This morning I was sitting around at work at DAL. About 0830 a King Air 90 that frequently comes into our facility once again arrived. The pilot, Alan Weegram, walked inside the facility and said, "Patrick, when do you get off work today?" 1400. "Well, I'm going to be flying down to San Antonio around noon, would you like to come along and sit in the right seat?" Is the Pope Catholic? I turned, beaming, to my supervisor, who told me that I was going, whether or not I wanted to. So, just over 3.5 hours later, I clocked out, walked out to the ramp, and hopped aboard N607DK, sitting in the right seat.
We were cleared for taxi and immediate takeoff on 31L, adjacent to the facility where I work, right after a WN 733 departed. Turned and burned out of there, and away we climbed into the cold Dallas air, to 2,000 ft, turning to heading 185, on the Joe Pool Departure. Shortly thereafter we were cleared to 4,000. We entered the clouds at about 2,700. The controller held us at 4,000 for quite some time, right in the thick of the clouds. Finally cleared us to 5,000 and quickly to 7,000. We were out of the clouds for good at about 5,100. Decently bumpy to that point, but nothing too bad.
Eventually we were cleared to 10,000, 12,000, and, finally, our cruising altitude of 14,000. Very smooth ride, talking with the pilot, helping with the radios, and watching for the traffic ATC advised was in the area. Flew southeast between ACT and CLL before turning south and southwest to approach SAT.
We descended to 7,000 on our way into SAT before being cleared to 4,000. Looked out my window and lo and behold, there was the airport! First time flying into SAT, so pretty neat. ATC advised us of traffic at our 2 o'clock. I'd already spotted it, it was Shamu on the 73G. Advised we had traffic in sight and were cleared to follow it to runway 03. Our approach brought us right over downtown San Antonio. We could see the Space Needle, the Alamo, and the other buildings clear as day as we banked over the central business district. As we were coming in, we were listening to the controller move traffic very quickly and watching the runway. Tower cleared a twin prop off 03, followed by Shamu landing. And AA MD-80 took off immediately after Shamu exited the runway, we touched down just after AA departed runway 03.
Shamu taxiied right in front of us. There were two other WN on the ground as well as 1 CO 738, 1 UA 737, 1 HP CR9 (Freedom Jet registration), and 1 AA MD-80. A DL E170 landed right behind us. Over in maintenance were a VS 742 and NW 752 by the Raytheon ramp. We taxiied into the Raytheon FBO, made sure the passenger was taken care of, and filed a flight plan back to DAL. The minimum fuel purchase at Raytheon is 50 gallons for a King Air to avoid paying a ramp fee.
Taxiied out right after a CitationJet. Right beside us was another Citation that uses the FBO where I work fairly frequently. We taxiied off the ramp and were subsequently directed to Alpha and Golf. Controller had us taxi on the ramp to runway 03 to avoid the CO 738 that was delayed and had stopped, blocking the other taxi way. We taxiied to the threshold and held short behind a Cessna prop. A DL RJ landed, followed by the Cessna prop taking off and a WN 73G landing. Our turn came, the controller cleared us for takeoff and we turned and burned. We requested Alamo 8 departure but were denied and given V163 to Glen Rose. Alamo 8 goes to Glen Rose as well, so, while surprised we were not given Alamo 8, it was not out of our way.
There was light chop after takeoff, but nothing bad and it dissipated by 2,500. We were cleared to 4,000, which quickly became 7, 10, 12, and our cruising altitude of 15,000. SAT had us up there much more quickly than did DAL.
The return was a smooth flight above the Hill Country, passing directly over KLZZ (Lampasas) and KLNC (Lancaster) on the way back into DAL. Before we reached Glen Rose, we were given direct to the KNEAD5 approach to DAL and told to be at 7,000 when we crossed KNEAD. After crossing KNEAD, we were cleared and descended to 5,000 and vectored 080. We were in and out of the clouds at 5,020 feet. ATC dropped us to 4,000 feet, and once more we were firmly ensconsed by the clouds. Moments later, though, we were cleared to 3,000 and broke out of the clouds in time to see the I-45 & I-20 interchange. It was choppy right around that area, worst we'd had, although it really was not too bad. Decent amount of horizontal movement, but no real noticeable vertical drop. We quickly found the airport on our horizon and were cleared for a visual approach.
Our approach brought us right over Fair Park, then between Downtown Dallas and Cityplace. In we rushed, right over Oak Lawn, the Tollway, Turtle Creek, and Ojeda's, a great Mexican food place where I'd had lunch earlier. The gear was down and locked, with "all three green," a little before Inwood Road on our way back to 31L. We passed over Sonic, Big Al's Barbeque, the Sewell repair shop, and Mockingbird. Touchdown on 31L, a little past the numbers. Alan braked hard and had us off the runway in no time. We called ground to try to have them put us ahead of the WN 733 coming down the taxiway, but we were unable to catch them in time. We followed the WN 733 back toward the approach end of 31L to end the trip back at work.
What a rush! First time I'd flown right seat in anything bigger than a C152, so it was quite an experience. Anyway, hope y'all enjoy. Took some pictures, but they are in the shop being developed. I'll post some here in a bit.