Cedar Key
April 27, 2008

When I first started looking to buy a Cessna 152, I joined the Cessna 150-152 Club. The main reason was to get technical information about the 152 and to learn what I needed to look for when I bought one. On the website, they have a forum, where members can ask questions and talk to each other. I posted a few questions and read the forums from time to time, but hadn't really done anything with them yet.

Last week, one of the Florida members posted that they were getting a group to go to Cedar Key in the big bend region of Florida. It was people mostly from the Orlando area, but Cedar Key was on my mental list of places I want to fly my plane to. Since all I really needed was a reason to go, and my plane was not booked for that day, I posted that I would join them.

It was a little over 200 miles from F45 to CDK, and I figured it would take me about 2.5 hours to get there. On they way up, I flew at 6500 feet to stay above the clouds where the air was smooth. The outside air temperature was 40 degrees, and I actually had to turn the heat on because I was getting cold!

I knew I would need gas at some point, so I decided to get it on the way up, so I could head straight home. I flew a little out of my way to get the cheapest gas in the area, but it was almost $1.50 cheaper there than at home, so I figured it was worth it. After I gassed up at the Dunnellon airport, I headed west to Cedar Key.

Approaching Cedar Key

A little closer shot. The runway is at the far left of the picture.

Here is the runway. I will be landing from the opposite direction.

When you call up on the radio as you approach Cedar Key, the only taxi on the island calls up and asks you if you need a ride. I told her I did, and she said she would meet me at the airport. When I landed, I called one of the other members cell phones and he told me where they were, and the taxi took me there.

Here is the group at the end of lunch. Both tables were people in the club.

After lunch, we walked along the strip and socialized. Another guy flew down from Alabama to go to Cedar key. He came roughly the same distance I did to get there.

Here's the strip in Cedar Key. You are looking at the entire length of it (one block).

At one point we were all standing in a parking lot talking, so we eventually moved to a park and talked for about an hour. Then it was getting late, so we called the taxi and headed back to the airport.

Did I mention there was only one taxi on the island?

After everyone looked at all the planes, it was time to depart. There are no taxiways at Cedar Key, so you have to back-taxi down the runway to leave. This took a little coordination to make happen. I decided to try and get some pictures of the planes taking off before I started my plane.

One of the planes in the group taking off.
You can see the next one waiting at the end of the runway.

Best picture of the trip award. This was the guy from Alabama.

After everyone else left, I started my plane and headed home. I climbed above the clouds again, since that worked so well on the way up. The only problem was the clouds had built up all day, and were taller. I ended up at 9500 feet before I was above the clouds. That is a new altitude record for me!

Eventually, I got to the Military Operation Area (MOA) in central Florida and had to descend under the 7000 ft ceiling. I eventually ended up at 3500 feet to stay under the clouds. Fighting a headwind the whole way home, it took a little longer than the way up did, but I eventually made it.

It was a fun little get-together, and I think the group is going to plan a few more. I will most likely go to them, since I had a good time at this one. I just need to get Christina to go with me!