August is a great time to leave Texas. For pilots especially, summer presents unique challenges. High temperatures and humidity contribute to bumpier, often less enjoyable flights. These conditions also diminish aircraft performance, resulting in longer takeoff and landing distances and reduced fuel efficiency.
Of course, these issues aren’t particularly difficult to deal with. Perhaps the hardest part for me is the time spent on a smoldering airport tarmac for pre- and post-flight operations.
In Austin especially, the months of August and September are not kind to Midwesterners.
For these reasons I was anxious to escape with Lauren to California. Sonoma County is a good destination for anyone seeking chilled air. We decide that before setting out on a fast and furious tour of areas wineries, we’ll kick-off the trip by logging some local flight time in Napa. It would be our first experience in flying out-of-state since I earned my pilot certificate in 2012. Continue reading