Time to hit some targets

Catching up Saturday 21st April 2018

Departure today, was around 7:30am, not long after the FBO arrived to open the hanger where the BZIM was staying.

Prior to starting this adventure, I’d set myself targets where I wanted to fly to, or fly over. Fully aware that many targets would not be reached, due to time or weather, today provided an opportunity to tick off three of these targets.

First was to fly over Roswell airport and take some photo’s of the many airliners stored and being dismantled.



flying over the class D airspace at 6200ft





The city of Roswell

Second, was to land at the Route 66 airport, Santa Rosa. I was told prior to visiting that it wasn’t worth the time or effort, as there was nothing there. As I only saw the airport and a truck stop, I can’t agree with certainty. My goal was simply being able to enter “Santa Rosa Route 66 airport” into my log book.

The next target was given to me by a work colleague. Target was Moriarty. That’s the airport name and his name. Moriarty has a large glider community but few appeared to be flying today. Three UH 60 Black-hawks arrived in formation, something cool to watch and hear. One of the perks of being able to be air-side.



Moriarty Glider



Pilot FBO lounge at Moriarty


After departing Moriarty, it was a quick stop at Estancia (E92), a small gravel strip, to get some more unleaded. A gravel road made it difficult dragging 6 US Galleons or 24 litres of fuel, in a plastic marine fuel tank strapped to a £10 Halfords trolley This trolley was used constantly during the trip. Although at times I thought it might break and let me down, it never did. Straps are needed to hold the fuel canister in place.

Estancia (E92)

Final flight of the day routed just to the north of the Manzano Mountain Wilderness Area, through a pass north of the Mosca Peak.

pass just north of the Mosca Peak


Destination was Double Eagle, where I was met by Frank Roush, a Albuquerque trike pilot and his wife. Frank took us to a local restaurant where Damien Beresford, the local trike flight instructor, had arranged for a number of his students pilots to meet me. I was truly surprised that on a Saturday evening, at short notice, people made the effort to come out to meet me! ME !?!

A huge thanks to Damien and his wife for putting me up for the night and a sorry I wasn’t that other Michael Stalker 😉


This trip is going under

Catching up Friday 20th April

So another few nights in the same location. What to do in Calsbad? The main attraction in the area is the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. My arrival to the caverns was in the afternoon, just after 2pm. With the elevator out of order, access to the Caverns was by foot, via the Natural Entrance. The hike therefore would be down and up!

Natural Entrance Self-Guided Trail

The 1.25 mile (2 km) Natural Entrance Trail is extremely steep. Depending on if you decide to hike up or down, you gain or lose about 750 feet (229 m)—equivalent to walking up or down a 75-story building. The hike takes about one hour (on average) to completeThis trail is not recommended for visitors with heart or respiratory conditions.

It is nice to get out of the baking New Mexico sun as the caverns are entered.


The sheer depth and size of the caverns is simply breathtaking.

IMG_1051Walking with a steady pace, the walk down into the caverns, just keeps going down, down, down. Some stages were very steep, requiring holding onto side rails, other areas flattening out, but still down, down, down.

Watching others struggle, sweating, short of breath, ascending, as I continued going down, began to be a concern. After all, I would still have to retrace my steps too!IMG_1046.CR2IMG_1053IMG_1052

Eventually…… I’d had enough. I’d came into the caverns without any water, and sweat was running down my face. I asked a steward how far away was the main room. “about 15 minutes”. Nope, I wasn’t going to make the main room, as that would be 30 minutes more + time in the main room + every step already taken down, back up… Too much! I’d seen enough and I could always come back, when the elevator was working!


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