Nina began her journey 3 months ago in Georgia, and was lucky enough to find a great foster home through the Pointer Rescue Organization in Maine with Lorraine. Emily McDonald, the PRO transport coordinator, posted a request on the PilotsNPaws forum to go from from Maine to Maryland, and we volunteered to fly the first leg.
The morning started with a surprise that our hangar was still dug in from Saturday's snow storm, but the folks at Atlantic Aviation did quick work of clearing the ramp.
Bob Roseberry (my instrument flight instructor) and I got our clearance to KIZG (Fryeburg, ME), and off we went. At our intial altitude of 5000', we'd be right at the tops of the broken cloud layer. At one point, we started to get moderate rime ice, asked for a higher altitude, and were cleared to 7000', above the cloud layer.
We left the Bradley approach control frequency to give a PIREP (share the icing encounter so others can plan around it).
It was smooth flying all the way to Maine, and when we got the ASOS weather information from the Fryeburg airport, the surprise was that winds were 18 gusting to over 30! So much for the TAF accuracy which forecast 8 knots. We did the RNAV GPS 32 approach with a bit of extra speed to account for the gusts, and were on the ground shortly.
N46511 was chocked pointing into the wind at the gas pump, and Bob and I enjoyed a spectacular ham sandwich in the cozy FBO pilot lounge, courtesy of Kristen (thanks honey!).
Soon we met Lorraine, Nina's foster mom of the last 3 months, and then Nina! She's a sweet girl who I'm sure will be a great dog for her new family in Maryland. We put down blankets on the back seat, clipped Nina's harness to the seatbelt, and off to NY we went.
With the gusty winds, we made sure to taxi slowly and had the controls adjusted to keep the Cessna planted on the ground (Dive with the wind!). I also saw my first lenticular cloud ahead, probably from the strong winds crossing Mt Washington.
Soon we were airborne, and picked up our clearance to Poughkipsie, NY (KPOU). Bye Maine!
This leg of the flight took a while due to the 40 knot headwinds, but the ride was very smooth above the clouds at 6000'.
2:15 later we're doing the VOR-24 approach into KPOU, and greased the landing. Bob thinks I should be flying with a dog in the back every time! We met Dave at the Eclipse terminal, who is the final PilotsNPaws leg taking Nina to her new home in Maryland, took several more pictures, and handed her over. She looked very cozy in the back seat of dave's Mooney. Bye Nina!
We fueled N46511 at Eclipse (who even gave us a PilotsNPaws charity flight discount - thank you!), and filed to go direct back to Hartford, CT (KHFD). Unfortunately, the routing was a bit more complicated, first following the Dutchess 4 departure, then to the Pawling VOR, the 111 Radial, BRISS waypoint, and finally Hartford. Once airborne & following NY ATC's clearance, we asked to go direct to Hartford, and eventually were cleared direct. At that point, we got the ATIS weather info for KHFD, and with the wind blowing from the south, we were going to be vectored to a Runway 20 landing. To qualify for the long IFR cross country, we needed 3 different types of instrument approaches, and this type wouldn't count! Thankfully Bradley ATC and Brainard's tower ATC were able to coordine and approve the LDA-2 approach into KHFD, which we did with a small tailwind (no problem with a 4000' long runway). We landed at 6:45, found the Atlantic Aviation ramp guys to top off the plane, and wrapped up a busy day.
Have a great future in Maryland, Nina! We were glad to help.
Link to full picture album: http://photo.skulte.com/PnPNina/