Flying Places: Central Florida Family FunWritten by Charles Lloyd
Our son and his family typically head south during their vacations, and the trips include places that interest their children—our grandchildren—ages 10 and six. Our daughter-in-law Alison suggested Legoland and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Florida’s Gulf Coast as our family vacation destination last Christmas.
The trip to Florida started from two locations, Goddard, Kan. and Chapin, S.C., via two means of transportation: an aircraft and an automobile. Both groups started out at approximately the same time. From South Carolina, the mileage is 505 sm over interstate roads, and the flight plan route from Kansas to Florida is 982 nm (1,130 sm). With the car traveling 70-75 mph (maybe a little faster on dry roads) and the airplane cruising 137 knots (158 mph), the estimated time for both was 8.5 hours.
The winds and weather favored our airplane this day, with tailwinds of 55 knots to Clarksville, Ark., 45 knots to Marion, Ala. and 15 knots to Lakeland. The automobile group slogged through heavy rains, traveling at less than 45 mph for the first 150 miles. We talked at each fuel stop and it soon became apparent that the airplane would get to Lakeland an hour and a half earlier than the younger Lloyds would arrive in the car.