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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

Table of Content for flying:

More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999



2012/06/27 Flyout Group Mountain Flying trip to Colorado
π 2012-06-27 00:00 in Flying, Trips
Kieran and I rented a C182 G1000 at Palo Alto and flew with Scott Stauter who was there to keep us safe :) Just as luck would have it, most of the autopilot was dead on departure though. That kind of sucks for a TAA, but oh well...

FOG/Flyoutgroup trips are typically organized by Dan Dyer from San Carlos Flight Center, and trips can also be found on the yahoo page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FlyOutGroup/ or http://sancarlosflightcenter.com/fog/ .



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Day1: Palo Alto to Sedona and Durango

Our first day, Kieran did the first leg to Sedona. We flew direct doing over high Sierras peaks, at peak level. This was the closest to peak level I've ever crossed, but since the weather was nice, it was not an issue.





Our route went close enough to Vegas that we overflew it, and then lake Mead and the Hoover Dam:


Old Town Las Vegas
Old Town Las Vegas








Sedona Airport
Sedona Airport



From Sedona, after lunch, I took over for the leg to Durango:





Nice little runway at Durango
Nice little runway at Durango


Landing in Durango had a special meaning to me since I had been there a few years earlier commercially when I went to Silverton during snow season. With the distance, in good weather, I could have actually made it there in one leg probably as fast as it took me to fly there commercially considering that it requires going to SFO and then changing planes in denver, but it's unlikely that I'll ever be able to fly there in the winter, especially around a storm like I did back then, but eh, it's still nice to be able to pretend :)
We checked in Durango, and I walked around a little bit before joining the rest of the FOG team for dinner:



It's a long train ride to silverton: 7H return (or more than twice as slow as driving)
It's a long train ride to silverton: 7H return (or more than twice as slow as driving)




Day2: Durango to Eagle Country/Vail via Telluride, Gunnison, Alexander Field, and Leadville

Our second day was the day for highest altitude airports in the continental US. We had to get around TFRs due to the multiple fires that were in Colorado.


we saw a lot of fire fighting crafts
we saw a lot of fire fighting crafts



We first landed at Telluride, the highest commercial airport ($6.20 a landing, but you can also buy a shirt to take home :). It's a nice airport that almost looks like an aircraft carrier, then we eventually headed for Leadville, the highest airport in the US.

Telluride
Telluride



Gunnison
Gunnison


Got a bit of rain on the way and flew around mild weather
Got a bit of rain on the way and flew around mild weather

Leadville, the highest airport in the US
Leadville, the highest airport in the US


Yes, I also got the T-Shirt :)
Yes, I also got the T-Shirt :)

The previous year, some planes were barely able to take off Telluride. Despite our plane being close to gross and very high density altitude (about 12,000ft, off the takeoff performance charts in the POH), we actually took off without problems, even if our climb was obviously not stellar. In my limited experience, the much newer C182T we were flying just had more oomph than some older C182s, including the carburated one I flew to Mammoth a few years back.

A bit more weather started in the early afternoon.
A bit more weather started in the early afternoon.



Hi TSA, how I so didn't miss you during this trip.
Hi TSA, how I so didn't miss you during this trip.

After landing in Eagle County, close to Vail, we drove to Glenwood Springs, where we had our hotel for 2 nights.


They had a huge naturally heated pool right next to the hotel
They had a huge naturally heated pool right next to the hotel


I used the rest of the day to hike hanging lake trail along beautiful I70 (thanks to Scott for driving me there and back).









Day3: Local Flying from Eagle County: Aspen, Granby County, Walden-Jackson County, Steamboat Springs

On the 3rd day, we went local mountain flying off Eagle County. Like Durango, I had recently flown to Aspen earlier this year commercially, and it was nice to land there myself (putting aside the hefty $31 landing fee).



More local exercises and fire fighting from Eagle County
More local exercises and fire fighting from Eagle County

Aspen Airport
Aspen Airport

Local Aspen Race Track
Local Aspen Race Track





Snow was very scarce for such altitudes in June
Snow was very scarce for such altitudes in June


We did a pass by leadville
We did a pass by leadville

Back to Eagle County
Back to Eagle County


Back in Steamboat Springs for the afternoon, I went to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park up the cable car and took advantage of the view up there, the few rides they had (including the highest roller coaster in the world, altitude-wise), and a visit of the nice caverns they have up there.






Hotel Colorado, where we stayed
Hotel Colorado, where we stayed

The caverns were a nice 70mn tour (they were a great place to use my firesword flashlight):




this is unofficially called bacon :)
this is unofficially called bacon :)



Day4: Eagle County, overfly of Aspen Mountains, and Grand Canyon towards McCarran Las Vegas

On the 4th day, we departed the area and Kieran flew over Aspen so that I could take pictures of the ski slopes while I wasn't flying:

Snowmass Mountain
Snowmass Mountain


that's a pretty sad looking half pipe without the snow
that's a pretty sad looking half pipe without the snow

Highlands Mountain
Highlands Mountain

Aspen/Ajax Mountain and the town of Aspen
Aspen/Ajax Mountain and the town of Aspen




After leaving Aspen, we went on course for the Grand Canyon Airport
















Grand Canyon Airport
Grand Canyon Airport


Chilling at Grand Canyon Airport before our next leg
Chilling at Grand Canyon Airport before our next leg

I flew the next leg through the Grand Canyon and to Vegas:




West Grand Canyon Skywalk
West Grand Canyon Skywalk







Rich gamblers bring their own private 747 to vegas
Rich gamblers bring their own private 747 to vegas

We parked walking distance from our hotel, the MGM
We parked walking distance from our hotel, the MGM

While I was pretty exhausted due to multiple too short nights in a row, I only had enough stamina to see 2 shows, Copperfield and Terry Fator (there are many other shows in Vegas, but I've already seen them), and I went to the Wynns for a good buffet between the 2:




desserts are the best part :)
desserts are the best part :)




David Copperfield is obviously getting older, but his show was still good. Terry Fator's ventriloquist show was good.


Day5: Sky Combat Ace Flying off Henderson, and flight back home via Death Valley Furnace Creek Airport

That morning, I got up early and went to Henderson for dogfighting and acro with Sky Combat Ace.

After the fun, Kieran and Scott came to pick me up by flying from McCarran to Henderson, where the flight was shorter than their time on the ground :) and after that Kieran flew us to Furnace Creek (Death Valley) airport where I also did a landing in order to have landed at both the highest and lowest (-200ft) airports in the US.

Departing Henderson
Departing Henderson


Furnace Creek
Furnace Creek



It was a slow climb from -220ft to 14,000ft to cross the high sierras, but we made it and we had limited headwind.





And that was it, after 5 days of great flying and lucky good weather, we got home.

A big thanks to Dan and the organizers, as well as our CFI, Scott Stauter.


More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999