities due to rain/mist late in the period. Winds aloft at 230 at 27 knots, so I will have a good tailwind. Icing levels are at 9,000 feet, so ice won't be a factor.
  6. Leg 20 Flight 02 February 2020 Vicksburg Regional (KVKS) to Bryan (KSTF)(Starkville, MS) Kmz (Google Earth) file can be downloaded here: https://we.tl/t-QVRZDPPngQ (Link is good for 7 days) It was a beautiful day for flying. Take off from KVKS at 2100Z was uneventful. Similarly, the landing at KSTF was at 2247Z and was unevenful. Winds were slightly less than predicted: around 20 knots from the SW at 3000 feet, but almost dead calm at ground level. No problems were experienced during the flight. Images are attached below: Image 1. 022104Z Feb 2020 Climbing out after T/O KVKS Image 2. 022104Z Feb 2020 Departing KVKS Image 3. 022115Z Feb 2020 Turning East over De Sota Island Image 4. 022135Z Feb 2020 Approaching Barnett Resovoir, Jackson MS Image 5. 022144Z Feb 2020 Northern Arm Barnett Resovoir near Sand Hill MS Image 6. 022227Z Feb 2020 Over Tombigbee National Forest Image 7. 022236Z Feb 2020 Descending to the pattern at KSTF-Starkville MS
  7. Leg 20 pre-flight 02 February 2020 Vicksburg Regional (KVKS) to Bryan (KSTF)(Starkville, MS) I'm a bit of a US Civil War buff, so today's flight will pass briefly over the Vicksburg battlefield before continuing on to Jackson, MS, following (in reverse) the route the US Grant took in investing the Confederate fortress. From there, I will more-or-less follow the Natchez Trace north, landing at Starkville, MS for fuel before continuing the trip: Image 1. KVKS to KSTF For the next two days, the weather forecast is good. After then, it will deteriorate until the weekend. Image 2. National Weather 021800Z Feb 2020 The METAR looks good: VFR conditions throughout the flight. Winds at 3000 feet are expected to be from the SW at around 23 knots. The icing level is at 9000+ feet, so that won't be a problem. Image 3. METAR 1832Z The Termnial area forecasts indicate VFR conditions and moderating winds at my expected landing time of 2100Z: KTUP [Tupelo Rgnl] TAF: KTUP 021720Z 0218/0318 23010KT P6SM SKC FM030000 22005KT P6SM SKC FM031400 20009KT P6SM SCT200
  8. Leg 19 Flight 28 January 2020 Louisiana Regional (L38) to Vicksburg Municipal (KVKS) .kmz file here: https://we.tl/t-aNJXlP3jTD (will be available for 7 days) Take off was at 1537 Local/2137 Z. I'm pressed for time to cover the 141 nm/132 minute flight before it gets dark. Sunset is at 1733L, with civil twilight ending at 1759L. That gives me only 12 minutes leeway to get on the ground at KVKS. During the flight, I had low winds from the south at 5-10 knots for most of the route. At several points during the flight I went through some light rain, but the ceiling remained above 5000 feet. I landed at 1743L/2343Z, aided by slightly higher tailwinds than expected. My landing was poor-I was high, and didn't touch down until I was far down the runway. Had I had more daylight, I probably would have gone around again. Photos are attached. Image 1. 282155Z Jan 2020 Mississippi River near Plaquemine Image 2. 282222Z Jan 2020 Near St Francisville looking west Image 3. 282238Z Jan 2020 Over Woodville, MS Image 4. 282311Z Jan 2020 Over Fayette, MS- WX deteroriating, ceiling lowering Image 5. 282321Z Jan 2020 Approaching Port Gibson, MS. Note Grand Gulf nuclear plant cooling tower in the distance Image 6. 282338Z Jan 2020-Approaching the pattern at KVKS at dusk
  9. Leg 19 pre-flight 28 January 2020 Louisiana Regional (L38) to Vicksburg Regional (KVKS) Today's flight will take me partway up the Natchez trace, a route used by American Indiana and settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries. My route will generally be in a northerly direction, about 10-15 nm east of the Mississippi River. Navigation will be relatively simple, as the route will generally follow US Highway 61, a 4-lane road. Image 1. L38-KVKS A front coming from the west is bringing rain to Louisiana and western Mississippi. While the weather is cloudy, the next day will bring rain and decreasing ceilings, so I'm going to have to fly today if I'm going to get this flight done in the next few days. The forecast discussion is below: Jackson, MS: VFR conditions prevail at all TAF sites but during late afternoon hours sites in the west like GLH will experience VCSH starting around 20Z as an approaching system from the west spreads into our region. Flight categories will vary throughout the TAF period especially site GLH as they will see lowering of ceilings earlier as an IFR cloud deck moves in from LA/TX. -RA will begin late tonight for central and eastern areas and eventually turn into RA tomorrow morning. Winds will be out of the east and shifting more SE around 06z./JNE/ Image 2. Aviation Forecast Radar shows the leading edge of the front is moving in the area. Fortunately, the freezing level is at 7,000 feet, and the obstructions are generally 1000 feet or lower, so I can easily avoid icing: Image 3 Radar METARs show my flight route is still VFR, but IFR conditions are moving in from the west: Image 4. METAR 28 2024Z Jan 2020 The Terminal Area Forecast indicates the VFR conditions will hold up until nightfall: Image 5. TAF 282148 Jan 2020
  10. 26 January 2020 No flying today. At least not to the east....
  11. Real World Photos of Legs 17-18 (KIER-KLFT-L38) Starting out on Leg 17, I flew along the Red River. The Red River is a different from other inland rivers in that it is brackish, deriving its salinity from crossing over salt domes in Texas. Image 1. Red River Salt Deposits (Note: Photo taken in Texas, not Louisiana) Source: Wikipedia Although the Red River is navigable, it wasn't always so. Until the 1870's it was blocked above Alexandria, LA by "the Great Raft", an approximately 100 mile long log jam. In In 1833, Captain Henry Shreve, (whom Shrevesport, LA is named after) began to clear the jam, a process that ultimately took forty years to complete: Image 2 The Great Raft After departing Natchitoches, I flew over several sections of the Kisatchie National Forest, a forested national park that is typical of the landscape of Louisiana in the 1800’s: Image 3: Kisatchie Bayou, Kisatchie National Forest. Source: https://www.louisianatravel.com/articles/guide-kisatchie-national-forest I also flew over Lake Fausse Pointe State Park Image 4. Lake Fausse Pointe State Park (Source: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Lake-Fausse-Pointe-State-Park-164514710265460/reviews/) Flying toward the coastal areas near Montegut, LA, I flew over Pointe aux Chenes State Wildlife Management Area. Image 5. Pointe aux Chenes State Wildlife Management Area (Source: https://shop.andycrawford.photography/warehouse/art_print_products/pointe-aux-chenes-morning-star) And after refueling, I flew over the Jean Lafitte Historic District and the Oak Alley Plantation: Image 6: Jean Lafitte Park (Source: https://www.christopherryan.com/jean-lafitte-national-historical-park-and-reserve/) Image 7: Oak Alley Plantation. Source: Me
  12. Leg 18 Flight 22 January 2020 Lafayette Regional (KLFT) to Louisiana Regional (L38) .kmz file here https://we.tl/t-9S7KasHj0j (KLFT-L49) and here: https://we.tl/t-b0mOAujltI (L49-L38) My take off was at 1917Z. The first leg of the flight was uneventful. Some lowering visibility near Centerville, LA required me to to descend to 2000 feet for about 10 minutes . As I suspected, the Cub didn't have enough gas to get to L38, so I set down at Galliano Airport (L39) at about 2135Z to refuel. After getting airborne again, the flight to L38 was uneventful, and I landed at 2300Z, with about 30 minutes of daylight to spare. My landing at L38 was terrible, but my excuse is that my computer video seemed to be acting up, and my head movements weren't being tracked by the Track IR. Sometimes that seems to happen on long flights, especially if I'm doing a lot of view switching. Photos are below: Image 1. 1921Z Departing Lafayette-KLFT Image 2. 2112Z La Rose Louisiana Image 3. 2008Z KPTN Patterson Image 4. 1937Z Approaching Dauterive Lake Image 5. 1950Z Over Fishers Island Image 6. 2002Z Lowering clouds near Centerville LA Image 7. 2101Z Madison Bay near Montegut LA Image 8. 2210Z Near Lake Cataouatche-New Orleans Image 9. 2215Z Near Lake Cataouatche-New Orleans Image 10. 2236Z Approaching Oak Alley Image 11. 2246Z Descending to enter the pattern Rwy 17 Louisiana Regional L38
  13. Leg 18 pre-flight 22 January 2020 Lafayette Regional (KLFT) to Louisiana Regional (L38) Weather looks good right now for the flight to Louisiana Regional. I'm taking a roundabout route to L38. If it were a direct flight, it would only be about 55 nm. However, I'm going to fly a somewhat circuitous 177 nm route over some of the Louisiana Bayou country. Image 1 KLFT-L38 I began my pre-flight at 1615Z. The weather at that time looked good. There is some weather moving in from Texas, but it should still be to my west by the time I land. Image 2. National Weather 221800Z Jan 2020 Current conditions at the departure airfield (KLFT) are good. At the few clouds at 2000 feet, 10 mile visiblity and winds 080 at 7 knots: METAR: KLFT [Lafayette Rgnl] METAR: KLFT 221553Z 08007KT 10SM FEW020 06/M01 A3031 RMK AO2 SLP264 T00611006 Freezing levels are in the 7000-9000 foot range, so I won't have to worry about any icing at my expected cruise altitude of 2500 feet. The Terminal Area Forecast shows that most of the area will be VFR at my expected landing time of 2030Z (Image 3), although the leading edge of the front will be moving into western Louisiana by then. Image 3. Terminal Area Forecast, 222021 Jan 2020 Winds at 3000 feet are predicted to be 20 knots from the south, so my plan to fly the Cub for 177 nm without refueling may need to be revised. With those kind of headwinds, I'll be lucky to make the entire route. I will make the refueling decision before I enter the Class C airspace around New Orleans. After completing my preflight, real life intervened, delaying my departure until 1917Z. The TAFs still show VFR conditions, but the front is clearly moving into the area (Image 4). Image 4. Radar 221820Z Jan 2020
  14. Leg 17 Flight 19 January 2020 Natchitoches, Louisiana (KIER) to Lafayette Regional (KLFT) Kmz file of flight here: https://we.tl/t-OEtVhDYy9U The flight was good. Take off was at 1937Z, with landing at 2118Z. Weather was as predicted, with high winds from the North. The only incident of note was that I had a close approach west of Forest Hill, LA with a small passenger jet wile flying at 3,500 feet. The jet crossed approximately 3/4 mile in front of me was heading south west and descending. It may have been heading for KACP, but it was fairly low for being that far out (20nm). The high wing of my Cub prevented me from seeing the jet until it was at my 10 o'clock position, and I had my radio off to conserve its battery power, so I was unaware of the jets presence. I may start recording these flights in TACVIEW so I can see what some of the air traffic is doing. The landing on Runway 4L at KLFT was fun-winds were 029 at 17 knts. Effectively, the Cub was flying at about 11 knots over the ground on touchdown, and ended up stopping almost immediately on touch down. The wind was high enough that I almost ground looped the Cub trying to taxi to the general aviation parking. I definitely need more practice taxiing! Below are some screenshots of the flight: Image 1. 1947Z Crossing the Red River SE of Natchitoches Image 2. 1952Z Over Montgomery LA Image 3. 1957Z Natachie Lake and Red River Image 4. 2023Z Over Alexandria LA Image 5. 2043Z Near St Landry Parish KOPL Image 6. 2108Z Approaching KLFT
  15. Leg 17 pre-flight 19 January 2020 Natchitoches, Louisiana (KIER) to Lafayette Regional (KLFT) The rain has finally stopped, and the clouds have finally moved on to Georgia. This gives me an opportunity to get the Cub a little closer to the Gulf Coast. Image 1. National weather 19 January Clear skies, with a strong wind from the north is now centered on Louisiana. Most stations are calling for 20-25 mph winds. Image 2. Aviation Forecast 19 January 2020 Image 3 METAR Central Louisiana METAR: KIER [Natchitoches Rgnl] METAR: KIER 191815Z AUTO 04009G17KT 10SM CLR 11/M05 A3051 RMK AO2 T01121052 METAR: KLFT [Lafayette Rgnl] METAR: KLFT 191753Z 02020G28KT 10SM CLR 11/M04 A3042 RMK AO2 PK WND 02028/1753 SLP299 T01111044 10111 20067 50006 Terminal Area Forecast KLFT [Lafayette Rgnl] TAF: KLFT 191722Z 1918/2018 02018G25KT P6SM BKN250 FM200000 01010KT P6SM SKC Winds Aloft (Extracted from FBUS31 KWNO 191354) FD1US1 DATA BASED ON 191200Z VALID 191800Z FOR USE 1400-2100Z. TEMPS NEG ABV 24000 FT 3000 6000 9000 12000 18000 24000 30000 34000 39000 LCH 0446 3620+06 3020+06 2825+01 2831-14 2843-28 257442 258748 268352 SHV 0130 3627+00 3119-01 2932-03 2852-16 2855-28 265344 265352 267752 Forecast Discussion: For the 19/12Z TAF period, VFR prevailing with SKC conditions through much of today. Some mid/high level clouds may return late in the period, and any cigs that result will remain above 10Kft. Breezy north winds averaging near 10 kts will prevail today, then dropping off closer to 5 kts or less by 20/00Z as high pressure at the sfc continues to dominate. This tailwind will make the 118 nm flight to KLFT elateively quick. My preflight calculations are that it will take only 94 minutes. I'm going to try to keep the Cub below 2500 feet, as the winds aloft may be in the 30 mph range. I may climb higher to get better screenshots (my scenery looks best if I'm above 3000 feet), but generally I'm going to try to stay relatively low this flight. Figure 4. KIER to KLFT
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