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.