Send Your Cargo Ahead

Who needs the hassle of shoehorning bags of holiday gifts into the tight luggage compartments found in most general aviation aircraft? And for extended holiday stays with Grandma, the amount of luggage piled up on the ramp can cut into your useful load as well as your cabin space. Why not consider shipping most of it ahead? Besides the best known package delivery companies, there's a google-pageful of specialty services that will even pick up your bundles at home and deliver them to whatever doorstep you choose at the destination end. That could include shipping directly to an FBO at a destination airport if you don't want to burden your hosts with sticking around to accept the delivery (or if you don't want to tempt them with snooping). Just be sure to coordinate with the FBO ahead of time. This advice also holds for vacation trips to warmer climates -- perhaps one of the best reasons we northerners have for sprouting GA wings. It makes life a lot easier if you can shed your cold weather gear on the ramp and leave it in the airplane while you cruise off to the beach in the rental convertible. As for the return trip, you might also consider shipping the dirty laundry home. It could render the "atmosphere" much more pleasant on the return trip.

Call to action: If you have any tips of your own you'd like to share, or have any questions about flying technique you'd like answered, send me a note at We'd love to hear from you.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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