Author Topic: Cross Country Trip  (Read 1197 times)

Jon Ladd

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Cross Country Trip
« on: April 29, 2009, 04:15:43 PM »
I am planning on flying from the San Diego area to Grand Rapids, Michigan and back this August and I am looking for input as to the best routes (East and West) for the trip.  I would also like input from anyone who has made a similar trip regarding their experience, do's and don'ts, etc.

I am instrument rated (but not very comfortable flying IFR other than coastal stratus) and have a normally aspirated '74 V35B with autopilot and all the Garmin goodies.

Please chime in!

N8187R

 

Chuck Waldrop

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 05:51:31 PM »
Hi Jon

I would suggest V66 Gila Bend V94 Casa Grande, then direct Saint Johns which is good fuel stop. Then direct Tucumcari, You can fly this at 10500 safely. After TCC terain is no longer a factor and you can go direct watching out for resticted areas on your Garmin. My suggestions are don't fly IFR in the high country MEA's are too high and put in the Alto Cumulus. Fly before noon in the high country in the summer. Beware of afternoon thunder storms on the plains.

Chuck Waldrop

chuckphx2@yahoo.com

Arlen Stauffer

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 11:01:05 AM »
Hi Jon.

That's a great trip.  I agree with taking that southern route mentioned by Chuck.

I've flown from here in Florida to San Francisco for meetings a couple times.  Wow!  A great opportunity to stop at great little airports along the way and meet some great people.

I trust you will have XM weather in the cockpit; it's indispensable for looking ahead and planning along the way.

My advice:  don't be in a hurry.  Take advantage of the time to see some of the country and visit some places where you've never been.

Best wishes.   

Tom Pelz

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 02:16:58 PM »
Jon,

Welcome to the fun of XC flight with your Bonanza.

I have made the trip from Wisconsin to San Diego more than once.   I have also made the trip to Seattle multiple times.

I fly from Wisconsin to BGD for fuel usually a good price.

I then travel on to either Santa Fe or ABQ.    I then fly from there to Montgomery field.   I will be doing this in June.   

In Sept, I will be taking my Bonanza to San Francisco.

I have not made any plans for the route from Wisconsin to San Francisco yet.

If you have tip tanks the flight is easier, provided there are only pilot and co-pilot.  

If there are more passengers, the range is obviously less.

Have fun on your flight.  It is a great travel experience.

Tom N191AA

Jeff Guttenberger

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 04:25:50 AM »
Jon,

You sound like a fairly conservative pilot so I suggest that you not fly over Lake Michigan on you way to Grand Rapids. The consequences of an engine failure over an 80 mile wide lake are not pretty. I suggest filing to the Peotone VOR (EON), MAPPS intersection which keeps you away from ORD's airspace, then South Bend, then Grand Rapids. If you do fly over the lake, take water survival gear, life vests, life raft and EPIRB. I fly in this area a lot (based in Toledo, OH) and the bottom of Lake Michigan is littered with aircraft. Just last week, they pulled a WWII trainer from the bottom of the lake to restore it. In the summer months, there is a Coast Guard helicopter stationed at Muskegon, Michigan to fetch boaters and flyers out of the lake. If you decide to cross the lake, use the Lake Reporting Flight Plan. This is a separate flight plan for VFR use only, that you file with Flight Service. You contact FSS every ten minutes while over the lake. If you do not respond in five minutes after your ten minute reporting time, they launch search and rescue. Contact FSS and they'll tell you all about it. Have fun!

Jon Ladd

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 04:24:34 PM »
Since I will be making the trip in the summer, I was thinking of taking a northern route.  I think there is an area just east of Salt Lake City where the Rockies are easier to traverse.  Anyone have any experience with the northern route?

Tom Pelz

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 08:26:46 AM »
The northern route is easy if you are willing to from SEA, ELN, MSO, then either Butte or Helena.

After Helena the route is easy.

Helena is a great place to stop.  There is a self service fuel source at the base of the tower.  The owner also permits use of loaner cars, and has bunk beds to use in his hanger, should you need to spend th e night.

After Helena then Billings and eastward.   If you go to Butte, then Bozeman, then Billings and eastward.

The routes suggested permit you to fly at 10K MSL westward and 11K east.   

The best part is there are potential landing fields all along the route whose altitude is about 3000 MSL.  In other words, the route follows valleys.

Tom

Robin White

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 09:29:25 AM »
From central California, I've flown the "middle" route across the Rockies north of Salt Lake City many times. It's Elko, Ogden, Rock Springs and Scotts Bluff. The latter is a nice place to overnight, with crew cars usually available. But if you're already in southern California, I'm not sure why you'd bother coming so far north. If it's summer, it will be hot no matter which way you fly. You'd have to fly the far northern crossing, Spokane-Billings, to (maybe) see a difference, but Pierre in summer can be every bit as toasty warm as anything you'll find in New Mexico. The key is leaving early in the morning, and if you don't appreciate turbulence, ending your flying day before the deserts and the mountains get too hot (usually by 2 PM). It's a lot nicer floating in a motel pool in the afternoon than bouncing in thermals (unless you're in a sailplane!)

Robin White

Jon Ladd

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Cross Country Trip
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 02:54:02 PM »
Great information.  Thank you!