Spokane Trip Report 2002

by Paul A. Rosales

Victoria and I had a 4-day holiday weekend so...We tookoff Thursday morning, July 4th, which by the way was our 2-year anniversary since my first flight (the plane first flew June 18, 2000 with Norm Howell as PIC). We left for Grass Valley (O17), near Sacramento, under clear skies to spend the evening watching fireworks with (boating) friends who moved away from Lancaster 2 years ago. I can't remember the last time we went to the fairgrounds to sit and watch fireworks: it was fun! Friday, they took us boating on Bullard's Bar, and it too was a beautiful day. Saturday morning, we 'jumped' the Sierra's east to Truckee (TRK) then north to Deer Park (DEW), WA, about 20nm north of Spokane. Not many airports along that route of flight but we could see Mt. Shasta for over an hour. We had a nice visit with Victoria's sister and our nieces on Saturday afternoon in Deer Park, and we ended the evening with a BBQ. Sunset in the northern latitudes was after 9pm. Sunday morning after having breakfast at 'The Dinner Bell', we flew to Sunrise Skypark (ID40, near Boise, ID) to visit/lunch with Ed & Marie Bundy (RV-6A, flying) and Rob & Fay Acker (RV-6, finishing). I met both these couples via the internet while I was building and now consider them good friends...they have RVs and Ed gave Victoria her first ever RV ride!!! Our visit was longer than planned, and we finally departed Sunrise Skypark at 4:00pm to Nampa (S67) for fuel then continued on to Battle Mountain (BAM), NV for another fuel stop. We then flew south over Tonopah (first home of the F-117 where I spent many a night and couldn't tell my wife I was there...) Nothing to see out this way either except for lots of barren desert! Flying past Tonopah took us over Stovepipe Wells (Death Valley) to Trona (near China Lake) then home to Rosamond (L00), landing about 9pm. I thought we'd get 'beat-up' flying over the desert so late in the day but did not. Temperature at 8500' though was 85deg with oil temp 230deg. Total hobbs time for the trip was 12.7 hours burning 1qt of oil. After seeing Chuck's itinerary, I thought I'd post mine as I really don't look at the numbers much so here they are: From/To Range(nm)/Hobbs/Gallons Rosamond - ~Sacramento 293/2.3/15.5 ~Sacramento- ~Spokane 575/3.8/31.0 ~Spokane - ~Boise 262/2.2/21.4 ~Boise - Battle Mtn. 183/1.4/12.2 Battle Mtn. - Rosamond 350/3.0/23.0 This averages about 16 mpg with block-block speed of 130 KTAS...not too bad! I'm running the fixed pitch prop with our 180hp and run 2500 rpm which typically yields 150 KTAS. Bill Marvel is absolutely right in comparing our INCREDIBLE planes to a 'magic carpet'!! You can do things over a couple of days you'd never even consider in a car...you just can't compare them as he said. I'll be right there with him flying ourselves whenever possible since we can almost compete with the airlines flying halfway across the USA! It's a WHOLE lot more fun as my FAA Passenger warning indicates, plus, I can take my Swiss Army knife and nail-clippers along with nobody complaining!

I hope all the builders had a productive weekend :-) Keep poundin' them rivets as it's ALL worth it! Paul & Victoria PS: Cartoon seen recently with passengers standing in line at the metal detector: "Every journey begins with....a metal detector and a strip search..."

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