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davidb

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I've been stuck in Blythe for a few hours.

...was the longest week of my life!
The town isn’t terrible but yeah there’s nothing at the airport. Getting to the town is tough. No courtesy car and literally one taxi. He wasn’t available when I got here. Uber doesn’t have a presence here but I gave it a try anyway. An Uber driver passing through on I10 took the hit and gave me a ride. That was dang lucky timing!
 

Pops

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Wife's niece and husband runs a hardware store in town. My mother-in-law died there in her sleep when visiting. Greatest mother-in-law that God made. That would been a long walk to town.
 

davidb

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Wife's niece and husband runs a hardware store in town. My mother-in-law died there in her sleep when visiting. Greatest mother-in-law that God made. That would been a long walk to town.
Ace Hardware Inland Builders Supply?
 

Toobuilder

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If TSP is your fuel stop, I'd suggest the following route:

BLH, KOBTE, TSP

Midway between and a touch NE of course from KOBTE and TSP is my airport (1CL2). If you try this on the weekend and have the time, stop on in - we can do lunch. If you REALLY get stuck, I'm sure we can put you up for the night.
 
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davidb

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If TSP is your fuel stop, I'd suggest the following route:

BLH, KOBTE, TSP

Midway between and a touch NE of course from KOBTE and TSP is my airport (ICL2). If you try this on the weekend and have the time, stop on in - we can do lunch. If you REALLY get stuck, I'm sure we can put you up for the night.
TNP will be the fuel stop if I go that way, but yes, I’d be overflying KOBTE and TSP for terrain and restricted airspace on the way to Bakersfield.

1CL2 looks like fun but not sure I’ll be up for for it. Does it get muddy with rain and could you help me get a car gas? Looks like you are getting rain right now.
 
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Toobuilder

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Our main runways is 2600 long and paved. My taxiway is concrete... No part of your airplane has to touch dirt. And yes, fuel is doable if you dont mind Jerry cans.
 

Toobuilder

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And considering your ultimate destination, it would take some remarkable circumstances fo me to consider the detour through the LABasin vs. the direct shot through the high desert.
 

davidb

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Our main runways is 2600 long and paved. My taxiway is concrete... No part of your airplane has to touch dirt. And yes, fuel is doable if you dont mind Jerry cans.
Oh, the info I have on ForeFlight just shows two dirt strips 1200 feet long. Jerrycans are what I use at home. Weather might allow me to get there tomorrow but it doesn’t look like I could get into the Central Valley until Saturday. I assume you’re working tomorrow. I wouldn’t land there without help on the ground. Come Saturday, weather permitting, I’ll be pushing hard and choosing fuel stops accordingly.
 

Victor Bravo

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Google search does not come up with an airport with a designator KOBTE ????

Airnav doesn't have it either...

Never mind, I found it somewhere else as a military reporting point.
 

davidb

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Wife just said that they sold it a while back and moved to Sacramento. Lots of family in CA.

I walked over there this morning. The place is huge, actually two separate buildings and one looks new. Maybe someone bought the older place from them and added the new building. They sell just about anything a man could want including firearms and soap made from beer.
 

Toobuilder

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Google search does not come up with an airport with a designator KOBTE ????

Airnav doesn't have it either...

Never mind, I found it somewhere else as a military reporting point.
Its not a neccessarily a "military" reporting point, its just an airway intersection. I rarely use airports or VOR's as waypoints anymore... I generally draw a straight line between points and use intersections to define the turn points around stuff I can't fly over/through. Foreflight and Skyvector are very good at suggesting a variety of intersections near my "drag and drop" route modification. KOTBE just happens to be the one that allows me to turn the corner near R2515 and get to/from my house. There are about 10 such intersections within 5 miles of that spot, but KOTBE is the best for me.
 

Toobuilder

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Oh, the info I have on ForeFlight just shows two dirt strips 1200 feet long. Jerrycans are what I use at home. Weather might allow me to get there tomorrow but it doesn’t look like I could get into the Central Valley until Saturday. I assume you’re working tomorrow. I wouldn’t land there without help on the ground. Come Saturday, weather permitting, I’ll be pushing hard and choosing fuel stops accordingly.
Yep, The official data for our airport is years out of date. I'm working tomorrow, but I don't think you're flying either. Hope I'm wrong.

If you are stuck until sat, I'm an option. BTW, the "Plane Crazy" fly in at MHV is this saturday. Something else to consider.
 

davidb

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Yep, The official data for our airport is years out of date. I'm working tomorrow, but I don't think you're flying either. Hope I'm wrong.

If you are stuck until sat, I'm an option. BTW, the "Plane Crazy" fly in at MHV is this saturday. Something else to consider.
Looks like the weather might allow me to advance to Twentynine Palms tomorrow. Any thoughts or opinions on that for an overnight? I can make MHV from there.
 

Toobuilder

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I've only been a short transient in that area so can't comment on accomodations. I DO remember the wind absolutely howling at TNP however. Make sure the bird is hangared.

L22 seems like a reasonable spot to RON based on a GOOGLE search of the area.
 
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davidb

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I’ll share some tidbits of the journey. Coolidge (P08) was one of my fuel stops yesterday. I stopped there on the way out to Florida as well so I am somewhat familiar with that field as well as Blythe. Coolidge has permanent NOTAMs for a jump zone, intense student pilot training, and large military aircraft operations. The first time in there, all that was going on and yesterday was the same. The CTAF chatter is as busy as any frequency at KORD. I started monitoring the frequency and watching ADS-B thirty minutes out so I could plan my attack on this bee hive. Everyone was landing on 05 and one guy was doing instrument approaches to 23 with circle to land on 05. A C-130 was making a drop pass perpendicular to 05 at 12,500’. His track coincided with my track approaching the field but he was well ahead of me. The load hit when I was still more than 5 miles from the zone and I was offset a safe distance too. One plane went around and offset as the heavy equipment hit near the runway.

Since I gathered I would be well ahead of him before he made his second pass with jumpers and based on the position of the other student training planes, flying overhead and making a direct entry to the downwind was going to work just fine. This put me right over the jump zone but I knew the jump plane was 5 miles behind me. Right then, a guy on the ground transmits to me, “turn left, you are over an active jump zone.” I made the turn thinking he must know something I missed. Then he transmits, “you overflow an active jump zone. Read the NOTAMs!” I climbed and flew out to teardrop enter the 45. Jumpers weren’t away until I was re-entering the downwind. BTW, I did transmit my position and intention to overfly the field 5 miles out. Hindsight, I could have taken the long way around but there was plenty of traffic out there too.

My departure out of there wasn’t much less eventful. Takeoff to the east but needing to head west, I figured I’d climb out the top on crosswind and then be on my merry way. Well, the C-130 does a wide, high, descending downwind from well east of the field. Not where I would normally look for planes entering the pattern.

I’d say this airport is in bad need of at least a part time tower.
 

davidb

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I've only been a short transient in that area so can't comment on accomodations. I DO remember the wind absolutely howling at TNP however. Make sure the bird is hangared.

L22 seems like a reasonable spot to RON based on a GOOGLE search of the area.
Yucca Valley doesn’t have fuel or weather reporting from what I see on ForeFlight.

The wind forecast is starting to look bad for TNP. Two years ago that is what urged us to go into the basin.
 

davidb

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Continuing the tidbits...
I use ForeFlight exclusively for my planning. It’s a great tool. Important NOTAMs and TFRs get red flagged and you can’t miss them. I always check the remarks tab (permanent NOTAMs found there) for unfamiliar fields. The temporary NOTAMs tab rarely has anything there and if there is something it’s usually of no consequence to VFR operations. Given that, I forgot to check that tab going into Blythe yesterday. Alas, I made my 5 mile out call in the blind with the only expectation of possibly waking the fueler as the airport only sees one airplane a day (on a busy day). To my surprise, the call was answered with “aircraft landing Blythe say again call sign and position”. I responded but thought that was an odd call from the fueler. He further directed me to report a two mile final and cleared me to land runway 26. Turns out the “fueler” was a temporary FAA control tower. Yes, it was in the NOTAMS I didn’t check. Not a big deal because the NOTAM was worded as advisory only and I was in fact the only aircraft flying there that day but shame on me.

The temporary control tower is there because a British C-130 and paratroopers are there for the week doing training. I don’t think they have even done a jump run yet and probably won’t before they leave given the weather. So, I’m left to wonder why this situation warrants a control tower and Coolidge doesn’t.
 

Toobuilder

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Have not been studying the weather, but IF (big if) you decide to push this way tomorrow I can put you in touch with my next door neighbor. He'll be home all day and has room in his hangar.
 

davidb

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Well, I got out of Blythe this morning. Going into the LA basin looked like the lesser of evils this morning so that’s what I did and I’m at KSBD. Winds and questionable ceilings kept me away from the eastern route. I wouldn’t want to be in Lancaster right now.

Going through Banning pass didn’t look too bad when I left Blythe this morning. I knew I’d have to go through low but I had some wiggle room when I departed and it looked like the ceilings were rising. I also had turnaround or land short options if the pass closed up. Turns out I had no wiggle room but for the record I had legal cloud and ground clearance.

I can verify all warnings of Banning pass are valid. Winds east of the pass were 30 mph. In the pass they were 60 mph. No kidding, I had a 40 mph ground speed. Trucks climbing the grade on I 10 were pulling away from me at a disheartening rate. I stayed north of the highway as much as terrain permitted and turbulence and downdrafts weren’t too bad but I wouldn’t want to do it in an underpowered plane.

More fun once through the pass mixing it up with birds and a helicopter while being pinched between ceilings and terrain. Surprised anything else would choose to fly in that crap. Again, I kept it legal but nothing more. Chose SBD over REI because I had more ground clearance. Turns out SBD is a better fuel/ron stop than anything thus far.

Fueled up and waited around a bit checking the weather to see if I had a shot at Bakersfield today. A local advised me not to even consider Cajon pass. Got to the hotel and look out the window. Plenty of blue sky in the pass. Half hour later now and I can’t see it. I’ll see what tomorrow brings. Probably head west to I 5 and Tejon pass.
 
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