In early October, Mark and I were working on one of our cars in my hangar when my buddy Frank wandered over to say hi. He mentioned in passing that he might have an open seat in the HondaJet for a trip the following Monday, so I told him that while I had the mid Sunday into Monday, if the seat was open I'd gladly take it. (I mean, who needs sleep to live?) I didn't hear anything for a few days and figured he found someone else for the flight...until I got a text that Sunday evening as I was getting ready to head to work. "8am departure tomorrow if you'd like to ride along". Of course I would!! :)
The weather was pretty cruddy when Frank and I met the next morning, to the point that he pushed the departure back an hour. The remains of a tropical storm had pushed through the area overnight; while it wasn't raining anymore, the clouds were still pretty low and the winds were howling. I was looking forward to seeing how the jet handled the weather.
We got our IFR release and taxied out for takeoff. Bye HWY...see you later!
It didn't take long to climb up into the soup...
I knew that our routing would take us through one of the sectors I work, so I explained to Frank what they would be doing with us and was looking forward to seeing who was working so I could say hi (especially since it was mostly my crew that was working that morning). Turns out my former trainee was training on the sector, and when I heard him reading a full route clearance to someone going to Norfolk, I knew he was probably swamped. (That specific sector works the airspace west of Dulles, and I don't think I've ever sent someone to Norfolk from there!). I laughed as we tunneled underneath an arrival without a traffic call, and laughed some more when my friend (the trainer) took over the frequency and started talking. After a couple minutes he switched us over to Washington Center (ZDC) and we continued on.
Our passengers arrived a little while later, and after getting them loaded up and comfortable, it was time to head to our next stop: Boston (BOS)!
To be continued...