Well this has been the summer of a life time for me! I was invited out on tour with a country music artist by the name of Jamey Johnson to fly with them everywhere for several weekends out of the summer. Of course I took him up on the offer right away! Once he offered, it wasn’t long before I was on his plane traveling with them all over!
I started out in Nashville and hitched a ride on their tour bus to meet them up in Darien, Ny for the first show. It was an amazing first day! He opened up for Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Darien Lake Amphitheater and amazing is an understatement for the show!
Once he closed out, he directed me to his main pilot, Justin Ewert. We hit it off immediately! We got right into talking all about Aviation and stuff! He showed me the flight plan for the next few days which led us from Buffalo, Ny (KBUF) to Danbury, CT (KDXR) to Hartford, CT (KHFD) to Worcester, MA (KORH) to Montgomery, AL (KMGM) to Smyrna, TN (KMQY).
He proceeded to tell me we would be flying out to Danbury, CT (KDXR) right after Lynyrd Skynyrd closed out. By the time they finished, it was about 2300. We headed out to Buffalo-Niagara Intl. (KBUF) to get the plane ready for a midnight departure!
The plane we were traveling on was a Kingair BE20 with the tail number N54TS. Justin took me around the plane showing me everything for the preflight check. Not but 15 minutes after we were done with all the checks, Jamey Johnson arrived with a few other band members ready to fly down to Danbury! We got onboard and started up the engines and got out of Buffalo very quickly!
It was about a 15 minute ascend to 17,000 ft. Once we were up there Justin had me switch places with the other pilot so I could sit in the cockpit for a while during flight. He had me actually fly the plane while A/P was off. I thought i did a pretty good job! I kept it on course and at the right altitude! We finally started descent after about an hour flight down into Danbury, CT. We landed about 0130. By the time I arrived at my hotel, it had been a 22 hour day! But it was the best!! The next few days looked to be about the same.
Day 2 we flew to Hartford, CT (KHFD) for Jamey’s Show then continued to Worcester, MA (KORH) and overnighted there.
We had all of day 3 to hangout and do absolutely nothing before 1900, which was really nice considering the last 2 days were 19-22 hour days. Once 1900 rolled around we headed over to Worcester Regional Airport (KORH) and headed out to Montgomery, AL (KMGM) to drop Jamey Johnson off before heading back to Nashville. It was a pretty good 4 1/2 hour flight that we planned on to fly down to Montgomery, AL.
We ended up diverting to Knoxville, TN (KTYS) for a bathroom break. We weren’t on the ground for more than 20 minutes before we were airborne again.
Fast forward to the Montgomery, AL (KMGM) to Smyrna, TN (KMQY) flight. Justin got me up in the cockpit for the entire flight! From takeoff to landing! He even let me fly the approach! I had control of the Kingair until about the last 15-20 seconds of flight! He even let me call into Atlanta Center and Memphis Center! I finally arrived home about 0330 that morning. It was overall and amazing first trip!
So the second trip was pretty similar as far as plans. The only difference was the cities. We flew Smyrna, TN (KMQY) to Montgomery, Al (KMGM) to Birmingham, AL (KBHM) to St. Louis, MO (KCPS) and overnighted there. We were able to See a few things around town before the show that night including the St. Louis arch and the museum and just getting a good look at downtown St. Louis.
The next day we had about a 1000 departure out of St. Louis, MO (KCPS) to head to Chicago, IL (KLOT). Once we landed, we headed over to the venue which was the Hollywood Casino amphitheater, regrouped, and came up with a plan for the day. We ended up driving about 45 minutes north into downtown Chicago for the Cubs game and to see a little bit of downtown Chicago before the show that night.
The show was just as amazing as all the others! But just as expected right after the show we departed once again for another flight down to Indianapolis, ID (KUMP)
We overnighted there and waited for the show to end. Once it finally did, we got the plane ready again and headed down to Montgomery, AL (KMGM) to drop Jamey off then headed back to Smyrna, TN (KMQY).
That second trip was a memory of a lifetime for me!
The trips just kept on getting better!
So I just got back this past weekend from another trip for my birthday. We left Friday afternoon out of Smyrna, TN (KMQY) and we were able to fly nonstop to San Antonio, TX (5C1). We spent two days down there on George Strait’s golf course in Boerne, TX or what some people call it “the Hill Country.”
Our first full day there, we went into downtown San Antonio, and got a full tour of the Riverwalk, and the Alamo!
The second day, we did absolutely nothing until 23:30 which was show time. We didn’t stay at the show long, because we needed rest before the second flight up to Dallas-Ft. Worth for the next day.
We spent most of day three in San Antonio, but once 1845 came around we got ready to head out to the airport and fly up to Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX (KFTW). We had an amazing flight up there as the sun was setting the entire flight! We arrived in Dallas about 2020, and headed right over to the venue which was Billy Bob’s Texas. I was able to meet up with a lifelong friend from Southwest Airlines and was able to give her a tour and let her meet Jamey Johnson!
Then we finally departed Dallas-Ft. Worth (KFTW) at about 0200 to fly nonstop back to Smyrna, TN (KMQY). It was an exhausting day to say the least! I didnt arrive back home until about 0530! But trip three was definitely the best trip of all!
I’ll definitely be making more trips with team Johnson for years to come! *And next time we just may be in a Citation!
*a few pics from the different trips.
^^ Approaching Hartford, CT (KHFD) ^^
^^Beautiful sunset as we left Worcester, MA (KORH)^^
^^ KBHM-KCPS Leg ^^
^^ The St. Louis Arch of course! ^^
^^ The amazing crowd during the Skynyrd Show ^^
^^ KMQY-5C1 Leg ^^
^^ 5C1-KFTW Leg ^^
^^ And finally the terrible pics departing KFTW ^^