Monday, August 15, 2011

Sugarloaf Flyers

So I ask you: who the hell moves to the Fabulous Florida Keys and wants to go fly a plane? Lots of people that's who and there's a runway just for them.


And if they live in a house on Sugarloaf Key they can have an aeroplane garage underneath their living rooms. The homes actually look like regular Keys stilt houses except they may have a cavernous yawning hole covered sometimes by enormous garage doors.


Inside they keep their toys and I'm pleased to report that in between the wings and toolboxes there is room for the odd motorcycle or two.


Nevertheless it seems airplanes need a lot of wrenches to keep them flying. And lots of room to store them. But there's still enough room for a basketball hoop just to keep the suburban image intact. Fly home and launch a leather orb at a hole in the air to relax your nerves from having just flown through the same air on two wings and a prayer.


I never got into flying even though I have learned that small planes are surprisingly economical, especially considering they fly far above turns, intersections and traffic jams. Like sailing, something I am familiar with, the direction of the wind is important. Hence the roof top windsock.


You'd have to be exceptionally stupid to park your car in the path of even a light aircraft coming in to land, but I have no doubt there are some idiots who view it as their God given right to bugger up other people's pathway.


It's apparent to me that residents walk their dogs along the edge of then paved runway because Cheyenne showed enormous interest in who had gone before.


So who want to leave these lovely homes and fly away?


Not all of them have plane hangers underneath, and they may have to make do with canals and car garages like the rest of us.


If you think about it the isolation of these islands makes them ideal for aviators. A drive to Naples will take six or seven hours but a flight at one hundred miles an hour would take a little more than an hour.


Consider too that many islands in the Bahamas have airstrips so taking the time to spend a weekend in the islands is a short hop away.


The best bit of all is that general aviation, the official term for private flights, is pretty much unsupervised. No TSA fondling, no luggage inspections and no weight limits and no crating of pets. Except if you overload your little 'plane you crash and die.


Suddenly I'm talking myself into... Not in this lifetime. It's enough keeping cars and motorcycles and boats and generators going. Too many engines ruin a quality of life and I'm at my limit, past it perhaps.


Cheyenne got past her limit of exposure to direct summer sunlight so she took cover under a convenient bush.


One other thing: the view of the Keys and their surrounding turquoise waters are quite spectacular from the air. How do I know? Because for relatively little money you can take a commercial flight from Key West and spend half an hour looking out of the window while someone else drives.


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2 comments:

Singing to Jeffrey's Tune said...

Best touristy thing I have done in the Keys is taking a sea plane to the Dry Tortugas. Absolutely beautiful.

Conchscooter said...

And they are flying again.