Damn Clouds

Clouds on departure, clouds enroute, clouds caused us to divert to Sante Fe. Safely landed though! Will continue tomorrow morning, Rusty will be pilot. :-)

Colorado Preflight

One thing I love about Fall is all the activity. It seems like there’s something exciting to do nearly every weekend. This coming weekend is the reason for my blog post:

Cameo's Wedding in Colorado!

The backdrop of the ceremony are the San Juan and Cimmaron mountain ranges in Ridgeway, CO. We had the choice of landing at Telluride or Montrose. While I was excited about the idea of putting KTEX in my logbook, there weren’t any car rentals available. So we’ll be landing in Montrose (KMTJ).

Keeping it equal, I’ll fly us to Las Vegas, New Mexico (KLVS), then he’ll fly us into around the mountains to Montrose; I’ll fly us out of the mountains to NM then he’ll fly us home. In theory, we’ll have the same amount of fly time and same amount of planning and challenges.

Neither of us has flown this much into mountains.

To add to the adventure, there is a chance of rain in the middle of Texas the same morning we plan to depart. We’ll either leave after rains subside, or if the storms seem broken, fly around the mess.

What is it about us flying around rain?

We expect the total flight time to Montrose, Colorado to be approximately 6 hours (this doesn’t include our fuel and bathroom stop) requiring approximately 52 gallons of fuel. (Las Vegas is our mid-point for fuel if you’re wondering.) We'll be flying over 735 n. miles. If we were to drive, it would take 14 hours.

Thursday night is my night to plan out my portion and begin packing. If all goes as planned, we’ll get to leave Friday morning!

Galveston Trip

US Sport Aircraft in Addison organized a group trip to Galveston. Pilots of all experience levels (pre-solo students to instructors) both renters and owners participated. I'm estimating 10 airplanes flew in, with about 20 pilots plus our two kids.

We weren't sure if we would even be able to go since our plane wasn't confirmed ready until 1½ days prior. And we're broke. But we decided to go to Galveston if our plane was ready because that's a good use of our airplane- short vacation, flight experience, cross country currency, comradery, etc. Staying home to save money for repairs seemed like a beating.

Speaking of beatings, we woke up 5:30am Sunday, packed, left for the airport, then departed shortly after 7:30am. Rusty was pilot-in-command going to Galveston. We tuned into a special frequency for chatting with others in the group. We joked, shared wind info, gave weather updates all the way to the coast.
Due to the new cylinder, we ran the engine richer than we had been: 10 gph average. We didn't leave with full tanks so I talked Rusty into landing at Bay City for fuel. Bargain priced $4.99/gallon! Plus the boys found a tiny garden snake on the floor of the FBO to poke & terrorize.

Cheap fuel, rough landing surface (BYY)
The flight along the coast was beautiful!

Galveston's tower seemed less than equipped for arrivals. Their radar wasn't operational so they didn't know our position despite us having a squwak code. Rusty landed us, we emptied the plane, hung out at the airport waiting for others, then took a bus to the hotel. 

We had lunch with cocktails. The kids spent 3 hours at the beach and I napped on a blanket.

There was a group dinner that I went to while the boys stayed behind at the hotel. (Josh swallowed some beach water that came back up to say Hi minutes before we were to leave for the group dinner.) The dinner was nice and the shenanigans were in full swing. My memory is hazy... let's see- something about an astronaut, Nathan was naked, someone drank a ketchup bottle, and the older pilots took tequila shots. (sorry, no photo evidence!)

The next day, we learned about rain over Dallas. At first we feared we would be delayed or challenged with leaving, but it turned out to be fine. I was pilot-in-command on the way home. There was a bit of rain before we departed Galveston, and shortly after, but by the time we got to Dallas, it was clear and calm.
ElliotLeaving Galveston
That, ladies and gents, is how you do a vacation in 36 hours!
Happy Pilots

Back in Business

The cylinder got repaired in time for me to fly it home Friday after work. It started fine despite I flooded it on my first attempt. If it's been started the same day, or ambient air over 105F, I've learned to consider it a warm engine. No fuel pump needed!

It flew fine back to ADS. 



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