I was lucky to fly two banner towing runs from Gulf Shores, Alabama to Panama City, Florida while I visited the Gulf Coast over Christmas Break with Haley Howard and Rod Kellogg. While Haley and Rod traveled to Nicaragua for a King Air trip, I flew the banner runs from the back seat with experienced banner tow pilot Chuck sitting up front.

At 45-65 mph, the 100 mile trip from Gulf Shores to Panama City and back takes a LONG time! It was by far the longest consecutive time I’d ever flown in a small single engine plane. We flew the run twice, once on Wednesday and once on Thursday; the 5-6 hours we spent in the air was tiring but still a whole lot of fun.

Along the way, we did some sightseeing and were kept busy by military airports and airspace along our route. In addition, plugged my iPhone into the intercom system to listen to some music for the flight. Each of us brought food and water with us for the long-haul, and made sure to go the bathroom before we took off! (You can’t land in a banner plane with the banner in-tow)

Our route is shown below via CloudAhoy and my iPhone/XGPS160:

Being a tailwheel rated pilot, it was great to build some more stick and rudder experience from the back seat while we flew the long-haul routes!

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Thanks, Chuck for taking me along for the ride.
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

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If you want to become a pilot, I want to make your journey just a little easier. I'm a First Officer for Envoy Air, one of the largest regional airlines in the world, and have partnered with industry leaders like the U.S. Air Force to teach about various aviation careers. For a full bio, click the "About" tab above. Use the "Contact" tab to shoot me a message.

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