Total Eclipse Trip - April 2024

In April 2024, Katherine and I (and our dog Magic) took our 1984 Mooney M20J on a flying 'road trip' from Orlando, FL to Cleveland, OH to watch the Total Solar Eclipse 🌑🌞 of April 8th, 2024. Lots of photos and details about the flights linked below.

The original plan for this trip had us going to Austin, Texas, however Mother Nature had other ideas. The forecast called for significant clouds and rain all day Monday in Texas... not great weather for Eclipse viewing! Fortunately, there appeared to be good weather in the midwest, so we formed a new plan: fly to Delaware (near Philadelphia), meet Katherine's mom, do a little weekend exploring, and then we would fly over to Cleveland while she drove to follow us. (Necessary since getting rental cars in the path of an Eclipse is an impossible task!) As a further stroke of good fortune, Katherine had a cousin (once removed), Grace, who was nice enough to allow us to stay with her in Cleveland.

Trip Overview Photos

The Trip ✈️

The Trip ✈️

We fly to North Carolina, Delaware (a new state for us!), Ohio, and back. Visiting family in Philadelphia.

The Eclipse 🌑🌞

The Eclipse 🌑🌞

The Total Solar Eclipse of April 8th, 2024.

About Us

We are Ryan, Katherine, and Magic!

About Us
About Us

The Airplane

This is N374SM, our 1984 Mooney M20J.

  • 1984 Mooney M20J 201
  • Typical Cruise: 160 KTAS @ 12 gph
  • Fuel: 64 gal usable
  • Equipment: Garmin G3X Touch w/ EIS, GTN 650Xi, GFC 500 Autopilot, GTX 345, SiriusXM Datalink Weather
  • A freshly overhauled engine!

The planning for this trip actually began several months in advance... the excessive oil consumption (and case leaks) on my old engine required a major engine overhaul. So this was the first major trip with the new engine.

Engine Overhaul
Engine Overhaul
Engine Overhaul

Trip Stats

  • Total Distance: 1,830 nm
  • Direct Distance: 1,752 nm
  • States Visited: 4 (1 New)
  • Hours Logged: 14.0 (1.8 IMC)
  • Total Days: 5
  • Flying Days: 4
  • Legs: 5 (2 VFR, 3 IFR)
  • Longest Leg: Greensboro, NC (KGSO) to Orlando, FL (KORL) - 3.6 hrs - 480nm (direct) - 484nm (actual)
  • Longest Day: Canton, OH (KCAK) to Greensboro, NC (KGSO) to Orlando, FL (KORL) - 5.9 hrs - 800 nm
  • Shortest Leg: Middletown, DE (KEVY) to Canton, OH (KCAK) - 2.1 hrs - 276nm (direct) - 283nm (actual)
  • Approaches Flown: 0
  • Fuel Purchased: 153.7 gal - $1,039.86 ($6.77/gal avg)
  • FBO Services / Overnights / Fees - $78.43

Trip Legs

Leg 1 - Orlando, FL to Fayetteville, NC

We set out northbound on Friday evening after work, and enjoy a beautiful sunset in North Carolina.

Leg 2 - Fayetteville, NC to Middletown, DE

We meet up with Katherine's mom in Delaware and explore historic New Castle.

Leg 3 - Middletown, DE to Canton, OH

We travel to Cleveland, Ohio to reunite with family and prepare for the eclipse.

The Total Solar Eclipse 🌑🌞

We all witness the Total Solar Eclipse!

Leg 4 - Canton, OH to Greensboro, NC

We head back south and across the Appalachians, dodging a little bit of rain.

Leg 5 - Greensboro, NC to Orlando, FL

The last leg home to Orlando.

Final thoughts

This was a short trip, but seeing a Total Solar Eclipse is truly a once (or twice!) in a lifetime event. We had a great time, reunited with family, and managed to check off yet another state, bringing our total to 46! Ultimately it ended up being a far more exciting trip than I had originally planned.

The Eclipse 🌑🌞