Don flew his first mission for Pilots N Paws in his Cherokee 140.
It’s another one of those round-about stories that got him his first mission. He recently moved his airplane to a new home, Tappahannock, VA (XSA), and one of the pilots there had been flying Pilot n Paws missions and wanted to know if Don could do one over the weekend. It was something that had been stuck in the back of Don’s mind, so he said sure.
Don heard mumblings about 3 puppies, but when he arrived at Elizabethtown, NC (EYF), Sylvia had a van full of critters to split between Don and another pilot. It never occurred to him that one could fly what is normally a 4-seat Cherokee with 19 souls on board, but he did so without even coming close to weight and balance (W&B) limits. It is important to have weight distributed in the airplane correctly, or the pilot is unable to control the plane. It helped that 15 of the critters were kittens. The other 3 were dogs.
Expecting his first PnP flight to be with just one or two critters, Don was a bit surprised at his load. The rescues cut him no slack, and since it seemed safe in all respects (no loose critters, and W&B within limits), up and away they went?
It was 2.3 hours each way between KXSA and KEYF. While it was hot, the visibility was good, the air was a lot smoother than expected, and it was uneventful in most respects. Flying With a Purpose – it really helps to focus the flight and flying a lot better than the lazy local evening flights.