Tuesday July 25, 2006
After a few media interviews we decided to fly to Louisville. The prevailing wind for the past few days has been SW, and the flight to Louisville is about 70 miles to the west. Another flight with a headwind. Though hopefully it will diminish as the sun gets lower.
"Super" Dave Lequire and John Smith (real name, no kidding!) showed up with their PPC to accompany me to Louisville. Since they would need to land somewhere to refuel (compliments of the headwind), it was decided that Rusty would fly in the back seat and take video while John flew up front, to a little airport named Hemp, south of Shelbyville. Then Dave would bump John to the back seat, and Rusty would drive the truck to Bluelick airport (07KY) at Louisville.
A small problem cropped up when Dave arrived at where Hemp airport was supposed to be. It didn't exist any longer. We were about 5 miles from the location, and Dave radioed that he'd located another small airport 3 miles from the original location and he provided the new GPS coordinates. I guided John to the location (his PPC wasn't equipped with a GPS), and they landed for refueling and passenger swap while I circled above.
Time was now starting to weigh on my mind. We'd lifted off from Georgetown-Scott at about 6:10, and had made fairly decent time to the refueling stop. Probably averaged 25 mph against the wind. I had hoped the wind would lessen as the evening progressed, but instead it increased, to the point where our ground speed was only 21 mph. It was apparent there was no wind below 100 feet agl, but at that point smoke from fires literally sheared north. I was worried we'd not make Bluelick before 30 minutes after sunset.
Eventually we landed at Bluelick at 9:15, with about 15 minutes of twilight left. A nice 2,000 foot grass strip smack-dab in the middle of houses. Literally. Developers had built houses only 10 feet from the side of the runway. The airport owner, Tom Jean, (it's a private airport) has made us feel very welcome.