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Finally, we’re going!!

Wednesday 6 October 2010
USABlue Sky Flying AdventuresFlying

After days of paperwork and check flights, it’s time to go flying. The weather is still very poor in the whole region and as a result we will not be able to follow the original route. After looking at all the forecasts we came to the conclusion that if we would do the route counter clockwise, we would get behind the bad weather and would be able to follow the original plan (more or less).

So, on to the airport (which is just across the road) and after loading the entire luggage, it’s time to take some pictures of the individual teams. Here they are:

Lex and Max will be flying a Cirrus 22 with the call sign N8148F.

Addie, Niels and Jeroen will be flying a Cessna 182 with the call sign N2454G.

Marianne, Henk and Ferdinand will be flying a Cessna 172 with the call sign N372TA.

It’s a bit of a risk, since we need to pass some high hills/mountains to get to the good weather. In order to do so, we need to fly through the few gaps in the clouds and get above them. Although not everybody liked that idea, we came to the conclusion, that this is the only option we have right now. Staying in Palomar for another few days is not an option. The forecasts are not good for this region. It turned out that this was the right approach. After climbing above the clouds (Have a look at the track at the bottom of this post. You will see the turns above the ocean that we had to make in order to climb through the clouds.), we had perfect visibility and after some time, the clouds just disappeared.

We’re flying a Cessna 182 with a Garmin 1000 glass cockpit. It’s a great “toy” that really helps in these conditions. It nicely shows where you are and gives a lot of information about the airspace, the route, weather and airport information. It puts a smile on your face…

Our first stop today is at Palm Springs airport. Clear skies, dry and high temperatures. This is how a holiday should look like!

The scenery is beautiful; dry desserts, hills, mountains, rivers, sand dunes, green acres; we see it all. Next stop: Blythe. This is as close as we will get to the Mexican border. We can see the fences on the border. Then on to Imperial; a small strip in the middle of nowhere.

This is something we will see far more for the next days: the Cirrus is by far the fastest plane. The Cessna 172 the slowest. So, Lex and Max will arrive at each destination first, Jeroen, Niels and myself will be second and then we all wait for Ferdinand, Henk and Marianne.

Finally we fly to Laughlin; a small and very cheap version of Las Vegas. This town is focused on gambling. The average visitor is old and it’s clear that this place doesn’t have the glamour of a place like Vegas.

That’s it for today. Time to spend a dollar in a slot machine and have dinner and drinks. Have a look at the pictures of today: Flying from McClellan-Palomar (KCRQ) to Laughlin/Bullhead (KIFP).

The track of today (last track missing, due to low batteries… again):

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