Conch Republic Air Force 2018
This activity was not planned. I was sitting having drinks at LaTeDa and ran out of cigarettes so I walked over to Circle K and bought a pack. In front of the store is a brochure rack and I was scanning it while lighting up and noticed this! I took it and went back to LaTeDa, pondered it for a bit, made the call and booked for the next morning. I got a discount for being a single since he was saving fuel. This was awesome! We took off the next morning from the airport (more on this later) and flew out about seven miles and tooled around for 20 minutes or so at only a few hundred feet in altitude. The sights were teal water, small islands, Sand Key Light, a few sunken boats from Hurricane Irma that the state hadn't collected yet and we buzzed a snorkel boat. On landing, we "dive bombed" in.
Bill was totally cool. He told me about the plane, showed me around his hanger and some of the still remaining damage done by the hurricane (the winds were strong enough to bend a steel beam). He was so appreciative of my business (the tourism industry was just beginning to rebound from Irma at this time) and genuine I was glad I had the money to spend with him.
The morning of the flight I was having drinks at LaTeDa and there were a couple of tourists a few stools down from me. The weather was fairly poor by Key West standards so I called to make sure we were still on. The call went like this and keep in mind the tourists could only hear my part of the conversation (in bold):
Hi, it's Matt. I want to see if we were still flying due to the weather.
"Oh, you're our 10:30. I spoke to the pilot and he's comfortable flying in this weather if you are."
I'm comfortable flying in this weather. I'll see you in 20 minutes!
* I hung up, ordered another beer and called a cab *
Hi, I need a cab from LaTeDa to Signature Flight Support please.
* I slammed that beer, told the bartender, Zee Zee (she's rad), I'd be back in an hour and hopped into the cab that only took a minute to get there.*
When I got back, the Zee Zee told me the two tourists' jaws dropped at my phone call, drinking and quick departure. They thought I was the pilot!