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Thread: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Clay - In response to your question for Eastbound winter ferry routes out of YKM that start Southbound, (lets say due to eastern rocky Mt. WX), and given the fact that in our case, we did not fly around YKM for the recommended 10 hours (engine break-in/familiarity with an oil change before departure)....

    Our southbound objectives were eactly the same as our Clarke River route to Missoula (which we did take):

    1. initially pull break-in HP
    2. Keep the intial engine break-in altitude as low as possible for air flow - around 7 to 8,000ft.
    3. Pick inital airports based on 10gph apart
    3. with heated hangars
    4. with multiple runways for x-winds.
    5. and good motels for overnight stops
    6. change oil after 10-11 hours of running and settle down to 2,400RPM at 6.5gph

    Going southbound, an added objective was to stay well east of the Cascade and Sierra mountains for turbulence, and avoid any WX/fog that might stack against those mountains from the Pacific Ocean.

    Although planned, we never flew this route, but I'd like to do it some day. The stops are in bold italic print.

    YKM KGCD KBNO REO KBAM KTPH 0L4 BTY 0L7 PGS FLG KINW(oil change) KAEG KDHT -

    If this route could be improved or critiqued by west coast pilots - I am interested. My son Owen and I ferried our Carbon Cub home to KMQS last December. We are a father-son LearJet team during the week. Also single pilots on an MU-2 Solitaire. We've flown lots of long range jet flights, trans Atlantics/South America, but really are new to this kind of flying, and are competing over who gets the Cub on the weekends! 200 hrs. already. Owen is also a helicopter instructor and just ferried a Sikorsky S-76 from KMQS to Vancouver.

    Regardless of the plane - long range flying has always been my top interest - Bob Watkins

  2. #12
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    YKM down to Salt Lake down to Tucumcari then east to Atlanta, February 2012.

    Flew a trip last week with a CC client from Tampa in which we used my old faithful route down thru the heart of the Rockies, with only a couple new modifications to the path taken. Aircraft was a Carbon Cub with long range tanks. This is the first trip that I have flown and then immediately recounted, so it is much more of a running dialoque of the trip than previous routes I've mentioned. Here's the story/route:

    Held up a day in YKM due to high winds, gusts into the 30's. This was coming off of weather the previous few days that was seeing sustained winds in 30's and gusts into the 40's and 50's. Being stuck in YKM was fortuitous as I was able to try out the new Rib Shack restaurant down near the mall. Great pork barbecue and home made sides. Brenda can tell you where it is.

    Finally was able to get a early morning start next day and headed direct for Nampa, ID (KMAN) for gas and food. Great restaurant there above the FBO. Biscuits and gravy, with two eggs-over-easy highly recommended. Departed and made for next stop in Salt Lake City. We flew that segment via Twin Falls to Burley so as to dog leg around the large restricted areas west of SLC. This routing also gives advantage of staying over or near interstate majority of way. We pinched down low between SLC Class B and the mountain ridges to land at South Valley Regional (U42). Great mid-sized municipal airport. Hangar for $40/night and a Hertz rental car crew rate overnight of only $20. You'll spend that much putting gas back in a courtesy car. Great deal. Stayed overnight there at the Magnuson Hotel which is a previous Best Western and very nice for the ~$60/night. There is an REI store about three miles down the freeway too which is great for when the trip is colder than anticipated and you need to get some warmer layers. I ran down there this time and replaced a thermal top that I had forgotten. Smartwool products are pricey, but damn that stuff is worth it. Best thermal underwear I've ever used. Allows me to keep a good core temperature without being too bulky from a bunch of layers. I've worn a lot of different long underwears, from waffled cotton to polypro to LL Bean silk and I think the Smartwool is simply the best out there. At 5500 to 7500 feet where we were flying it was averaging 20* or so in back seat so i needed all i could get on this trip. (I had my own thermometer back there, I always carry an inside/outside unit which has a small probe encased in plastic on the end of a 3-4 foot wire. I fish the probe out side and under the wing where I either tape it or wedge the wire under the wing root fairing. I use it because I am sure of its calibration and I like having accurate temp info when dealing with visible precip in the colder ambient conditions)

    So left out next morning from U42 and headed south toward Spanish Fork. There is a couple restricted areas to avoid just out of South Valley and then the Provo Class D to deal with or avoid. We chose to circumvent this time by nudging right up against the ridge to the east and flew around it. There is a US highway and rail line that leads out of Spanish Fork up into the mountains and goes up and down into Carbon, UT on the other side. From there follow highways down to Moab and continue on south-southeast to Cortez, CO (KCEZ) where we made our fuel stop. Windy there and slight crosswind, maybe 15 degrees off centerline. Was 15G23 if I remember correct. No problem if you just lay that upwind wing over and set her down on the one wheel. Taxiing wasn't an issue really either with me in backseat and bags in the back. The extra weight helps keep the tailwheel planted and tracking against the wind better. Fuel and food in Cortez, but nothing really particular of note there. Crew car is available. Departed and headed direct for Taos, NM (KSKX) which has a nice highway leading the way thru mountains. Picked up the highway at Taos and flew it over to Angel Fire (AXX) thru Palo Flechado pass. Once in the drainage on the other side we were able to set direct for Tucumcari, NM (TCC). Stopped overnight there. Reliable self serve fuel and an open faced hangar that is always empty unless another transient has taken a spot in it. There is room for a couple airplanes though. I've been through TCC six or seven times over the years and it is always great. They are in process of renovating FBO right now as of this writing and the crew car keys are in the phone box on the west side of FBO building. Two Crown Vics available. Lots of hotels and motels in town as it is one of the signature stops on the old Route 66. from TCC you can go direct anywhere to the east and the only thing you'll hit are the towers.

    Backing up a little, I've flown this general route a couple times before and always after Cortez had gone on down to Albuquerque to pickup I-40 and fly it through the pass there. I like this transition over Taos better I think though because it is more direct, but make sure you have the range to do it comfortably. Having the extra tanks on this trip allowed it to happen for us.

    We left TCC early next morning hoping to get to ATL maybe, or at least across the Big River, but only made it to Amarillo an hour or so into flight due to weather. Unable to traverse a warm front we stopped at Tradewinds there (KTDW) and settled in to hang out for awhile. Landed in heavy winds straight down the runway 17. 18 or so gusting to the mid 20's. Again no issue IMO due to being right at GW (we were still fat on fuel). Airplane landed and taxied fine, just gotta be up on your wind handling skills. Be deliberate and quick with control inputs and corrections. great FBO and staff at Tradewinds. We slid aircraft in hangar while we checked weather to see if we could get around the system to our east. While on the ground the wind started to kick up even more, by early afternoon AMA Atis was reporting gusts in excess of 50kts. Needless to say we sat tight. There is a very nice Holiday Inn Express there that is located in an old Holodome. Great FBO rate of $60/night...it is easily closer to $100 or so regular rate given the quality of the rooms. They also have a 24hr shuttle that will take you anywhere, including p/u and drop at the airports. Hangar cost was $10/night. Best. Deal. EVER!

    Winds subsided and we left next morning. Fuel stop and food in Mena, AR (KMEZ). Nice homey FBO and Chevy Impala crew car available. Departed there with ATL punched in direct. Crossed into Mississippi and came up on a line of T-storms blocking the way. Stopped at Panola Co., MS (KPMU) for quickturn fuel only and pressed on. Found a gap and shot on through to clear skies over eastern Alabama and into ATL. Landed on east side of Atlanta where I was dropped off. Client spent the night and flew home rest of the way to his destination the next day. All in all a great trip with classic late winter conditions. It came up a snow storm in YKM about three days after we left. Lots of wind along the route the whole way. This route down through SLC and on down towards I-40 takes you through the very heart of the Rockies. Its cold and windy in the fall, winter, spring and hot and windy in the summer. Just be ready to deal with it if you choose to go down thru that way. I do it when I need to, but my "go-to" route for getting to the southeast/east coast is still I-90 through Montana. I've had more luck with it than any other.
    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 03-01-2012 at 11:10 PM.

  3. #13
    Member Pokette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    I got home the day Clay arrived for his ferry.
    A video of the trip:



    Tried to fly off about 10 hours at owners request for engine break in. Was able to get about 7.
    Two days in Yakima for wx. Left on a Sunday morning when Randy opened the door for me wx was good so bolted. Couldn't do the northern route due to wx. When I got down to OGD wx to the west was snowing so continued past Salt Lake. Went up the pass just south of Provo UT, had to turn around due to snow. Day 2 made it to Cortez CO and had to stop due to high winds in the plains. Left at sunrise on day 3 - made it all the way to KSAR almost 1000 miles. I flew a Carbon Cub with the regular tanks. Planned on stopping every 2 hours and it worked out great. Climbed to 12.5K on day 3 to take advantage of winds. Delivered the airplane to a very happy owner on day 4, did a walk around and flew with him.
    Last edited by Pokette; 03-02-2012 at 09:45 PM.
    Diana Votaw
    N110CV


  4. #14
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Flew a SPORT CUB from Yakima down to Florida last month. Weather conspired against me much of the way. Coming out of YKM there was wintry mix all up in the northern portion of the Rockies, then a break over much of central Idaho, then precip started up again and was widespread through much of southern Idaho into Utah and Colorado. Needing to get on down the road I elected to split the middle and venture into the heart of the Idaho backcountry. As previously mentioned I was in a SPORT CUB so I had a decent endurance, roughly three hours of flying before I start hitting my one-hour of reserve fuel. I needed that reserve this trip and I am glad that after all these years I still plan for it. A healthy respect for your fuel situation IMHO is a good way to get to be an old, bold pilot.


    First day had me come east out of YKM. Crossing the Columbia and leaving Hanford Reach behind, you start to parallel the Blues, a mountain range in Northeast Oregon stretching into southeast Washington. Eventually you cross their threshold and enter into the back country of the Rockies. First stop for me was Grangeville, ID (GIC) for fuel and pit stop. Self serve fuel here and a small pilot shack with dial-up internet Wx access. You might be better off using the cellular data connection on your phone. Looking at satellite and flight rules data on my phone's Foreflight app, a direct traversing was not in the cards. Elected to try making a run across the state using the Salmon River drainage to stay in the clear. It worked, but at times I was questioning my decision and toying with turning back. With over cast ceilings in the ridge tops there are times when you are literally flying through a virtual tunnel, nowhere to go but forward or back the way you came.
    2012-03-17 14.35.20 (Large).jpg
    A few blind turns here and there where you can't see how the weather is until you are committed to making the turn, as you see above. Quick decision making is a must whether to press on or back up. There are a few USFS and private strips on the river along the way if one needed to drop in for awhile and wait it out. Its a trip like this where you really appreciate all of the cold weather camping/survival gear you are schlepping. You are adequately prepared for a night in the cold, right? I would not want to get stuck out there without my gear if weather forced me down for the night at some far flung strip. Even in March the temps through central ID were only in the 30's with lots of snow still in the upper elevations.


    Was able to follow the Salmon River until it kicked out into a nice wide valley and the wonderful airport there in Salmon, ID (Lemhi County KSMN). I hadn't enjoyed seeing a nice wide piece of runway like that in a long time. I parked it for the night and the local mechanic loaned me his crew car for the night. Self serve available there. Airport kitty is very friendly.
    2012-03-18 11.57.10 (Medium).jpg


    There is an FBO on the field but it is seasonal only. Not a lot in the way of hotels in that town. Fella at the airport suggested the Stagecoach Inn and I opted for that. Neat spot right on the river. Salmon is a bit of a fishing town so if you are into that its definitely a worthy stop.


    Woke up next morning and had to wait for clouds to lift until about 2pm. Finally launched and headed southeast, following Highway 28 up and over pass down into Idaho Falls. Weather was moving into Idaho Falls and points eastward. I had scattered and broken layers above me, elected to climb up to a little over 12,000 and try to make my way to the northeast. Got up over West Yellowstone for a fuel stop but it was snowed in, runway completely obscured and no way to know the depth. No good. Pressed on hopping ridges and having to make a few detours for clouds and/or IMC and total mountain obscuration. Finally made my way into Ennis, MT (KEKS) after eating about thirty minutes into my one hour reserve. I should mention that I have XM working on the Garmin that's in the panel. Allows me to see precip and satellite, but there is still always a difference between what you see on GPS and what you see out of windscreen. XM style weather should only ever be considered for strategic decision making. Nothing beats seeing actual conditions outside or from an on-board active radar in the heavier/bigger birds. From Ennis I was scud running underneath on up and around the south side of Bozeman. Eaked thru the pass there that I-90 climbs up through. You know you are down in it when the truckers are flashing you as they pass underneath. From this point it was about 6pm and the weather was finally clearing. I had made it out of the east side of the system. It was clear from Mission on east, stars shining overhead. I elected to stay with it and pressed on into Sheridan, WY (KSHR) about 1:30 after dark had set in. I don't mind flying in the dark if I have a good highway underneath it with cars on it. Lots of light for ground reference. I've chronicled my success with overnight stops in Sheridan before. I like it a lot for its convenience and friendly folks. The field is uncontrolled but has commuter airline service. Means the FBO is open early to handle fueling for the early morning airline flight. They always have hangar available on cold nights. And the Holiday Inn has a free shuttle.


    Next portion of the trip dealt mainly with stout headwinds and strong crosswinds on landings and takeoffs. The Cubs are capable of a lot of wind. Its up to the pilot to determine his/her own threshold. Left SHR direct for the armpit of Florida. Fueled in Custer, SD (KCUT) self serve. Then again in Thedford, NE (KTIF) self serve. Ended the day in Beatrice, NE (KBIE). Self serve available and a great staff. Good rate at the hotel next door to the airport. Be advised though that Beatrice has zero AT&T cellular coverage. Absolutely none. You'll be roaming or using the hotel phone. this also means no data for your iPhone or iPad other than wifi.

    Airborn next morning but back into the mire. Large area of precip training up thru the midwest out of the gulf. Just had to duck under and find my way through. I always try to find something to follow when I'm stuck under low ceilings and low viz. A railroad track, US highway, interstate, and/or river (or any combination of these) serve as great tracks to follow when dealing with marginal VFR. Keeps your eyes outside instead of staring at your GPS/map. I keep the GPS's audible alerts enabled for obstacles and ground prox, but also feel confident that if I am right on that road/track/river...etc, then I'm not going to run into anything. (only caveat are the high tension wires, but if I'm that low I should be looking for a runway) Case in point, I ventured off on a more direct route once conditions started to improve and came upon these spectres poking out of the mist as I flew along. Look right along the line between ground and mist/cloud:
    2012-03-20 10.17.14 (Large).jpg
    They are wind turbines if you can't tell. Ask my brother Nate sometime about his experience running headlong into a crop of these delivering a Decathlon once. Red Bull Air Race challenge becomes a very real thing!

    I'm always steering for the lightest parts of the horizon, that's where you know the sun is getting through and it should be clearer air. Here's the payoff at the end, a full and complete sunlit horizon:
    2012-03-20 10.44.34 (Large).jpg

    This was long about west central Missouri. Made it into the clear on east side of the weather and landed at Boonville, MO (KVER). Self serve. Another nice kitty:
    2012-03-20 12.12.42 (Large).jpg
    Next stop Waverly, TN (0M5), then ended the day at Fulton Co. in Atlanta (KFTY). I don't recommend FTY as a stop due to the fact that it is high priced, there are no good hotels around it and crew cars are reserved for the jet jockeys. I use it though only because it it 20 mintes from my house and I have the use of a hangar there. If you are coming through Atlanta on your journey, Chip Allen with SWT Aviation is based at Kennesaw (KRYY) on the northside. Its still one of Atlanta's high dollar executive fields, but lots of hotels nearby. Lots of good little fields on southside of town too. Its not near as built up down there and everything is cheaper.

    Left out next morning and headed for FL. Headwinds made me come up short and stop in Valdosta, GA (KVLD) for fuel. Good FBO and decent fuel price. This is a towered field. On a normal day I would make it into Suwanee, FL or Lake City, FL for fuel instead. They are good airports with good fuel. After that it was last leg in to Grass Roots and the SPORT CUB's new home.

    This trip was marked by the bad weather during the start of the trip and through the middle portion as well. Also of note were constant headwinds the whole way once I was out of the rockies. To the point where at times I was getting 60-65 mph at best and I was staying low the whole way, at or below 500 feet. Any higher and the winds just got worse. This is not normally the case making a west to east crossing. Tailwinds are usually the norm at least until crossing the Mississippi River.

    Here's what the track looked like for the whole trip:
    2012-04-03 13.25.47 (Large).jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 04-18-2012 at 07:25 PM.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Pilawt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    You be careful out there, Clay! I remember you had to deal with some grimy weather when you delivered my new Sport Cub to Pearson on New Years Eve 2007. (Can it possibly have been four and a half years already?!)

    Jeff Jacobs
    Vancouver WA / KVUO
    C-172N-180


  6. #16
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Time really flies doesn't it?! I had more fun flying your Bonanza for the couple months we had it for sale than I had had for a long time...including an IMC flight from Boeing back over to YKM after dropping off a SPORT CUB at Harvey. Had to climb in a race track pattern over east Seattle before we could top the mountains and head east. IMC all the way until we were about ten out from Yakima. Brian was along, didn't realize you had the autopilot...we had a short sharp discussion about why the Hell wasn't I flying the plane until we got it cleared up ;-)

    Not much addition to the routes here lately, but I know the Cubs are rolling out of CC like hotcakes. How's everyone's homebound trips going? Feel free to pipe up! I'll hopefully be picking up a plane or two in July. Hope to add a couple trips to the chronicle then.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Pete D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Hammond View Post
    Time really flies doesn't it?! I had more fun flying your Bonanza for the couple months we had it for sale than I had had for a long time...including an IMC flight from Boeing back over to YKM after dropping off a SPORT CUB at Harvey. Had to climb in a race track pattern over east Seattle before we could top the mountains and head east. IMC all the way until we were about ten out from Yakima. Brian was along, didn't realize you had the autopilot...we had a short sharp discussion about why the Hell wasn't I flying the plane until we got it cleared up ;-)

    Not much addition to the routes here lately, but I know the Cubs are rolling out of CC like hotcakes. How's everyone's homebound trips going? Feel free to pipe up! I'll hopefully be picking up a plane or two in July. Hope to add a couple trips to the chronicle then.
    I think I was along on that trip to in the back. If I remember right I don't think the headset was working in the back so all I could tell was you and Brian were discussing something up front but had no idea what was going on, lol.
    Pete Dougherty
    R & D Shop Manager
    Cub Crafters Inc

  8. #18
    Senior Member Pilawt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete D View Post
    I think I was along on that trip to in the back. If I remember right I don't think the headset was working in the back so all I could tell was you and Brian were discussing something up front but had no idea what was going on, lol.
    If the headset was working in the back it would have been a miracle. That Bonanza didn't have intercom jacks in the back!
    Jeff Jacobs
    Vancouver WA / KVUO
    C-172N-180


  9. #19
    Senior Member Pete D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    That was it! Quite an experience, my first ride IFR at night over the mountains and had no idea what was going on up front except the two guys flying were discussing something! And looking out the window with a flashlight to see if ice was building up, lol.
    Pete Dougherty
    R & D Shop Manager
    Cub Crafters Inc

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Ok, folks. Here is my PROPOSED trip from Yakima to Albuquerque. I post it here to (hopefully) be educated. If you see any glaring problems...or opportunities to do it better, jump right in. I set up the route using the Airnav fuel function...so all of these places are pumping fuel and all have FBO's that sound reasonable. I opted for airports with multiple runways as a preference...even if they are controlled. Hell, I have a radio!!.

    The guys at Yakima are supposed to be putting 5+ hours on the airplane this weekend so I can do a checkout with some break-in time on the airplane. I need 3 hours per my insurance company...which is a good plan, I think. I will start my checkout on the 10th of this month in Hillsboro Oregon (Chip Allen will deliver the airplane there) and plan on flying to Yakima after the checkout and such...probably on Sunday. I will be flying out of Yakima somewhere in the early afternoon (after the factory tour, meeting Randy and others I need to meet and getting the first oil change) on Monday. I am planning 8 gallons per hour (per Clay's comments) and 100 miles per hour.

    OK. Yakima to Baker City Oregon (KBKE). Baker City has multiple runways and for a starter destination, it is only 177 miles...so I can confirm fuel usage and such. That's 1:45. All going well...

    ...Baker City to Twin Falls Idaho (KTWF). 231 statute miles, around 2:20. A long stretch, but basically right down US 84 and over some pretty major towns and airports...so if I am using fuel faster than or going slower than, I can change plan on the fly. I think that after the tour and time in Yakima and right at 4 hours of flying, that's be a good time to take the rest of the day off. Twin Falls is pretty.

    OK...next morning...off to Provo Utah (KPVU). Two runways, well reputed FBO and an on-schedule 211 miles. 2:10 or so. Fuel is a bit pricy and controlled airport...but two runways. Next jump is a shorty...

    Provo to Huntington Municipal (69V). I don't want to stretch it all the way to Cortez...for reasons I will explain in a minute...and it sounds just funky. Runways everywhere and some of them are dirt. This stop is for safety...and hell, fun. Just 73 miles. 45 minutes or so.

    Huntington to Cortez CO (KCEZ), 187 miles. This is the only single runway airport on the journey. However, since I filled up in Huntington, I can (if necessary) stretch on to Four Corners (KFMN)...which is 232 miles. So the planned stop is Cortez, but if the conditions are challenging, off to Four Corners. We are at 5 hours or so...and with full tanks, and off to ...

    ABQ. Yaay. 192 miles from Cortez or 148 miles from Four Corners. So another couple hours or less and home and dry. The afternoon T'storms are often a challenge, but I should have lots of daylight to work with. After ABQ, I am gonna hop over to Santa Fe which is where I am gonna stay for a week and a half or so before setting out for Montgomery, AL...a trip I have made lots of time and have no real concern over.

    I have a week to get there, so the above times can change with overnights if necessary. Any thoughts? Any side trips for purty?

    Thank you for reading and your suggestions.

    Jim

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