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

  1. #1
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Route index:
    • Post #2: YKM to east of Mississippi loosely using I-90 through the mountains (Spokane to Sheridan).
      • Post# 5: Priest River/Lake Pend Oreille/Clark Fork drainage north of Spokane through Sand Point and down to Missoula
      • Post# 6: Spokane to Clarke Fork to Missoula then past Lincoln and out Rogers Pass.
      • Post# 7: Clark Fork to St. Ignatius then Seeley Lake to Rogers Pass
      • Post #8: Clark Fork to Paradise, MT, then Flathead River east to St. Ignatius through Jocko Pass to Lincoln and out Rogers Pass

    • Post #3: YKM through Boise and Salt Lake to I-80 and points east
    • Post #10: YKM to LA via Columbia Gorge west then I-5 south
    • Post# 10: YKM to Las Vegas via US97-Klamath Falls-Reno-Las Vegas. Also notes extending to Phoenix.
    • Post #11: YKM south to east via KGCD KBNO REO KBAM KTPH 0L4 BTY 0L7 PGS FLG KINW(oil change) KAEG KDHT
    • Post #12: YKM through Boise and Salt Lake on down to Tucumcari, NM and then points east
    • Post #13: YKM-Ogden-Salt Lake-Cortez-KSAR
    • Post #14: YKM east to Grangeville, ID; then Salmon River over to Salmon, ID; east then north to Ennis, MT and I-90 to Sheridan, WY; southeast thru Custer, SD to Thedford, NE to Beatrice, NE; east to Booneville, MO then Waverly, TN to Atlanta; South thru Valdosta, GA to Grass Roots in central FL.
    • I got behind on keeping this updated...apologies. Pretty much there is route coverage of every way out of the Pacific Northwest at this point. Feel free to add your own routing to the thread.

    ​---

    I've wanted to start a thread here for a while offering folks who are picking up a plane from CC tips and experiences regarding best routes. I would like to encourage participation from folks who have made the trip themselves and feel they have something to offer in the way of airport updates, new airport experiences, personal experiences/observations...etc. I'll offer up over time the routes that have worked best for me over the past few years that I have been around Cubcrafters. What I would not like for this thread to become is a descent into questioning someones choices or a banter about the best sightseeing along the way. To the best of our ability, I would prefer seeing this thread remain a concise chronicle of best routes out of Yakima headed to wherever. In this regard it will be easy for someone to read through and pick out the tidbits of information that aids them going forward. So pull out that Sectional or WAC and follow along, or consider using an online solution. I have found www.vfrmap.com very helpful while recounting these trips.

    If you would like to share your trip please consider the following:
    • Preferrably a trip out of YKM after picking up your plane
    • Routing you took via airports and waypoints
    • Experiences at airports/FBO's along the way
    • Crew car availability at airports you visited
    • Fuel prices if they are notable
    • Good shops along the way if you had to have maintenance or an oil change enroute
    • Bad shops you would avoid in future
    • Particular and/or localized weather phenomenon that might make you consider a different route if you had to do it over

    ---
    If you are considering picking up your plane from YKM and flying it home I/We would like to help:
    • Let us know where you are headed
    • Any concerns or self-imposed limitations that might impact your routing choices
    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 02-21-2016 at 04:27 PM.

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

    I've ferried Cubs out of YKM off and on since 2006. In that time I've probably made 10-12 trips where I needed to get through the Rockies and then east of the Mississippi River, my ultimate destination being somewhere in the Eastern U.S.

    For me, going over the top thru Montana and down from there is always fastest route out of the mountains and to points east. If weather is good with tailwind it is Yakima - Ravalli CO (6S5) - Sheridan (SHR). From there you are past the front range and can go direct to your ultimate destination and workout fuel along that path. In a Carbon Cub though you'll need wicked good tailwinds due to higher fuel flow and reduced endurance, or otherwise have the long range tank option. I find in no wind, turning 2450 or so for break-in considerations, I'm burning 8gph or so resulting in 2.5 hrs plus .5 reserve with stock tanks. Its 306 statute on that first leg to Ravalli and 360 on the second to Sheridan. So like I said, you need the push to be able to do it. If you look on the chart though you can see Lewiston as a potential intermediate stop out of Yakima and Butte, Bozeman and Billings on that second leg if you come up short. So if weather is good and I can take that more direct route through Ravalli Co. then I can make Sheridan by end of the first day. Usually 1.5-2 days further to get to the Mississippi. Only big caveat with that direct routing is you go over some rough wilderness, very wild areas. I always carried full winter camping gear any time after early September in case I had to put it down. Highest you'll have to get is 11-12K while crossing over the Bitterroot Ridge before dropping into Ravalli Co.


    Some would say that stretching the legs like that is unnecessary, but I always enjoyed the challenge, and as a ferry pilot I am always looking to get the most ground behind me as quickly and efficiently as possible. If the airplane was running well and I felt good about it then off I went. There are Forest Service strips scattered along the route over the wilderness, but anytime between Nov and March you can expect them to probably have snow on the strip. Need skis or for emergency only.

    If bad weather or playing it safe... Its Yakima to Spokane, then I-90 all the way. Coeur daLene, Shoshone, Missoula, Deer Lodge, Butte, Three Forks, Bozeman, Mission, Big Timber, Laurel/Billings, are all along the way and then Sheridan from there. Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Laurel/Billings are the sure bets along that route. The other smaller airports are iffy. Sometimes I'll find people/fuel, sometimes not. I've never bothered to call ahead, that would help. I stopped at Big Timber once in middle of January. 15-20 below at altitude and I was cold and ready to quit for a little while. Runway wind blown with small drifts, not a soul around, about five below and no self serve. Lobby door was unlocked though for poor souls like me. Had enough fuel to press on to next little airport so I warmed up for a little bit and then had to continue on. But those sure bets I just named are always open for business. Highest pass is Mullen at 5500 feet or so, halfway between Spokane and Missoula.

    Over the plains I just fly as direct a route as possible with my only consideration being getting fuel. With the SPORT CUB/TOP CUB/SuperCub it was never a question, I always had an airport on the course line that I could drop into due to the longer endurance. In Carbon Cub I sometimes have to deviate off of path by 30-50 miles to hit a fuel stop. I have no favorite routes after getting out of the Rockies, just whatever it took to get where I was headed.
    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 01-03-2015 at 07:53 PM.

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

    Still looking to head east, but with inclement weather along the I-90 route, I've had to drop further south to get through the mountains but still maintain some eastward progress. I-80 is the next long east-west interstate to the south and it still makes for a fine trip, just potentially much more windy. Coming out of YKM its head southeast towards Boise. Hermiston, Pendleton, LaGrande, and Baker City are all along the way before getting to the Boise Valley. Lots of Municipal airports in and around Boise. I like to use Nampa as fuel prices are usually decent and more importantly there is a restaurant upstairs above the FBO. If you head out early enough then you hit Nampa right around lunch. From there its on towards Twin Falls and Burley where I head more south towards Logan just north of Salt Lake. Usually end up there for the night depending on the season (if it is summer I can usually get a little further in the extra light). From Logan, if weather allows, you can hop over the ridge and continue southeast towards Fort Bridger and or Rock Springs. Going towards Ft. Bridger just gets you over the interstate and civilization quicker. Rock Springs is another 50 miles or so east. Once I am over I-80, I start listening to George Straight and follow the freeway through Rawlins and Laramie until I exit the mountains at Cheyenne, WY. Highest elevations along this way are some 9000 foot ridges just out of Logan and then it gets into high plains there west of Laramie. Steady 7500 feet or so in the low spots. From Cheyenne its all downhill and I am direct destination for the most part.

    Note that from Logan to Cheyenne it is almost always windy. I've been through this way twice now and it was a steady 20kts or so at the surface all along that segment both times. I doubt that it ever quite gets calm there in the daytime. Be ready to wrestle a little bit if you are setting down. Also that route along I-80 from Salt Lake to Cheyenne is an old airmail route from back during the C.A.M days... kind of neat.

    The thought might occur to head east straight out of the Boise Valley toward Pocatello, Jackson Hole, Riverton and on to Casper. I've never preferred this way due to sparsely populated countryside over extended periods coupled with very high elevations with high ridges and peaks to clear in and around the Tetons. I did it once and had the worst bout of extended turbulence I've ever experienced, including a jolt that convinced me I had bent the airplane. Landed at next available and pulled inspection rings in wing and fuse, but there was no damage. Never again for me, in a light plane, without better understanding of mountain wave phenomenon and the potential turbulence that exists in it.
    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 12-05-2011 at 09:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    This is great info Clay and I am one of the guys who asked Clay and Brian Thompson for just such advise in 2009 in order to make the trip in my Carbon Cub from Yakima to West Palm Beach Florida. ( I had orginally owned an S2 and had it delivered to Florida and was just plain envious the ferrying stories that Clay and his brother Nate held) Attached for those who have not see the AOPA article I wrote last year as a first timer across the Rockies in the Winter. It also has a route map similar to the Southern route Clay has advised. All I can say is if you have not done this trip its a must! The people you meet, the experience you gain and the fabulous parts of our country you see at 1000ft AGL are just incredible. In fact it was so incredible, we did it again this past Summer from Florida to Yakima and spent time flying MOAB Canyonlands and Johnson Creek which should be on everyone's bucket list. Have fun Best to all Gary

    http://www.aopa.org/members/files/pi...ature_cub.html
    Last edited by glickle; 12-07-2011 at 03:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dan L'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
    Highest pass is Mullen at 5500 feet or so, halfway between Spokane and Missoula.
    This is a neat thread and a great idea. Actually if you fly a little north of Spokane and get on the Priest River you can follow the river to Sand Point Idaho, fly over Lake Pend Oreille to the mouth of the Clark Fork river and then follow the river all the way to Missoula if the ceiling is poor. The highest point is Missoula - no passes. The river joins I90 again at St. Regis Montana. This route is a little longer than following I90 but not much. And you can stop and see me at S34.

    Added image from 24DEC11 along part of this route. This is flying at 3000' ASL or so. (The blue on the GPS is XM's indication that there is light snow. But it wasn't and visibility is obviously very VFR.)

    DSCN2157.jpg

    This is the same day later on and farther east in a canyon. It isn't nearly as bad as it looks. I'm 1000' AGL and have 2 - 3 miles visibility in Class G airspace. I'm also over the Clark Fork and have flown this stretch 100's of times. Interestingly XM doesn't show the snow at all.

    DSCN2160.jpg
    Last edited by Dan L; 12-27-2011 at 03:52 PM. Reason: added image
    Flying Carbon Cub EX #11 since 2011

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

    What's critical to the owner is breaking in the engine as you fly east. Not going above 7,500 ft assures enough power for engine break in. The only way we could find out how to do that was down the Clark Fork River from KCOE all the way to Missoula...then east past Lincoln (S69)... Then northeast out, at Rogers Pass (50 miles southwest) of Great Falls Montana. Another advantage - There hardly isn't a time where there isn't a field to make an emergency landing.

    We ran 2600 RPM - 10gph for the first 2hrs, then 2500 RPM for the next 8hrs....did an oil change...and then settled down for the rest of the trip at (2400 RPM at 6.5gph) all the way to home base (KMQS) 30 west of Philadelphia on December 7th 2010.


    Bob & Owen Watkins

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    Senior Member Centmont's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Just a small tweak of a suggestion to this route..follow the Clarke Fork to St. Ignatius (spelling ?) instead of going into Missoula...more direct and you avoid the messy airspace especially if it is fire season. From there directly East over the pass to Seeley Lake and drop down into the Blackfoot drainage, over the hill to Rogers pass and out onto the priaire. Just a little more direct and the gas is always cheaper than Missoula. Also very beautiful. R
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Dan L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross Country out of CubCrafters/YKM - Route help/tips/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Centmont View Post
    Just a small tweak of a suggestion to this route..follow the Clarke Fork to St. Ignatius (spelling ?) instead of going into Missoula...more direct and you avoid the messy airspace especially if it is fire season. From there directly East over the pass to Seeley Lake and drop down into the Blackfoot drainage, over the hill to Rogers pass and out onto the priaire. Just a little more direct and the gas is always cheaper than Missoula. Also very beautiful. R
    Ralph is right; avoid Missoula altogether. Leave the Clark Fork and follow the lower Flathead River from its mouth just east of Paradise, MT to St. Ignatius and then through Jocko Pass to Lincoln and over Rogers Pass. From there you're over the prairie.
    Flying Carbon Cub EX #11 since 2011

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

    Great info everyone. Thanks! I have flown that area along the Flathead and Clark Fork up to Sand Point from Missoula area and can also speak of its ease. I've used it in inclement weather to make some distance and it worked well. Just be ready at times to have walls on each side of you as you fly up/down the rivers. Fun when its blue sky! not so much when its low OV ;-)

    Anyone want to expand on routes down the west coast? Say down to LA/Vegas/Phoenix area before heading east. A lot of folks this time of year want to head south for the warmer temps as quickly as they can. I have routes out of Salt Lake on down to Pueblo, CO, as well as Salt Lake down to Moab and then on toward Santa Fe. Need to get those up when I have the time next.
    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 12-27-2011 at 07:37 AM.

  10. #10
    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 Clay Hammond View Post
    Anyone want to expand on routes down the west coast? Say down to LA/Vegas/Phoenix area before heading east. A lot of folks this time of year want to head south for the warmer temps as quickly as they can.
    The old reliable route from YKM to L.A. would be west through the Gorge, then follow I-5 south until you see a Kardashian. I-5 offers reasonable terrain, and lots of fuel stops and emergency landing areas.

    For Vegas or Phoenix, follow US 97 south through Oregon to Klamath Falls, then fly direct to the Reno area (or Bend -> Lakeview -> Reno). Yerington (O43) has the cheapest fuel around, and a McDonald's a one-block walk from the transient parking. Then via Coaldale and Beatty VORs to the Las Vegas area. Fuel is scarce in western Nevada; a precautionary fuel stop at Tonopah is a good idea. To avoid the busy airspace of Las Vegas I like to stop at Jean NV (0L7). It's uncontrolled and just outside the LAS Bravo airspace to the south, about 20 miles south of the Strip. A dated but decent hotel/casino ("Gold Stake") is just across the parking lot. From there it's via Lake Havasu City to Phoenix, but mind the MOAs (easy to do down low in a Cub!).

    An often-overlooked stopover airport in the Phoenix area is Stellar Airpark (P19). Unlike most airports in the widely-spread-out Phoenix metro area, P19 is convenient to hotels, restaurants and shopping.
    Jeff Jacobs
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