To Venice for dinner

Clearwater on the way to VNCI wrote this blog as a nice cookbook flight to VNC for dinner. It is a great trip if you feel up to it. It is delightful from a number of perspectives, you fly along the coast and have some of the best VFR flying available anywhere, then the return trip I use flight following brush up on radio work and get an awesome view of the bay area lights, and stay current with night flight. The route takes you over some of the most expensive real estate around and you catch a glimpse of how the other half live. All of this for just 1.6 on the Hobbs.

Well the same friend as my last blog came out to Tampa this time with a friend who wanted to fly for dinner somewhere. I used my persuasive powers as PIC to motivate for VNC. Weather was CAVU and we asked tower for VFR departure westbound. We headed out at around 5:30 and I am thinking that next time I would leave at 5 to catch the sunset at Sharkeys on the beach. We flew at 1000 agl along the coast all the way down. I used my Garmin 196 to make sure that I stayed clear of the inner ring of the Sarasota Charlie airspace. This pushed me out to the gulf a bit but the engine was running sweetly so I was not concerned. 10 miles north of the field I called into the 122.7 CTAF of my immenent arrival. I asked Unicom for an airport advisory but found no joy. I checked the weather on the AWOS 119.275 . Traffic was landing 31 so I climbed to 1500 and announced my overflight and left downwind entry for runway 31. I tried to summon Unicom with request. Usually they will oblidge and summon a taxi for you. Since I again got no joy I used a new connection that I got for my headset that lets me link it up to my phone and I phoned Premier taxi and scheduled them to pic us up at the FBO. We tied down at the FBO and headed out to catch our cab. We got the gate code from the FBO 5-3-1 so that we could get back into the plane as the FBO closed at 7. The cab took us for a really enjoyable dinner at Sharkeys. We ate out on the deck as the view of the sunset was awesome and there was a Jimmy Buffet fellow singing at the Tiki Bar. A call to the cab 10 minutes before we were done ensured that he was there when we walked out. He dropped us off at the new Tiki bar that opens at the airport on St Paddy’s day. It is in the same place as Squadron 44 was. An interesting piece of history of the VNC airport is that is where the terrorists from 9/11 trained for their misdeeds. There is still some flight training on the field but not at pre 9/11 levels. We took off on runway 22 which takes you straight out over the ocean. It is worthwhile keeping an eye on the HSI at this time as it can be quite disorienting climbing into pure black with no lights. I also keep an eye on my airspeed. I don’t want to see any increase or decrease from Vy. This works well to avoid a spiral. I found the experience very interesting. I turned north to SRQ and at 2000ft called Tampa approach on 119.65 for flight following to St Pete. I asked for 4500 as an altitude. The view is great from up there and it takes me over the top of SRQ airspace. Since SRQ is fairly tame at night I would request 2500 and save the climb. Approach cleared me into class bravo direct St Pete. On the far side of SRQ approach brought be down to 2100 and switched me to 118.8. I put PIE ATIS on comm 2 and picked that up. I came in straight over the top of SPG and switched to St Pete Tower once past SPG. The view of the lights on the flight back home was awesome. We touched down at about 9:30. A 1.6 hour flight round trip and a fantastic way to spend a fine Florida evening.

2 Responses to “To Venice for dinner”

  1. WaltDe says:

    Keep up the great work on your blog. Best wishes WaltDe

  2. JGater says:

    The proverbial $200.00 cheeseburger, Cedar Key is a nice stop as well. Vero has one of the best burgers and as I recall Lakeland has the second best. Good luck with the corps. Keep in touch.

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