Posted by 2flyamerica
Flying for work… One of the perks of my job is having the ability to fly to our distant locations when needed. Flying the RV-9A actually burns less gas than my Dodge and when I can avoid the cost of an overnight stay its a win-win for me and the company. This was the case earlier this week, when I needed to do some work at our location near Bay St. Louis , MS. This is nearly a seven hour round trip drive that could be made in Caddie in about 50 minutes, one way, and the Stennis International Airport (KHSA) is just a couple of miles away. All I needed now was a ride to the plant…
I’ll take the Mercedes… Since renting a car would defeat the justifiable savings of being able to fly, I usually try to get a local employee of ours to pick me up or secure a crew car. So, I called the local FBO at Stennis (MILLION AIR), and asked if they had a crew car that I could use. “Yes Sir, we do…” the young lady said, so I gave her my tail number and told her when we would be there. Upon arrival at Stennis, we taxied to the ramp area, topped off the left tank (all of about 8 gallons)and proceeded inside to pick up the car. After photocopying my license she tossed me the key… well, not exactly a key, but a big plastic thing that had Mercedes written on it. “It’s the black E350 just out the door” she said … WOW, I’ve had crew cars from a Jeep Cherokee with the rear window taped up to retired police cars to a new bright yellow Camaro (KJKA), but I’ve never been offered a Benz.
NO PReNDLe… OK, “you know you’re a red neck when…” you can’t get the car in gear. We built our own airplane, wired the all glass – high tech panel and fly it all over the country, but put me in a car without a gear shift and i’m lost. There was no standard gear shift with the normal PRND12 symbols – aka “PReNDLe”, instead there was a “little shifter like thingy” that you pushed forward to go into reverse and pulled back to go forward (German engineering at its best). I did finally get the car going in the right direction without taking out the chain-link fence around the airport and the ride to work was great. This is a very nice car that had a real smooth ride and nice high tech gadgets in the panel.
After a successful trip to our plant, we returned to the FBO and pulled out our snack lunch and enjoyed our meal in front of the big screen TV. The folks at the FBO were very nice and the fuel prices were reasonable at around $5.70 a gallon. The airport has a nice big runway for the area we were in in Mississippi. At 8500 feet long by 150 feet wide, they can handle all sorts of large aircraft. Being an old “space nut” I may bring us back to visit the Stennis Space Center which is only a few miles down the road and maybe even get another ride in the Benz…
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