I’ve wanted to fly to Dog Island, Florida since finishing my Sonex. There’s just something appealing about flying to an island that you would otherwise need a boat to get to and landing on a grassy/sandy runway. I even called the manager about a year ago to check on the runway condition. This weekend, during a trip with Philip to visit his grandparents, the two hour detour to check out Dog Island became irresistible. I called the manager again and he used language like “silky smooth” to describe the runway condition.
The landing was one of my better recent landings. I used full flaps and crossed the dune at about 60-65mph and used maybe a third of the runway. Philip slept through the entire landing. The ground was slightly damp in places and I had to keep my rpm up around 1500 with occasional bursts to 2000 to maintain a constant speed while turning the airplane around and taxiing to the “ramp”.
I imagine larger wheels would be desirable for flying regularly to Dog Island. For takeoff, I used 10 degrees of flaps in an attempt to get off the ground and free of the drag from the grass sooner. I imagine my takeoff roll was a little longer than at Moontown or other grass runways, but not by much. I turned and flew down the coastline while gaining altitude for the 3 mile hop back over Saint George Sound.
Philip was bundled up in two layers of clothes and a coat, which he quickly removed to splash in the waves. The sea shells were pretty impressive–I imagine they aren’t already picked-over like the ones on the mainland beaches.
The Pelican Inn looked like it’s probably not currently available for lodging. I believe it was damaged by Hurrican Hermine in 2015. While we were there, a group of official-looking people were walking around the property taking pictures of the foundation–maybe work is under way to fix it up again.
On the return flight, we landed at Weedon Field, a nice little airport in Eufaula, Alabama. I mention it because of the amazing airbrushed murals on the wall.