Flyin on a business trip and Lovin it!

Well that time came again and I need to be in Miami in the Morning . The questions was did I drive 4 to 5 hours or take the 601 xl and fly 1.4 hours? Well quick decision. I looked at the TFR over the everglades and the fact that the HWY is closed down, and decided to fly. The plan was to leave early in the morning, fly in to Opa Locka, get to my 9am meeting at the factory, then fly back by 1pm. I took off from SPG at 7 am, leveling the plane at 9500 feet. Can you say Awesome View! the visibility was forever miles, and though the air on the ground was 82 degrees, Up top was 50 degrees. The 3300 Jabiru puttered along nicely. at 2750 rpm she was sipping 5 gal/hour. Ground speed was ponly 105 knots, but IAS was 125. Nice head wind. Just past Airglades, just south of Lake Okechobee, Maimi Traffic handed me off to MIA Approach and started my Decent into OPF. With the carb heat on and the nose down, with 2700 rpm, I showed 700 ft per Minute, . Leveling off at 1200, I had ATIS INformation Tango for runway 9L at OPF. Squeeked it in at approximately 8.45 am. Made my meeting in time as it was next to the airport.

My return trip was just as pleasant. The clouds were scattered at 3500 ft to 5000 ft. so upon take off they squaked me and sent me between the clouds, until I was out from under all the Airport Heavies approaching MIA. I crossed I-75 heading 330, and was cleared by Miami Traffic, to 8500 ft. the wind I had from the South east in the morning was still there at altitude, so at 8500ft I showed 140 mph at MSL, with IAS 120 mph. I was not pushing the engine at 2750 rpm. CHT showed all below 290 and EGTs were 1350.
sipping again 5.2gal/hr. 2850 showed nominal airspeed increase and fuel burn of 6/hr. I group of two super 18s flew 1000 feet over me going from Ft. Meyers to the Sebring MOA north of the Lake. They were beautifull, all stacked up with 1000 lb bombs, and heading to a party!
20 miles South east of the Class B, Tampa Traffic, started my decent and gave me straight in to SPG, runway 7. I trimmed th e plane for landing 2 miles out, and at finnal the speed showed 60 mph with half flaps. Perfect landing (any landing that makes it down in one piece is a perfect one). I got back in 1.3 hours. So a round trip on the hobbs of 3.5 aint bad. Saved me 10 hours in the car. The Zodiac performed as it was designed for, a great cross country cruiser, that burns little gas and is easy to fly. I can't ask for anything better.

Juan Vega

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Comment by Chumphol Sirinavin on May 16, 2009 at 4:07pm
Hi Juan,

It is great when you can fly your homebuilt on business. Get (on) your hobby to work!
In Thailand, bush flying is not permitted ( a real kill joy for my STOL CH 701) , and I've never herd of anybody flying his/her homebuilt on a business trip. The limitation confines homebuilding to a more expensive level of another (senseless?) hobby!

Comment by Stephen R. Smith on May 4, 2009 at 8:12pm
Nice report Juan. Thanks for sharing. Steve

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