Darkhorse 450 pt.5

Baker(0M3) to Maury Co.(MRC) Oct4 2019

I lifted off at 1000. Winds were still strong from the North so my speed wasn’t great, about 15mph. But that wasn’t the biggest problem by a long stretch. About 15 minutes in I felt a dampness on my chest,odd feeling at 2000′. The fill opening on my fuel bladder had started to leak. Very slowl but definitely a leak. Upon landing I found a nick in the O-ring, but at the time all I knew was I had another leak.

Smoother air was forecast at 3000′ so I continued my climb while I worked this new problem. I found that if I pulled the bladder up fuel drained from the cap and the leak stopped, but that meant I only had one hand to steer. I decided to start my fuel transfer early to mitigate the issue asap. The main tank didn’t have room yet for an additional 3L so I barely opened the valve. Luckily my fix at that connection held up, I was all out of hands at the moment.

The rest of the flight went fairly smooth. I leveled out at around 3200′. The inversion layer I had been chasing was starting to dissipate. Updrafts from thermals were starting to strengthen as the sun rose higher. By the time I made out the Maury Co. airport and started my descent the sky was much livelier. I had to orbit a few miles out trying to lose altitude for awhile. Thermals are great for getting free altitude but they can also lift you up when you just wanna get down.

I did see a dragonfly about the time I started my descent. No idea why a dragonfly would be 3000′ in the air. He probably said the same thing about some guy in a lawn chair.

Maury Co. had some beautiful aircraft hangered there, like this immaculate T-6.

Finally I got down and made a pretty good landing at Maury Co. I dragged my gear over to the fuel farm, bagged my wing, refueled, and decided it was time to find some lunch.

A very helpful young lady in the terminal threw me the keys to the courtesy car and gave me directions to a great bacon cheeseburger. I was hungry and it was huge.

All the best diners have these chairs.

When I got back to the terminal I got a surprise visit from a great friend. Bryan let me stay at his house during the end of my training last year, so this entire flight(and my addiction) is partially his fault. He just happened to be across town working on a project.

The wind picked up well above my safety margin so flying for the day was done. My ground support caught up with me and Bryan and we decided to make the drive to Tullahoma and our hotel reservations. For some reason they did not like the idea of leaving me to sleep beside the taxiway……women.

In Tullahoma we met up with two more great friends that wanted to take us for Mexican food, can’t say no to that. Nicole Sauce (of Holler Roast Coffee and The Living Free in Tennessee podcast fame) and the Tactical Redneck(Former Marine and Coast Gaurd) are a pair of wonderful humans. They’ve both been big supporters of this effort and on the next flight gave me one of the best surprises of the trip.

Nicole,Kurt,Chris, Gretchen in front.

Then I slept like a rock.


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