Update from CRUFC Member Troy – May 2, 2013 0640 MDT

Flew home from Vegas Wednesday. We left around 10:30 Calgary time and cleared customs at 19:00.  It was windy again in Vegas. Kids kept loosing their hats so we had to keep a hold of everything while loading the plane. The wind was out of the north so we settled in or a long light to Idaho Falls.  With all the wind came all the bumps. It was a fun ride.  Snow showers in Salt Lake through to Idaho falls.   Approach warned us about moderate turbulently below 10k.  We had been in it the whole flight, no different in Salt Lake.  The plan was lunch in Idaho falls, found out the restaurant was closed so we settles for beaf jerky and muffins from the terminal store.  Next stop was Cut Bank for the last cheaper fuel.  Had to drop to 6500 to get out of the mountains around Helena.  Bumps and headwind persisted until on final into High River.

It was a great trip with over 2500 nm flown.  We seen way more scenery than anyone sitting in a tube at 40 thousand ft and had lots of fun doing it.  Kids are great flyers, the bumps do not bother them and never once asked how much farther on a 3.5 hr flight. Well maybe once;-

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Update from CRUFC Member Troy – Apr 30, 2013 0937 MDT

Leaving the sandy beaches of San Diego today.  We are heading for Las Vegas.  There is a cold front coming through producing strong winds.  Plans are to get on the ground before it gets to bad.  Weather is suppose to go VFR by noon here.  We plan to be ready to go by then.

Runways are all north south, north of Las Vegas so an emergency pee stop will not be an option.  Good reason to tour Vegas again.  Winds are forecasted to be strong again tomorrow but at least we will be flying out of it.  They will be out of the north, it will be a slow bumpy ride tomorrow.

Rv10 in the sand
Rv10 in the sand

Trip Update & Photos from CRUFC Member Troy – Apr 26, 2013 2252


We flew out of Fullerton today around noon. We had to make a left turn to 120 on departure and then get in touch with SoCal approach. It wasn’t long they had us resume our own navigation and we went direct to Dana Point, which they were aware of. They approved our cruising altitude of 3500 ft. After Dana Point we turned down the coast. We stayed out over the ocean to be clear of the restricted. It was topped at 2000ft but it felt better staying clear. We switch to many different frequencies for the short 30 min flight. This part of the country has very busy airspace. I have to silence the kids most of the time as it is very important not to miss an instruction.

Once over Carlsbad we got cleared through the Bravo airspace. We made a slight deviation over Carlsbad so my wife could pictures of the flower fields. Approach allowed us to do so. We were soon on an unrestricted descend to a cross on a mountain before inbound to Montgomery . Unfortunately all the looking for the cross had me miss looking at Torrey Pines soaring site. We flew right over it. Some time there is just no time for site seeing.

We landed at Montgomery Field, the service was great. They were beside us before we even got the plane shut down and the rental car was a minute later.

We are here for a few days on the beach before heading north some time mid next week. So far the trip could not be better.

Update from CRUFC Member Troy – Apr 23, 2013 1950

Update from Troy – Apr 23, 2013 06:00
Round trip flight from Calgary, AB to Los Angeles, CA

Landed at Fullerton today. We left Redding direct to the Golden Gate Bridge. Once past the bridge we got approval for a climb. Shortly after we were told to stop the climb and turn to 240. We headed out to sea. He soon turned us south bound. A minute later we had to turn to 270. That was basically a 180. There was a heavy with flap problems and basically wanted everyone out of the way. I finally got going south and back over land. The ride got rather bumpy until we got back over the valley. We got really beat up passing the last pass before the LA basin. We stayed clear of the Bravo and worked are way through with SoCal approach. Wow is LA ever big. I was glad to land, as it was a long flight with several high work load portions. I think we were airborne for about 3.5 hrs. I have to check. 3 days here then off to San diego.

Update from CRUFC Member Troy – Apr 23, 2013 06:00

Update from Troy – Apr 23, 2013 06:00
Round trip flight from Calgary, AB to Los Angeles, CA

What a great airplane, worked most of the day, airborne at 4:00 and still make 700nm trip and land at sunset. The trip over the rock pile at 10,500 had virtually no wind. We descended into Spokane and met with customs. First thing he said when I opened the door, you off to Connecticut! I prepped them when I booked, so glad they played along, great bunch. Kids don’t know we are going to Disney Land!

After that we climbed to 10,500 and the wind gradually got stronger. About 20kts on the tail. I expected more. The ground had lots of dust getting kicked up though. The ride was relatively smooth. The flight past mount Shasta at sunset was beautiful.

We got rewarded with a 21kt 45 degree cross wind in Redding. All and all an easy run. Kids were great, hopefully LA tomorrow afternoon.

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-11 (Arrived Home!)

Plan change, we are heading through the US.  Weather is just not looking good between us and Regina.  Lots of lightening.  We just hope we can get through to Montana.  We will rebook with customs when we know where we will end up.

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Update!

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Got in today around 14:45. As mentioned we had to change our plans this morning once we saw the radar. Going direct to Regina was not going to work. I really had my doubts about getting through the US as well. Sigmets issued for most of our flight. The plan was to see how far we could get. We got going just before 7 Calgary time. I really like to make a final plan once airborne. I use the Internet to come with an idea but I really do not commit until we are airborne and reading the XM weather. It seems to be the most accurate over anything, foreflight radar is an idea but not accurate enough on its intensity in my opinion. If I did not have XM many flights would be canceled after information gathering and talking to a flight briefer. Briefer s are very pessimistic, sometimes I wish I hadn’t talk to them.

Once on course I decide if the route will actually work. Direct to Harve MT looked like the best choice. We had two systems to get around, if we could get through them we could make it. The first required us to make a slight deviation to the north, it got fairly rough but we did not have to change altitude. The second was totally blocking our route but was not that wide. We hoped it would not grow to large before we got there. I picked the narrowest location based on the XM and amazingly that was the only location that we could see light on the other side. We told center we were dropping down to get through the line and would be back up in short order. The curtain was closing fast, I slowed down, we all tightened the belts and pounded our way through. It was all over in a few minutes. Back up with center and on our way. Never even got that much rain. We landed in Chinook MT for fuel and a snack. This place is a whole other story, it was a great stop to say the least.

On our way to Lethbridge we had more storms to deal with. We had to come around from the south side to avoid the storms to the east. Weather was marginal but way better than Ontario😉

Costums done and a quick flight to home.

Summary

  • Total flying time for the trip was 32.5hrs
  • Estimated fuel used 375 gal
  • Estimated fuel costs $2600
  • Total distance flown was 4950 NM or 5755 SM
  • Stopped in many places that no airline could have taken us.
  • 2 weeks of great quality family time

All and all a really great trip, even if it did have several stressful moments. That is just part of flying.

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-10

This is the flight for today. Weather looks great. As you can see the weather we had to work around is still terrible. If we would went south through the US we would really be stuck. One thing to make note of with foreflight. There is many places in Canada that only report temperature and dew point. Foreflight shows that as VFR. You should only look at the major airports that report weather, not many in Canada though. The route could show lots of vfr green dots but it is all Ifr. Also I do not find foreflight to show the weather radar as intense as it is compared to the XM. Most of the system yesterday was yellow and red showing lots of convection, foreflight did not show that. Easy day today, we all look forward to it.

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Update!

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We had a great flight today. It was 500 NM and it took under 3 hrs. We trued out just under 170 kts at 8500ft and had about 10 to 15 kts on the tail, yes tailwind west bound. The high was north of us and the low was south, so the east wind blew. We landed in Fargo as Grand Forks was fully booked due to a convention in town. Fargo has a great FBO and we got a great room. My wife and kids really wanted a break from flying after the day we had yesterday, so we stopped here.

Customs is booked for a 11:00 arrival in Regina. We had planned to fly most of the way in the US but now there is a low sitting to the west of us that may create some IFR weather. Best to play it safe and head north. Hopefully just scattered thunderstorms to deal with. This trip west bound has been very challenging, doesn’t look like it will be easy until we are finally home.

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-09

We had the most challenging day of flying today. If any of you were watching the SPOT this should explain it. We first flew direct to Ottawa Carp from Moncton. I had been watching the weather as the flight when along. There was two systems that were converging and there looked like little time to get through. A quick turn around and we were on our way. We tried to pick our through and decided for pembroke. We dropped below the scattered layer that soon went to broken and ceilings left the building. We turned around. So much for the forecasted 4000 broken. I think they missed a zero;-)

We went back to Ottawa and landed in Rockcliffe. We chatted with the briefer and he figured we would not move for a few days. I did not like that option in the cold rainy weather we were presently in. I said what about going north and going around it. I would have to get east of Montreal but it would work. But we had to get going to beat it.

We took of down the Ottawa river, Montreal was still good Vfr so we new it would get better. Soon through Montreal and just out of the weather, we landed in Joliette for fuel before heading north. If the weather turned on us again I wanted lots of fuel.

Just because the CFS says there is fuel, don’t count on getting any. It was locked up solid. Off again to Trois Rivieres.

I was so close to feeling defeated by the weather and really getting stuck. We likely could not even get back to new brunswick to wait it out for a few days. This was looking like the only choice or let the weather win.

We Filled up and pointed the nose NW bounded. Not long we were in the rain again but with good ceilings. It wouldn’t be long and we should pop out to clear weather based on the XM. When we got clear I was not sure if ahead was a horizon line of more cloud. We had not had a defined horizon for hours so I was not sure. After several minutes it was clear that it was not cloud and we were around the weather. Once in contact with ValDor radio I amended my flight and went direct for Sudbury. We also picked up flight following, it makes you feel a bit better when there is no place to land for hours. Landing in Sudbury was a great accomplishment. I had flown into ValDor before and had no intention of staying there. Amazing that we were only about 45min away from Sudbury when we had to turn around. I so need to get on my IFR rating.

I then called customs to see if they would still accept us. They said yes and we booked for an 8:00 arrival. We landed and got cleared. Direct to grand forks tomorrow. We look forward for a SHORT day of flying. Hopefully we don’t have to fly the route twice like today;-)

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