Catching up … Novasota (60R) to Odessa (ODO) via Burnet (BMQ)
Wednesday 18th April.
Sometimes it’s difficult to be sure whether to depart or wait. The last few days have followed a similar pattern. Calm early, winds increase by 9/10am, winds calm later. This morning had an additional factor. A weak cold-front was moving through the area making much of the transiting area fall under the FAA definition of an “IFR area”. The destination Burnet (KBMQ) was VFR, but winds would be 12 knots gusting 19 knots by 10am.
Although not ideal, it would be possible to avoid the IFR area, by routing east of the direct track, but this would result in a longer period of time with a headwind, arriving after the winds increase.
Decisions…. Get airborne and work it out from there.
Airborne time was just after 7am. Cloud-base was higher than forecast at just over 2200ft.
Whilst flying in a particular direction, weather information for airports ahead are listened to. This provides details of surface wind speed, cloud-base and allows for comparing with the forecast given prior to flight.
Approaching Taylor, cloud-base was confirmed at above 2000 ft and winds had not increased, yet!
A rain shower could be seen off the left hand side towards Austin otherwise the constant layer of cloud was not a concern. I can see why the are was IFR, but operating clear of cloud, with 8km’s visibility, flying at 60mph, I was VFR.
Austin Texas is clearly growing city. Much of the housing was clearly new-built with more new land clearly being marked out for housing. Sports facilities looked spotless.
Burnet was chosen as a destination due to the proximity of a gas station, providing access to unleaded petrol/gas.
A small collection of donated USAF fighter aircraft are on display outside.
After refueling the BZIM, departure was delayed as the winds had increased, as forecast.
By 1430, a desire to push on, resulted in the BZIM taking off in winds still reported as gusting 20 knots, but the winds in the destination were good.
A 4 hour 30 minute flight to Odessa was probably the first time where the BZIM wasn’t fighting with the winds. The BZIM flew itself. It was hands off, relaxing flying. It was bliss! Previously only the flight along the eastern Florida coastline was nice, but there was still turbulence on that leg. This felt like the first time I was totally relaxed whilst flying. Listening to music and podcasts as I bimbled along at 60 mph. This was worth it!
Texas is big and flat.
Oil pumps and drilling wells soon become a common sight
Arrival at Odessa was just after 7pm. Unfortunately the FBO closed at 7pm, leaving only the cleaning staff in the building. Thankfully one was happy to drop me off at a hastily booked hotel.