With a population of about 1000, everyone really does know everybody. So when I decided on a whim to do a fly-over my Uncle jokingly told my Dad that I was probably piloting the plane that was buzzing them. Without knowing it he was right!
I scheduled the flight and reserved a Cessna 172, N984SP, a week before. The weather looked like it might be clear which is a bit out of the norm for spring in the south. As the day approached I kept checking the weather forecast and it stayed remarkably perfect for flying. This would be my first solo flight in the 172, I received my sign off a few weeks before (Cessna 172 Upgrade!).
I received some unexpected news on Monday morning, the day before my scheduled flight. My grandmother “Granny” had passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 85. Her health had recently started declining fairly quickly so she was definitely in a much better place now. I thought about canceling the flight but wasn’t sure…
Not really thinking about my upcoming flight I was trying to figure out where I might fly or if I was going to fly. If I went I wanted to go about 50 mi so there are many airports in that range, most of them I had been to before. On the day of my scheduled flight a thought popped in my head, what if I flew to Double Springs and flew around where I grew up. It was a great thought and fit my 50 mi. range perfectly, 49 mi to be exact. So that was the plan, I plotted up the trip in my Garmin Pilot app on my iPad, it would only take me around 1.25 hours which was about as long as I wanted to fly. I submitted the flight plan and headed for the airport.
Shortly after taking off from Redstone Army Airfield I started talking to Huntsville Departure to get clearance thought the airspace, since I had to cross in front of HSV on the way out of Huntsville. I entered 3M2 (Double Springs-Winston County Airport) into the GPS. After I passed Decatur airport I was cleared onto my course, I found an aimpoint that looked to be a forest fire. I turned out to be just accross Smith Lake from the Double Springs Airport. (see pic below)
About 30 min later I was over the airport and turned toward the city to do a little bit of sightseeing. Posted below are a few pictures of my family’s land; Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and Grandmother. When I was a kid I ran all around that lake and had many good times on the “Hill” across from the ball fields.
My flight path was recorded by ATC (Huntsville tower and Memphis Center).