After traveling to North Carolina I was very impressed with the happy, sunshiny atmosphere. Naturally, a couple days later with the weather still being good to the east, Horace and I decided to fly to South Carolina to compare the two neighboring states.
Horace had a friend who he had previously played in a marching band that attended the University of South Carolina, so we planned to meet him there in Columbia to get barbecue.
When we arrived a the airport, Andy had another surprise. He had a private pilot student who had been cancelled that morning, and asked if he could ride in the back. The only extra work we had to do was add his weight into the weight and balance calculations, and show him around a little bit. It ended up being more fun having him in the back.
The flight was really nice. The air was smooth at cruising altitude, and the route was nearly straight to Columbia. On the way, I got to practice teaching a bit as we explained all the procedures we performed as we did them, and explained the layout of the control panel. I felt like I did a pretty good job with it, and look forward to doing it often as a flight instructor.
We landed in a humid, eighty degree airport with a long line worker wearing a bucket sun hat and Oakleys. We had definitely arrived in the heart of the Carolinas. Horace’s friend drove us to the barbecue place, and it was the best I have ever had. The only weird thing is their sauce has a mustard base, which was nothing like I had ever had before. He even offered to give us a quick tour of South Carolina’s campus, which we took him up on. It had a dramatically different feel than any university in the Midwest, and almost reminded me of a swamp or tropical forest. I had a great time, and we got back in the Seminole for the return trip.
I was glad to have been on an IFR flight plan, because the visibility was not the best. While it was ten miles or greater, we were cruising on the boundary of the haze layer, and did not have much of a horizon. Besides that, the return trip was timely and went well.
I really enjoyed having a passenger in the back, especially with another pilot by my side. It almost felt like a commercial flight, and was good practice for flying passengers. At the end of the trip though, Horace and I had made a unanimous decision. North Carolina wins.