I was fortunate to spend 12 days in Gulf Shores, Alabama during Christmas break with my close friends Haley Howard and Rod Kellogg, both pilots for the Shrimp Basket. The plan for the trip was for me to essentially tag along with Haley and Rod, building time and experiencing aviation from their perspective. Carbon Cub Formation Flight Shrimp Force Two In The Sunset Cirrus SR22 N125LC This trip proves more than anything that making connections and friends in aviation can lead to pretty incredible experiences. As you’ll find throughout various future articles, I logged over 5o hours in the 12 days that I was in Gulf Shores, getting my tailwheel, high performance, and complex aircraft endorsements. Their generosity allowed me to simply pay for the ticket down, with the flight time I gained coming at no extra cost. Flying The Carbon Cub Sunset Over Gulf Shores Flying Over Gulf Shores I flew out of Richmond on December 26th via Atlanta on Delta to Pensacola, Florida. Arriving at noon, Haley and Rod surprised me with a pickup at the airport in a Cirrus SR22 – not a bad taxi to the Jack Edwards Airport (KJKA)! Right from the beginning, I was thrown into the cockpit and logging time – I loved it! Haley, Rod, And Swayne In The Cirrus Taxiing At Pensacola Turning Final Runway 09 Pensacola Airport (KPNS) After departing from Pensacola (KPNS), we flew towards Jack Edwards Airport, Alabama (KJKA), our main base for the trip. Here’s a video of my landing on Runway 09: Upon arrival, I was placed in the back seat of Shrimp Force Two, the Shrimp Basket’s American Champion Scout, used by Haley to tow banners around the beach… but that’s for the next article! On The Ground At Perdido Winds Airport Thanks Haley and Rod for starting my trip with flight time right off the bat! -Swayne Martin Twitter: @MartinsAviation Share this:ShareTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint 3 Responses Karlene January 10, 2015 Swayne, this is awesome. So…how do you feel about a plane to push a button and eject? Do you think that this is a good trainer for basics? Would love your thoughts. Reply Swayne Martin January 11, 2015 Karlene, thanks for the comment! I really enjoy flying the Cirrus but can see why some pilots wouldn’t like all of the automation. For me, I like that it has features such as the “LVL” button which can take you out of disorienting situations, or the parachute which allows a life-saving backup. BUT I don’t think the Cirrus is a good starter airplane for pilots. It’s extremely complex and advanced, requiring a lot of knowledge and study. Many accidents happen in Cirrus aircraft when wealthy, new pilots wish to buy it as their first plane (or even to train in). It’s not great as a starter aircraft in my opinion. Reply Anonymous May 10, 2017 Rod is so fineeeeeee. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.