Captain Tedward's Flying Adventures

My mission: DON'T CRASH!

9/11/2008 10:20:00 AM

Trip to speak to aviation students

Posted by Captain Tedward

I flew down to Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday. I had been invited to speak to a group of aviation students at the college I graduated from. I spoke about the dispatch profession to about a dozen enthusiastic aviation students and a few professors. One of the professors that taught me when I attended J.U. still teaches there and was in attendance. It was quite a thrill for me and the students seemed to enjoy what I had to say.

Flight down and back was uneventful. Hope I get another opportunity to give back to the university that gave me so much. :)

Captain Tedward

9/10/2008 04:33:00 PM

Trip to Miami to see the Dolphins

Posted by Captain Tedward

I flew down to South Florida last Saturday with a buddy of mine to see the Dolphins/Jets game on Sunday. We departed Ridgeland, SC around 12:45pm and flew down to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport..nonstop. Trip took about 3 1/2 hours. The weather was great all the way down and was for the most part, smooth.

We had a rental car waiting for us on the ramp and after we got the plane buttoned up, we headed for my parent's condo in Hollywood. John and I ended up at Oceanwalk that evening at a bar along the beach, watching college football games and partaking in a few adult beverages as well as some fantastic food

We headed out around 10:20 Sunday morning and headed for the local Chipotle to pick up burritos for the tailgate party at Dolphin's Stadium. We downed a few beers, ate lunch, and headed into the stadium. We had pretty good seats but you can imagine how hot it was. The game was great too, though my Dolphins ended up losing at the end. After the game, John and I headed down to South Beach. We found a neat bar and had drinks, dinner, and watched some more sports. People watching is the real sport on South Beach, however. ;) We headed back to the condo around 11:00pm as we had a full day of flying on Monday.

We opted to stop in Titusville, FL on the way back to have some breakfast and to see if we can good view of the Kennedy Space Center, since John has never seen that area before. We ate at the Outer Marker Cafe which is a great little place with an awesome aviation theme.

Check out some of the pictures from our trip below. Enjoy!

Captain Tedward

John taking a turn at flying.

Lake Okeechobee.

Approaching Fort Lauderdale.

Airport coming into view.

The FBO we parked at. John with the stadium in the background.
During the National Anthem.
Big screen!
John and I after the game.
The 'other' in game entertainment. :) Enroute weather.
Towering cumulous.
Approaching some weather.
Along the Florida coast.
Coming in for a landing at Beaufort County Airport.

9/04/2008 01:18:00 PM

Not taking any chances

Posted by Captain Tedward

I debated this when we were looking at Fay. This time, I took action. Tropical Storm Hanna's forecast track earlier this week had the storm bearing down on the Low Country in just a few days.

I opted to play it safe and flew my plane to Ridgeland, SC, about 15 miles or so west of Beaufort. I have a contact over there that has a few empty hangars that he is trying to sell and was willing to rent me one for a few days. The peace of mind knowing that the plane is "out of the elements" is worth the price. Our forecasted winds tomorrow evening are sustained between 30-40 mph with gusts possibly to 60 mph. It was definitely the right call.

My next flying adventure is scheduled to take place on Saturday, once the winds and rain subside. I am heading down to Miami with a buddy of mine to see the Jets play the Dolphins on Sunday.

Captain Tedward

9/01/2008 12:49:00 PM

September 2008 - Airport Spotlight

Posted by Captain Tedward

This month's spotlight features Gwinnett County Airport in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Briscoe Field, the Gwinnett County Airport, is the third busiest airport in Georgia. It handles light general aviation and most corporate jets. Three flight schools also operate at Briscoe.

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Per the airport's website, Gwinnett County Airport is located on approximately 500 acres just one mile northeast of the city of Lawrenceville. Briscoe Field is surrounded by industrial areas to the south and west, the Gwinnett Progress Center to the north, and the Alcovy River to the east. The airport consists of a single 6,021-foot-long by 100-foot-wide runway capable of handling all light general aviation and most corporate jet aircraft in operation today.

In 1991, Gwinnett County Airport completed a $25 million series of improvements which included the expansion of airport property to the current 500 acres, construction of the current runway and parallel taxiway, and installation of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) on Runway 25. We are also equipped with a Level III AWOS system and an air traffic control tower.

Gwinnett County Airport is served by two Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) operating at the airport. Landmark Aviation is located on the north apron and can be reached from 6:00am to midnight daily at 770.995.5592. Aircraft Specialists is located on the south apron and can be reached from 6:30am to 10:30pm daily at 770.277.9000. Both FBOs provide an excellent level of service to their users.

The tower is open daily between the hours of 7:00am and 9:00pm. During this time, pilots can contact the tower using 124.10 as the tower frequency and 121.80 as the ground control frequency. After hours, 124.10 becomes the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). Pilots can also dial into the AWOS for weather information using 132.27.

Gwinnett County Airport is governed by the Airport Authority. This five-member board meets on the second Thursday of every month at 6:00pm.

IMPORTANT HISTORY (according to Wikipedia):

Two of the 9/11 hijackers, Mohamed Atta and sidekick Marwan Al-Shehhi, took practice flights at Briscoe Field airport. Half a year before terrorists crashed two jetliners into New York's World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks, two men identified as among the hijackers rented a single engine Piper Cherokee Warrior at this small airport and took off for a one-hour "checkout" flight with an instructor.

Sources close to the investigation say flight school records list Mohamed Atta and sidekick Marwan Al-Shehhi, both named on the FBI list of terrorists aboard the planes that on Sept 11 were flown into the World Trade Center. Atta is thought to be a leader and organizer of the hijacking plot, al-Shehhi was a fellow student and apartment roommate.

Both had instrument ratings and were qualified to fly twin-engine planes. Each had to show his commercial pilot's license at Briscoe Field. A source said Atta used a credit card to rent the planes, $69 an hour, plus $32 an hour for an instructor the first time in late February.

Their names and FAA license numbers were entered in the school computer by a flight dispatcher. Each man flew a leg with the instructor. When they returned later to rent another plane, they were able to fly together since they had already qualified.


I really enjoyed flying into Gwinnett County Airport. The tower controllers were very courteous and the layout of the airport makes finding your way around rather easy for the first timer.

Once we landed on Runway 7, we were given permission to taxi to The Flying Machine Restaurant. This is a great place to feast on some great food while enjoying the view out on the patio watching all of the aviation activity.

After lunch, we walked a short distance over to Aircraft Specialists to pay for our fuel and to file a flight plan home. They were very courteous as well and they facility was spotless.

Once done there, we hopped back into the plane and off we flew. We'll definitely be back. Enjoy the pictures!

Captain Tedward