Long flight SE to NW Planning

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by PiperCruisin, Nov 13, 2019.

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  1. Nov 13, 2019 #1

    PiperCruisin

    PiperCruisin

    PiperCruisin

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    I'm planning to make a long flight from GA to ID soon. I'm a little overwhelmed with all the choices in airports to make stops (every 350-450 nm). Any airports along that route one likes?

    Of course the route will probably be less than direct given weather, wind, getting over the Rockies..
     
  2. Nov 13, 2019 #2

    narfi

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    "OK Google, what is the nearest airport with gas and food?"

    sorry couldn't resist.... sounds like a fun trip though.
     
  3. Nov 13, 2019 #3

    12notes

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    It might be easier to give suggestions if you put a basic proposed route on a site like https://skyvector.com/ and posted the link to it.

    Less than direct routes could be anywhere and don't give us much to go on. Even straight line direct routes from different corners of each state have a huge variation in location. SW corners of both states put the route over Little Rock, AR , Wichita, KS, and Denver, CO, NE corners of both states put the route over St. Louis MO, Omaha NE, and Great Falls, MT. I don't think those two routes are ever closer than 250 miles apart.

    I do agree with Narfi that it sounds like a fun trip.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2019 #4

    proppastie

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    I use Air-Nav for fuel, often listings for crew-car, food and motel near by.
     
  5. Nov 13, 2019 #5

    BJC

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    A few years old:

    Bartlesville OK - good loaner cars, good service, reasonable prices, usually have hangar space.
    Logan, UT - really friendly, nice town, loaner cars, reasonable prices, hangar space.
    Rapid City Regional - expensive, but worth it if you have time to visit Mt. Rushmore, Iron Mountain, and Custer Park.


    BJC
     
  6. Nov 13, 2019 #6

    Dana

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    Good places to stop depend on whether it's a quick fuel stop, food, or overnight. If food or overnight, depends on whether you want to walk or drive to food and/or accomodations from the airport. The type of aircraft you're flying may also affect what kind of airport you pick.

    I like to lay out the straight line on google earth with a sectional chart overlay, then look at airports not far from the straight line (but remember along the middle of a long trip you can go miles off the straight line route without adding any significant time). Then Airnav to look at the airports, and zoom in in google earth to see what's around.
     
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  7. Nov 13, 2019 #7

    Toobuilder

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    I typically look at it on skyvector with only the start and finish points then drag the rubber band around any hard obstructions (like restricted areas). That's the baseline for the most efficient still air course, then I add my fuel stops right on the line. Then I jump on airnav and do a 50 mile search for cheap gas with the "on course" airport as center. If I'm lucky, gas is cheap at the centered airport.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2019 #8

    Rockiedog2

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    Santa Fe NM to get around the Rockies. Or Laramie for going around to the north.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2019 #9

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    There are a LOT of people on this forum who have local knowledge along that route. Mine is very limited, but from distant memory:

    Laramie WY had an airport car that the guy just gave me the keys to.

    Spanish Fork, UT was a good gas stop, very welcome after going through the "Provo Gap" in a light airplane. Far enough away from SLC that the gas price was not that awful.

    Sedalia MO was a great stop, the people there were very friendly. There was a mechanic's shop on the edge of the ramp, just to your left if you were standing at the airport "terminal" building looking out onto the ramp. The guy let me keep a Taylorcraft in that hangar overnight because of weather.

    Cozad, NE was darn near abandoned, but I did get fuel on the way through there in an AA-1. Pretty quiet there.

    Childress, TX was a very adventurous stop for me in the Taylorcraft, I stuck an exhaust valve. Totally abandoned when I got there, and the note next to the pay phone said "call xxxxx for gas". So I called, and the police department answered :) They sent old Horace out to put gas in the plane, and then it was old Horace that called the local IA when I stuck the valve. The local IA was also the preacher in the next town over, Quanah, TX. He fixed my cylinder using "the rope trick" and sent me on my way the next day. True story.

    West Texas Airport, just east of El Paso was a good gas stop for me on the way back to LA, but that would be pretty far south of your route to ID. The crosswind gust nearly cartwheeled the T-craft but I got it back just in time.

    I have friends in the southern NV/western AZ area at a private strip, AZ50, east of Las Vegas if you happen to be going through there. No avgas there but plenty of car gas, a nice strip and really nice folks. But.... you may want to not have a "Hillary and Bernie and AOC in 2020 !!!" bumper sticker on your airplane when you land there. I probably wouldn't land in Las Cruces to go visit Fritz with that bumper sticker installed either :)

    Because of rather desolate terrain in the western part of your trip, I will strongly suggest that the terrain, distance from civilization, proximity to major roads, etc. should play a significant part in your route planning. Winds blowing around those mountains in the winter are not to be trifled with in anything light. If you don't know already, parts of AZ, NM, and NV are pretty darn desolate. You really don't want to be stuck out there in a lot of areas. If it's not 120 degrees in blazing sun, then it's 20 degrees and wind chill instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
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  10. Nov 14, 2019 #10

    Pops

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    I have a good friend at Marbleton/ Big Piney, WY, just east across the mountains from Afton. Lives a short distance from the airport. Good fuel stop but not for a RON. Good people there.
     
  11. Nov 14, 2019 #11

    pwood66889

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    Though "Flown the `Coupe" across the ConUS (long story...), I would recommend starting with AirNav.com, after buying all the sectional charts to avoid getting "straight lined" over something that we all would not like. But that is just a start; use as many things as work for you.
    Can't say I remember airports I like. You will check NOTAMs to avoid things...
    The cross-country described (Florida to New Mexico) at my EAA chapter last night reminded me that there are no "long cross countries." Just short ones tacked together end to end.
    Bottom line - Enjoy the Journey! But talk to local pilots when they are available.
    Wish you the Best! And I do like travel logs.
     
  12. Nov 14, 2019 #12

    Rockiedog2

    Rockiedog2

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    VB I liked what you said about the wind in light(slow) planes especially going west in the winter. I won’t try the passes in less than say a 150mph plane; going backwards is a strange feeling LOL. I did it in my RV8 a number x but I tend to go N or S in much less
     
  13. Nov 14, 2019 #13

    Pops

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    That would be fun in a Coupe.
     
  14. Nov 14, 2019 #14

    mcrae0104

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    Speaking of which...
     
  15. Nov 14, 2019 #15

    Toobuilder

    Toobuilder

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    Pwood - what's a "sectional chart"? I've only been flying 20 years, not familiar with the term.
     
  16. Nov 14, 2019 #16

    Rockiedog2

    Rockiedog2

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    I didn’t watch the vid...the look in his eyes was enough. Shell shock...
     
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  17. Nov 14, 2019 #17

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    They used to call that look "the thousand yard stare"... because that's about how far an Ercoupe goes in an hour :)
     
  18. Nov 14, 2019 #18

    davidb

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    Do you have ForeFlight/Stratus or some other route planning/weather tool? Is this more of a pleasure trip or a ferry trip?
     
  19. Nov 14, 2019 #19

    Pops

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    There you go, bashing an Ercoupe :) I have heard Ercoupe bashing all of my life. Tell you a story. One time I was a student pilot with my Ercoupe that I had just bought and based at a large airport. Middle of winter and had several inches of snow that morning and it was about 20 degrees and I wanted to go flying. Ercoupe tied down on the ramp and while cleaning the dry snow off a man with a New Mooney ( Transit airplane) was cleaning the snow off his airplane next door. He looked over and ask if that is one of those Ercoupes that takes off and flys and lands at 80 mph. We both got in the cockpit to start the engines and the little Cont fired up after a coupe blades and he ran the battery down trying to start the cold Lyc. He got out of the airplane and look like he wanted to kick it. I slid the window down and ask him if he wanted to trade it for a nice flying Ercoupe. He was not a happy camper. Made my day.

    Ercoupes are faster than a C-150 burning less fuel per hour.
     
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  20. Nov 14, 2019 #20

    wsimpso1

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    Going the southern route puts you in a lot of valley flying to get there. When the weather is good that is OK and can be spectacularly beautiful. Depending upon who you talk to, mountain flying stops when the wind over the ridges is forecast above 15 or 20 knots or clouds are below the peaks. Those restrictions can make for more days when you stay on the ground.

    You can minimize that issue by going the northerly route. Stop at Billings Montana, then go through Monida Pass into southern Idaho. Once in Idaho you can pick which mornings to fly in the mountains or stay in the huge broad valley.

    Billski
     

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