Updates?

5th Jan 2019 – Content will continue to be added, as time allows…

Content still to be added:

  • Flight to the Pacific with Henry.
  • Santa Paula to Watsonville via Salinas
  • Watsonville to Placerville via Lodi
  • Placerville to Carson City
  • Lake Tahoe flight with Paul and Loretta Hamilton, Marie and Travis.
  • Carson City to Elko
  • Elko to Stanford, via Jackpot, Hazelton, Bear Trap, McCarley and Rexburg
  • Stanford to Black Hills via Yellowstone, Gardiner and Woltermann memorial
  • Black Hills to Madison via Chamberlain
  • Madison to Oshkosh via Viroqua
  • Oshkosh to Youngstown via Starke Co and Bellefontaine
  • Youngstown to St Marys via Clarion
  • St Marys to Linden via Arner Memorial
  • Video and additional images for previously published pages

 

The airports visited

flight flown (1)

GPS trace of the entire adventure.

February 27th Tuesday
  •  Homestead (X51)  to Seven Mile Bridge, the Keys and return.
February 28th Wednesday
  • Homestead (X51) Local flight 1 hour
April 10th Monday
  • Homestead (X51) to South Beach Miami and return
  • Homestead (X51) to Arcadia (X06)
April 11th Tuesday
  • Arcadia (X06) to Paradise City, Lakeland Linder (LAL) for SunNFun
April 13th Thursday
  • Paradise City, Lakeland to Cedar Key (CDK) via Sunshine Bridge and coastline.
  • Cedar Key to Apalachicola (AAF), Florida
  • Apalachicola to Jack Edwards (JKA), Alabama
April 16th Monday
  • Jack Edwards to Denton (4R9) Dolphin Island, Alabama
  • Denton Dolphin Island to False River (HZR) Louisiana
  • False River to Eunice (4R7) Louisiana
  • Eunice  to Livingstone (00R), Texas
April 17th Tuesday
  • Livingston to Navasota (60R), Texas
April 18th Wednesday
  • Navasota to Burnet Craddock (BMQ), Texas
  • Burnet Craddock to Odessa-Schlemeyer (ODO), Texas
April 19th Thursday
  • Odessa to Cavern City airport (CNM), New Mexico
April 21st Saturday
  • Carlsbad to Santa-Rosa Route 66 (SXU), NM
  • Santa Rosa to Moriarty (0E0), NM
  • Moriatary to Estancia (E92), NM
  • Estancia to Double Eagle II (AEG), NM
April 22nd Sunday
  • Double Eagle II to Stalkers Landing
  • Stalkers Landing to Cabezon Peak
  • Cabezon Peak to Shiprock (5V5), NM
  • Shiprock to Bluff (66V), Utah
  • Bluff to Monument Valley, Utah
  • Monument Valley to Marble Canyon (L41), Arizona
April 23rd Monday
  • Marble Canyon to Page Muni (PGA), Arizona
  • Page to low approach Marble Canyon to Valle (40G), Arizona
  • Valle to Grand Canyon Caverns (L37), Arizona
  • Grand Canyon Caverns to Jean (0L7), Nevada
  • Jean to Furnace Creek (L06), California
  • Furnace Creek to Stovepipe Wells (L09), California
April 24th Tuesday
  • Stovepipe Wells to Kern Valley (L05), California
  • Kern Valley to Santa Paula (SZP), California
April 25th Wednesday
  • Santa Paula to Santa Paula via coastline to Santa Barbara
April 26th Thursday
  • Santa Paula to Salinas (SNS), California
  • Salinas to Watsonville (WVI), California
April 27th Friday
  • Watsonville to Lodi (1O3), California
  • Lodi to Placerville (PVF), California
April 29th Sunday
  • Placerville to Carson City (CXP), Nevada
April 30th Monday
  • Carson City to Lake Tahoe shoreline to Carson City
  • Carson City to Elko (EKO), Nevada
May 1st Tuesday
  • Elko to Jackpot (06U), Nevada
  • Jackpot to Hazeltown Muni (U94), Idaho
  • Hazeltown Muni to Bear Trap (1U0), Idaho
  • Bear Trap to McCarley (U02), Idaho
  • McCarley to Rexburg-Madison County (RXE), Idaho
  • Rexburg to Stanford (U12), Idaho
May 2nd Wednesday
  • Stanford to Yellowstone (WYS), Montana
  • Yellowstone to Gardiner (29S), Montana
  • Gardiner to Woltermann Memorial (6S3), Montana
  • Woltermann to Black Hills (SPF), South Dakota
May 3rd Thursday
  • Black Hills to Chamberlain Municipal (9V9), South Dakota
  • Chamberlain to Madison Municipal (MDS), South Dakota
May 4th Friday
  • Madison to Albert Lea (AEL) (approach only) to Viroqua (Y51), Wisconsin
  • Viroqua to Wittman Regional (OSH), Wisconsin
May 5th Saturday
  • Wittman to Starke County (OXI), Indiana
  • Starke County to Bellefontaine (EDJ), Ohio
  • Bellefontaine to Youngstown Elser Metro (4G4), Ohio
May 6th Sunday
  • Youngstown to Clarion County (AXQ), Pennsylvania
  • Clarion to St Marys (OYM), Pennsylvania
May 7th Monday
  • St Marys to Jake Arner Memorial (22N), Pennsylvania
  • Arner Memorial to Linden (LDJ), New Jersey
May 8th Tuesday
  • Linden to Linden via New York Hudson River SRA north and south.

 

Death Valley to Kern Valley to Santa Paula

Catching up Tuesday April 24th 2018:

Airspace around Death Valley consists of, in part, MOA’s (Military Operations Area’s), restricted airspace and military low level training routes. Nellis AFB (Air Force Base), China Lake NAWS (Naval Air Weapons Station) and Edwards AFB aircraft, can be found operating near the area.

With military airspace and fighter jet traffic in mind, it was another pre-dawn awakening. Overnight accommodation had been at the local Stovepipe Wells village hotel.

The BZIM was packed, ready to go by 6am, just as dawn approached. Mountain tops glowing orange in the distance. The cool morning temperatures would make the flying smoother. The military won’t be flying yet too, I hoped.

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The BZIM at Stovepipe Wells (L09), Death Valley

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Crossing the pass near Pinto Peak, looking west towards Panamint Springs

Departing straight out, runway 23, it was a slow steady climb from Stovepipe’s 25 feet elevation to the 5500 feet needed to pass the first ridge, north of Pinto Peak, eleven miles away. Crossing the ridge, the plan was to descend, towards the desert floor below.

Approaching the MOA’s, I listened to  Joshua Approach, the controlling ATC authority. It  was a surprise -so early in the morning- to hear the the military controller, speaking to obvious military call-signed aircraft. Although only one side of the conversation was heard, a picture was slowly being painted of fast jet aircraft in the area. One jet was given a clearance which included ‘the transition’. The ‘transition’ I took to to mean the infamous ‘Jedi transition’, the name given to an area where military aircraft switch between defined low flying routes. It involves flying through Rainbow Canyon, low and at high speed. This was directly where I had planned to descend towards after the ridge.

External Link to The Jedi Transition images

Instead, the BZIM’s climb continued. Two way radio contact was established with Joshua Approach. I was now happier knowing the military knew I was in the area, but disappointed not to be able to fly Rainbow Canyon myself. The only aircraft seen though, was a civilian Beech 90 King Air, also skirting the R2505 restricted area, in the opposite direction.

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Jedi Transition low level military flight training canyon!

Reaching an altitude over 9500 feet, the flying was smooth, calm and the views were simply breathtaking. Snow covered mountains peaks to the west, scorched deserts and mountains everywhere else.

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Looking south east

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China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station

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Inyokern Airport

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Skirting R-2505

Rather than fly over the mountains to the west, the western edge of R-2505 was followed south until reaching Walker Pass (5246 feet), near Indian Wells. Here Joshua Approach were thanked for their service and the BZIM descended between the mountains routing to Kern Valley airport (L05).

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Stunning approach to Kern Valley

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Runway, camping area to the top left near runway, apron and hangers bottom right

Flight time from Stovepipe Wells to Kern Valley was a leisurely 2 hours 19 minutes. Distance flown, 133 miles.

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The BZIM at Kern Valley

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Kern Valley airport and the BZIM

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Looking towards the airport cafe and a friendly welcome

Generosity and kindness, was again, something I would find at Kern Valley. At the cafe, I was welcomed by Shoan and Bea, who cooked up a hearty breakfast. Telling the story of my adventure, Paul Shoemaker, a local pilot, insisted on paying. Paul then offered to drive into town, to get fuel, for my external tank. Although I pressed him to accept payment, Bea told me that I was be wasting my time trying to pay. If Paul wanted to pay, I should let him. Thank you Paul.

Another local “back-country” pilot arrived, asking, why I ended up in Kern Valley.  During research for my trip, I was searching online for airfields that offered “camping under the wing”. Kern Valley promotes this pastime, having a camping area on the airfield, so it featured quickly in search results.  Seeing images of the picturesque airport, Kern Valley airport was always going to be a ‘target’, camping or not.

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Stunning backdrop for 1952 Cessna 170B N8326A

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I learned there are many small dirt strips dotted around the area, many not marked on any official aviation chart. I had overflown a few, thinking they were private airstrips. As the BZIM had no brakes, I had little thoughts of ‘ticking off’ a few… Perhaps one day.

Fron the airport, many military fighter aircraft were seen to pass to the west of Kern Valley. Here low flying route IR236 begins. Seeing F15’s, F22’s, F18’s descend into the valley, I was glad to have stayed flying high earlier in the morning.

Two hours after my arrival, it was time to say goodbye.  A fly past was aborted after realizing I would have been flying too low and close to workers cutting grass.

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Climbing out of the area

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looking back towards Kern Valley

My next destination, and stay location for the next few days, was Santa Paula airport.

A new brake cable had been sent from P&M Aviation in the UK, to Santa Paula c/o the airport manager, Rowena. Here I would fit the new cable.

Santa Paula is the home-base of fellow pilot, trike owner and amazing videographer, Henry ‘TrikeLife’ Imagawa.
Henry has been making awesome trike flying videos for years! The airports, scenery and obvious freedom seen in his videos, is a major factor in why I wanted to come to, and fly across the United States.

Henry’s videos are truly inspirational.

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follow the road, flying between the hills and mountains, not over!

The flight towards Santa Paula was uneventful. Aware I would now be approaching potentially busier airspace, I chose to stay low, flying between hills and mountains rather than over them. Exiting the hills east of Bakersfield, undulating land was briefly followed by a flat valley. Soon the final mountain range would be weaved, following Interstate 5, avoiding a number of Condor sanctuary areas, where overflight of at least 3000 feet is required.

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undulating land

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not sure what to think of this!

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Interstate 5

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Spot the Cessna

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Circling Cessna

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Fillmore High School football ground

Flown distance from Kern Valley to Santa Paula was 122 miles.
Time taken was two hours twenty one minutes.

Kern to Santa

Santa Paula is only 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Approaching the airport, there was no sign of the coastline in the distance. Haze and low lying clouds were out to the west.

Soon after parking on the transient apron, I was introducing myself and being welcomed by airport manager Rowena. I was offered use of the en-site airport pilot accommodation for my first nights stay. With an added bonus, it included access to a washing machine and drier. Good use was made of both.

Within an hour of landing, Henry TrikeLife arrived. Henry offered a home for the BZIM, along with a place for me to sleep for the second night at Santa Paula, in his hanger. 

I briefly met Henry at SunNFun two years previously. My heavy Scottish accent had been difficult for Henry to ‘catch’ first time, but even back then, after telling him of my planned adventure, he gave me a business card. “You contact me and we can fly together”. Here I was, two years later. Henry would soon fly with me as I crossed the Pacific coastline. But not today. Visibility wouldn’t improve until late Wednesday afternoon.

The brake cable was scheduled to arrive “by Friday 27th”, three days away. As is ever the case, a car is a necessity in America. Henry dropped me off at Enterprise, provided me with the keys to his hanger and said he would return Wednesday around midday. Time to relax at the ‘airport hotel’.

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Circling Cessna lands at Santa Paula

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Piper J3 Cub – N6900H st Santa Paula

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Cessna 177 N3171T, Santa Paula

Checklist time!!

  1.  Coast 1  …… Check
  2.  Coast 2  …… Check
  3.  Coast 3  …… Check
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The BZIM’s wing over the Atlantic Ocean

The BZIM is now, at it’s final destination airport, Linden Airport, New Jersey.

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The BZIM finals 9 Linden. New York Skyline on left

A final flight will take place tomorrow, up and down the Hudson VFR corridor, landing back at Linden, weather permitting. 🙂

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The BZIM at Linden New Jersey

 

Bbbbrrrrrr

The BZIM’S feeling the cold this morning.

Currently 0640 at Stanford Field (U02) waiting for the frost to melt off the BZIM’S wing and for fog to lift from Yellowstone.

Winds 10mph from the north, so it feels colder than the -1’C reported…

Hoping to be clear of the highest Rockies by today. Thunderstorms forecast for Yellowstone this afternoon.

Hitting the Jackpot

Tuesday 1st May. 11:50am

Short update. Waved off by Ben at Elko. Fantastic person who helped considerably the previous afternoon. Ben, a local, long time pilot with some amazing aviation stories from the local area. Thanks for your help sir!

Diverted into Jackpot airport as a snow shower is obscuring the path ahead. A stronger than forecast tailwind has got me to this area sooner than expected.

Craters of the moon National park is looking iffy unless the cloud-base lifts.

Where am I and where I’m going.

Live 5:50am 1st May 2018 Elko Nevada.

Although it may appear I am ahead of schedule, a buffer of 5 days is needed at the end of the trip to collect items from Homestead Florida and box the BZIM for transporting back to the UK. Therefore, flying has two weeks to be completed.

I would like to extend my thanks to every pilot who has offered hanger space and overnight stay. I will be unable to stop unless it fits with the route and plan. I apologise to those I have flown over and missed already.

My plan is depart Elko today after 0830. Start delayed due to my destination being under IFR conditions (low cloud). Weather due to improve after mid-day. I hope to fly over the Craters of the Moon National Park, but the freezing conditions may stop this. I am NOT flying into the many scenic back-country Idaho strips in the north west of the state as I had hoped, so no Boise either 😦 If conditions allow, I may try to get to Yellowstone this evening, but if not, an airport near Idaho Falls, Rexburg or McCarley field (U02) will be my overnight.

Tomorrow Tuesday 2nd (or Wednesday 3rd), Yellowstone and exiting the Rockies to the north, then east heading towards Billings is the plan, all weather dependent. After that, east to Oshkosh.

As the blog fell further and further behind (mostly due to web access, and photo and video processing and uploading), and my changing method of how the blog publishes, some links may now not work, or links have become circular. Calendar is best method of getting out of any link loop. Live posts will be posted on the correct day, catch ups will be back-posted to the date of the actual flight. This will allow me to post more live update text only posts.

Many more images and videos will be added when possible.

Hope that all makes sense.

M.

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Unaltered image of the weather being ‘worked’ around yesterday Sunday 30th