Finally, some countryside we recognize! On the way to Jacksonville we flew over a lot of airports that I've been into with students. It was a comfortable feeling to fly in familiar teritory. The 315 nautical mile flight took us through the hills of Tennessee and Kentucky, just south of Evansville, and then finally Jacksonville, just west of Springfield. It was hot a bumpy. We were flying lower than several of the slower aircraft that we passed. It seemed that that's where we were getting the best groundspeed.
There was only one thing to worry about on this flight...the prison 3 miles south of Jacksonville. It was directly in our flight path. We were briefed that the guards would actually shoot at low flying aircraft, and that we should either avoid flying directly over the prison or be at least 2000 feet. Well, we didn't want to climb 500 feet right before descending for our flyby, but we also didn't want to deviate. We concluded that it was ridiculous for a prison on a 3 miles final to an airport to be too concerned with planes buzzing overhead. We made a miniscule heading deviation to just skim the corner of the prison yard. No bullet holes please!
The fly-by went great. We landed and taxied up to the pump. A couple of the locals helped pull us into a tie-down spot and we went inside for some air conditioning, lunch, and lots of water. We had expected to stay the night here but after a check of the weather we decided to fly another leg to Racine, Wisconsin. It looked like we'd have really good tailwinds the following morning to Atlantic, Iowa, our final leg.
On final approach into Jacksonville, Illinois