"Sarah" is now in Clarksburg, WV
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Laura climbed to 7,000 feet and stayed there for the duration of the flight’s enroute segment. The flight mainly followed the Ohio River – the Mississippi River’s largest tributary as it wound its way through Ohio and Kentucky.
This flight to Clarksburg is a pit-stop to bring “Sarah” closer to Reagan National. It is the last day flight. Reagan National, being one of the nation’s busy airports is no place to be bringing a Cessna 172 during most of the day and even the night. Instrument flights require a reservation 72 hours in advance except between midnight and 6 AM. Not wanting to mix it up with the airliners, “Sarah” and Laura agreed to make the last flight a “redeye.”
“So, Laura, what are you going to do after you leave me in Washington?” “Sarah” asked. “Well,” she said wistfully. “I’m going to meet my husband, then re-position the plane likely in southern New Jersey – the Flying W. From there…I don’t know. We’ve been talking about seeing California. This might be a good time to do it. Then fly along the coast back to Alaska. We could also fly straight back to Alaska. I’d probably go via Toronto, and work my way back to Winnipeg, then reverse our old route – except I’d like to re-enter Alaska via Juneau. It depends on how my husband can structure vacation from his job.”
“Sarah” and Laura talked about these possible trips as the flight progressed. “Sarah” would continue endorsing and campaigning, speaking, writing, hosting and guest-appearing on Fox – for now. “’Sarah,’ I think there is a greater plan for you. I think your place is in a certain building a few miles off the departure end of Runway 1 at Reagan National. The next time my flight is grounded by a Presidential flight restriction, it better be because of YOU,” Laura said. “Sarah” smiled and answered. “Thank you, m’am.”
Entering West Virginia, Laura saw towering cumulus clouds beginning to form. “We’re OK to pass here, “Sarah” she said, but I can see these turning into thunderstorms later.” The flat bottom, and the towering formations were precursors. Laura was instructed to descend head northeast and prepare for the instrument approach to the runway oriented southwest. She prepared the approach, and was instructed to descend to 2900 feet. The Pennsylvania state line appeared on the GPS. Laura marveled at how far this flight had gone. Soon, they would only be 166 nautical miles from Washington – 3178 from Wasilla.
Laura was instructed to turn to the southeast. She could see two large gray clouds and they appeared to be right over the approach to the airport. “See those, ‘Sarah’? Betcha, that’s why I was given this instrument approach.”
Sure enough, as Laura began the approach, the clouds were square in her flight path. As she got the airport’s weather briefing, “few clouds at 100” bothered her. “If we have to go missed, our filed alternate is Morgantown.” “Sarah” agreed. The cockpit went silent except for Laura calling out her usual “1,000 feet”, “500 feet”, “200 feet”, “100 feet,” and minimums on the approach. “Sarah” was familiar with – and agreed with keeping the cockpit sterile of non-flight related conversation during approaches.
The flight entered the clouds and broke out 500 feet above decision height. Laura landed and taxied to tie-down.
“OK, ‘Sarah’ I’m going to review the procedures for flying in DC’s airspace. I know them, but a review is always good. This last leg is going to be the shortest one – but the most important one. ”
“See you here at around 11 PM tomorrow?” “Sarah” said. “Yes. 11 it is.” As they parted, Laura realized that after tomorrow’s farewell, she might never see “Sarah” this close again. The pang nearly left Laura doubled over. She pushed it out of her mind. Those procedures needed a review. Best to focus on the job at hand, and so she did.
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Last year, the Alaska Fund Trust was established to raise money to defend Gov. Palin against frivolous ethics complaints and lawsuits that were filed against her in a coordinated effort to drive her out of office. On June 24, 2010, the Alaska Fund Trust was replaced by Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund. Those of you who donated to the Alaska Fund Trust will be receiving refunds within 90 days from June 24. You will have the option to re-donate these funds to the new Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund, which is the official, and legitimate fund now in existence. Please re-donate those funds to the Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund.