Luscombe Road Trip—Wish me luck!

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by birdus, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I'm glad, too, especially because I'm just buzzing around having fun, not doing bad things. Glad you like the pics.

    I agree! That's a lot of my motivation. I don't want to do the same things everyone does. That was part of the appeal for me in learning to fly in the Luscombe.

    I actually did the slip just for visual appeal. :D And I wanted to come in from that direction because I thought the shots would look cool with the background filled with terrain. The truth is (I think) that you could easily land that way without having to slip at all. You just can't be afraid to come in a bit close to the hill, but I don't think you'd need to be perilously low to the ground. In fact, if you turn base just a bit early and low, I don't think you'd need to be anywhere near the hill.

    That's an interesting (and exciting) story, but maddening. The guy lands at a few airports in the U.S. and has to deal with that. That's fantastic about the Cokes. I love it!

    I believe that several people have pushed back against infringements against individual liberty over the past several years and maybe that has affected the behavior of some of these people (Border Patrol, etc.). I've read some stories like yours, and am glad I haven't run into any of that.
     
  2. Tusayan

    Tusayan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I bought and then learned to fly in my Luscombe with much the same reasoning, and it was good!

    The endless removal of freedoms many once took for granted in the US is not good... I’m an immigrant citizen so perhaps somewhat more attuned than some, and I am not a happy boy about it.

    Hope your experience at Victorville worked out OK in the end. I await the next episode.:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  3. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    We have gone very, very far down that road and I fear we will not recover. Unfortunately, the standard nowadays for what is considered individual liberty is extremely low, and so I believe many Americans don't even see a problem. Definitely not good.
     
  4. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    This sounds EXACTLY like the Barney Fife's that were busting pilots here for flying the SW side of Mount Cristo Rey years ago ... I do "crazy Ivan" turns now to avoid getting snuck up on as they will do the same even if you never crossed the border.

    Two years ago near Van Horn, ATC *ASKED* me to crazy Ivan as they had two targets...there was a 182 right below and slightly behind trailing on purpose ... guessing CBP or drug runners.
     
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  5. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    A year or two ago, I read something about there being some federal policy allowing Border Patrol to search anyone within 100 miles of the border without probable cause (although I don't remember the specifics, that's the majority of Americans). Alas, the Constitution is mostly dead.
     
  6. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    If this thing turns into a political discussion, I’m out. I was enjoying the fight report.

    Cheers
     
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  7. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    5.2 hours and I was so ready to be on the ground. I think this was my longest day yet on this trip (actually, ever). Lots of places on my body ached, and there were a few challenges, surprises, and, of course, some awesomeness.

    My little C-85 was struggling to bring me into Big Bear Airport (L35) the day before, but the early morning air was nice and cool and I climbed out pretty well. Based on the advice of a local, I was going to takeoff to the east and could stay quite low and still get over the terrain until the bottom dropped out and I was in the clear. However, the plane was performing well and I decided it would be a shame not to double back and fly over the lake. It was lovely. I flew directly over the airport, coordinating with another fella who was coming in for landing, and then departed the area to the north.

    Although I was just going to bypass Victorville (Southern California Logistics/KVCV), I saw all the planes parked on the tarmac and dediced I would fly just above the class D airspace to take a look. There were lots of Southwest 737s, Quantas A380s, 747s, and other planes. I was a couple hundred feet above their ceiling, so I didn't bother talking to their tower (although I'll sometimes let a tower know that I'm passing by, even if not in their airspace). After doing an orbit to get some shots off my wingtip camera, I turned out to the west to continue on my way.

    Having been over the top of Victorville, I was probably 2,500 to 3,000 AGL. I was buzzing along minding my own business and enjoying the view out the window when, even through the active noise cancellation of my Bose A20s, I heard a "bang" just outside my door. I found the subsequent sensation quite displeasing.

    Me: Uh, that, uh, sounded, not good at all.

    I looked at the chart.

    Me: 118.35.

    The wing was still attached, so I knew the strut hadn't snapped off, although I couldn't see the left landing gear. That's no good. However, upon opening the window and looking straight down through it, I was able to observe my left wheel. I do like my wheels. So, then, what was that "bang" that I'd heard? I was quite interested in procuring an answer to that query. I did a sanity check of my plane. The engine was running okay, and the controls seemed to be doing their usual controlling, so at that point, I believed I'd be able to fly the plane to the runway and hopefully land without breaking stuff.

    Upon tuning in Victorville tower, I heard some chatter. I verified I'd tuned in the correct frequency:

    Me: Victorville, 118.35.

    Me (transmitting): Victorville traffic [not perfect, I know], Luscombe 1-8-1-3-Kilo, uh, about a mile-and-a-half west of the south end of your field, here, south end of your runway, and I just heard a strange noise outside my airplane, and I'd like to come in for a landing please.

    Victorville tower: [unintellible] tower, copy, Lus, uh, 1-8-1-3-Kilo [it's not uncommon for towers to be unfamiliar with the Luscombe], information Delta current, revised altimeter is three-zero-one-niner. Enter the right downwind for 1-7 for right base.

    Me (transmitting): Right downwind for 1-7. Luscombe 1-8-1-3-Kilo.

    Me: Alright, my wheel's still there, so I'm like, did I just lose my landing gear? Which would be bizarre.

    [Other chatter on the radio.]

    Tower: Luscombe 1-8-1-3-Kilo, do you require any further assistance?

    Me (transmitting): Uh, I don't believe so, um, looks like me wheel's still attached there on the left side. The sound came from the left side, so I don't believe so at this time. We'll see after I'm on the ground.

    Tower: Luscombe 1-8-1-3-Kilo, roger. We also have a Centurion, he's orbiting about 2 miles to the northeast of the field at three-thousand-five-hundred.

    Long story short, I accepted the offer for the Centurion to come in and take a look at my belly. I flew due north for a few miles and he made two passes to take a look. I set the throttle at about 2,500 (i.e., pretty much full speed ahead) and he flew about as slow as he could. He reported that everything looked fine.

    I then made a request to the tower to come in for landing. He cleared me to land, so I did a 180 and made a long final into 1-7. I breathed a sigh of relief to be on the ground. The military was apparently doing some testing or practice with a drone and I passed them on the first intersecting taxiway. I asked where I could park to take a look at my plane, and the tower suggested the next exit to the left, then just head back to the north end of the runway. I passed the drone in the other direction while two emergency vehicles trailed me. I pulled between taxiway lights and off to the edge of the taxiway, then shut down.

    The emergency fellas were really cool and looked over the plane with me. I wondered if a bird had struck my wing strut or landing gear and felt them for any dents and looked for blood or feathers. Just the salty residue collected while flying along the coast off the Gulf of Mexico a week-and-a-half ago. Huh. I continued to walk around to the front of the plane, just looking things over.

    Me: Ooooohhhhhhhh!

    I thanked the emergency guys for their help and let them know that I appreciated it. They said they'd heard my call and just came out to help if they could, and that they'd hang out there for a few more minutes and watch me take off. I thought that was cool.

    After departure, I thanked the tower and everyone else for their assistance.

    I flew around a couple restricted areas and proceeded north up to the deserted but nice Inyokern airport, where I topped up. After a brief stretch and rest, I continued up the Owens Valley along the east side of the Sierra Navada, part of the American Cordillera, a series of mountain ranges that run along the western United States. Wow! What a completely awesome stretch of absolutely massive rocks! To get a slightly better view, I climbed up to 7,000 and then to 8,000. Still, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 towered high above me (along with the rest of the range!). Absolutely awesome!

    As I went, I considered my fuel and remaining distance. The farther I went, the more I felt like just completing the flight and getting on the ground. I had plenty of fuel and would just continue to the day's destination, Carson City, Nevada (KCXP). Probably at least an hour south of Carson City, it started getting smokey. I could see a delineation just above me from clear air to a smokey layer. The smoke only got thicker, and my altitude AGL lower. So, it was smokey, I was at an altitude at which my Luscombe didn't perform well, and there was no shortage of drafts, up, but also the kind you don't want when trying to get over a ridgeline, down. At one point, I was mulling over whether I could make it up over the next ridge. I began to turn to follow the road over the top when I decided I would turn around to do an orbit to gain some altitude. As I turned, a downdraft pushed me closer and closer to a hill. Although I didn't clear it by much, I did survive (thanks to descending terrain) and continued the turn, gaining enough altitude to make it over the top with a bit more comfort.

    At one point, the smoke got pretty bad, but I had more than legal visibility, and so I plowed ahead, albeit at less than 500 AGL. Finally, the overall terrain started descending, and I knew I was on the home stretch, flying down a rugged canyon into Eagle Valley, where the city named after Kit Carson is situated.

    It wasn't easy to get to Virginia City after fueling, parking, and unloading, but an Uber popped up eventually. It's quite smokey outside here in Mark Twain's once home, and a number of local establishments are shut down or have modified hours, including the Mark Twain museum, the main reason I wanted to come here. Regardless, it's nice to have a day off.

    The plan is for Klamath Falls, Oregon, tomorrow, then Lebanon, Oregon on Friday, then home on Saturday.
     
  8. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    In-flight bang pictures, part 1:

    Note two things at the front of the plane: a strap above the front of the cowling and a bump sticking out in front of the cowling.
    Spinner01.jpg

    Spinner flying through the air.
    Spinner02.jpg

    Spinner getting struck by prop.
    Spinner03.jpg

    Spinner taking a beating.
    Spinner04.jpg

    Spinner05.jpg

    Spinner06.jpg

    I think this must be about the point when I heard the "bang."
    Spinner07.jpg

    Spinner08.jpg

    Spinner09.jpg Spinner10.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  9. Bender Aviation

    Bender Aviation Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wow, brave man to fly up the Owens valley on a hot summers' day with 85 horsepower! And uh I guess you can count that as your first prop strike! Any damage?
     
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  10. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    In-flight bang pictures, part 2:

    Spinner11.jpg

    Spinner12.jpg

    Getting an inspection of my plane before landing.
    E1.jpg

    A drone at Victorville with grounded planes during the economic shut down.
    E2.jpg

    Um....where's my spinner?
    Spinner_Gone-2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  11. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Big Bear, CA to Carson City/Virginia City, NV

    Doubling back over Big Bear Airport and Big Bear Lake before heading north.
    01.jpg

    Southern California Logistics/Victorville (KVCV) with grounded planes during the economic shutdown.
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    Southern California Logistics/Victorville (KVCV)with grounded planes during the economic shutdown.
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    Hundreds of windmills near Mojave Air and Space airport (KMHV)
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    Inyokern (KIYK). No weather, so I overflew the airport to take a peak at the windsock and had really good wind alignment for runway 33.
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    U.S. Route 395
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    10.jpg


    11.jpg

    I doubled back to get a better look at the Sierra Nevada. That's why it's off my right wing in this picture. Just awesome!
    12.jpg

    Just a bit of the massive Sierra Nevada.
    13.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  12. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Flying north along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
    14.jpg

    Gettin' smokey. Flying IFR, low and slow.
    15.jpg

    I think this was Mono Lake.
    17.jpg

    Not clearing terrain by a whole lot. Not all fun and games.
    18.jpg

    Heading down hill towards Eagle Valley and Carson City, Nevada.
    16.jpg

    Moonrise from my hotel in Virginia City.
    20.jpg

    Sunrise from my hotel in Virginia City.
    DSC00087.jpg
     
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  13. GaryM

    GaryM Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Glad it wasn't more serious. That is a remarkable series of photos--I suspect the first and only time such an event has been captured on camera!
     
  14. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    You're definitely giving me too much credit. I'm just dumb. :p Also, it wasn't super hot out, so performance wasn't terrible. I was probably flying on 3 ⅛ cylinders.

    It appears as though there might be a very small nick maybe 2 or 3 inches from one of the tips, hopefully small enough so as not to cause a stress riser issue. I'll have a prop shop look at it in a couple days. I park my plane right next to one at Thun Field.
     
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  15. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, fascinating, eh? I was talking to the emergency guys about it and about my cameras, and one of them pointed out that that camera might have caught the spinner in the act. "Oh, yeah!" I said. I run my cameras at 24 fps, so that must've been about 1/2 second (until the spinner was back near the tail). I included every single frame that included the exciting event.
     
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  16. Tusayan

    Tusayan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Those metal straps that mount the skull cap spinner tend to get tweaked every time the prop is removed and reinstalled. Eventually they crack, and the crack grows. I inspected mine regularly and replaced it once. When fitting a new one, form it lightly so that the spinner is is pulled against the prop a reasonable amount when the single mounting screw is tightened, and use the correct washer setup so that the bracket isn’t tweaked too much as you torque the prop bolts.

    Hope your flight home goes well. I think it’s been a heck of a trip!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  17. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Great tips! I actually mounted the prop a couple times myself (under the watchful eye of my A&P), but, being a new plane owner, never thought to look closely at that mounting strap. I will from here on out!

    Thanks for the kind wishes and I'm glad you've enjoyed it, too! It certainly has been a great adventure for me!
     
  18. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Keep your eye on your temps with the spinner off. I don't know if it's required on the Luscombe, but on some aircraft it's required for proper cooling airflow.
     
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  19. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I've had an engine damaged with less impact than I suspect that would have. Hope yours is good.
    I personally have come to think it's important to have a watch and when something happens, to attempt to note and record the time.
     
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  20. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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  21. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    @birdus Would you mind expounding a little bit more on your thought process when you discovered that you were running into strong downdrafts? I'm interested to hear a bit about the mountain flying aspect of your trip and what options you had available if you couldn't power-out of the descent with the Luscombe. Would you have done anything differently if you were to do it again?
     
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  22. Tusayan

    Tusayan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Luscombes have been flown since the 1930s without the little skull cap spinner, and it works fine. These were among the first aircraft produced with a flat engine and pressure cowling, earliest 8As with wood prop often didn't have any spinner as delivered. Nothing is that critical.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
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  23. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Not sure why it would. Discussion with Jay was regarding over zealous Barney Fife's ... I give friends warnings to avoid Lordsburg landings as the Barney there locked up an AOPA pilot the entire weekend for "mouthing off" basically ... absolutely nothing to do with politics ... things are different here on the border and most times people can fly through without incident.
     
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  24. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    That didn't even occur to me, but it's a good point. For the subsequent few hours of the day's flights, and for all of today, oil temps were fine. Right in the middle. Around 185 degrees (I specifically noted it today).
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  25. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    The spinner is (was!) very light. I can't imagine it would've damaged the engine, although there's certainly a lot I don't know! The engine seems smooth and normal for the subsequent 4 or 5 hours. Time will tell.
     
  26. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Saw a plane that hit a "soft" parking cone at almost idle, 0 impact damage to the blades but light rubbery streaks proving it hit. Actually damaged a bearing and the constant speed prop had a blade that would freely twist without resistance. It's surprising how much force can be involved. YMMV.
     
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  27. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I enjoyed a bit of a leisurely morning in Virginia City, then called an Uber and made my way back to the airport in Carson City. A trike, taking advantage of the calm morning, was buzzing around the pattern when I arrived. What a neat flying machine. I wasn't in a big hurry, as my day's flight wasn't too long, so I took my time getting the plane ready. My sister sent me a text before liftoff: "No losing more airplane parts today."

    I departed to the south, then turned west to make my way over the Carson Range, a spur of the Sierra Nevada. I wasn't happy with my altitude, so I did a 360 to acquire a bit more of it. Upon clearing the summit, I was prepared for an awesome view of Lake Tahoe, but, unfortunately, it was largely obscured by smoke. I was planning on flying over Incline Village and up 431, but, again, the altitude was more than I was interested in conquering, so I went around to the west and cut north along the eastern edge of Truckee Tahoe (KTRK). I probably could've squeezed through between their class-D airspace and the mountains, but rather than having to worry about the terrain and simultaneously avoiding the controlled airspace, I just called the tower and let them know I was transiting the area to the north. That allowed me to just focus on not running into mountains.

    Although I was a bit disappointed in not having clearer skies, the smoke can add some character, just like clouds do at times, so I tried to enjoy it. I had been a bit higher after crossing the mountains—around 8,000 feet—but I came down lower to enjoy a few lakes as I made my way north. The valley where Honey Lake was located was filled with pretty dense smoke, so after I checked it out a few hundred feed off the deck, I climbed back up to get above the layer of smoke. Thankfully, the density of smoke decreased as I continued north.

    Although the windsocks at Spaulding (1Q2) were too small for me to make out from 500 feet above the traffic pattern, I knew I'd had a quartering right tailwind, and so decided on runway 16. After I parked, a local named Mike pulled up on a quad and we chatted for a while. He told me the story of the Cessna Skywagon that was missing one of the landing gear and had a bent wing and prop. The pilot simply hadn't quite been able to keep up with a gust on landing, and so did a go-around (after tapping a wing tip on the tarmac), but then ran into the same problem on his second attempt. That's when the gear broke, the prop got bent, and the right wing got bent up pretty good, too. Mike ran me down to the convenience store on his quad and I bought some snacks and then walked back to the plane and relaxed a bit.

    After hearing the harrowing tale of the 185, I paid special attention on my departure. The winds at Spaulding were definitely variable, both on my landing and takeoff. I stayed busy on the rudder pedals, but made it off okay. Mike sent me on my way over the radio: "Nicely done, Jay. Have a good trip."

    As I flew over the northernmost part of California, there were lots of rolling hills mostly covered with evergreens and with farms in valleys that had been cleared of the trees. I dropped down and followed some railroad tracks, hoping I'd run into to a train, but no such luck. I also enjoyed flying over Lava Beds National Monument about 50 miles south of Klamath Falls.

    The air on most of today's flight was relatively smooth, but with a few bumps here and there. On the second half, starting at Spaulding, there were lots of drafts, mostly down and as much as about 1,500 feet per minute. However, they were short lived and didn't really affect my altitude too much. I mostly ignored them and didn't even try to combat them, as it wouldn't really make much of a difference, anyway, and would just be an irritating and constant battle, fought for no reason.

    Apparently, the tower at Crater Lake-Klamath Falls Regional Airport (KLMT) goes by Kingsley Tower. They understood that I was talking to them and I figured out they were going by the military name. At that time, however, I didn't know that military aircraft operated out of that tower. I was sequenced along with some F-15s, and, in fact, shared the taxiway with a few. The controller initially had me on a left downwind for 14, but then switched me to a left base for 25. It didn't really make a difference to me, so I accepted the new runway assignment. As I get more experience flying, I've started developing certain habits. One is to check the runway diagram on the iPad both before a flight and as I'm approaching an airport so that I can more easily visualize my options and likely pattern entry. I did that in this case and it really helps.

    After landing, parking, and unloading, I grabbed a camera and walked out towards the rows of parked F-15s. A pickup truck was driving towards me and I thought I was going to get a lecture, but it was the FBO manager telling me that I could take pictures of the fighters, but that they would probably come tell me I couldn't, and that I should have them talk to him if they had a problem. Well, just like clockwork, I got a talking to from some Air Force folks. I mentioned that the F-15s were 45 years old (just my guess at the time), but that I could take pictures from much closer up of much more modern fighters at air shows. The guy (a big shot who had been brought out to talk to me after being called by another guy initially) told me that those planes had been prepped for air shows, but that these fighters hadn't and that they had stuff I wasn't supposed to photograph. If he had the authority to prevent me from taking pictures and the planes had secret tech on them, then I don't know why he wouldn't have insisted that I delete the photos I had already taken. Anyway, enjoy the photos.

    Still not sure of tomorrow's flight. One or two days and I'll be home.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
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  28. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Sunrise, Virginia City, Nevada
    _00.jpg

    Virginia City, Nevada
    00.jpg

    Liftoff from Carson City, Nevada
    01.jpg

    Climbing over the Carson Range
    02.jpg

    Spooner Lake
    03 (Spooner Lake).jpg

    Frenchman Lake
    04 (Frenchman Lake).jpg

    Can you see Reno in the distance?
    04b.jpg

    Honey Lake
    05 (Honey Lake).jpg

    Turning final for 16 at Spaulding (1Q2)
    06.jpg

    Landing at Spaulding
    07.jpg
     
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  29. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Eagle Lake from Spaulding Airport (1Q2)
    08.jpg

    Taking a break at Spaulding Airport
    09.jpg


    16.jpg


    17.jpg


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    Crater Lake—Klamath Regional Airport (KLMT)
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    23.jpg


    24.jpg
     
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  30. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Here are a few pictures of my prop. In the first photo, you can see a couple nicks, really more akin to scuffs, I think, along the leading edge, but they don't appear sharp to me. I'm not worried about losing the tip. I had the prop balanced a few months back. That's the purpose of the black paint on the back of the blades (according to the guy at the prop shop 100 yards from where I park my plane). I don't believe that paint is missing due to the spinner hit (at least not all of it), but I don't know for sure. I'm surprised the paint is chipping off in such short order, but I'm a new plane owner, so I have no experience with that. I'll have the prop shop look all of that over after I get home.

    20201001_090652.jpg


    20201001_090806.jpg


    20201001_090820.jpg
     
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  31. Jill

    Jill Filing Flight Plan

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    Here are a few pictures of my prop. In the first photo, you can see a couple nicks, really more akin to scuffs, I think, along the leading edge, but they don't appear sharp to me. I'm not worried about losing the tip. I had the prop balanced a few months back. That's the purpose of the black paint on the back of the blades (according to the guy at the prop shop 100 yards from where I park my plane). I don't believe that paint is missing due to the spinner hit (at least not all of it), but I don't know for sure. I'm surprised the paint is chipping off in such short order, but I'm a new plane owner, so I have no experience with that. I'll have the prop shop look all of that over after I get home.

    Wow.
     
  32. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I dunno why the military guys get their panties so twisted about the pictures. Anyone can stand at the fence with a telephoto lens and get as many pictures as they wanted. There's nothing secret about it. If there was, they wouldn't be landing them at public airports.
     
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  33. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The first set of photos look like F-5 Aggressor Squadron planes. The F-15’s probably were probably doing ACM (air combat maneuvering, aka dog fighting) against them.

    Cheers
     
  34. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Epic journey so far! Sorry about your spinner/prop, that sucks! If you were flying behind a Lycoming you would be looking at a tear down so that's a plus... I hope you can dodge the smoke for the last legs home, Blue Skies!
     
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  35. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    When you get home, take a week off, and then do the northern border including the east coast.;):p

    Awesome thread ... you'll have to use the Johnny cash "I've Been Everywhere" song as your video background music:cool:

    Just noticed you've hit MOST of the states in my map and I'm closing in on 900 hours:eek: ... thank god I brought the plane home from West Virginia or you'd have me topped on your first trip:confused:;)
     
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  36. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have really enjoyed flying with you on this fascination trip. Having flown many hours in a Cessna 150, plus J 3 Cubs, and twice in a Luscombe Silvaire, 85 HP does not sound too small, you just have to plan for the right amount of time to get the altitude you need. I have climbed to 10,000 feet in the 150. The mountains west of Colorado Springs were much like the Sierra's that you are flying by, and between there and western Nebraska there is a lot of high density altitude in the late summer, and desolate terrain. We flew that in a Cessna 172, just two of us, from Lincoln Nebraska. Arriving in the neighborhood of Colorado Springs, we were at 12,500 feet, and still in thermal bumps. It was a very hot day,100+, and our density altitude was above 15,000. We were happy to have the back seats empty.

    A puzzle...studying the propeller hub picture, I could not figure out what kept the spinner on. Ours was screwed to a round plate held by the propeller attach bolts.
     
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  37. Tusayan

    Tusayan Pre-takeoff checklist

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  38. LB 408A

    LB 408A Pre-Flight

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    Welcome to Oregon. I expect you got some decent pictures from that trip from K falls to Lebanon and maybe got a couple shots of the aftermath of the forest fires East of Eugene and also some shots of Crater Lake as you went by or maybe did a 360 ? BTW I don't recall seeing any fog yesterday morning. I may have missed the fog because I was busy going through your thoroughly enjoyable posts from Texas to K falls yesterday.
     
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  39. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Tusayan, that is probably what he had, I missed the small edges at the 12:30 and 6:30 points of the hub. They are nearly hidden by the safety wire. Good eyes! The Cessnas and Pipers that I have flown with spinners had plates with screws around the perimeter. Checking them secure was part of the oil change ritual.

    I think the Silvaire I flew in had an O 200 Continental with 100 HP. It broke ground early and climbed well with two of us in it, hot summer day. If 65 HP brought you up to 10,000 feet, think what you could have done with 100! Patience wins on the climb to altitude game, I have gone to 12,500 in a 145 HP Cessna 172, warm weather, and full gross. The climb to 13,500 in another 172 with a 215 HP engine was more fun, but the results were much the same, as I remained up there for 3 hours, and gained back the fuel burned going up with the high true airspeed bonus coming back down.

    Birdus is certainly having the sort of adventure we all would love to be doing on our own.

    My longest went from College Park, Maryland to Jacksonville, Florida, then Galveston Texas, Mexico Missouri, and return home. My sons were still young enough that we all 4 could depart with full fuel, and 100# of luggage. They met 3 relatives that they had never met before, nor since. They and we were also viewers of a wide variety of scenery and weather over the 16 days we were in transit.

    We took other extended trips, but none with that many states and miles flown, well over 3,000. I had less than 150 hours in my log when we left home. My first long trip with my family was started with 65 hours in the log, and totaled 23 hours flying time. Long vacations was what I got a license for.

    Riding with Birdus in his Silvaire is a special treat, with all those pictures, and well written travelogue.
     
  40. birdus

    birdus Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    The usual recommendations for clearing a ridgeline are to approach at a 45-degree angle so that it's quicker to turn to descending terrain, and to allow at least 1,000 feet of clearance. There are other tips you'll read, too. I have "Bush & Mountain Flying" by CC Pocock (and would love to take a class with him), and "Mountain Flying Bible" by Sparky Imeson. I've read parts of both of them and will read them more thoroughly. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to do mountain flying.

    Here are some of my personal musings. Thirty minutes into this trip, I ran into a 2,000 fpm down draft and some turbulence around the south side of Mount Rainier. It made me extremely uncomfortable. After that, I climbed from 7,500 feet to 9,500 feet and stayed at that altitude for quite a while. Of course, that didn't mean I was way above the ground, but for a while, I certainly was. By the end of my trip, I had experienced down drafts of 1,000 to 1,500 fpm many, many times, and when much closer to the ground, and didn't think anything of it.

    At 6,000 or 7,000 or 8,000 feet and in hot weather and near gross weight, the Luscombe can't out climb almost any down draft. If there's a down draft of 500 fpm, I'm going to go down. I don't worry about it. I don't generally make adjustments. If I'm not at full power, I might decide to go to full power, although it doesn't do a whole lot.

    If you're trying to get over some mountains or a ridge, you'll have a good idea ahead of time if you're high enough. If you're not sure, then do one or two 360s and gain some altitude. If you're concerned, then do one or two 360s and gain some altitude. If you feel apprehensive, then do one or two 360s and gain some altitude. There were probably a half dozen times on this trip that I did one or two 360s to gain some altitude.

    I believe you might be particularly interested in my experience coming over the hills to the south of Carson City, Nevada. I was starting to follow a road up and over when I decided I couldn't really see far enough ahead for my satisfaction, so I decided to turn back and do at least one 360. As I turned, I also started getting pushed down and came closer than I would've liked to a hill off to the left of the road and slightly to my rear, as well, which means that even after I began the turn, I wasn't yet to the descending terrain. So, while losing altitude, the terrain was coming up to meet me. Ideally, very quickly after you begin your turn, you want the ground to fall away.

    Since you asked your question several days ago, I've been mulling it over, and I think I have a pretty good point to make, but it may sound counterintuitive, so I'll need to explain it: don't be afraid of the ground! As that ground came up to meet me, I was tempted to pull back on the stick, or maybe to turn more sharply to hurry up and get around to the descending terrain (a sharper turn might be fine, but don't necessarily try to maintain your altitude!). My plane will not out climb the terrain! If I turn more sharply and pull back harder, you know what's likely to happen. It kills a lot of pilots on turn to final. At high density altitude, the problem would be even worse. The slower I go during this turn, the mushier the plane will fly. I'll lose snappy control authority. Keep your speed up, keep the responsive handling of your plane, and don't worry about getting close to the ground. It's more important that you don't stall and that the plane is still flying nicely. You can get within feet of the ground or of treetops, and as long as you're still in control of the plane and you're making your way around to descending terrain, you'll come out of it okay.

    I think the same idea applies to taking off at high density altitude. Don't be afraid of the ground, or, more specifically, of the trees at the end of the runway, or hills up ahead. If you pull back harder because you're afraid of what's coming, you'll just increase your angle of attack, and thus drag. Don't force the plane to take off before it's ready. Let it lift off when it's ready, fly it in ground effect to build up speed, and only then climb out.

    More experienced pilots may call me an idiot (they're probably right), but that's my best shot at answering your question. I hope it's useful.