Transcontinental by Archer (Boston to LA)

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by eshazen, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. eshazen

    eshazen Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eric
    Planning a summer trip in my Archer from Boston round trip to LA, stopping both ways in Madison, WI to pick up a co-pilot. Thinking of a northerly outbound route (I90 to around Rapid City, over to Casper, WY and then down between the mountain ranges to Flagstaff, AZ) with a Grand Canyon tour. An alternative would be to pick up I80 around Rawlins and follow it to Salt Lake city, then down to Las Vegas (but missing the Canyon). What do folks who've flown out there have to say about those choices? Is there anything particular to watch out for flying down from Rawlins past Grand Junction to the Grand Canyon area? Is the I80 route to SLC reasonable for a flatlander?

    For the return we want to go through Tucson, AZ so we would cross south of the mountains.

    Earliest we can get underway would be mid-June, so we expect it to be hot! I'm CP/IA/Multi but no mountain experience other than the White mountains in NH. Well aware of DA issues. Expect to keep the Archer 200-250lb below max TOW.
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    8,570
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    No real advice, but if you do carry out this plan, please keep us updated on your adventures. I’d love to read all about it!
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  3. Walboy

    Walboy Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Walboy
    Mid to late June is the beginning of the monsoon (daily convective weather...at times severe) season in AZ, so you would have be build in flexibility for that. Generally, there is not much of a problem before noon. Tuscon > Deming > El Paso > West Texas is pretty easy. I would consider assembling some sort of emergency kit (communications, a bit of extra water, etc.)

    An Archer is a pretty capable airplane even in the higher density altitude areas of the mountain west but you still need to respect it. I think it makes a lot of sense to plan to stay under max gross weight at least for the higher elevation portions.

    Winds can sometimes be an issue as well. If the winds aloft are greater than 20-25 kts near mountain ridges, expect a rough ride. My personal rule is to cross any ridges with about 2000 feet to spare if possible. I also tend to follow roads more in the event of an emergency.
     
  4. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,200
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dans2992
    Consider flying through monument valley. Spectacular views.
     
    iflyvfr likes this.
  5. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,376
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WI Flyer
    If things work out I have a plan in works for the Grand Canyon & surrounding area the last week in March, heavily weather dependent of course. There is a new Grand Canyon chart download available, freshly updated.

    That area will be like an oven mid-later summer. You could alway improvise towards Yellowstone, Glacier Park then the Pacific NW.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,022
    Location:
    Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Spun Out
    If you could leave a few weeks earlier, perhaps we could link up somewhere along the way. We plan to fly from Daytona Beach to Seattle in late May for a 3-4 week excursion. We will be hitting the Grand Canyon among other spots. Flying a Bonanza V35.
     
  7. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    18,660
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Both sounds fun, make sure you check out the special chart for the canyon, lots of tours, remember density altitude is a thing. Overall ether sounds fun, might as well check the canyon out.
     
  8. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    13,010
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    At that time of year you have to consider,the density altitudes.
     
  9. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MountainDude
    What is the practical ceiling of your plane?
     
  10. eshazen

    eshazen Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eric
    I've cruised at 12500 in the summer when it was pretty hot (with a decent load). Climbed to 13500 once, and it was still climbing. At some point I'll take her up and see how high she'll go. I did take another Archer up to 16,300' once, but that's a story for another time :)

    [​IMG]
    Mont Blanc (15,777')
     
  11. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,200
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dans2992
    I had a Comanche up to 21,500 once. Just testing out new O2 tanks and wanted to see how high it could go.

    Never been to the flight levels since. Performance up there with no turbo is.... bad. :)
     
  12. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    18,660
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Don’t think you’d need to go that high, did something similar in a loaded 207.
     
  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    21,690
    Location:
    UQACY, WI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iMooniac
    Highly recommend you go with the far-northern route on the way out and stop for a bit in McCall, ID to take a mountain flying course. http://mountaincanyonflying.com/

    You can also fly I-80 pretty easily all the way to the west coast. If you're looking to follow roads, US 151 out of Madison will lead you down to I-80 near Cedar Rapids, IA. Suggest you plan a stop at Norfolk, NE where they have decently priced fuel and an on-field restaurant.

    On the way back, maybe then you can take the southern route and hit the Grand Canyon. The real trick on the southern route is to point at Las Vegas, NM (KLVS) - The rocks get pretty big just north of there.

    Happy to chat more about this, I was based at KMSN for about a decade and now I'm at KUES, about 45nm east of there. I've flown GA to the west coast a few times now, it's a great adventure. :)
     
  14. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    21,659
    Location:
    Michigan
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    Did a similar trip a few years back in a Cherokee 180D. Route ended up being counter clockwise with the starting point in Michigan.
    [​IMG]

    Trip was in July, Stayed below 10,000ft the whole way except hopping over the last bit of hills in New Mexico. I could have flown a bit further south, and stayed under 10,000 the entire trip.

    I have the entire trip documented with daily write ups if you want more info.
     
  15. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,726
    Location:
    Danger Zone
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowman
    I've done something similar to this. One way to go is to go to Roswell, go up to the CNX VOR, then head to Palm Springs with a refuel stop inbetween to keep you out of the real high terrain. Then you can go from Palm Springs through a very easy to manage mountain pass and right into the LA area. Best advice is to plan to stop more than you expect and ground yourself in interesting places. Also try to fly through the high elevations in the morning. You WILL notice density altitude in an Archer at a 5,000' elevation field but it can certainly handle it.


    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/ky-to-ca-in-an-archer-ii-how-insane-am-i.109652/

    The actual route I ended up with:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    18,660
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Seems pretty expensive.

    Id say CC might be a better bang for the buck for some adventure experience / flight training.

    https://www.bush-air.com/school.htm

    Big bear is much more fun, cheaper fuel and just a better experience vs PSP or TRM,
    https://www.bigbearcityairport.com/

    only good fun around there is up in the high desert
    http://www.pappyandharriets.com/
     
  17. eshazen

    eshazen Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eric
    cowman... wow, thanks for the route and a link to the thread! I'll go over it carefully. I really wish I could do it in April. Earliest I think I can possibly manage is departing late May, when it will doubtless be much hotter. That said, probably we won't go quite as far south as you did.

    Did you get out to Catalina?
     
  18. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,200
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dans2992
    Catalina should be resurfaced by then, which will be good.
     
  19. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    21,690
    Location:
    UQACY, WI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iMooniac
    I dunno, I did a 1-day abbreviated thing there that sounds like it had all the elements of their two-day course, minus about 4 hours of ground. I just paid an hourly rate that was reasonable enough that I don't even remember it... And to this day, that was the best flying and learning experience I've ever had. Being able to fly into the Idaho backcountry is fantastic, and makes it much more than just a mountain course.
     
  20. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    5,159
    Location:
    0L7, VGT
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BTIZ
    I’ve flown round robin, Las Vegas to Augusta Maine and return. East out of VGT through Page AZ and then Pueblo CO. Need to watch the La Veta pass SW of Pueblo, it was clear with no issues. After that the rest east bound was easy.

    Coming home we went south to Scranton PA, then towards Tullahoma TN, THA. Then west to Sulfer Springs TX, Childress and picked up I-40 to Moriarty NM. Flying west along I-40 is no issue.

    Flying along I-80 should be no issue, if you are concerned about high DA, fly early mornings.
    I had a T-41B, (C-172 with 210HP), and have hit max altitude in summer around 13K feet.
     
  21. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MountainDude
    I don't see any problem with any of your plans. Please include Sedona valley in your plans. It is gorgeous. Some other nearby places that are incredible from the air:
    - San Francisco mountains north of Flagstaff and the volcanic peaks NE of it
    - Little Colorado river
    - Marble Canyon to Page
    - Lake Powell (incredible)
    - Monument Valley
    - Escalante (north of lake powell)
     
  22. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,200
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dans2992
    Yep, yep, and yes. All excellent stuff.
     
  23. eshazen

    eshazen Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eric
    Has anyone landed at Grand Canyon Caverns airport (L37) recently? It's gravel, and there's a report from several years ago which reported that it was a bit soft. Looks like an entertaining stop- fly in, visit the caverns.