Some of my favorite destinations are near beaches. Pictured here is North Myrtle Beach (near Grand Strand Airport KCRE) located in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
My first long-distance solo cross-country was from Lexington, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC. Fortunately my instructor had prepared me for major hiccups that could occur on long trips. With barely 15 hours under my belt, this trip was my first (and thankfully only) experience of a complete electrical failure in-flight while at a towered airport (KCRE). I squawked 7600 to inform the tower I had a radio failure, and did a no-flap landing since the 172 I was flying had electric flaps. I expected a beacon of light to guide me down (light signals), but instead the light was a small flashlight to which I had to squint to pick out against the glare on the tower’s windows. That event taught me many things. 1) fly the airplane, 2) light signals actually work for communication, 3) keep calm in emergencies, and 4) good emergency procedure training helps significantly with #1 and #3.
Below are a few photos from this adventure. Had I known there was an ominous omen of a mini-golf called “Mayday,” maybe I would’ve chosen a different destination for my cross-country. Loved the coincidence though.