On flight 703 I discovered that I had stepped on a fire ant colony while I was gearing-up. Everything was wonderful, the take-off was clean and I was climbing to altitude before heading off to explore. At 550 feet I felt the first bite, it was sharp like a shot but it was also hot. I jerked and pulled at my pants thinking that something might be pinching me but almost immediately came bites 2 through 10 and I let go of the brakes and was smacking at my leg like it was made of wood. Eventually I managed to smash the invaders inside my blue jeans. Later when I got home I could see the bites starting at my sock line and thinning as they marched north. NOTE TO SELF… When your outdoors …. look before you stop, you might be standing in a fire ant colony.
|My new wing man Mike Lange|
|After Flight Hot tub action|
We arrived in Punta Gorda three weeks ago. I’ve been frustrated by the fact that Pine Island Airport is unavailable due to some ambiguous legal dispute. Paul Czarnecki has assured me that the issue will be resolved in his favor shortly and I hope he is right. After 2 disappointing trips out there I finally posted to Facebook looking for local pilots. Within 20 minutes Mike Lange contacted me and invited me to his home field in Port Charlotte only 25 minutes from our temporary quarters in Seminole Lake Country Club.
Take off was sloppy but the air was smooth and warm. I climbed to 700 feet and followed Mike North out of the forest and into wet pasture country.