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Fly High and Fast – Vol. II Chapter 20: Indianapolis, Indiana

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JJ Meehan
The Meehan Family

Between 1987 and 1992 Indianapolis, Indiana became my home away from home.  I believe one of my first trips was to work with a bank in Indianapolis on our new accounting system, AR-70.    I should say, it was more of a review of what they were using at the time.  Based on that review we purchased the software and I became the Manager of that department.

Several years later several of us were invited back to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 Race Trails by the same bank – American Fletcher.  After our initial work on AR-70, we worked with them to order our debit cards which we called – Instant Access.  This was their way of thanking us for the business.  The trip was fantastic.  The weather was rainy but it did not take away from the fun of being in a private booth owned by American Fletcher and being able to mingle with the race car drivers in the pit.  The trails were called shortly after they started because of rain, but we had a fantastic time.  I can still remember Brian Scott, who was our President at the time accidently dropped a beer into the private booth of A. J. Foyt.   The beer almost hit A. J. and it was just a few minutes later that we heard this large knock on the door of our booth.  A. J. was not very happy and was ready to take the head of of Brian.  Most other guys would have gladly hid from A. J. but not Brian.  Brian met him at the door and before they were done talking, they were friends.   After the trails we stopped at a strip club in downtown Indianapolis called the “Red Garter”.  We had a ball and finally started home around 8:00 pm.  We were back in Cedar Rapids by 11:15 pm.


Over the next few years, I would spend a lot of time in Indianapolis and would come to love the city.  Which is or was the 13th largest in the USA.  From the fine food at St. Elmo’s Steak House to the nightlife, Indianapolis offers a lot to the residents and visitors.  My father, M/Sgt Michael F. Meehan, was stationed at Ft. Benjamin Harrison during World War II.  It was an honor to visit the place where he was stationed.  The service and people at the Fixed Base Operation (FBO) were the best.  Today it is run by Signature Flight Support.  I spent hours traveling around the city and enjoying the history of the area.  This was the home of President Benjamin Harrison.  His home is open for tours.  Today, Indianapolis is the home of the Indianapolis Colts.

I can remember many flights into and out of Indianapolis but one stands out as unique.  We were getting ready to depart for Cedar Rapids on a Friday afternoon and there was a very serious storm over Lafayette, Indiana which was about 50 miles to the northwest.  I made the decision to hold our departure for over 45 minutes while the storm moved to the east of Indianapolis.  We finally took off with the storm about 80 miles to our northeast.  It was a hot humid summer day and the climb rate was very poor.   The plane was fully loaded and were climbing at about 400 ft per minute.  There was another storm over Champaign, Illinois so I filed our flight south of Decatur, Illinois over Burlington and then Cedar Rapids.  As we climbed through 6,000 ft we hit down drafts that took us down at 1,000 ft per minute.  I worked with Indianapolis Departure and Chicago Center to get the airspace opened below us and above us and for the next 30 minutes I worked to maintain altitude and climb.  We finally got to 9,000 ft just south of Decatur.  The flight was smooth and we were in pretty cool air at 9,000 ft but another storm was developing over Cedar Rapids.  I changed our flight path to Burlington, Iowa, Ottawa, Iowa and then Cedar Rapids so that we would stay on the back side of the new storm.  The flight was long but we finally landed in Cedar Rapids about 4 hours after departing from Indianapolis.  The flight was normally about 2 1/2 hours.  The following will give you and idea of our flight path.

If you ever get a chance please visit Indianapolis, Indiana.  It is a wonderful city

Please visit my Flying WEB Site for more stories on Flying at “FLY HIGH AND FAST”.


Written by jjmeehan13

February 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Flying

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