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Fly High and Fast – Vol. II Chapter 25: Austin Minnesota and Austin Texas

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JJ Meehan
The Meehan Family

One of my most unique trips took place on a Wednesday in September, 1989.  I was called at work to see if I could take a short trip up to Austin, Minnesota with a two executives of Hormel Meat Packing.  My schedule was flexible at work and I said sure.

We left around 9:00 am from Wathan Flying Service at the Cedar Rapids Airport (CID) in Baron N6WW (Number Six Whiskey Whiskey).  Austin is just about 100 Nautical Miles (NM) North, Northwest of CID.  The weather was clear and I had some paper work to do while they were holding their meeting.  Around noon I got a call from Wathan Flying Service to see if I could take another trip when I got back.  I asked where and they said Austin Texas via Des Moines, Iowa.  I called my Executive Assistant and verified that my schedule was open for the rest of the day and early on Thursday and called them back and said I would be glad to take the charter to Austin.

Austin Minnesota is the home of Hormel Meat Packing and the source of most the SPAM (Food) not E Mail sold in the world.  There is even a SPAM Museum in Austin Minnesota.


My passengers got back around 1:00 pm and we were back in Cedar Rapids by 2:00 pm.  I checked with the Trip Scheduler at Wathan Flying Service and got the rest of the information on the second trip.  A group of Executives from an Insurance Company in Des Moines were going to Austin for a Meeting.  Their company jet could not hold all the Executives and they did not want all the Executives on one plane.  I’m not sure how they decided who would take the slow boat to China (The Baron) verses the Gulfstream Jet.  The losers were to meet me at Elliot Flying Service in Des Moines at 4:00 pm.  I have no idea who they were or their names.   I can not even remember the name of the Company.  I refueled and filed two flight plans.  One from Cedar Rapids (CID) to Des Moines (DSM) and then one from (DSM) to Austin (AUS), Texas.  The following shows you the routes of both flights.  In one day I managed to be in both Austin, Minnesota and Austin, Texas.

Flight time from DSM to AUS was 3:00 non stop. Total Flight distance was 580 KM.   The jet landed about 1:00 before we landed and had taken off after we did.  They also had a tray of sandwiches that they ate in flight.  Actually pretty good sandwiches from a catering service at the Des Moines Airport.   N6WW was a beautiful plane to fly and held a good load but 5 passengers and sandwiches were almost more than we could handle.  The luggage had gone on the jet – Thank God.

I love Austin, Texas and on this flight the area was prettier than ever.  We arrived just as the Sun was setting in the West.  The grass was very green and the water in the lakes around Austin sparkled like the jewels they were.   Austin is names have Stephen F. Austin who is known as the Father of Texas.   Austin took temporary command of the Texan forces during the Siege of Bexar from October 12 to December 11, 1835. After learning of the Disturbances at Anahuac and Velasco in the summer of 1835, an enraged Santa Anna made rapid preparations for the Mexican army to sweep Anglo settlers from Texas. War began in earnest in October 1835 at Gonzales. The Republic of Texas, created by a new constitution on March 2, 1836, won independence following a string of defeats with the dramatic turnabout victory at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, and the capture of Santa Anna the following morning.


Austin, Texas is also the home of my cousin and a cousin of my wife.  Br. Gerald Muller is a noted author and a teacher at St. Edwards University in Austin.  Br. John Terlisner is a retired Math Teacher and he also resides at St. Edwards University in Austin.  I was not able to visit with either gentleman on this trip but we do try to get together when possible.

It was after 9:30 pm before I got refueled and back in the air to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  This time I had a head wind and it took be just about 3:00 hours to get to Kansas City.  I decided to refuel at the Kansas City Downtown Airport and also get a sandwich before heading on to Cedar Rapids.  I was back in the air around midnight and I landed at 1:45 am.   Austin to Austin in 16 hours.  It was a long day.  Glad to be home.  The weather was VFR (Very good) all the way.

You can read my other blogs on flying on my WEB Site – FLY HIGH AND FAST.


Written by jjmeehan13

April 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Flying

One Response

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  1. The story is unbelievable but the pictures John are outstanding you have an eye for beauty! one question what is it like to be up above the world knowing that you were after experencing something as beautiful the photos tells there own story and then putting your own touch to it with your words there is a book inside you! I have not seen a place so beautifully protrayed! Magnificant eye for beauty! good luck in everything you do !;


    April 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

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