Today I’m the official amateur photographer for an adventure flight with my friends and fellow pilots, Chris and Eric. Eric messaged us for a New Year’s Day flight to the Pik-n-Pig in Carthage at 5NC3 airport and I can’t think of a better way to start 2015 than by going flying.
It turns out that the Pik-n-Pig is closed today, so we decide to see if we can get clearance into Class Bravo airspace for a tour of uptown Charlotte instead. After preflight, gassing the Archer and getting in the air, Eric contacts Charlotte Douglass for clearance and it’s granted. This is my first time flying into Class Bravo and touring uptown Charlotte. It’s an incredibly beautiful day, a bit hazy but still the sun is out and gracing us with an amazing view. I took a number of pictures that I’m excited to share of the Panther’s Stadium, the Knights Baseball Stadium and of course, the uptown buildings.
We circle twice and Eric decides to head North for a flight over Lake Norman. I’ve not flown over it yet either, so today is a wonderful adventure and a reminder of why I love flying. It’s days like today that take your breath away, ease your soul and breathe life into what might otherwise be an ordinary day.
It’s work, constant communication and flight instrument checking going on up in the cockpit. I’m fortunate and grateful to see and experience this as a passenger. If I was PIC (pilot in command), there would be no picture taking today. I see now that there are advantages to just being a passenger at times too. I’m enjoying every minute of it and soaking it all in, the view as well as what’s going on up front as they navigate our way.
The lake is more beautiful than I imagined it would be. The colors are vivid and there is much activity on it for such a wonderful day.
Lake Norman (14A) is an interesting airpark. There are houses lining it on each side with large hangers for private planes in each of the driveways as well as a business area for gas, training and hangers. I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to have driveway access for your plane to the runway to leave as you please. It’s a nice runway, asphalt and 3147′ X 40′. We stop and get out to stretch our legs for a bit. Time to enjoy the view and check the airport out. We watch a couple of planes come in for landings before we make our way back towards Wilgrove where we started our journey.
A nice takeoff and Chris takes us around the lake a couple of times to check out the numerous sailboats that dot the water below. It’s a beautiful sight and I think for a moment how much I would love to be down there sailing on one, but the view isn’t as nice as what I have right now and I wouldn’t trade it.
We make our way back home enjoying and laughing about our adventure. It was a wonderful day for flying, and a great way to start the new year hanging out with friends. If this is what 2015 is going to look like, I can’t wait to see where it takes me.